I noticed in Spider-Man's recent cameo in Captain Marvel, he appeared an awful lot like Andrew Garfield who is playing Spider-Man in the recent movie.

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Irrelevant of whether it is just my imagination, do some depictions of comic characters morph to be more like an actor who plays them around the time a corresponding movie is released?

By comparison, here is Spider-Man's depiction in the Spider-Men crossover:

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    +1 Can you throw this in your question: "Is this being done to get the sales up?" – Secko Aug 7 '12 at 14:06
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    Marvel does this frequently, yes. Take a look at Mr. Fantastic's face from Ultimate Fantastic 4 - he could literally be a picture of Freddie Prinze Jr. in some frames. – Jeff May 14 '14 at 19:28

Yes, that certainly does happen. I don't know if the Spider-Man example you brought was explicitly drawn to resemble Andrew Garfield, but this is definitely true of Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D.

For years, Fury was depicted as white, and was even portrayed by David Hasselhoff.

Nick Fury. Very white.

However, a few years ago Marvel cast Samuel Jackson as Fury as part of their lead-in to the Avengers movie. This led to the character of Fury in the Ultimate Marvel continuity, originally designed as a Caucasian Italian, to be re-imagined to look like Jackson:

Fury L. Jackson
(source: wikimedia.org)

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    Nick Fury always looked like Samuel Jackson in the Ultimate universe. His casting in the after-credits scenes in Marvel movies came years after they were using his likeness in the comics. – Bill the Lizard Aug 7 '12 at 12:56
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    According to the Ultimate Nick Fury wikipedia entry, he had a brief stint as a white Italian before being reimagined. I added the link to the main answer. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Aug 7 '12 at 13:45
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    The Ultimate version of Nick Fury always looked like Sam Jackson, right out of the gate. There's even a scene in Ultimates where the Avengers (erm... Ultimates) are joking about which actors they resemble. Jackson actually portraying Fury in the MCU came years later. – Omegacron Mar 9 '15 at 20:02

The characters in the comics of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel' look (sort of!) like the actors who portrayed them in the TV series. So, yes, sometimes comic book characters do look like the actors playing them.

However, these characters didn't really exist before the TV show, so we don't know what they would have looked like if drawn without the actors to copy from.

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    The characters from the Buffyverse (and Firefly characters as well) are a continuation of the characters in the TV series. They are purposefully looking like the actors from the series, because that is the way the characters look. So I wouldn't count them in regard to this question – silvith Aug 7 '12 at 12:45

There are many examples of cameo appearances of real-world folks in comics thru the decades. John Belushi comes to mind. Various Marvel staffers (including Stan Lee) whenever superheroes visited the Marvel offices. Even USA politicians:

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Left to right: Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, circa 1977

For a superhero/main character, a recent effort would be artist Alan Davis doing a credible job of making Starlord (Peter Quill) look like Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy: Mother Entropy.

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  • Dude! I’ve seen that presidential panel before, in a comic I must’ve read long ago — do you know what issue of what book? – Ernest Friedman-Hill Feb 18 '19 at 18:16
  • @ErnestFriedman-Hill "Fantastic Four" #178. The Frightful Four hold member auditions in the Baxter Building. And threaten to kill the F.F. unless a billion dollars is paid. – Blaze Feb 18 '19 at 19:34

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