I realize these are a cheap way to earn Wiki points. But I feel like anyone that simply goes to Marvel or DC's website and cut and pastes an issue preview and uses it for the plot summary is guilty of plagiarism.
Personally, I think a plot summary could only be done after reading the actual comic.
There are two kinds of plot summaries: the official solicitations & the more in-depth fan-written ones.
The solicited summaries should be formatted in Italics. It's also helpful if it has a Header to differentiate it from a fan-written summary.
A fan-written synopsis should be in normal text.
The best example of my own that I can give write now (as I don't have time to hunt down specific issuesright now, sorry) is the Age of X: Alpha.
I actually didn't know that fan written summaries were meant to be written in regular text.
The issue I was referring to was the new issue of Thunderbolts. Whoever added it simply cut & paste the Marvel preview into the body of the plot summary. The funny thing is they didn't even cut and paste the entirety of it.
"The funny thing is they didn't even cut and paste the entirety of it. "*groan*
I personally prefer to use the H3 header to differentiate between the solicits and my own. That way you can tell at a glance what you're looking at :)
"I prefer read the solicitation than the panel by panel description that some people upload as plot summary. A plot summary should not be longer than the comics itself. "I understand what you mean, but we would rather people include the extra detail in the 'plot summary' of an issue instead of bogging down the character pages (ala Deadpool ;)
Yeah, I prefer the official solicitation too over user created plot summaries.
Sometimes readers put in their opinions in the plot summary and I really hate the page by page or panel by panel analysis. If it's that detailed, then it's probably not a "summary" and it should be called plot analysis or plot details. :) I think that if it's larger than 2 paragraphs then it should be posted as a review that way the user can control what's there.
Here's a summary I wrote - http://www.comicvine.com/invincible-/37-105533/ - and while doing so I removed a solicitation that was also present on that page.
In my opinion, ISSUE PLOT SUMMARIES:
- Should succintly summarise the major plot the issue
- They may introduce interpretation where this eases reading - eg. see last line of plot summary I linked to - but they should not introduced opinion in the form of evaluation (eg. whether it's a good or believable story)
- Should be user created. However: if there is either (A) no user summary or (B) a bad user summary (eg. too long/short), then you should add text from the original solicitation. As stated above this should be in italics (and some people suggest also delineated by H3 headings). Nonetheless it is preferable IMO to not have a solicitation text, and they should be seen as temporary solutions until that particular page has a proper and well-written user-written summary added.
- Reference can be made to previous issues; eg. Superman continues to search for the circumference (see Superman#3.14), but I wouldn't think ever more than one should be needed. If you feel that more references are appropriate then either include them in an extended summary (see below) or consider whether a STORY ARC needs to be written up.
@Yumulu said:Generally I don't think extensive information ever needs to be included in an issue plot summary. It's important to realise that even long side-plots can be summarised in a sentence or two. Eg. Imagine that Crisis was a C-plot in a comic - it would be suffient to write simply, "In the meanwhile superheroes across different worlds struggle to defend their dimensions against destruction".I understand what you mean, but we would rather people include the extra detail in the 'plot summary' of an issue instead of bogging down the character pages (ala Deadpool ;)
"I prefer read the solicitation than the panel by panel description that some people upload as plot summary. A plot summary should not be longer than the comics itself. "
Having said that, I appreciate that people do sometimes want to include extra information, hence I would suggest an optional section for extra detail (see my suggested article layout below).
I do have a new suggestion - let me know what you think - what if the very first line in an issue summary was a single (or double) sentence - in bold - summarising the entire issue setup. Eg. "Invincible teams up with his father Omni-Man for the first time to take on alien invaders".
The next paragraph would then begin the summary proper and would be in normal text.
In conclusion - what I think an ideal Issue page could look like (in order):
- If the page is poorly written then text should be copied from an official soliciation source - this needs to be in italics and should be removed once the page is sufficiently written up by users
- A single line in bold summarising the set-up for the issue
- A minimum number of paragraph summarising the plot - should be written succintly, in an egaging manner, and should not evaluate the comic; this should be in normal text
- Optional: A H3 heading "Extended Summary" under which, in normal text, is the extended summary