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A combination of Composite Character and Canon Character All Along that tends to happen in comic book adaptations (although it also happens in adaptations of other media), this is when a character who is already a character from canon is revealed to be, or eventually becomes, an entirely different character from the same canon.

This often results in Adaptational Villainy or Adaptational Heroism if a canon villain is revealed to be a canon hero and vice versa.

Examples of Composite Character All Along include:

  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The trope image comes from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where Glenn Talbot becomes the MCU version of Graviton. The same show had John Garrett become the first Deathlok
    • After Spider-Man is introduced, it becomes clear that Iron Man is the MCU version of Uncle Ben, at point saying "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown", which is a more poetic way of saying "with great power comes great responsability". This, in turn, reveals that Thanos is the MCU equivalent of the Burglar.
    • Michelle Jones is a case of this trope, since she was already an Adaptation Name Change of Michelle Gonzales before revealing herself to be the MCU's equivalent of Mary Jane Watson
    • Vulture is revealed to be the father of Liz Allan.
    • The Tesseract (an Adaptation Name Change of the Cosmic Cube) and the Eye of Agamotto are both revealed to be Infinity Stones (Adaptation Name Change of the Infinity Gems)
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reveals that Ego the Living Planet is Star-Lord's father, making Ego the MCU equivalent of J'Son of Spartax.
    • J.A.R.V.I.S. is adapted from the House of M take on the character. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, he becomes an adaptation of 616 character Vision
    • Word of God revealed that the Elementals (who are already Composite Characters with the Elements of Doom) are named Sandman, Hydro Man, Molten Man and Cyclone.
  • In the Arrowverse:
    • Arrow reveals that Prometheus is really Adrian Chase, who in the comics is Vigilante. The Arrowverse Vigilante is a Canon Foreigner named Vincent Sobel.
    • The Flash reveals that XS is also the Arrowverse version of Nora Allen II. The show also reveals that Savitar is the Arrowverse version of the Future Flash.
    • In the "Crisis on Earth X" crossover, Dark Flash, who is already a Composite Character with the Earth-X Nazi Flash, is revealed to be a disguised Reverse Flash.
  • Marvel's Spider-Man has Jackpot revealed to be Liz Allan.
  • The Ultimate Spider-Man show has Harry Osborn becoming Venom, and Peter himself becoming Carnage..
  • Transformers Animated has Elita-One mutate into Blackarachnia.
  • Downplayed with the 1989 Batman movie. While the Joker does kill Thomas and Martha Wayne, Word of God confirmed that the second mugger during that scene is supposed to be the movie's adaptation of Joe Chill. Played straighter with Two-Face in Batman Forever, who kills Dick Grayson's parents more or less by himself, thus making Two-Face the Burton-Schumacherverse version of Tony Zucco.
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