Namor and 9 Other Golden Age Comic Book Characters Who Had Big Reimaginings | Pretty Reel

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever includes Namor’s long-awaited introduction to the MCU. The character debuted in the Golden Age of Comics, becoming one of Marvel’s first and most important figures. However, Wakanda Forever significantly changes its storyline to fit the modern world, giving it a much-needed boost.

Like Namor, many Golden Age characters had to change to keep up. Over the years, these heroes and villains have undergone significant changes to keep them fresh and relevant for modern audiences while retaining the essence that first made them pop culture icons.


Beginning in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Namor is the ruler of the undersea kingdom of Talokan. He has Mayan ancestry, speaks Mayan and is very proud of his past and his people. Like the franchise’s previous villain, Killmonger, Namor contrasts the hero: he and Shuri both want to protect their kingdoms but take radically different approaches.

Namor from Wakanda Forever is very different from his comic book counterpart. The original Namor came from Atlantis and acted as an anti-hero, continually coming into conflict with the Fantastic Four. Namor’s reimagining on the big screen adds to the character’s rich legacy, making him look fresh and relevant in today’s multicultural landscape.


Batman has arguably the best and strongest rogues gallery of all superheroes. His villains shine due to their psychological complexity, acting as perfect enemies for the obsessively damaged hero. One of his most famous foes is Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, a somewhat old-fashioned, somewhat silly character who might seem like too much of a product of his time.

However, Oswald kept reinventing himself, becoming one of the Dark Knight’s best and most notorious enemies. Danny DeVito’s gruesome take on the character showcased the bizarre elements, while Colin Farrell’s portrayal presented him as a crime lord and businessman. Oswald can be both, which is why he stands out from other Batman villains.

Captain Marvel

Before Marvel took over the Captain Marvel name, it belonged to one of the most famous heroes of DC’s Golden Age. Now known as Shazam, DC’s Captain Marvel was one of the company’s signature characters, as famous as Batman and Superman and sometimes better selling. It lost its place at the end of the golden age, and although it was reintroduced in 1972, it was never able to regain the glory of its old days.

However, Shazam returned to the limelight in 2019 thanks to the film of the same name. Portrayed by Zachary Levi in ​​one of his best performances, Shazam has become a light-hearted, comedic figure, in stark contrast to DC’s other big-screen characters. He may not be as famous or beloved as DC’s Trinity, but Shazam has been successfully reintroduced to the big leagues in a charming and undeniably fun way.

wonder woman

Undoubtedly the greatest female heroine in comic book history, Wonder Woman remains an icon. Its place in live-action was defined by two major releases, each designed to succeed in its respective era. Lynda Carter played Wonder Woman on the 1975 show of the same name, portraying a more stylized version of the character. Carter’s Wonder Woman was funny, charming, unassuming and nearly flawless.

Gal Gadot’s take on the character emphasizes his warrior roots. She is still beautiful and graceful but much more practical and seasoned. Both versions retain the overwhelming cuteness of Wonder Woman, but update key aspects of the character to better reflect the sensibilities of their time.


For years, Aquaman had a bad reputation. He was considered the joke of the Justice League, a silly character in a silly orange costume with a bunch of silly powers. That changed in the new millennium when DC Comics made a major effort to update the character and make him less awkward.

However, Jason Momoa’s performance as Aquaman in the DCEU really stood out. Part surfer dude, part bonafide god, Momoa’s Aquaman is what many thought the character could never be: cool. Momoa’s take on the King of Atlantis breathed new life into the character, revitalizing him in the public eye and making him a powerhouse of unparalleled strength and stature.


Catwoman is one of the Dark Knight’s most enduring and significant villains. However, their chemistry is undeniable; indeed, Batman and Catwoman’s iconic relationship is among the best romances of the genre.

The infamous cat burglar has had many screen lives, from the vivacious Julie Newmar to the seductive Ertha Kitt. Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance in 1992’s Batman Returns arguably remains the ultimate version of the character. Casting Selina into a sweet secretary who uses her new identity as Catwoman to pursue sexual liberation and revenge, Pfeiffer’s role was designed for the feminist wave of the 90s. Future versions, including Hathaway and Kravitz, focused more on the con artist’s angle, keeping Catwoman relevant in the pop culture lexicon.


The Man of Steel is the poster child of what a superhero should be. Powerful beyond comprehension, Superman remains kind, selfless, caring, and honest. He’s the ultimate role model, and his many versions over the years stay true to that characterization — for the most part.

Christopher Reeves’ defining take on Superman remains beloved to this day. He was the last Son of Krypton pulled from the comic book page and an incredibly difficult act to follow. Brandon Routh did his best impression of Reeves, but the audience didn’t respond to his performance. Henry Cavill took a more grounded approach, portraying Superman as a misunderstood man-god. His portrayal continues to be divisive, but it undoubtedly resonated with many fans; however, it looks like he’ll be taking a more traditional Superman approach now that he’s back in the role. Yet the Man of Steel remains a fixture in pop culture, perhaps because of his overly traditional stance.

Captain America

Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in ‘Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. ©Marvel. CR: Zade Rosenthal.

Once upon a time, it was perhaps unthinkable that Marvel’s ultimate scout would become such a popular character with modern audiences. However, the MCU and Chris Evans managed to mold Captain America into a truly intriguing, layered, and inspiring character throughout the Infinity Saga.

Cap is still very faithful to the book, but his personality is more complex than it ever was on the page. Facing severe trauma and regret, Cap is the perfect leader for a team like the Avengers. His commitment to duty and prowess in battle made him a fan favorite, but his role as the ultimate embodiment of heroism made him a cinematic icon.


Arguably the best and easily the most recognizable villain in the comics, Joker has been around since 1940. As his nemesis, Joker has pulled off many nefarious schemes in the comics and played a crucial role in the most popular storylines. Dark Knight Icons. Logically, he also appeared in several live-action adaptations.

Jack Nicholson defined the Joker for the 20th century, portraying him as a gangster and honoring his title as the Clown Prince of Crime. Heath Ledger took the character in another direction in 2008, portraying him as a deranged psychopath and anarchist, cementing the Joker as the greatest comic book villain of all time. Finally, Joaquin Phoenix turned him into an unwitting, murderous leader and the embodiment of a villain who fancies himself the hero of the story.


Few characters have undergone as many transformations as the Caped Crusader. The character’s personality remained essentially the same, although he made confusing turns to comedy. Yet Batman remains the Dark Knight: traumatized, stoic, obsessive, and caring.

However, modern iterations of Batman have taken different approaches. The animated series featured him as the ultimate hero, while Nolan’s trilogy featured him as a vigilante. This year, Matt Reeves focused on the detective aspect, proving just how versatile and adaptable the character is. Through it all, Batman has remained compelling and compelling, a figure who exists outside the norm but will always do the right thing.

Namor and 9 Other Golden Age Comic Book Characters Who Had Big Reimaginings | Pretty Reel