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Talk:Lists of Marvel Comics characters/Archive 1

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This talk page was archived on December 4, 2003.


  • If the character's name clearly could only mean a Marvel character, then the entry should simply be the name: Spider-Man. If, on the other hand, the character's name could possibly be confused, then add "(Marvel character)" to the end of the entry; for example, the entry for Wolverine should be Wolverine (Marvel character).
I don't like this idea. See below. -mhr 17:18, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
  • In the list that appears on this page, the text "(Marvel character)" should not be visible on links; thus, for example, the link to Wolverine would be: Wolverine.
  • Abbreviations are not used. Thus, "Mister Fantastic", not "Mr. Fantastic", and "Doctor Octopus", not "Dr. Octopus".
  • Characters should be listed by codename, not by first and last name, except when the character is must more well-known by first and last name than by any codename (example: Nick Fury).
But what about Jean Grey, who is known by multiple code-names, and also popularly by her real name? -mhr 17:18, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
For these characters, I'd suggest handling them the same way I suggested handling "prominent public personalities" (like Matt Murdock and Tony Stark). That is, the main article for Jean Grey would be listed under Phoenix (followed by whatever disambiguation phrase we end up settling on). The article Jean Grey would have a redirect to Phoenix. In the list of Marvel Comics characters, we would show her as three entries:
Grey, Jean (see Phoenix)
Jean Grey (see Phoenix)
--Lowellian 23:02, Nov 26, 2003 (UTC)
  • If a character is usually known by a combination of first name and last name, then the character will be listed by first name. For example, the primary link to Graydon Creed will be listed under "G", not "C". However, there should also be a link under "C", of the following form:
  • Characters with extremely well-known public personas (examples: Matt Murdock as superstar lawyer, Peter Parker as high school nerd, Reed Richards as scientific genius, Tony Stark as billionaire industrialist) are also listed by their first and last names. For example:
  • If a character's first and last name start with the same letter, there is no need to make double entries based on first-name-first and last-name-first, since the entries would be close to one another anyway.
  • Whether a character is important enough to warrant inclusion in this list will be determined by number of appearances in the Marvel Chronology Project.
Please be more specific about this. How many appearances? Appearances in what, exactly? Number of issues, or number of references in the project, or what? -mhr 17:18, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I'm not sure yet either. First let me say that I am in no way affiliated with the Chronology Project; I am only using it because it is the most complete database of its kind that I know of in existence. The reason that I brought up this point is because the article shouldn't become a list of every single character that has ever, at any time, appeared in the Marvel Universe. That would make the list grow to huge proportions, better suited for websites dedicated to indexing Marvel characters. (For example, how many people know or care about characters like the Sky-Walker, appearing only on one page of a single decades-old issue of Daredevil?) Yet it is difficult to arbitrarily say whether a character is "important" or not; one character that is important to one person might not be important to another. I thought that a way to set a definitive standard would be by number of appearances. However, I haven't determined that exact number, nor would I advocate setting one such number immediately. Rather, I think it will gradually emerge by consensus. --Lowellian 23:02, Nov 26, 2003 (UTC)
Personally, I think there's little point in having a standard if characters such as Marrow, Shinobi Shaw and Pip The Troll are included. These are extremely borderline characters. I guess it comes down to what the purpose of the page is. It could be a listing of every Marvel character someone wants to see here (not necessarily a bad thing), or it should filter based on some ultimate goal (e.g., characters who have had their own titles; or characters who are not members of some group with which they're better known than on their own, such as many individual X-Men; or, major characters plus characters with entries but who aren't linked to from any other WP page). I guess it doesn't really matter to me, I'm just suggesting that the page's purpose should drive who appears on it. -mhr 23:42, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)
  • What should we do about characters whose names include definite articles? E.g. "The Beast" or "The Angel"? I'm inclined to include the article in their page titles, since that's how they're generally referred to. -mhr 18:21, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I would argue for not including the "The" in the main article for that character. Look through your comic books; no one talking to Beast says, "Watch out for that villain behind you, The Beast!" Characters simply say, "Watch out for that villain behind you, Beast!" Also, note that Marvel itself, in its published trading cards in the early 1990s, left off articles like "The" on the names of the character cards. Also, over the years, comics companies have had a tendency to move away from articles. In the 1960s, using the word "The" was very popular with both Marvel and DC, but gradually, most characters who had the word "The" have dropped it. --Lowellian 23:13, Nov 26, 2003 (UTC)
Obviously, articles with "The" could be redirects, though. --Lowellian 23:19, Nov 26, 2003 (UTC)
  • How about characters with superlatives in their names? For instance, "The Incredible Hulk" or "The Uncanny X-Men"? My feeling is to make the main page exclude the superlative ("The Hulk") and have a redirect from the superlative-including page, since it's generally the case that the superlative applies to a comic book title, not to the team itself. -mhr 18:21, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I agree. --Lowellian 23:13, Nov 26, 2003 (UTC)

Name Standardization

Once I find the time, I would like to start a WikiProject to standardize the entry titles of all existing Wikipedia articles on Marvel characters. This has two primary aims:

  • First, the proper disambiguation phrase for characters should be "Marvel character", not "superhero". Part of the reasoning behind this is that it is often not quite clear whether a character is a hero or a villain. Though usually considered a hero, the Punisher could be considered a villain (Cardiac (Marvel character) follows the same methods, and is usually considered a villain). Similar cases of ambiguity of moral affiliation could be made for Deadpool, Elektra, Thanos, and many other characters. Another reason is to allow a distinction to be made in cases when a Marvel Universe character and a character from another universe, such as that of DC, share the same name. What this means is that, for example, the page Wolverine (superhero) will be moved to Wolverine (Marvel character). However, Wolverine (superhero) will be kept as a redirect. Also, double redirects will need to be taken care of.
I think we should go with "(comics)" instead, and use "(Marvel Comics)" or something similar only in the few cases where disambiguation with other companies is necessary. See below. -mhr 17:18, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
  • Second, the primary entry for all characters should use their codename, not their first and last name. Thus, the primary entry of Doctor Doom should be Doctor Doom, not Victor Von Doom, and the primary page for Mister Fantastic should be Mister Fantastic, not Reed Richards. This will bring pages in line with other precedents (just ask yourself: who is more well known, Clark Kent or Superman? Bruce Wayne or Batman? Peter Parker or Spider-Man?).

--Lowellian 12:57, Nov 24, 2003 (UTC)

Discussion Poll 1

(Poll posted on November 24, 2003; please do not make changes to title of main page until at earliest December 1, 2003, after one week has passed)

I'm wondering what title other Wikipedians think would be most appropriate for this page:

Obviously, the two that are not chosen will be redirects to this page.

--Lowellian 16:00, Nov 24, 2003 (UTC)

List of Marvel Comics characters makes the most sense to me, since it makes it clear that these are comic book characters right off the bat. Non-comics fans won't generally understand what the "Marvel Universe" is without some description. -mhr 17:18, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Discussion Poll 2

(Poll posted on November 25, 2003; please do not make changes to disambiguation phrases until at earliest December 2, 2003, after one week has passed)

What do other Wikipedians feel would be the most appropriate text disambiguation marker for Marvel characters?

  • Storm (comics) - does not clarify the comics continuity within which the character belongs
  • Storm (Marvel character) - does not indicate genre
  • Storm (Marvel Comics) - see mhr's comments below
  • Storm (Marvel Comics character) - long and hard to remember
  • Storm (superhero) - For why I feel this is inappropriate, see my comments above on the WikiProject for comics characters. Basically, many characters are not clearly superheroes or supervillains. And furthermore, it seems to limit comics to just the superhero genre, which is not the only genre of comics. Should we consider certain characters who have no special powers (e.g. supporting characters like Uncle Ben) to be heroes? What about characters with no superpowers, but just military training, like Nick Fury?

I'm personally in favor of either the second or third option right now.

--Lowellian 04:43, Nov 25, 2003 (UTC)

The more I think about it, the better the idea of

seems compared to the other options. It has the advantage of clearly marking the entry as being associated with Marvel and being associated with comics. Furthermore, unlike "(Marvel character)", this is an entry that could be applied to teams like Generation X (Marvel Comics) and alien races like Asgardians (Marvel Comics) as well.

--Lowellian 05:07, Nov 25, 2003 (UTC)

Also, another problem with the "(superhero)" or "(supervillain)" designation is that it is not necessarily gender-neutral. For example, for Storm, should she be:

And for the Lilith, should she be:

We should get around these problems by using some other disambiguation phrase.

--Lowellian 05:11, Nov 25, 2003 (UTC)

FWIW, I have just made a redirect that sends Hercules (Marvel character) to Hercules (comics), mostly because there already was a page there that discusses the Marvel Hercules as well as several other comic book incarnations of Hercules -- and Heracles, for that matter. Then again, all comic book Herculi relate in some way to the Hercules of Greek mythology. Personally, I'd favor names like Hercules (comics), if only because it's easy to remember. There are always going to be cases like Captain Marvel that will require special handling. -- Smerdis of Tlön 05:26, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I dislike "Marvel Character" a great deal, and would discourage using it. I don't care much for "superhero", but that at least makes it clear to non-comics fans what it is. Many non-comics fans won't know what Marvel is, or what a "Marvel character" is. (Marvel is popular in the mainstream right now; will it be in 10 years? In 5?) The medium or genre needs to be indicated somehow. I think the extension "(comics)" (e.g., "Wolverine (comics)") is sufficient and simple and needs no further disambiguation, except for a very few cases (e.g., Captain Marvel). I could see an argument for using "(comic books)" or "(comic book character)" or "(comic character)", but all of those seem needlessly verbose. Let's keep it short and stick with just "(comics)" except for necessary exceptions. -mhr 17:18, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Another reason not to use "(Marvel Character)" is the possibility that Marvel might someday be bought by another company (it's often been rumored that DC might buy it, and I wouldn't put it past current ownership to sell out to a good offer) or change its name (as happened during the Silver Age). Then renaming all the WP pages would be a large undertaking. I think this is a compelling reason to stick to disambiguators based on factors which aren't likely to change, such as "(comics)", except for cases where it's really the best (if not only) way to distinguish a character or group from one at another comics company. -mhr 18:09, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)