#1 Posted by NetSpiker (294 posts) - - Show Bio

It says on the help page that alternate versions of a character like Ultimate Spider-Man should not have a separate character page. And yet, there are 6 character pages for Jesus, 6 for Satan, 3 for Dracula and 2 for Sherlock Holmes. Is this a mistake, or are there different rules for public domain characters?
On a related topic, if a character time-traveled to the past and encountered his past-self, are the two still considered to be the same character? How about if the character met a parallel-universe-version of himself? If one version of a character is good and the other version evil, should they still have only character page between them?

#2 Posted by jloneblackheart (5519 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't really answer the first question, I really don't know why there are so many Jesus' pages etc., but the Spider-Man rule is right.
Your second question, all alternate reality or timeline characters do not count as a separate character. Sometimes it is acceptable if the alternate character is totally different. That's a gray area, really. For most situations, simple add alternate reality info to the bottom of a characters page under an Alternate Reality section.

#3 Posted by Methias (437 posts) - - Show Bio

Most likely people created new character pages when the version they wanted was from a different publisher. Not sure if this is correct or not based on the rules.

#4 Posted by jloneblackheart (5519 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait for or PM aztek the lost, he knows the rules better than anyone and is much more eloquent than I.

#5 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

#6 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

@NetSpiker: well you see, sometimes these public domain characters are so drastically different from one another that they essentially need seperate pages, with Jesus, there is for example a comic Jesus that's meant to be the actual Jesus as Christians see him while another comic (Loaded Bible) has him as a vampire slayer, really they're not similar characters in any way it would be like merging Henry James and Henry Gyrich because they're both named Henry 
Dracula has the same thing going on, completely seperate histories from each other and Satan, well yeah, there's no way all those characters are similar, my favorite comic character (Lucifer Morningstar) is the Devil but never even referred to as being Satan and has appeared in over 100 issues, to combine him with say the Devil from Preacher just causes confusion 
as for Sherlock Holmes, he may be similar enough to merge but I haven't read any comics with him...I guess the thing here is if it's a real person then technically they should probably all be the same character but Dracula never existed, and the Devil only exists in the minds of those who believe in him and well Jesus, he's sort of an exception because although he was a real person, whether or not he was really "God" as he is often portrayed as in comics is debated by many so technically with him it's the same situation as how all the Thor's and Zeus', etc. are different characters 
but anyways that's just my thoughts...if a character is independent enough from the other characters that are based off the same figure they should have their own page...

#7 Posted by Shatterstar (4545 posts) - - Show Bio
@Methias said:
" Most likely people created new character pages when the version they wanted was from a different publisher. Not sure if this is correct or not based on the rules. "
A lot of those pages were created when the database was first established, its actually kind of rare that someone would create a unique page for a different publisher. 
To reiterate what aztek said-
If the character is distinct enough in the way its handled between publishers, then create different pages for the different versions. If its essentially the same character just the name of the publisher is different, then use the same page for the various publishers. 
#8 Posted by Byzantine (357 posts) - - Show Bio

There is another situation I have seen while covering 1930s and 1940s titles by DC Comics. A couple of stories feature deities such as Odin, Prometheus, etc who have no prominent version by the same company. Since they only appear for one or two issues, I doubt they deserve a new character entry. I just add them to the most prominent version of said deity in comics, regardless of which company it came from.
#9 Edited by Shatterstar (4545 posts) - - Show Bio

Mmmm no. 
Odin in the Marvel Universe is his own distinct character, not just a by the numbers representation of the deity. He should not be getting credited in comics published by DC before Marvel existed.

#10 Posted by NetSpiker (294 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost: So does that mean every public domain character needs a separate page for every publisher? There is currently a page for the Marvel Dracula, a page for the DC Dracula and a page for the Wildstorm Dracula. But I know there are plenty of other publishers that have used the Dracula character. Do all of them need a separate page? Without any guidelines about how distinct is distinct enough, the suggestion isn't very useful. What kind of differences should we pay attention too? One version is good and one if evil? One version has long hair and one has short hair? One version is white and one is black? One version is a man and one is a woman? One version is smart and one is an idiot?
I think we should take IMDb's approach and merge all the different versions into one character page. The differences between various versions should be written in the character description. Except for maybe the man/woman thing. That is a pretty big difference. I'm thinking of Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica.
#11 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@NetSpiker: I'm getting the feeling you're asking these questions as related to the movie pages (due to your reference to IMDB) and those pages have no impact on how we make our wiki pages since the movie section is hardly even a part of the wiki and really just a little treat for some of our movie buffs. I don't think a Dracula movie that came out before any Dracula comic should really be on here but we've got several because people have gone crazy with adding movies. Now, just in case that's not why you ask here's my full-out answer...I could make it far longer but I've got other things to do.
If you want to pursue Dracula for example, look at it this way, Dynamite Entertainment is currently releasing a series called The Complete Dracula and in their solicits they describe this Dracula as being Bram Stroker's Dracula. Therefore his appearances in that comic should be credited to a page covering the public domain character. But basically every vampire story ever made will have at least one vampire who goes by the name Dracula. For example in these books I am reading (they are being adapted into comics) there was a vampire who took on the name Dracula because it's a renown name to the masses, but he wasn't Dracula at all, just some other vampire who wanted his claim to fame, the same idea as Mephisto claiming to be Satan. 
A Dracula whose established a long-running history of his own with more appearances then many trademark characters (Marvel Dracula) should have his own page separate from the Bram Stroker Dracula though it can be mentioned it's the character he was based off of. Dracula's who have established histories with original characters such as Vampirella's enemy or Purgatori's enemy are their own character. Characters who have appeared in but a single comic or graphic novel get pages so a Dracula whose appeared in many and gained his own history should get his own page especially since he's probably more original then 90% of the other characters you'll find in comics. 
But it has nothing to do with publisher, it has to do with the character itself, for example should characters who've changed publishers over the years get a page for each publisher? no. Should two "devils" by the same publisher that are not even slightly alike but are both based off of the same public domain figure have different pages? yes. 
I believe the actual solution to this problem would be something similar to Wikipedia's disambiguation pages where the characters with the same or similar names are listed and have a short sentence describing them so you can easily navigate to the page that you're looking for. 
Anyways, if you ever wonder if a new page should be created for an adaption of a public domain character or we have an extra feel free to PM me or any of the other mods about your specific situation but merging all the Dracula's, all the Devil's, etc. is not going to happen.
#12 Posted by NetSpiker (294 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay, I think I understand. So, it's about the trademark characters that a version of Dracula interacts with. If he interacts with Abraham Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker, then it's Bram Stoker's Dracula. If he interacts with Blade, then it's Marvel's Dracula. If he interacts with Batman, then it's DC's Dracula.