Grumblings that Marvel alters its comics to more closely resemble their on-screen depictions date back to at least 2001, when Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely put the X-Men in leather.
With the founding of Marvel Studios and the rise of the tightly knit Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, there are increasing complaints about continuity changes perceived to be in service to corporate synergy, most recently in the parentage of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
But in a wide-ranging interview with ICv2.com, Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley dismisses any assertion there's a conscious effort to align continuity -- "I think people like to jump to conclusions" -- while acknowledging that of course the films are going to have some influence on creators.
"We all remember picking up our X-Men books in the '70s, '80s and '90s," he said. "The Professor would go in to put Cerebro on and he’d wear a helmet in a room, and whatever room that was and whatever it looked like was up to the artist du jour. But that room now, after the X-Men movie when he rolled into that big open area with the metallic globe that he is sitting inside of with the ramp, and then he puts the helmet on, you go into a Marvel comic now and that’s what that room looks like. The movie defined the mass market perception of what Cerebro looks like. The comics guys are looking at it and thinking, 'That’s pretty cool, I think I’ll do that!' So, to say that one medium does not influence the other a great deal would be lying.
"[...] So there’s no way that these movies, which are seen by millions of people, are not influencing what we’re doing in the books," Buckley continued, "but we’re not looking to align continuity between the two storytelling worlds because, frankly, that would be a venture into madness."
As an example of how the two mediums directly influence each other, Buckley pointed to the ABC drama Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., whose original characters now star in their own comic book series. "One is not overriding the other, it would be way too hard," he concluded "But they do influence each other and that’s a lot of fun."