Wikipedia:Naming conventions (comics)

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Generally, article naming should indicate what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.

Therefore, the purpose of naming conventions is to aid the reader, both in clarity as to what the expected content of the article may be, and as a convention or standard in order to help aid in navigating the encyclopedia.

In accordance with this, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) directs to "use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things", and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (precision) directs that more precise is better.

When confronted with a difficult or complex naming issue, please check for community consensus at the WikiProject talk page.



Note: Remember to only include initial "The" when appropriate:

  • a character: e.g. Flash - not The Flash
  • a group of characters: e.g. Fantastic Four - not The Fantastic Four (and per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (acronyms), not The FF or FF - though a common acronym could possibly be a redirect)
  • a publication: e.g. The Flash - However, do not add "The" to the beginning of a publication title when it isn't actually the name of the publication (e.g. Infinity Inc., not The Infinity Inc.)


Following extensive discussion of naming conventions for comic book characters at Talk:List of Marvel Comics characters and Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Comics, the agreed general disambiguation phrase used for articles related to comics, including creators, publications, and content, is "(comics)".

In general, when naming an article, use the name itself, without further disambiguation (e.g. Jack Kirby) unless that leads to ambiguity, in which case, follow with "(comics)" (e.g. Robin (comics)).

Phrases not used[edit]

  • Never disambiguate using Roman numerals unless the character or comic actually uses them in the text (in the case of a character) or the comic title (e.g. Death's Head II). This also applies to usage in an article as well.
  • modern age, bronze age, silver age, golden age, platinum age, et al.

Character articles[edit]

(Note: The term "codename" is used to mean the pseudonym, sobriquet, moniker, stage name, nom de plume, or any other alternate name, used or applied as the character's public persona.)

Fairly common throughout comics is that quite often a character will have an alternate name or codename. For example, Hal Jordan is also known as Green Lantern.

When selecting a name for an article on a character, use the "most common name" as the rule, as noted at the top of this page.

If a given character is best known by one specific codename (such as Bruce Wayne as Batman or Peter Parker as Spider-Man), then that name should be used for an article of the character.

Conversely, if a character is best known by their "real" name, then that name should be used for the article of the character. For example: John Constantine is most commonly known by that name, rather than by "Hellblazer". Lois Lane rather than "Superwoman", for another example.

If a given character has been well-recognized in more than one identity such that no "codename" is necessarily better known than another, naming the "overview" article (see below) after the character's "real name", may be appropriate. Henry Pym and Roy Harper might be two such examples.

Notice how easily this disambiguates, the name itself does it. (As per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Piping)

Only when needing to further disambiguate a character's article (when "comics" is applicable to more than one article of the same name), and only when the codename/real name disambiguation noted here cannot be used (such as due to not knowing the character's "real name"), then, and only then, use: (character). This should be the last choice in disambiguation, when all others appear to be inappropriate.

By codename[edit]

In the case of several characters having the same (or very similar) codenames (Sandman, or Iron Man, for example), and when each identity has a separate article - a disambiguation phrase may be necessary.

To disambiguate between more than one character of a single codename, use the following format:

  • Codename (character name)

Using Green Lantern, as a potential example:

  • Green Lantern: An overview page of the characters who have used the name, summarizing the sub-articles per summary style. (This article may have several instances of the {{main}} template.)
  • Green Lantern (Hal Jordan): An article about Jordan as GL
  • Green Lantern (Guy Gardner): Gardner as GL
  • Green Lantern (John Stewart): Stewart as GL
  • Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner): Rayner as GL


However, if there is not more than one character of a certain codename (using Martian Manhunter as an example) there is no need for Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), but merely Martian Manhunter (and not J'onn J'onzz, though the latter is a suitable redirect).

By character name[edit]

In the case of a single character having several codenames (Hal Jordan, or Henry Pym, for example), and when each identity has a separate article - a disambiguation phrase may be necessary.

To disambiguate between multiple codenames of a single character, use the following format:

  • Character name (codename)

Using Hal Jordan as a potential example:

  • Hal Jordan: An overview page of the character, summarizing the sub-articles per summary style. (This article may have several instances of the {{main}} template.)

  • Parallax (Hal Jordan): An article about Jordan as Parallax
  • Spectre (Hal Jordan): Jordan as the Spectre
  • Green Lantern (Hal Jordan): Jordan as GL

Between media types[edit]

There are many ways in which comics-related content is presented (also known as media). And in addition, there are many words and phrases which describe those various types of media.

For example, while comic, comic book, comic book series, comics magazine, comic strip, graphic novel, et al., may all be types of "comics", using all of those as disamibiguation phrases would lead to a lack of consistency, and subjective selection, due to the overlapping inclusive criteria of each term. Note: while "comic book" is an American term and may not be appropriate for certain comics titles published in other countries (per WP:ENGVAR), "comic" is ambiguous, and should never be used.

Therefore, when needing to further disambiguate a comics-related article related to media (when "comics" is applicable to more than one article of the same name), use only one of the following, as appropriate:

  • (comic book)
  • (comic strip)
  • (film) or (film series)
  • (TV series)
  • (video game) or (video game series)

(Note: The word "series" when indicating publications can be vague and confusing and thus should not be used.)

As noted in the last two examples, each of the above disambiguation phrases (except comic book, which is instead disambiguated by volume - see below) may be further disambiguated by year.


Between volumes[edit]

In cases of several comic book titles of the same name from the same publisher, X-men, volume 1; X-men, volume 2; etc. is the standard (note the use of a comma separating the publication from the volume number). This has the added benefit of essentially being the way the publishers themselves disambiguate between titles, and avoids a parenthetical disambiguation phrase. However, do not use this where only one volume exists. When using a volume number, do not add publication (or comic book - see above) to the parenthetical disambiguation, as that may be presumed.

Between publishers[edit]

Between characters of different publishers[edit]


  • Starman (DC Comics)
  • Starman (Marvel Comics)

Between publications of different publishers[edit]

(Note: This is not directly covered under Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#Periodicals)

In most cases, comic books are periodicals, except when they are published as books for trade. In either case they are a publication.

If several comic book titles of the same name come from separate publishers, then default to publisher imprint: Starman (DC Comics publication) or Starman (Marvel Comics publication), for example.

Example of disambiguating between publisher and volume: Starman, volume 1 (DC Comics).

List of publisher disambiguations[edit]

In the case of companies that do not use the word "Comics" within their name, their name is followed by the word "comics" in lowercase to indicate the genre.

Disambiguation page example[edit]

In the semi-complex case of The Sandman, these are some potentials for a Sandman disambiguation page:

  • Sandman (DC Comics), an overview page on the various characters published by DC Comics who have assumed the Sandman identity
  • Sandman (Wesley Dodds), a comic book superhero first appearing in the 1940s
  • Sandman (Garrett Sanford), a comic book superhero created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in the 1970s
  • Sandman (Hector Hall), temporary replacement for Sanford, above
  • Sandman (Daniel Hall), son of Hector Hall, above
  • Sandman (Morpheus), also known as Dream
  • The Sandman, Volume 1, a title starring Sanford, above
  • The Sandman, Volume 2, a title starring Morpheus, above; written by Neil Gaiman
  • Sandman (Marvel Comics), a Marvel Comics super villain who could transform his body into sand

This is clear, concise, and should aid in searches.


In general, lists are disambiguated as articles are, as described above.

The name of a comics-related list should use the following format:

  • List of x in comics-related media - when the list consists of such things as characters, devices, organizations, etc., which are in all comics-related media, such as comic books, comics strips, film, and TV series.
  • List of x in comics and animation - when the list consists of such things as the previous example, but only as what appears in comics or non-live action productions of TV or film (such as cartoons).
  • List of x in comics - when the list consists of such things as the previous example, but includes all comics (including comic strips), not just comic books.
  • List of x in comic books - when the list consists of such things as the previous example, but only includes such appearing in comic books.
  • List of comic book x - when the list consists of things or people who are associated with comic books in some way (such as publishers or artists).
  • List of comics x - when the list consists of such things as the previous example, but includes all comics (including comic strips), not just comic books.

So x in comic books/comics should be used when talking about something "in universe", or at least printed "in comics", and comic book/comics x is used when talking about things (such as creators) outside of the publication.

When using the " comics" or " comic books" disambiguation, the word "fictional" should be included in the name prior to x:

  • List of fictional x in comics

The use of "fictional" can be presumed when x is something clearly fictional, such as: "superhuman" or "superhero".

  • Examples:
  • "...x in comic books/comics"
  • List of alien races in comics and animation (In this case, "alien races" presumes fictional)
  • List of Hispanic superheroes in comics-related media ("superhero" presumes fictional)
  • List of superhuman powers in comics ("superhuman" presumes fictional)
  • List of fictional characters in comic books
  • List of fictional locations in comic books
  • List of fictional devices in comics
  • etc.
  • "...comics x":
  • List of comic strip creators
  • List of comic book publishers
  • etc.

If such a list become too long (See Wikipedia:Summary style), then the list may be split.

Lists "... in comics" are split by media type (such as comic strips or comic books, see above).

Lists " comic books" are usually first split by publisher, such as: List of fictional characters in Marvel Comics.

This may be further split if necessary, such as: List of fictional characters in The Sandman, volume 1. (Note the use of "the" because this is a publication which has "the" in its title, and also note the disambiguating volume number.)

Another way that lists may be further split is by reference to an in-universe location (nations, continents, planets, galaxies, universes, alternate dimensions, etc.), such as: List of fictional devices of the DC universe, or List of superheroes of South America. (Note that in this case, "of" is used rather than "in".) When x is located in the disambiguating location, use "in", such as: List of superheroes headquartered in New York City (DC Comics). (Note the use of "(DC Comics)" to further disambiguate between the fictional city published in DC Comics and any other publisher's version of New York City.)

See also[edit]