Certain mediums, including Real Life, tend to have the time and space to utilize Loads and Loads of Characters, a large number of individuals with significant and/or necessary contributions to the storyline. But in an adaptation it can be difficult to offer adequate time and space so that each and every character gets their just due for how they impact the story. To be faithful to these characters may, at worst, make them come across as a living Plot Device, existing only for the sake of the plot and not a fleshed out character of their own with individual talents, interests and backstory.
A solution is to invoke artistic license and compress two or more such figures into a single character with traits drawn from all of them. For the sake of telling a proper story those contributions are relegated to the actions of only a few. Instead of showing the legwork of an entire team of intelligence officers to decipher important information, it's rolled up into one person putting it together. Instead of having three different smart guys on the team divided up into distinct fields, you make one of them an Omnidisciplinary Scientist and discard the others. It's a method of streamlining both the plot and the character interactions, less people to follow and everyone who is still around has more to contribute to the story.
This is frequently done in works Based on a True Story, since no medium can compete with the Loads and Loads of Characters featured in Real Life. While most of humanity's most interesting achievements have involved lots of people with different motivations, it suits the Rule of Drama to simplify things to a handful of characters with well-defined objectives. While there may be nameless individuals wandering around with their own story to tell, the core plot is dictated by the people with names. Some might object to removing an important character and their contribution to the story, but on the other hand it means the story has a chance to be told.
This can sometimes get complicated, as the removed character may have their personality split up among the remaining characters (Deadpan Snarker given to character A, TV Genius attributes given to character B), or it is something as simple as actually having their appearance and personality but given a different name. In some extreme cases with certain stories that have regular adaptations every few years, an Era-Specific Personality gives them the opportunity to fuse specific versions of the SAME character in different adaptations, making them a composite character of themselves.
A Massive Multiplayer Crossover might do this to tie the continuities together, by revealing Character A from Series 1 is "really" the same person as the similar Character B from Series 2.
Commonly involved in Adaptation Distillation and Adaptation Decay. See also Economy Cast. Sometimes a many-for-one Captain Ersatz / Expy is formed this way. Sometimes a cause of an Adaptation Personality Change.
The inversion, where an adaptation divides a single character's attributes among multiple characters, is Decomposite Character.
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Anime and Manga
Atlas from The Eighties' Astro Boy. He is a composite of three different characters from the manga: the original Atlas, a minor villain with a new type of AI that allowed him to break the laws of robotics; Cobalt, Astro's "brother"; and the Blue Knight, who was the robot version of Malcolm X. The 2000s series featured the Blue Knight as his own character, but its version of Atlas was still a composite of Atlas and Cobalt.
This seems to happen a lot in Astroboy adaptations. In Astro Boy: Omega Factor numerous characters with secret identities have their original alter-egos replaced with completely different characters from established storylines (Blue Bon being replaced by President Rag as Blue Knight, for instance) and even entirely different Tezuka stories, like Nuka being part of the Deathmask from Prime Rose.
Continuing this tradition, Naoki Urasawa's Pluto features a main villain who is a composite of the original Dr Abullah/Goji, Shadow from the 2003 series and a minor robot character from an obscure story from the original manga who was raised to think he was a man. King Darius is also a composite of the original story's sultan Chochi-Chochi Abbaba III (deposed middle eastern ruler who finances Pluto's construction) and Cleopatra from the Cleopatra's Heart story (legitimizes his dictatorship by claiming to be a descendant of a famous historical figure).
Mariel Lubie from the Code GeassAlternate Continuity manga Suzaku of the Counterattack combines aspects of three characters from the anime (Cecile's Gadgeteer Genius, Euphemia's being role as Suzaku's love interest, and Shirley's "girl next door" qualities) into a single character who meshes better with the story's setting.
The 1967 "Monster Wars" film of Cyborg009 had the Mythos cyborg Helena merged with the Pu'Awak princess Helen into a "Helena" character that was also codenamed "Cyborg 0010".
In the anime adaptation of Death Note, the US president whom Mello blackmails, and later dies ,with Word of God stating that it's "believed Kira disposed of", is combined with the character of his replacement from the manga.
Devilman vs Getter Robo manga combines different versions of probably all characters, aside Emperor Gore - Akira acts like his manga version but has powers of 70's anime Devilman, Ryoma and Hayato are their 70's anime incarnations with few traits of their manga versions and Silene seems to be a mix of anime version and later incarnations from different titles.
While Devilman in the manga was the result of the Demon Amon possessing Akira, his 1972 anime counterpart was a demon who killed and took over Akira's body.
Jou's (rarely seen) brothers Shin and Shuu became Jim in the American dub of Digimon Adventure (and dubs based on it). Hilariously enough, the final episode shows the two standing side by side; this is never commented on. Whether or not this was intentional or a translation error is unknown.
In a much more minor example, 02's dub also made Adventure's Digitamamon and his cousin who ran a Chinese restaurant the same character.
The main robot of New itself counts, being based on Shin Getter's overall looks, with design cues from both Getter Dragon and the original Getter, while performing the latter's role as the first main Getter of that universe1.
Madame Sulliman from Howl's Moving Castle is a combination of two characters from the book: Howl's old magic teacher, who was not affiliated with the king, and Wizard Suliman, the King's head wizard. He is a young man transformed into a dog, who ends up marrying one of Sophie's sisters.
Sumire Saitou from K-On! (2011 manga), one of Azusa's new bandmates, is a combination of Mugi's appearance (without the Big Ol' Eyebrows) and her tea-making-skills, Mio's Shrinking Violet personality, including being Sawako's new favorite cosplay victim, and Ritsu's role as the drummer.
Kira Yamato is a mix of Amuro and Loran Cehack, even borrowing Loran's story/romance arc (e.g., Kira/Loran's relationships with Fllay Allster/Sochie Heim and later, Lacus Clyne/Dianna Soriel, with the latter being a platonic couple).
Athrun Zala is a mix of Char Aznable and Heero Yuy. Some of Char's traits that appear in Athrun include him piloting red mobile suits and served as Kira's main rival in both shows. Similar to Heero, Athrun pilots transformable mobile suits, and has a tendency to self-detonate his mobile suits.
Oda Nobukatsu is a composite of the namesake aka Oda Nobuyuki, his son Tsuda Nobusumi (which explained his name change, as historically Nobukatsu was killed by Oda Nobunaga when Nobusumi was still an infant), and then Oichi, Nobunaga's sister. Yes, he was sent off, crossdressed, to Asai Nagamasa.
Saitou Yoshikatsu is a composite of the namesake and his son Tatsuoki.
Himiko is the composite of the three Japanese emperors that may be on throne in the latter half of 16th century.
Kris from the games and Marina from the anime are cross-canon counterparts, but Lyra from both is a completely separate character. In Special, Crystal was originally a counterpart to Kris, but once Kris was removed from the game series canon in the remakes of Gold and Silver and replaced with Lyra, Crystal became a counterpart to the latter.
Ash. He was originally just an anime counterpart of Red, the protagonist of the first generation. Starting around Pokémon Gold and Silver he started following the path of Ethan, the (first) protagonist of that generation. Ever since he has accomplished the protagonist of that generation's goals, though they usually interact with Ash at one time or another (with their roles not in relation to their game counterparts).
A few Pokémon Special characters are composite characters, usually mixed with minor characters. Falkner first appeared as the Police character in Elm's lab, for example.
Due to the time constraints of a feature film, the Angels Zeruel and Armisael were merged into one character in the second Rebuild of Evangelion movie. Notably, Zeruel did not display the ability to absorb and assimilate victims in the original anime, a trait that instead belonged to Armisael.
Also, Sahaquiel's appearance. Being more eldritch than in the original, its first form shown, as a big immaterial floating ball of black and white eye-spots takes some hints from Leliel and Matarael, who, naturally, didn't show up in Rebuild.
In Go Lion, an unnamed Space Goddess broke apart the titular robot into its component Lions. In Voltron, the Goddess was Haggar (Honerva) in disguise.
Takeo from X-Men is a combination of the characters Proteus and Legion. His Reality Warper abilities and status as the son of a prominent mutant researcher come from the former, while The Reveal of him being Professor Xavier's mentally unstable illegitimate child comes from the latter.
Duela Dent's father is Jack "the Joker" Dent, a combination of Harvey Dent and the Joker in the form of a relatively mundane gangster. This is probably to justify the fact that she's better known as the Joker's Daughter despite never actually being that in any other continuity.
Because there are no male superheroes in the setting, several heroines receive elements of their Spear Counterparts — for instance, Power Girl is best pals with Jimmy Olsen, who alerts her with his signal watch at the first sign of trouble. Furthermore, Natasha Irons is Steel and the resident Gadgeteer Genius of the hero set, and Jesse Chambers (here The Flash rather than Jesse Quick) now has a characterization reminiscent of Bart Allen. Jade (in addition to now being Chinese) also has parts of Hal Jordan's origin.
Most incarnations of Two-Face in Batman stories from all media use the "obsessed with duality and primarily evil" personality of Paul Sloane, the second Two-Face from the Golden Age, but with Harvey Dent's background and name. The issue becomes a might confused when both versions operate within the same continuity, as they do now (though Sloane now calls himself the Charlatan).
In the 1940s, Jack Kirby created "Brooklyn" of the Boy Commandos, a tough Brooklynite kid in a derby hat. In the 1970s he created Superman and New Gods supporting character Dan "Terrible" Turpin, a tough Brooklynite police officer in a derby hat. In Post-Crisis comics Turpin is an adult Brooklyn (in his original New Gods appearances, Turpin seems to have been a police officer since before World War II; another officer talks about "the old days, when you took the tommy guns away from the gangs!", which suggests the 1920s.)
In Daredevil Noir, Elektra and Bullseye are combined as Eliza, the Bull's Eye Killer.
Meanwhile, in X-Men Noir, Anna-Marie Rankin is a composite of Rogue and the Mimic, Calvin Rankin.
And in Iron Man Noir, Baron Zemo is a mish-mash of, well, Baron Zemo and Howard Stark.
Deadpool Max, Deadpool's crazy wife Inez turns out to be Outlaw, Domino, and Copycat.
DC's New 52Earth 2 has the Atom as a composite of the Golden Age Atom (the name Al Pratt and the atomic powers), his son Damage (elements of his costume), his godson Atom Smasher (the power to grow in size), and the unrelated Captain Atom (employed by the military).
And the fact Earth-2 Alan Scott is gay is taken from his son Obsidian, since writer James Robinson felt bad that de-aging Alan was removing a gay character from existence.
Red Tornado is a Fem Bot, combining elements of the Golden Age Red Tornado, Abigail Hunkel (or more likely her granddaughter Cyclone) and the male robot version.
Lee Travis, the original Crimson Avenger, is now an African Americanwoman like Jill Carlyle, the second Crimson Avenger.
Red Arrow takes his costume and Codename from Roy Harper, the original Red Arrow, but has the civilian identity of Connor Hawke, the second Green Arrow from the pre-Flashpoint continuity.
The Tempest from Earth 2 looks exactly like Lagoon Boy.
The Heroes Reborn version of Hellcat has the codename and civilian identity of her mainstream Marvel Universe counterpart, but sports the abilities and werecat appearance of Tigra, one of her fellow Avengers.
Some DC Comics Elseworlds do this; for instance in Speeding BulletsKal-El's rocketship is found by the Waynes and he becomes Batman, while Lex Luthor is in a chemical accident and becomes The Joker. In Darkest Knight, Bruce Wayne becomes Green Lantern, and faces a Sinestro who's absorbed the Joker's mind, Selina Kyle as Star Sapphire, and Harvey Dent as Binary Star (Evil Star with Two Face elements).
Some of the heroes also fought against the Z'Axis in the Worldwar, and the flashbacks suggest they are composites of Golden Age and modern characters:
Blood Raven: Falcon/Red Raven
Nosferata: Black Widow (Natasha Romanova)/Black Widow (Claire Voyant)
At the end of the story Witchfire (the Scarlet Witch) raises a dying Idol (Wonder Man) as a bald energy spirit called Phantazm; a composite of the Vision and Wonder Man during the period he only existed in energy form.
In Fables several similar characters from different fairy tales are often revealed to be one person. Bigby Wolf was Big Bad Wolf in both Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. With an exception of Jack Sprat, if there was a character named Jack in any fairy tale, it was really Jack Horner, and if there was a unnamed witch, it was Frau Totenkinder.
When Devil's Due Publishing renewed the G.I. Joe comics during the 2000's, years after the original Marvel run was canceled, they merged Overkill, the leader of Cobra's Battle Android Troopers, with Robert Skelton, the formerly nameless S.A.W. Viper who killed several Joes during the early 90's.
In Threeboot Legion of Super-Heroes, Micro Lad/Colossal Boy is a combination of, you guessed it, Micro Lad (a villain from the original continuity who could shrink) and Colossal Boy (a hero from the original continuity who could grow). The twist is that this Micro Lad comes from Big City, where everyone is a giant, and his power is technically to shrink to normal human size. Virtually everyone but himself refers to him as Colossal Boy because the Micro Lad name is just too awkward and confusing to normal sized people.
On the animated version of Mortadelo y Filemón, they had the Agente Bestiájez fulfilling the roles of many one-off characters in the comics, probably so they could reuse his design and voice actor.
In Smallville Season 11, Barbara Gordon is Nightwing, complete with escrima sticks. Her costume is similar to Dick's in the comics, only with yellow "wings" (like Dick had originally) instead of blue or red, and occasionally purple highlights in the black sections, both suggesting the Batgirl costume. She also takes some personality elements from Stephanie Brown.
In Supergirl: Adventures in the 8th Grade Linda Lee's Evil Twin Belinda "Superior Girl" Zee has a few obvious Bizarro elements, but is thematically closer to "Dark Supergirl".
The New 52Superman character H'el appears to take aspects of the Eradicator (obsessed with rebuilding Krypton), Bizarro (chalky skin, reversed S-symbol), Superboy-Prime (S-shield scar), and possibly the Golden Age character Halk-Kar (name, connected to the House of El but not exactly a member of it).
Similarly, there was a storyline in Superman/Batman in which they visited an alternate reality where the world's heroes were the JusticeTitans, based in Gothamopolis and led by Hal Grayson, NightLantern. (Amusingly, The Flash looks unchanged, until you learn his real name is Wally Allen). Their archenemies, the Brotherhood of Injustice are composites of Batman and Superman's Rogues Gallery, led by Lex Joker. It turns out to be one of Dr Destiny's dreamworlds.
In the original Supreme, Kid Supreme was more or less Supreme's sidekick. In Alan Moore's run, Kid Supreme was the superhero identity of a young Ethan Crane before he grew older and became Supreme.
The Ultimate X-Men version of Proteus is a composite of the original Marvel Universe Proteus (Kevin McTaggart, son of Moira and Joseph McTaggart) and Legion (David Haller, son of Professor X and Gabrielle Haller). Ultimate Proteus is David Xavier, son of Moira and Professor X.
The Ultimate version of Lady Deathstrike is a Japanese thief who had some history with Storm, apparently borrowed from Earth-616's Yukio, who is close friends with Storm and has a past history as a thief alongside Gambit.
In Ultimate Spider-Man, Liz Allan, who was mutant-phobic for a long time, discovers she's herself a mutant - this universe's Firestar. In a great twist of irony from the writer, she is helped to accept her newly activated powers by Spidey and Bobby "Iceman" Drake, in a story arc titled Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.
Yet another Ultimate Spider-Man example—the Hobgoblin in the Ultimate Universe is Harry Osborn, killing two birds of the Green Goblin's legacy (Harry following in his father's foot steps and the Hobgoblin) with one stone.
Ultimate Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman is an Opposite-Sex Clone of Peter Parker, introduced in the Ultimate Clone Saga as the only Spider-Clone not to go completely mad, and who then sets off to forge her own identity. So she's a combination of the 616 Jessica and Ben Reilly/The Scarlet Spider.
In The Ultimates, Pluskommander Geheneris Hala´son Mahr Vehl serves the role of Captain Mar-Vell, but his name includes a variant of "Genis", Mar-Vell's son's name.
The Ultimate version of Alpha Flight has two examples. Sasquatch has Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane in the mainstream continuity) as its human form, rather than Walter Langkowski, while Vindicator is John Wraith (a member of Weapon X) rather than James Hudson.
Ultimate Doc Ock was the Mad Scientist behind the Clone Saga, taking the role of 616's Jackal.
Ultimate Nick Fury was an African-American soldier who was unjustly injected with a dose of the Super Serum that created Captain America during World War 2, making him the Ultimate counterpart of Isiah Bradley, the black Captain America.
The Maker/Reed Richards shares many elements with Doctor Doom. He's also likened to be the counterpart of Avengers foe, Kang the Conqueror, until an actual, Gender Flipped Kang shows up. She herself is an example of this, since she's a Future Badass version of Sue Storm instead of Iron Lad of the Young Avengers.
In the DC ComicsNew 52Superman titles, the Cyborg Superman is a composite of the original Cyborg Superman and Zor-El.
Always Having Juice features Gaia Mercury, a combination of the Werehog from Sonic Unleashed and the ghost girl from the Night of the Werehog short created to promote the game. Dark Gaia as well is a combination of Mephiles the Dark from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and its namesake, also from Unleashed.
In The O.C. fanfic 'AVDC', Alex is a combination of herself and Ryan.
Godzilla in himself has had so many different continuities and incarnations across 60 years in film, that almost any fan-work featuring him is bound to be this. The Big G from the Godzilla and My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic crossover, The Bridge has elements of this trope. While it's stated he's the grown up Godzilla jr. from the 1980s-90s Heisei series, the images depict him as looking closer to the Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla incarnation in appearance. Personality wise he's a mixture of the late Showa and Late Heisei era incarnations.
Equestrian Throwdown, Miles Skylark is, according to HexMark a combination of the two protagonists from his previous scrapped fanfictions.
Fallout: Equestria has the character Red Eye, who combines attributes of many characters from the various Fallout games, including the Lieutenant, John Henry Eden (he even uses Eden's speeches), Ashur, and the Lone Wanderer.
Cherrilee is set up to become The Lizard in The Spectacular Spider-Colt, but in her first appearance in Flutterhulk, she takes on the role of Sterns/The Leader as the scientist Fluttershy goes to for help.
Also in Flutterhulk, Snowflake is in the role of Blonsky/The Abomination, but when he eventually transforms he turns into the Red Hulk.
Chrysalis takes on the role of Laufey in Soar, but by the end of the story has essentially become the Skrull Queen.
Due to her dual personalities, Pinkie is both Hawkeye (as herself) and Bullseye (as Pinkamena).
Dinky is Franklin Richards, though she also has aspects of both Gwen and Mary Jane.
Diamond Tiara isn't just an Alpha Bitch, like several that have appeared in Spider-Man, but she's also Emma Frost.
In Just An Unorthodox Thief, Lupin becomes the Servant Assassin. However he's an amalgamation of different incarnations of Lupin. He has the manga version's Chessmaster abilities, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and his first anime version's charisma, skill, and their ruthlessness, and his second anime version's morals.
In the Justice League of Equestria series, Shining Armor's role as Green Lantern contains elements from several canonical human Green Lanterns (Hal Jordan's origin story, John Stewart's military background, and Kyle Rayner's self-doubts).
In Mega Man Reawakened, Robert Light has traits from all versions of Mega Man as well as a ponytail like Zero.
The Pony POV Series has several characteristically that are reincarnations/fusions of G3 characters. Most notable is Twilight Sparkle, either a straight reincarnation or a fusion of G3's Minty and G1's Twilight.
Interestingly averted in the case of the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts in the Glee fanfiction Quinn In Wonderland. The two of them are not only separate characters, but the Red Queen is also a mere pawn for the Queen of Hearts, who is the Big Bad. This is played straight, however, with the Dodo and the White Knight, although this makes a little more sense since the two of them are both considered Lewis Carroll's Author Avatars.
The later stories in The Dashverse have indulged in this: In May the Best Friends Win, Trixie combines her canon personality (from "Boast Busters", anyway) with Gilda's role as Rainbow Dash's abrasive friend. Then Hot Heads, Cold Hearts and Nerves of Steel has Sombra combine the backstory and little personality canon gave him with aspects of G1 villain Grogar.
In The Adventures of Tintin, this happens to several characters from the original comics. The film's version of Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine shares the name of a minor character from Secret, but his more villainous characterization is drawn from the Bird Brothers from the comic, and he also inherits some traits of the comic's Omar Ben Salaad, such as his employment of Allan and his taking over the Karaboudjan.
Rasputin as he appears in Anastasia is actually a mix between the historical character, and a character from Russian folklore Koschei the Deathless.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was adapted from the Batman: Year Two storyline. In the comic, the Reaper was Judson Caspian, whose daughter Rachael was in a budding relationship with Bruce Wayne. In the movie, Andrea Beaumont was both the Phantasm and the love interest.
the Queen of Hearts is mainly the Queen of Hearts, but has the Duchess's bipolar personality and uses the Red Queen's line "All ways are mine". This makes less sense than it does when the Red Queen says it, since the Red Queen is a chess piece with the ability to go any way she wants on the board. Though for the Queen of Hearts, it's likely due to her ego.
The Mad Hatter in the same film gets his obsession with unbirthdays from Humpty-Dumpty.
At one stage of that film's development, Dinah and the Cheshire Cat were merged into a single character.
101 Dalmatians: In the original novel, the parents of the puppies were Pongo and Missis; Perdita was later brought in because Missis couldn't nurse all of her puppies by herself. The film adaptations drop that particular plot point altogether, and combine Missis and Perdita into a single character.
In The Black Cauldron the characters of The Horned King and Arawn are combined. In Lloyd Alexander's five-part book series, Arawn is the Big Bad and The Horned King is The Dragon. The movie keeps "The Horned King" as his name and general appearance, but has Arawn's role as "the Dark Lord".
Ursula from The Little Mermaid is actually a composite of the Sea Witch from the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and the woman who ended up marrying the prince instead of the Mermaid, and therefore prompting her to commit suicide.
Aladdin, in which they did it twice: condensing the two genies (magic ring and lamp) into one (lamp), and combining the sorcerer who wanted the genie with the vizier trying to discredit Aladdin after his rise to wealth. In fact, the two Aladdin examples mentioned above are commonly done in most adaptations of the story. Many readers aren't even aware of the fact that there are two genies in the story until they read the original. Interestingly enough, at one point there were plans for both genies to appear.
Clopin in The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a composite of the original novel's Clopin (the psychotic King of the Gypsies) and Gringoire (the goofy troubadour).
The Fates from are a composite of the Fates from Classical Mythology (the youngest Fate spins a thread representing a person's life, signifying his/her birth; the middle weaves said thread, therefore determining how long that person will live; and the oldest cuts the thread, therefore killing the person the thread represents) and the Gray sisters (they all share a single eye).
They also merged Hades with Hera, and Hera with Alcmene.
In Tarzan Kerchak is a composite of Burroughs's Kerchak (leader of the Mangani during Tarzan's childhood) and Tublat (mate of Kala who is vaguely resentful of Tarzan, but not a villain). To confuse things further, The Legend of Tarzan introduced a character more like the book version of Kerchak (violent killer ape seeking revenge on Tarzan) ... and called him Tublat.
Queen Elsa from Frozen is a composite character of the Snow Queen and Kai from The Snow Queen. Naturally, she is based off the Snow Queen for being a queen with ice powers and a palace made of ice, but her role in the story is closer to that of Kai, a character who grows distant from a loved one (in this movie, her sister Anna) and they ultimately reconcile through the Power of Love.
In Puss in Boots the giant in the Jack and the Beanstalk tale is long dead before the story begins. The golden goose that was their target is just a chick, and its mother (presumably the true goose from the tale) is the giant that Puss and company have to deal with.
In the Direct-to-Video movie Superman: Doomsday, there's only one replacement Superman, who has elements of three of the replacements in the original The Death of Superman arc: he's a clone like Superboy, he has a zero-tolerance approach to crimefighting like the Eradicator, and he's secretly working for a villain like the Cyborg.
Almost Famous, the pseudo-biography of director Cameron Crowe, features the fictitious band Stillwater as a composite of several groups Crowe toured with as a Rolling Stone columnist, including the Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, and the Who.
Patty Ryan in An American Crime is a composite of three real-life girls involved in the historical events - Darlene MacGuire, Anna Siscoe and Judy Duke.
The film version of Animal Crackers merged two love interests, Mary and Arabella, into a single character named Arabella.
In Apollo 13, a whole team of astronauts and engineers working to figure out how to power up the command module again was rolled into Ken Mattingly and a couple of other guys.
Vicky Vale in Tim Burton's Batman was actually a combination of the comic's Vicky Vale (in terms of name and occupation) with Silver St. Cloud (in terms of personality and characterization), a love interest of Batman from The Seventies who knew his secret identity.
The same film's version of The Joker gave him the defining role of Joe Chill.note Though his partner during the night he killed Bruce's parents could be Joe Chill himself.
Batman & Robin has an interesting case where Mr. Freeze is a composite of two very different versions of himself. The tragic origins, including a sick wife he tried to cure but had to freeze to preserve, come from his Batman: The Animated Series version, while a lot of his behavior — themed henchmen, Card Carrying Villainy, and ice puns — are taken from the 1960s Batman show.
Batman Forever gives us a composite origin for Robin, who is Dick Grayson in name and occupation (circus acrobat, alongside his parents), but gets his origin combined with Jason Todd's (Two-Face responsible for parents' death, and wanting to kill Two-Face for it).
Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Josh Hartnett, Orlando Bloom, and William Fichtner's characters in Black Hawk Down are all composites of various different US Army Rangers and Delta Force operators from the novel of the same name. Necessary, since hundreds of soldiers took part in the Battle of Mogadishu and so making composite characters allowed the producers to cut the cast of dozens from the novel down to less than ten... and because one of the real-life counterparts would later be convicted of rape and child molestation.
In Bonnie and Clyde, C.W. Moss is a composite of two members of the Barrow Gang, W.D. Jones and Henry Methvin.
The real Frank Abagnale Jr. wasn't chased by just one man - Carl Hanratty from Catch Me If You Can is an amalgam of several officers.
Christine merged the LeBay brothers into one character. This also served to completely invert one brother's personality and morals.
The 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans merged Acrisius (Perseus's father) and Calibos (Andromeda's disfigured would-be fiancee and Perseus's mortal rival) into the same person.
In the film version of Cloud Atlas, the characters Chang and Hae-Joo Im were combined to create the much more sympathetic character of Hae-Joo Chang, with whom Sonmi-451 falls in love with.
In the film adaptation of the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series, Georgia's friends Ellen, Jools, and Mabs were initially replaced by a composite Token Minority character called Namita. Fans complained, and so Namita's scenes were redubbed and she became Ellen.
Elektra's origin has almost nothing in common with that of her comic counterpart, and is much closer to that of Echo, another female martial artist who tried to kill Daredevil after he was framed for the murder of her father. Interestingly enough, Echo appears in the movie's video game adaptation as a villain.
The movie Arnold Flass resembled Harvey Bullock more, being dark-haired, overweight, and unshaven rather than being blonde, fit, and clean-shaven as in the comics, but he does have the comics' version's corruption.
The film Gillian Loeb is basically Michael Akins with Loeb's name, being young, African-American, and honest, rather than being old, corrupt, and Caucasian. That said, he's still antagonistic towards Batman (due to being a vigilante).
Henri Ducard's alias Ra's al Ghul, also fits this trope. In the comics, Henri Ducard was one of the people Bruce Wayne hired to teach him to be good at everything ever. However, he was not a member of the League of Shadows, let alone its leader, or even associated with al Ghul at all.
Lucius Fox's role was expanded to fill his normal role as CEO along side the role of tech support, which was occasionally filled by others or left unexplained and filled in gaps about how Batman uses Wayne Corp resources in his crimefighting.
John Blake has elements of the first three Robins. He grew up on the streets like Jason Todd, he deduced Batman's identity as a teen like Tim Drake and he's an orphan who becomes a police officer as an adult and Batman's eventual successor like like Dick Grayson. His real name being Robin is a neat nod.
In Dark Shadows, the characters of Victoria Winters and Maggie Evans are now one and the same. Also, Angelique, who is a combination of herself and rival fishery owner Burke Devlin.
In the second Death Note movie, Takada replaces Higuchi completely and has a few elements of Mikami mixed in. She performs the role of the third Kira almost identically to Higuchi's portrayal, down to the character's being disposed of by Light.
In the first movie there's Shiori, Light's new Satellite Love Interest — she's the smart girl on campus like Takada (though as mentioned above Takada does appear later in Higuchi's role) and also fulfills the same role as Yuri, aka the Girl from the Bus. Also she has a strong sense of justice, is studying to be a prosecutor, and is very protective of Light—like another of Light's allies who never got any screentime in the live action movies—a Gender Flipped prenote!Teru Mikami?
The Departed (based on Infernal Affairs): Dr. Madden is a combination of therapist Dr. Lee, the undercover cop's love interest, and Mary, the infiltrator's girlfriend, creating a Love Triangle where there had been none before.
The Blank of Dick Tracy makes the character also known as Faceless Redrum into the alias of another Dick Tracy regular: Breathless Mahooney.
Subverted (or possibly even double subverted, if the Playing With is to be believed) in Donnie Brasco. Lefty in the movie is a composite of the real Lefty, the real Sonny Black, and several other wiseguys Joe Pistone met during his undercover work. Sonny Black appears in the movie, although In Name Only. Michael Madsen wasn't too happy about that one.
Most film adaptations of Dracula eliminate at least one of Lucy's suitors (almost always Quincey Morris, and often Lord Godalming as well). Sometimes Lucy and Mina are combined into a single Distressed Damsel, and Jonathan stands in for all of her suitors.
In the parody Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Mel Brooks dispenses with all of Lucy's suitors except Seward, who becomes her much-older guardian instead. Harker takes over the role of all the four younger men. It's mentioned that he liked Lucy, while being Mina's suitor. Liked, not LIKE-Liked.
Van Helsing: It must be done by one who LOVED her in life!
Harker: I only LIKED her!
Van Helsing: Close enough, here! (hands him the stake and mallet.)
Meanwhile, Harker's ordeal in Transylvania is given to Reinfield.
Dragonball Evolution fused the two Piccolos (Daimaou and Ma Junior) into one. Although, technically, Ma Junior was Daimaou in the original, or at least his reincarnation.
Goku's character acts suspiciously like the teenaged version of his son, Gohan, from one of the later arcs of Dragon Ball Z.
An early draft of Ed Wood showed Ed meeting his first wife Norma Mc Carty (and their subsequent short-lived marriage). After this part was cut some of their dialogue was moved to the scene where Ed first meets Kathy O'Hara, his second wife up to Wood's death.
Michael Merriman (John Cusack's character in Fat Man And Little Boy) is a composite of two real Manhattan Project physicists, Louis Slotin and Henry K. Daghlian, Jr. Both died as the result of separate criticality accidents involving the same "demon" bomb coreafter the Hiroshima and Nakasaki bombings.
In the live-actionFist of the North Star movie, Shin's right-hand man Jackal takes his name from a gang leader villain in the manga, but his origin story as a villain who was disfigured by Kenshiro in the past resembles that of Kenshiro's evil adoptive brother Jagi. Neither, Jagi nor Jackal had anything to do with Shin, other than the fact that Jagi was the one who persuaded Shin to turn evil and Jackal was an underling of Shin in the TV series (but not in the manga).
In the same movie, Shin takes the place of Kenshiro's adopted brother Raoh as the killer of his Sensei, Ryuken.
In Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze not only takes on qualities of his comic namesake, but also his successor Danny Ketch (such as his chain weapon and Penance Stare). His father Barton Blaze also supplants "Crash" Simpson in being the one whom Johnny tried to save with his Deal with the Devil.
Also, Carter Slade and the Caretaker were two different characters in the comics.
In G.I. Joe, Rex Lewis/The Doctor/Cobra Commander is a merging of Doctor Mindbender and Cobra Commander. Only in role, however, as Mindbender actually shows as a brief character in a flashback.
In G.I. Joe: Retaliation Roadblock's background has several elements taken from Stalker in the comics, such as being involved with a gang when growing up in the city, being best buddies with Snake Eyes, and having kids.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa from Godzilla (2014) has the surname and world-weariness of Daisuke Serizawa, is a palaeontologist that wants to study the monsters versus killing them like Dr. Kyohei Yamane, and his insistence that Godzilla will save the day.
Each character in The Great Escape is a composite of several people involved in the real event.
The Green Lantern movie establishes that Parallax was once Krona, a completely separate villain in the comics.
In the film adaptation of Gypsy, Uncle Jocko and Herbie become the same person.
A boy named Nigel from the later film adaptations of the Harry Potter series seems to be a composite of the two Creevey brothers (Colin and Dennis) from the books. Oddly enough, Colin did appear (with that name) in the second film. Word of God is that Nigel was created after Hugh Mitchell (who played Colin in the second film) went through a massive growth spurt and the filmmakers didn't think he'd be able to portray a character who was supposed to appear small and mousy anymore.
This is done surprisingly little, considering how many characters are in the series. But there is the odd case of minor characters being written out with their often only prominent scene given to a more important character. For example, the second film has Hermione ask Professor McGonagall about the Chamber of Secrets rather than Professor Binns.
Notoriously, Neville acts his role and replaces Dobby in the fourth film.
In the fourth film, the character of Ludo Bagman was removed and some of his characteristics combined into the character of Barty Crouch Sr., resulting in Crouch being more comical than his completely serious nature in the book. His commentary is taken up by Cornelius Fudge during the Quidditch World cup. His exclusion is likely due to much of the scenes involving him being cut so what little remained was given to others.
Bellatrix Lestrange is prominently involved in the battle at the end of the sixth film, but she was not even in the corresponding scene from the book. All her actions in the film version of the scene (coaxing Draco to kill Dumbledore, firing the Dark Mark into the sky, catching Hagrid's hut on fire) were performed by various Mooks in the book.
Luna Lovegood takes over Tonks' role of finding Harry on the Hogwarts express in The Half blood Prince
Due to actor Jamie Waylett's legal troubles, Crabbe was written out of Deathly Hallows, and his ultimate fate was given to Goyle instead. Blaise Zabini was then brought in as the third man of Draco's Power Trio.
In the second book, it's stated that Vernon paid someone to fit the bars on Harry's window. In the movie version, Vernon just does it himself.
A rare non-adaptation example: the first few drafts of Hot Fuzz had a love interest for Nick Angel. When her part was cut, the majority of her lines (as well as the peace lily subplot) were given to Danny Butterman's character, which resulted in quite a bit of intentional Ho Yay.
In Hulk, Bruce's father (who had no abilities in the comics) is given the powers of the Absorbing Man, and later transforms into a being of pure electricity, much like Zzzax.
In many adaptations of Jane Eyre, Helen Burns is combined with Julia Severn, the girl who has her hair cut off as punishment for curling it (making the character even more tragic - she has all her hair cut off and then dies of tuberculosis a few scenes later). In some versions the haircutting happens to Jane herself. Also a few adaptations combine the kindly Miss Temple with Miss Scatcherd.
JFK does this here and there, most notably with Willie O'Keefe. Willie is a composite of several of Jim Garrison's witnesses, among them Perry Russo, the central witness of the case; he exists in the film largely so that Oliver Stone doesn't have to answer why Garrison chose not to use most of them in the trial (and to hide Russo's laughable unreliablity).
In J-Men Forever, the multiple villains edited from the original Republic Film Serials became the singular Lightning Bug. To explain his radically changing appearance, The Lightning Bug was made into a Master of Disguise.
John Carter, the film adaptation of John Carter of Mars appears to have collapsed several minor characters into more major related ones. Notably, Tars Tarkas is chieftain of his own band of Tharks in the film, whereas in the book he was second-in-command to Lorquas Ptormel; Tardos Mors is Dejah Thoris' father in the film, while he was her grandfather in the book, thereby combining him with his son Mors Kajak; and film Sab Than is Jeddak (king) of Zodanga rather than prince, combining him with his father Than Kosis.
The nerdy black kid and the adventurous (and older) blond girl that were Levine's assistants/protegees in The Lost World 1995 were merged into Malcolm's black gymnast daughter for the second film.
From The Lost World: "Doc" Thorne, Badass Bookworm and former scientist that now makes field systems for a living, was merged with Eddie Carr, his no-nonsense, smart employee. The movie version of Eddie has his own field systems company, but is much geekier. Even though he tries to rescue Sarah, Malcolm, and Nick from the falling trailer exactly as Doc Thorne did, he's torn apart by the T.rexes. The original Eddie is killed by raptors instead, while Thorne lives to lead the survivors off the island.
In The Lost World: the movie's Sarah Harding has elements of Richard Levine's character (for example, the incompetence - novel!Sarah was nowhere nearly as idiotic) and plays his role in parts.
In the sequel to Kick-Ass, Jim Carrey plays a character called Colonel Stars and Stripes, a composite of Colonel Stars and Lieutenant Stripes from the comic.
In Left Behind II: Trbiulation Force, Verna Zee is the composite of her original character with Lucinda Washington, the African-American editor-in-chief of the Global Weekly office in Chicago who was raptured. For the most part, movie Verna is book Verna's personality in Lucinda's body (or a version of Lucinda that never became a believer).
The 1935, 1952 and 1998 versions of Les Misérables either diminish the role of, or remove entirely, Enjolras, giving his role as leader of the Friends of the ABC to Marius.
Chico in The Magnificent Seven is a composite of two characters from the original Seven Samurai: Katsushiro, the young samurai who begins a relationship with a village girl, and Kikuchiyo, the boisterous samurai wannabe who tags along with the others uninvited and turns out to be a peasant by birth.
Darren Cross had no supervillain alias in the original comics, but in the Ant-Man movie, he is given Sizeshifter abilities and the Code Name Yellowjacket. Both of these come from Henry Pym, who used the name Yellowjacket in the comics. This is a rare case of Decomposite Character as well, since Pym is in the movie, just as a civilian scientist rather than a costumed superhero.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe does this with MacGuffins. The Avengers (and the films immediately before it) introduce an alien device called the Tesseract or "the Cube", standing in for the Cosmic Cube of the comics. Thor: The Dark World then reveals that it's also one of the Infinity Stones.
The film's take on Peggy Carter combines the inherent Action Girl-ness and relationship to Sharon Carter of her namesake, along with the appearance and role of Lt. Cynthia Glass from the Adventures of Captain America: The Sentinel of Liberty miniseries released in the early 90s.
Montgomary Falsworth, the pencil-moustached, red-bereted British officer in the movie's Howling Commandos, is an amalgam of Montgomary Falsworth, the costumed hero Union Jack, and Percy Pinkerton, the pencil-moustached, red-bereted British officer in the comic's Howling Commandos. In fact, given it contains Falsworth, Cap and Bucky Barnes, the Commandos could be considered an amalgam of the comicbook Commandos and The Invaders.
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Alexander Pierce is given elements of Aleksander Lukin, namely his role as the Winter Soldier's handler and the mastermind behind the entire plot.
In Men of Honor, Robert De Niro's role as the hardline, racist Master Chief who makes Brashear's life hell, is an amalgamation of a couple different commanding officers the real Brashear had during his career.
Moneyball merges several of Billy Beane's associates, particularly Paul DePodesta, into Peter Brand. DePodesta refused to have his name used in the film, which led to this.
In the film version of My Left Foot, the character Dr. Eileen Cole never existed. She was supposed to represent an amalgam of several people who helped the main character.
In the film Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD (starring David Hasselhoff, not Samuel L. Jackson), Baron von Strucker is succeeded as the leader of Hydra by his daughter Andrea, aka Viper. In the comics, Viper/Madame Hydra is an orphan whose true name is unknown, and Andrea von Strucker is one half of the mutant Fenris Twins.
In the Russian movie Night Watch, Bear's real name is Ilya. In the books, Bear and Ilya are two different people. The Inquisition in the sequel Day Watch might also count: in the books they are a big group, a third Watch, while in the movie they are just two old Creepy Twins.
The incident at the beginning of the first film, with Anton going to a witch to get his girlfriend back happened to a woman in the Day Watch book and was part of a larger story. Additionally, Anton is not Yegor's father in the books and was recruited as a teen, not an adult.
The killer of Dark Others in the second film is revealed to be Kostya's father. In the books, they are different characters.
The made-for-TV movie Noah's Ark made Noah into a composite of himself and... Abraham, and made other changes, such as Noah living in one of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (In The Bible, Abraham explicitly didn't live in either, certainly not that close to their destruction; and those cities were post-flood), and Lot just being some guy Noah knows.
North had the FedEx guy and Johnny Fingers from the book merged into one guy who appears to North randomly during his journey to find his parents.
Based on a true story, October Sky merged Sherman Siers and Jimmy O'Dell into one character called Sherman O'Dell. (The original book, Rocket Boys, did not do this.)
Pain and Gain: Dwayne Johnson's character Doyle is fictional, a combination of two or three additional members of the Sun Gym Gang.
Benjamin "The Ghost" Martin in Mel Gibson's The Patriot was based primarily on Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion, with elements of about four other Revolutionary War leaders mixed in.
In The People Vs Larry Flynt, Edward Norton plays a character named Alan Isaacman, after the lawyer who defended Flynt before the Supreme Court. This character essentially stands in for all the legal assistants Flynt had employed. For instance, he is wounded in the 1978 shooting attack on Flynt; that event happened to Gene Reeves, Jr.
Film!Luke takes over Ares' role as the person who duped Percy into taking the Bolt to Hades.
In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Red White is merged with the character of April May. He murders Mia after learning she's uncovered certain evidence, but also is the one who wiretapped her phone to begin with and acts as the witness who accuses Maya of the murder. There's a more minor example later. While both Gumshoe and Larry are in the movie, Gumeshoe's role in loaning Phoenix the metal detector so he can look for "Gordy" is given to Larry, who owns the detector and is the only one to use it until the end of the last trial.
In the live-action 1996 version of Pinocchio, the villain Lorenzini is a merger of the characters Mangiafuoco (the Puppeteer) and The Little Man (Land of Toys coachman). Later, he is transformed into a giant sea monster, thus also merging The Terrible Dogfish into his character.
The Postman has "Ford Lincoln Mercury", an amalgam of several characters. Abby is a mix of a minor one-chapter character named Abby, and the Love Interest who appeared later (in the chapters about the fakesentient AI and the Super Soldier army that never made it into the film).
In at least the 1940 and 2005 versions, Mr. Bingley's two sisters Caroline and Louisa are melded into the films' version of Caroline.
It's common for modern-day adaptations to remove Kitty and/or Mary Bennet and transpose elements of them into Lydia, since fewer families have five children than in Austen's day, and they are the only sisters that don't end up with husbands by the end of the book.
The Bollywood adaptation Bride and Prejudice has Caroline Bingley and Luisa Hurst swapped for just one sister of Mr Bingley as its character Kiran Balraj. Bride and Prejudice also has Lakhi stand in for the two youngest Bennets, Lydia and Kitty.
The Latter-Day Setting Update has just one sister instead of both Caroline and Louisa. It also reduces Charlotte's character to one scene, with Mary being the one marrying Collins, while Georgiana Darcy and Anne de Bourgh are merged into Darcy's sister Euphemiana.
In the 1969 film of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the "Brodie Set" is reduced from six to four. In the absence of Joyce and Rose, Mary is the one who dies in the Spanish Civil War and Jenny is the one who Miss Brodie wants to have an affair with Mr Lloyd in her place.
Queen of the Damned combines a number of characters in the novel, while many others are simply removed. Aaron Lightner, the man who recruited Jesse into the Talamasca and was her mentor for a time, is merged into the role of his friend David Talbot. Magnus, Lestat's maker, and Marius are merged into just Marius. Maharet in the novel has a twin named Mekare, and it's Mekare the one who kills Akasha and takes her place as the Queen. In the film, Maharet is never mentioned to have a sister, and she is the one who finishes off Akasha. The roles of makers are also shifted. In the film, Lestat turns Jesse instead of Maharet, and Marius turns David instead of Lestat. The film itself appears to be an amalgamation of the plots of The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned.
In Raging Bull, the character Joey La Motta, played by Joe Pesci, is a composite of the real Joe La Motta and Jake La Motta's best friend, Pete Petrella. The infamous "You fuck my wife?" scene happened between Jake and Pete, not between the two brothers as depicted in the movie.
The Red Baron: "During WWI many Jewish pilots fought for the German Empire. ... They are represented by the fictional character of Friedrich Sternberg." Whose plane is identifiable by the Star of David in its Nose Art.
Sheryl Yoast, Coach Bill Yoast's daughter in Remember the Titans. In real life, Sheryl was one of four daughters Coach Yoast had. Though the other daughters were okay with it.
Return to Oz, itself a composite of The Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz, combines the (very different) characters Princess Langwidere, from Ozma of Oz, and Mombi, the Wicked Witch of the North, from The Land of Oz, into the evil Princess Mombi.
In the graphic novel Road to Perdition, the protagonists are pursued by several faceless goons. The movie combined them all into a single character, which the novel's author admitted was an improvement.
In Rurouni Kenshin, Jin-e takes Aoshi's role as Kanryu's bodyguard, as well as Gohei's role as the impostor Battōsai.
Gein, while seemingly being based on the Gein from the manga with his mask and cloak and initial use of wires to suspend Kenshin in the air, is more closer to being a combination of Aoshi and Hannya. From Hannya, he uses a mask to conceal disfigurement (though not to the level of Hannya) and uses a kodachi like Aoshi. Though Aoshi will appear in the sequel.
Although both appear in the film, Roxy Richter in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World inherits quite a few traits from the comic book's version of Envy, including her weak point. Interestingly, they were supposed to become one in the film's production, but later volumes convinced the film makers to include both characters.
Had they kept Roxy from the comic book as-is, they'd also have to include Knives's overprotective dad, who helps Scott beat her.
Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption was a composite of various characters from the novella; in that, Shawshank prison was run by several different figures with varying degrees of cruelty. The same goes for his henchman, Byron Hadley.
Spaceballs uses several examples in its parody of Star Wars. Lone Starr grafts Luke Skywalker's Force (er, Schwartz) powers and role as The Hero onto Han Solo. Colonel Sandurz is a mixture of the various Imperial officers that appear throughout Star Wars (although he can be most directly compared to Tarkin). Yogurt is primarily based on Yoda, but also has traits of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Mary Jane in the first film was a composite of comics Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy and Liz Allan from the comics. She gets Liz Allan's role as most popular girl at Midtown high and Peter's high school crush who is dating Flash but develops an interest in Peter, she gets Gwen Stacy's Girl Next Door personality and knack for being thrown off a bridge by the Green Goblin and she has Mary Jane's bad home life, name, interest in acting and red hair. All 3 girls were also involved with Harry Osborn like Mary Jane in the films but here the relationship most resembles the one with Gwen were both Peter and Harry were fighting for her. In the comics, Harry and Liz Allan became an item long after Peter had any interest in Liz and Mary Jane and Harry were dating before Peter had much of an interest in Mary Jane.
The sequel gave her Tsundere tendencies, which some see as similar to the ones displayed by Gwen in some of her earliest appearances before her characterization changed (although Mary Jane did have these tendencies in the comics too following her marriage to Peter). Likewise, when Gwen is introduced in the third film, she has MJ's status as 'love rival' from the comic and career as a model. Although in the comics Gwen started as 'love rival' (to Betty Brant) and was introduced as a high school beauty queen. Also, when Peter Parker went to the Savage Land for the Daily Bugle, Gwen was taken along as a bikini model.
Likewise, Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man. She has Gwen Stacy's name, blonde hair, interest in Science (played up by the movies much like The Spectacular Spider-Man), status as Peter's first love, the police captain father, and Gwen's most iconic moment but also again replaces Liz Allan as Peter's high school crush and gets some of Mary Jane's more playful tendencies. In fact, when Emma Stone was cast many fans felt she would have been more suited to play Mary Jane.
In The Film of the Book of The Stand, Nadine Cross and Rita Blakemoor were merged into a single character. In the book, Larry meets Rita in New York, but she kills herself a few days after they leave the city. He then meets Nadine in Maine. But in the movie, he meets Nadine in New York. And although she has Joe/Leo with her in the book, it's Lucy who has Joe in the movie.
Also, Dr. Dietz in the Atlanta CDC facility and Elder in the Vermont CDC facility were combined into Dr. Dietz in the series who appears in the Vermont facility. Basically, Dietz in the novel was a kind, honest, hardworking doctor who was making a sincere but doomed effort to stave off Captain Trips, before succumbing to it himself; after the Atlanta facility was compromised, Stu Redman was moved to Vermont, and when Elder caught Captain Trips he tried to kill Stu because he didn't want Stu to live while he died. These two characters were combined in the TV Series. Also, Dietz's bedside interaction with Stu was markedly different in the novel from how it was in the TV series; in the TV series, Dietz was nasty and arrogant to Stu while in the novel he was friendly. This difference is exemplified most in how in both adaptations Dietz told Stu "you son of a bitch," but in a different tone in each adaptation; in the TV series, Dietz said it in a very nasty, defensive tone, while in the novel he said it "with a sense of wonder," implying a non-insulting tone.
Street Fighter combined Blanka (the green man-beast from Brazil) and Charlie (Guile's combat buddy who was killed by Bison) into one character named Carlos Blanka, a combat buddy of Guile who gets captured by Bison and turned into a green man-beast. Even though Blanka's actual origin story in the games made it impossible for him and Charlie to be the same character, it didn't stop fans from speculating otherwise until Charlie debuted as a player character in the Street Fighter Alphaprequel series.
The Stunt Man. Director Eli Cross is a combination of Gottschalk the director and Bruno de Fe the cinematographer from the original novel.
In Swamp Thing, Alice Cable is an amalgam of Abby Arcane and Matt Cable, being a government agent with the surname Cable, and Swamp Thing's love interest with a first name starting with "A". Anton Arcane takes the role of the gangsters who destroyed Alec's lab.
In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Nagi fought over the love of a woman. Yoshi killed Nagi and the couple fled to New York. Years later Nagi's brother Saki avenged his brother's death by killing them and stayed in New York while calling himself The Shredder. The first moviesimplified this by combining the two brothers: Saki is Yoshi's rival; Yoshi flees the country as a way to avoid having to fight him, but Saki follows them, and from there the story follows the comic.
Sam is based mostly on Spike from the Generation One cartoon. However, his absorbing of the Allspark's energy and having visions due to it a taken from Buster of the Marvel comics.
Bumblebee combines elements of his G1 counterpart (the former Trope Namer), while his design takes cues from Autobots such as Prowl and Bluestreak.
Megatron takes elements of his Beast Wars descendant and original 1984 character.
Sentinel Prime is a combination of G1 Sentinel (former Autobot leader before Optimus), Alpha Trion (Optimus's mentor, as well as a scientific genius), and G1 Nova Prime (Becomes evil, and boasts about the superiority of Cybertronians over all life).
Jetfire is a combination of G1 Jetfire (originally being a Decepticon) and Kup (an old timer who tells stories of old times).
Brains was based somewhat on Blaster when he took on the form of a laptop, and Rewind, one of Blaster's Mini-cassettes, in that he spouts useless info.
Sideswipe is slightly like himself combined with Hot Rod (rumored name) and Drift (wielding two sword).
In the Twilight films, the characters of Jessica Stanley and Lauren Mallory were merged into one character named Jessica.
Plus Eric Yorkie is himself plus Ben
In Velvet Goldmine, Curt Wild is mainly supposed to be an expy of Iggy Pop. A lot of the incidents involving him are based on other real-life figures, such as Mick Ronson, Lou Reed, and Mick Jagger.
Also, central character Brian Slade, while most ostensibly based on Bowie, is also a composite character and bears definite traces of Brian Eno, Marc Bolan, and Jobriath.
Any war movie ever made does this — both ones based on actual wars/conflicts and ones based on novels.
Averted in A Bridge Too Far where there are named historical characters who don't even have speaking roles. In fact, the majority of the characters are based on real people (yes, even the guy with an umbrella).
In 2005's The War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise, Ogilvy, the man who is trapped in a basement with Cruise's character and his daughter, is a composite of the astronomer of the same name, the artilleryman, and the curate from the original novel.
In Water for Elephants, the roles of Uncle Al (evil ringmaster) and August (evil animal trainer and Marlena's husband), were merged together to create the film's version of August.
This induces Fridge Logic in The Wizard of Oz. At the beginning of the book by L. Frank Baum Dorothy meets the Good Witch of the North, who tells her to "Follow the Yellow Brick Road." At the end, she meets Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, who tells her that the slippers her sister the North Witch saw her put on are the keys to get her home. In the movie, the characters are merged into Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, which leads you into wondering why she didn't mention the key in the first place. Handwaved in the film this by insinuating that the shoes, wouldn't work until Dorothy learned for herself that "there's no place like home." Glinda is even asked why she didn't tell Dorothy the shoes' magic power in the beginning and she laughs "she wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself."
After Beast was removed from the script for the movie due to budgetary concerns, elements of his character were grafted onto Jean Grey. Jean takes his place as the team's medical and scientific expert, and scenes written for Beast ended up being given to her.
Jason Stryker is a composite of three comics characters: Jason Wyngarde (a.k.a. Mastermind), from whom he gets his first name and powers; Reverend Stryker's unnamed mutant child from the God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel (though his name was eventually revealed to be Jason as well); and Professor X's autistic son David Haller (a.k.a. Legion), from whom he gets his mismatched eyes, multiple personalities, and insanity.
Colonel William Stryker in the X-Men movies is a composite of Rev. William Stryker from God Loves, Man Kills and Professor Thornton, the man who gave Wolverine his Adamantium skeleton (though it's implied in the comics that he had a part in the Weapon X program).
Callisto merges the powers of the comic characters Caliban and Quicksilver. Her leadership role and personality (which isn't all that fleshed out in the movie, but overall it's pretty consistent with the comics) are the only traces of the comics' Callisto.
Jean Grey and Phoenix were separate characters in the comics, but were rewritten into separate personalities in a single body for the movie. But whether Phoenix was a separate entity or just Jean's Superpowered Evil Side depends on who's writing.
The film went along with the comic book's then (and rather compelling) implication of Dog Logan and Victor Creed/Sabretooth being the same individual, years later however, the comics show Dog and Sabretooth as not being the same person. Movie Victor also takes on Rose's role from the Origin comic as the person who helped Logan run away.
Many adaptations of Alice in Wonderland conflate the Queen of Hearts with the Red Queen. The first is from "Adventures in Wonderland" and is a playing card; the second is from "Through the looking glass" and is a chess piece.
In the Anno Dracula short story "Castles in the Air", the vampire hippy guru Khorda from the 1973 film Deathmaster turns out to be one of Dracula's hangers-on from the earlier books, General Iorga. This is a gag on the fact that Robert Quarry, who played Khorda, had previously played the title character in Count Yorga, Vampire and The Return of Count Yorga, and many people consider Deathmaster to be a Spiritual Successor.
Dracula himself, constantly reinventing himself and shapeshifting to match, is a composite of every portrayal of the Count.
Kit and Holly in "You'll Never Drink Blood in This Town Again" are the main characters of the film Badlands, but have a string of aliases suggesting they're every Outlaw Couple in 20th century fiction.
The title character in Carrie was based on two different girls whom Stephen King went to school with growing up, both of whom had difficult lives and died young.
In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the utterly vile Danforth stands for several different judges who presided over the witch trials. Miller initially worried that he had made Danforth too one-dimensional ... only to find that the real judges were even worse.
Also by Conrad, Kurtz of Heart of Darkness is a combination of a number of sadistic Evil Colonialist types in the Belgian Congo, although his name in particular references Georges Antoine Klein (Kurtz is German for short and Klein is German for small) who had just died when Conrad was in the Congo.
Sultan Mehmed of Count and Countess is a mix of the real-life Sultan Mehmed and his father.
"The life of the man N. S. Rubashov is a synthesis of the lives of a number of men who were victims of the so-called Moscow Trials. Several of them were personally known to this author. This book is dedicated to their memory."
Dame Alice from ''The Gallows in the Greenwood" by Phyllis Ann Karr is a composite of three different characters from the Robin Hood stories and ballads. She starts off as the Sheriff's Wife (a minor character in some ballads), takes her husband's place when Robin and his outlaws murder him (becoming the Sheriff for the events of several famous stories) and finally retires to a convent, becoming the Prioress who ultimately kills Robin Hood in some versions.
In the Dramatic Audio version of the Left Behind book Armageddon, GC officer Anita Sanchez is one for two female officers (a Hispanic and an African-American) working in the San Diego headquarters where Chloe Williams was incarcerated.
Nellie Oleson in the Little House on the Prairie books was a composite of three different girls Laura Ingalls Wilder knew growing up: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters and Stella Gilbert. There is some speculation that Mr. Edwards was a composite, as well, since pinning down his historical personage has proved confusing.
"Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer also, but not from an individual—he is a combination of the characteristics of three boys whom I knew, and therefore belongs to the composite order of architecture."
In Philip José Farmer's Wold Newton family, he sometimes does this to tie characters together. Most notably, the Duke of Holdernesse and his illigitimate son James Wilder, from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Priory Road School", are combined with John Clayton, Earl of Greystoke and Clark Savage Sr, to make Tarzan and Doc Savage cousins.
In the first episode of Black Mirror, Michael Callow is a composite character of real Prime Minister David Cameron, and his Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg - taking a fair amount of qualities and mannerisms from both.
Daredevil combines Night Nurse, an obscure character from the comics who specializes in helping injured superheroes, with Claire Temple, one of Luke Cage's old love interests.
In the Doctor Who serial "The Five Doctors", when Tom Baker declined to participate, the Fourth Doctor's lines were given to the First Doctor.
Elementary, Moriarty turns out to share qualities with Irene Adler. Actually, forget "shares qualities", they're the same person.
Believe it or not, Robert Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond is one of these. His main mannerisms (being a cop, being divorced, jealous of his brother, doing "crazy chin", etc.) are taken from Ray's brother Richard, but his name is taken from Ray's other brother Robert. (When asked why the TV Ray didn't have two brothers like the real one, Ray claimed the real Robert was "the normal one" in his family, and therefore felt he wasn't interesting enough for the show).
In The Flash (1990), Barry Allen is given one of Wally West's love interests, and also the need to eat large amounts to "refuel". The costume also looks more like Wally's, with the lightning bolt "belt" coming to a point.
Happens frequently in Game of Thrones, with many characters taking traits from a variety of book characters. Some of many examples include:
Gendry, perhaps the biggest example, has seen his own book plot combined with the book plot of Edric Storm, another of Robert's bastards who only appears in the book series.
TV's Rakharo combines Jhogo and Rakharo, two of Dany's Dothraki bodyguards.
In series 2, Rodrik Cassel's death is a combination of the death scenes of several minor Winterfell peasants, nanely Benfred Tallhart and Farlen.
Jory Cassel gets several conversations from minor Stark guardsmen.
In another major example, Davos's seven sons in the book are condensed into one, Matthos.
Ser Barristan Selmy is, conversely, a downplayed example, taking no story plots from other characters, yet taking elements of Ser Arthur Dayne's Badass reputation (although book-Barristan was just as badass as his TV counterpart, this mostly takes the form of compliments and stories about Dayne in the book being redirected to Selmy), and taking the role of the knight Jaime Lannister squired for, held in the books by Lord Crakehall.
Thoros of Myr takes some characteristics from fellow Brotherhood members Lem Lemoncloak and Tom 'o Sevenstrings
Loras Tyrell is a combination of his brothers Willas and Garlan's roles, who seem to have been written out of the series entirely.
In Season 2, Tyrion names Bronn Lord Commander of the Gold Cloaks rather than Jacelyn Bywater, who only has a few scenes in A Clash of Kings and dies in the Battle of Blackwater anyway.
Gia, the made-for-television biography of model Gia Carangi, has several of these characters, most significantly, her makeup artist-turned-girlfriend.
In the Sky1 adaptation of Going Postal, Crispin Horsefry becomes Reacher Gilt's second in command, representing the entire board of the Grand Trunk in the novel. Also Mustrum Ridcully is given Professor Pelc's role as Mr. Exposition.
The 2005 Hallmark Minines "Hercules" has Antaeus who is a combination of Antaeus, Zeus, the Cretan Bull and Cerberus. Antaeus is Hercules' enemy and a Son of Mother Earth, Hercules' father, a bandit leader called the Cretan Bull and is the one present when Hercules goes down to the gates of Hades instead of Cerberus.
Horatio Hornblower (mini-series): Archie Kennedy is a composite of various minor characters throughout the series of novels it is based on. He notably given actions of an unnamed sailor in "The Even Chance" (AKA "The Duel") by having a seizure during a raid, forcing Horatio to knock him out to keep him quiet, and Lt. Bracegirdle's lines in "The Frogs and the Lobsters" (AKA "The Wrong War").
The 1990s Justice League pilot. Ice is Tora Olafsdotter, but has Sigrid Nansen's origin. The Flash is Barry Allen but has Wally West's personality, and Green Lantern is called Guy Gardner, but has elements of Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner.
The Kamen Rider AgitoAlternate Universe visited in Kamen Rider Decade did this with its version of protagonist Shoichi, who was a composite of the three main Riders of the original Agito show, having been G3 until his powers started developing, turning him into Gills before he finally reaches the "perfect evolution" of Agito. Even his name is a composite: his surname Ashikawa comes from Ryo Ashihara (Gills) and Makoto Hikawa (G3)].
Also, the Kamen Rider 555 arc has a friend of Takumi whose name is Yuri (half Yuka and half Mari, at least in name - she's little like either character.)
In the Kabuto arc, Tendou's two sisters are combined into one character, Mayu. To get her, we combine Hiyori's turning out to be a Worm with Jyuka's being an adorable teenage girl who idolizes her bro. The storyline happens in a much more satisfying way than it did in Kabuto due to the lack of sudden actor departures.
In Kamen Rider Ryuki, three unnamed characters were possessed by Kanzaki, and turned into Kamen Rider Odin. In Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, they became the singular Vic Frasier (Kamen Rider Wrath). Wrath was possessed by Xaviax, so we still have the Rider form as the Big Bad's avatar throughout both series.
Also Ryuki's two main females, Reiko Momoi, Intrepid Reporter and senior to Shinji, and Yui Kanzaki, the only non-rider who could see the mirror world were combined into one character in Maya Young.
Our hero himself is an example and an inversion at once. We have Kit as Dragon Knight (aka Ryuki, Shinji's shiny suit) until his disloyal alternate self takes over after his Disney Death. After his return, Kit becomes Onyx (aka Ryuga, evil alternate Shinji's shiny suit.) However, we first saw Onyx in a dream of Kit's involving him taking Xaviax's lure. This means Dragon Knight is a composite of Ryuki and Ryuga, but Onyx is splitting Ryuga into two guys.
There's also some of Len's counterpart Ren in Kit. There's a Rider whose greatest desire is to see a certain loved one restored. Said loved one is brought out of coma just long enough to try and tempt said Rider. So, are we talking about Kit's dad or Ren's fiancee, now?
The two Alternative Riders (former colleagues of the Big Bad who developed their own powers to thwart him) were merged into Eubulon the Advent Master, who also supplants Kanzaki as the creator of the Rider powers.
In the 1996 revival of The Liver Birds, Polly James reprises the role of Beryl, except that Beryl has become a composite of the Beryl she played in the first four seasons and Carol, Beryl's replacement in seasons 5-9. Notably, Beryl has somehow acquired Carol's family.
M*A*S*H: The television version of Major Frank Burns combines the incompetence and ego of the novel's Captain Frank Burns with the holier-than-thou piousness of Major Hobson
The 1998 Merlin series does this at least twice, combining Morgan le Fay with Morgause into a single character that isn't much like either of them simply called Morgan le Fay, and also combining two different Elaines (there's a lot in Arthurian Mythology) into a single character of that name.
Averted in the television series of the same name: not only are Morgana and Morgause separate characters (half-sisters), but so were Vivienne (their mother), the Lady of the Lake (a druid girl called Freya) and Nimueh (an evil sorceress), three very distinct characters that are usually conflated in various retellings, and the source material itself. There was also another character called Vivian who had no relation whatsoever to the above characters.
In Merlin, the titular character is the one to throw Excalibur back to the Lady of the Lake after Arthur's death, a role that in most legendary sources belongs to Sir Bedivere.
Regina (the evil queen from Snow White) pretends to be Ursula (the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid) and has her role as the person who makes the deal with Ariel to temporarily make her human, but it turns out Ursula actually does exist.
Cinderella is also combined with the heroine of Rumpelstiltskin too, with the latter filling the role her fairy godmother played (sort of).
The multiple users of the Cursed Armor in Abaranger became the singular cyborg henchman Zeltrax in Dino Thunder. However, the role of the second user of the cursed armor is picked up by Elsa in the last few episodes.
Sam, the Omega Ranger is a composite of Sixth Ranger Deka Break and one-shot guest star Hikaru of Dekaranger. The latter grows up to be the former and arrives via Time Travel. Bridge, meanwhile, melds Deka Green/Sen-Chan with the psychic powers of Z's Sentai Counterpart, Jasmine.
Mora/Morgana owes as much to Abaranger's Rije/Rijewel as she does to Succubus, the villainness her sentai footage comes from.
Mystic Mother is a composite of Magiel and Bandora (aka Rita Repulsa), by virtue of being said to have once been referred to as Rita. Both of these characters were played in Super Sentai by the late Machiko Soga with the two being unrelated in their respective shows.
Tyzonn, the Mercury Ranger, mixes in Bouken Silver (It's Personal against the Ashu/Fear Cats), one-shot guest star Ragi (human transformed into dragonman), and Bouken Red (backstory with deaths of former team).
Kamdor directly parallels Yami no Yaiba, and Maboroshi no Gekkou (the latter being the Big Bad of the third faction and the monster maker and enlarger). Also, Miratrix mostly has Shizuka's role, but her monster form is Gekkou's. Shizuka's monster form becomes a one-off monster earlier in the series.
Andrew Hartford is based off of Mister Voice (The Mentor), Morio Makino (creator of the Rangers' tech) and Kouichi Akashi (The Red Ranger's Adventure Archaeologist father).
RJ in Jungle Fury takes two roles from Gekiranger. As the Rangers' mentor, he's part Sha-fu. As the accidental Wolf Man and later Wolf Ranger, he's part Gou. Sha-fu also has Master Mao as a counterpart as well, but since he dies early on RJ takes the bulk of his role.
Although original to RPM, Big Bad Venjix uses battle bodies that in Go-onger were the characters Hiramechimedes and Yogoshimacritein.
RPM also has Summer who's Ranger designation is of Saki, but her rich upbringing is shared with Go-onger's Go-on Wings.
Deker in Power Rangers Samurai is directly based on Fuwa Juzo, with his backstory as Dayu's lost love, and the indirect catalyst for her becoming a Nighlok being based on Shinza.
Done, kind of, in Robin Hood. At the end of Season Two, Marian, Will Scarlett, and Djaq the Saracen are written permanently out of the show. The next season introduces Kate, who fills all their niches in the group and show, as well as aspects of their personalities. She takes the place of Marian as Love Interest and Tsundere, Djaq as Token Girl, and Will as the representative of the suffering peasantry. She also experiences the murder of her brother (like Allan), has a tempestuous relationship with her parent (like Marian) and is separated from her family (like Little John). Naturally, she was considered an instant Replacement Scrappy and ended up a Creator's Pet in record time.
Seinfeld - Elaine was a composite of various ex-girlfriends of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. (The other main characters were based on Seinfeld, David, and David's neighbor Kenny Kramer.)
The TV adaptations of Sharpe have a tendency to do this, in order to avoid Loads and Loads of Characters, with many recurring characters from the books becoming one-off characters and/or suffering Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. For instance, the company of men that follow Sharpe in the books are reduced to half a dozen key characters. Two specific examples occur in Sharpe's Revenge to avoid bringing back characters from Sharpe's Siege: Maillot is a composite of Maillot (the officer guarding Napoleon's treasure) and Lassan (Lucille's brother), while Wigram is a composite of Wigram (the officer in charge of Sharpe's court martial) and Bampfylde (the officer Sharpe fights a duel with).
In Sherlock, Charles Augustus Magnussen is a version of the blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton in the original Sherlock Holmes stories, but also takes on major elements of Conan Doyle's Professor Moriarty in appearance, personality and plot role that were not elements of the very different Jim Moriarty who appears in Sherlock.
Also Chloe, often regarded as an Expy of Lois Lane, but is actually this trope being a combination of Lois Lane (intrepid reporter) and the comic version of Lana Lang (Unlucky Childhood Friend from high school) and she spent most of high school trying to uncover Clark's secret much like Lana and Lois tried in the Silver Age. Then again, Lana Lang started off as an Expy of Lois, so its no wonder.
For that matter, the version of Green Arrow appearing in Smallville is essentially Oliver Queen filling Bruce Wayne's role in the DC Universe. Like the comics' Green Arrow, he's a Badass Normal vigilante from Star City with a Robin Hood-themed M.O. and an arsenal of deadly arrows. Like Batman, he's the main force behind the founding of the Justice League and Clark's closest ally in the superhero community. [[note]] This was likely done because the producers of Smallville couldn't get the television rights to Batman. The only made Smallville in the first place because they couldn't make a series about a young Bruce Wayne, as they'd originally intended.
The Star-Spangled Kid is Sylvester Pemberton, but sports a Badass Long Coat and Cosmic Staff like the Jack Knight version of Starman.
While his true name is Bart Allen and he is eventually given the codename Impulse, he's advertised as the Flash for his debut episode, and is a composite of all of them: his fake ID cards have the names Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, and Wally West.
The Tudors : Henry VIII in Real Life had two sisters, Mary and Margaret. The character portrayed in the show is given the biography of Mary, but the name of Margaret; creator Michael Hirst said this was to reduce confusion on the set, since Henry's daughter Mary was a major character. There are a number of Thomases in the show, but they're almost always referred to by their last names or titles—Cromwell, More, Wolsey, etc. Edward Seymour's wife Anne Stanhope has a storyline which is an altered (and expanded) version of his historical first wife's antics. This one doesn't have even a flimsy plot excuse, it's simply for the sake of more random sex - oh, and ensuring the complete lack of functional marriages in the show.
The Vampire Diaries: Bonnie Bennett is a combination of the fair, redheaded, and rather ditzy version from the novels and Meredith, the darker-skinned and more serious best friend.
Ryan Steele, by virtue of his two armored forms, is a composite of Metalder and Shaider.
J.B. Reese and Kaitlin Starr were composites of Spielban and Diana Lady, as well as Metalder's two human friends, Hakko and Mai (despite the fact that Spielban was the hero of his own show, J.B. was more of a sidekick to Ryan like Hakko was to Ryusei, while Kaitlin was a reporter like Mai). When footage of Spielban's sister Helen Lady (who wore the same suit as Diana Lady) was adapted into VR Troopers, she became a mirror image of Kaitlin who could be summoned in battle, essentially making Kaitlin a composite of three characters.
The show's version of The Governor is a combination of brothers Brian and Philip Blake from the comics since he is both the Governor and the real father of Penny.
Lilly Chambler is a combination of Lilly Caul and April Chalmers from the comics/novel.
Due to Dale's early death, his succeeding characterizations and story arcs were instead fused with Hershel Greene's.
Tomas from the prison group is a combination of Thomas Richards and Dexter from the comics, while at the same time possess The Governor's comic appearance.
The Bangles created "Anna Lee" as a composite character on their 2011 album Sweetheart of the Sun, for the song "Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)":
Susanna Hoffs: Interestingly, a character sort of developed in the song. We had all just read Girls Like Us, the book about Carly Simon, Carole King and Joni Mitchell, and we were inspired by it. We sort of made up a portrait of a person based around those women — it's kind of mythical.
Jesus Christ Superstar has Mary Magdalene combine elements of herself with those of the unnamed woman whose "waste" of costly perfume on Jesus in Bethany was condemned by the disciples in the New Testament, but just by Judas Iscariot in the rock opera. However, Mary Magdalene has been traditionally identified with the unnamed woman of Bethany for centuries, so this wasn't the first time it happened.
In the Robin Hood legends and ballads, there's about a half dozen Merry Men all named "Will;" most adaptations boil them down to one.
The American Santa Claus is a composite of several European myths and folk lore.
In Christian traditions going back at least to the middle ages, Mary Magdelene was identified both with the nameless adulteress brought before Jesus (who then said: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone") and the nameless woman of Bethany who perfumed him.
Medieval legends about saints occasionally mixed up saints bearing the same name, e. g. Dionysius (Dénis), martyred bishop of Paris (3rd century), with the Dionyisius the Areopagite (converted by St. Paul).
In Norse Mythology the trickster god Loki and the fire giant Logi are often thought of as the same character, such as in the Ring Cycle where they are merged into Loge.
Combined with Adapted Out, almost every film version of Exodus from The Bible removes Aaron completely and gives all his meetings with Pharoah and the miracles performed by him to Moses.
In The Qur'an's story about the Virgin Mary, named "Maryam" in Arabic, she has a brother named Harun ("Aaron") and a father named Imram ("Amram")...just like the Old Testament's Miriam, who would also be called "Maryam" in Arabic. Of course, a Muslim would argue that this is a coincidence or the case of purposefully naming one's kids after revered historical figures, while non-Muslims generally argue that Muhammad heard the stories of both "Maryams," mistakenly thought they were the same person and then re-separated the stories later when he realized his error.
WWE's Randy Orton is a strange example. He has the snake motif of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, with a similar fighting style and devil-may-care whoop-your-ass attitude, but he's also the youngest world champion in WWE history and a third-generation superstar. Sound familiar?
Trish Stratus started out as something of a hodgepodge of Sunny (hot manager of a Tag Team that stood no chance of getting over), Sable as a heel (only about a couple of weeks into her run and she was already talking about suing for sexual harassment and she'd barely done anything yet) and Terri Runnels' more heelish tendencies.
Cheerleader Melissa still dressed like a cheerleader but had not done anything related to her name sake for years. Alissa Flash debuted on TNA Impact paying tribute to Sensational Sherri Martel in addition to being a zipper happy tease. As Flash's TNA career wound down though, she started wearing new, zipper less gear and using Cheerleader Melissa's moves, and stopped using Sherri makeup. In post TNA appearances Melissa would wear that same gear and openly refer to Flash's actions as her own.
In The MuppetMusicians of Bremen, the cruel former owners of the animals are also the bandits they scare away from the house.
In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, the Munchkins also serve the role of the Field Mice in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, rescuing Dotothy and friends from Poppyfields and explaining to Dorothy how the Witch's magic cap works. Which makes sense, since they're played by the rats (with Rizzo as a composite of the Mayor of Munchkinland from the MGM film and a Gender Flipped Queen of the Field Mice).
In the Quintessential Stage of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Van Harl, the Vogon who's taken over the Guide in Mostly Harmless, is combined with Zarniwoop, who was the editor-in-chief in the Secondary Phase and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. This does not appear to have been done to simplify the story (it doesn't); they simply liked Jonathan Pryce's portrayal of Zarniwoop and wanted him back.
Billy Flynn, "the silver-tongued prince of the courtroom" of Chicago, was a composite of William Scott Stewart and W. W. O'Brien, the real life attorneys of Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan (the real life Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart).
Cirque du Soleil's Japan-only tour Fascination combined acts from Le Cirque Réinventé and Nouvelle Experience; appropriately, the Ringmaster here was a composite of the Reinvente Ringmaster and the Great Chamberlain of Nouvelle, who served similar emcee functions. This Ringmaster had the Reinvente costume and backstory of a transformed "Ordinary Person", but was played by Nouvelle's actor (Brian Dewhurst) and from there participated in the latter show's slackwire act.
Anthony Burgess combines Cyrano's best friend Le Bret with his Captain Carbon de Jaloux in his adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac.
In Der Ring des Nibelungen Hagen is a merging of several versions of the same character. Like in Literature/Nibelungenlied he is a grim figure, like Nibelungenlied and Thidreks Saga he kills Siegfried, like Thidreks Saga his father is an elf and like Saga of the Volsungs he is Gunther's brother (though the Nibelungenlied calls him a kinsman the relation is not clear). He also seems to have some merging with Bastard Bastards like Edmund from King Lear.
Wagner also conflated Loki, Norse god of mischief, with Logi, a god of fire. He may have done this mistakenly, or based his characterisation on a previous scholar who made the mistake.
In Dreamgirls, Effie White is not only patterned primarily after "third Supreme" Florence Ballard, but also after Etta James and Aretha Franklin.
In Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man, Ross is a composite of Tom Norman (Merrick's manager when Treves met him, and a fairly decent guy as far as P.T. Barnum types go) and the Belgian showman who abandoned him and robbed him of his life's savings.
In Les Misérables, Thenardier's henchman Brujon takes his name from a minor criminal who only associated with Thenardier. His status as The Brute comes from the novel's Gueulemer. The musical also does away with the Thenardiers' second daughter, Azelma, giving her plot points to Madame Thenardier (which is not difficult, since the point of the character was that she was growing up just like her mother).
In productions of the opera The Magic Flute, the role of the Speaker has been merged with that of the old priest Tamino encounters in the first act finale for so long that few people know that they originally may not have been the same character.
The stage version of Newsies replaces reporter Brian Denton and Jack's love interest Sarah with Katharine Plummer, a reporter who becomes Jack's love interest.
Almost every adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera transplants most aspects of the Daroga's character into Madame Giry.
In the original novel, Raoul is a bit of an Upper-Class Twit who relies on the Daroga's know-how to survive Erik's machinations. In the musical, the Daroga is omitted, and Raoul becomes much more competent as a result.
In Pokémon Live!, MechaMew2 is primarily based on Mewtwo, but also has Mew's unique feature of knowing every Pokemon move.
In the musical version of Reefer Madness, Jimmy Harper is a composite of the original film's protagonist Bill Harper and his girlfriend Mary's kid brother Jimmy.
In Frank Wildhorn's musical of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Percy's eighteen strong League of The Scarlet Pimpernel (aside from Percy himself and brother-in-law Armand), was folded up into nine men: Dewhurst note Who also inherits the novel's Ffoulkes position as The Lancer, Elton, Farleigh, Ben, Hal, Ozzy, Hastings, Neville, and Leggett. Later revisions cut the later three men out and give their lines to the first six.
In 1776, John Adams is somewhat combined with his cousin Sam Adams, who doesn't appear in the play. Many people now associate the quote about how there would be trouble "a hundred years hence" if slavery was allowed to continue to John when it was really Sam who said it. (Incidentally, they had to take out the "hundred years" bit because they thought the audience would never believe it.)
Happens too often to count in Shakespeare's history plays, and not just characters, but also with battles and other events.
Shadowlands combines Joy Gresham's two sons into one. This is also done for the film version; the original teleplay kept both sons.
The musical Show Boat combined two characters from Edna Ferber's novel, the heavy Frank and the juvenile lead and Elly's husband Schultzy, into Frank Schultz. Ike Keener, the sheriff of Lemonye, and Vallon, the police chief of New Orleans, were similarly combined into Ike Vallon. The 1929 film version of Show Boat made Hetty Chilson, a character from Ferber's novel that was eliminated from the musical, an alternate identity of Julie.
Part of the reason that The Threepenny Opera is Darker and Edgier than the original Beggars Opera is because of this trope. In the original, Macheath is a fairly sympathetic (if lecherous) example of The Highwayman, and Peachum is a corrupt thief-taker (he works both sides of the law- he conspires with criminals, but also turns those criminals in for a reward when they're outlived their usefulness to him). In Brecht's version, Peachum, while still corrupt, is the head of a beggar's guild, and Macheath is a much more unpleasant gangster. This version of Macheath is a "grass" and he gets the lines of the original Peachum when he treacherously plots to turn the loyal members of his gang to save his own skin.
Some productions of Twelfth Night cut Fabian and give his role in Act II, Scene V to Feste. In fairness, it's almost too easy to do this, since Maria earlier tells Toby, Andrew and Feste to show up for the said scene, and Fabian never appears until that moment, when he's introduced as a whole new character who has inexplicably been invited to join the fun, while Feste is nowhere to be found. Some analysts have speculated that Fabian was invented for some practical reason or other, and that Feste was originally supposed to appear in the scene.
In Wicked, Fiyero and Boq, via spells by Elphaba and Nessarose, are transformed into the Scarecrow and the Tinman. In the original novel, they were all separate characters.
Fiyero's musical counterpart is also a composite of the original Fiyero (Elphaba's love interest and a prince) and minor character from the book named Avaric (most of his personality traits). Meanwhile the name "Avaric" was given to a retainer of Fiyero who is only seen onstage breifly.
In the Opera of All the King's Men, entitled Willie Stark, Stark's aide Jack Burden supplants his love interest Anne's brother, Adam, in ultimately killing Stark.
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown has Patty, whose lines and scenes come not only from the original comic strip's Patty (not to be confused with the later Peppermint Patty), but also Violet, Frieda, and Sally (enough of Sally, in fact, that the Broadway revival went ahead and re-identified the character).
A Composite Character Class example is from later Battlefield games. Battlefield 2 had seven different player classesnote Assault, Medic, Anti-Tank, Support, Special Forces, Engineer, and Sniper. Later games trimmed the number down and compiled gadgets, weapons, and bonuses from classes that were to be cut into classes that remained - both Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield 3 removed the Medic kit and gave their medical supplies to Assault.
Exdeath has the appearance of his humanoid and armored form, yet he wants to return everything to the Void, which is what Neo-Exdeath's goal was.
In the NES version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge, the enemy character Abore is a combination of two different enemies from the arcade version. His moves are similar to the ones used by the Mission 2 boss from the arcade version (who was given the name "Abore" in the Mega Drive version), but his appearance resembles that of a recurring sub-boss (a Head Swap of Bolo/Abobo named "Oharra" in the Mega Drive version).
According to some sources in The Elder Scrolls, Talos is an in-universe example of this. He is composed of 3 different men—Hjalti Earlybeard, Ysmir Wulfharth, and Zurin Arctus—who became a singular entity after their deaths as a result of The Warp in the West and ascended to godhood. He even went as far as to do a Cosmic Retcon and make himself one man as a mortal in the past.
Haken Browning and Kaguya Nanbu from Endless Frontier take after both the Original Generation character they share the name of, and the one they share the sex of. Overall, Haken is more like Kyosuke, but inherits Excellen's combat style and flirtatiousness, while Kaguya takes more after Excellen, but inherits Kyosuke's more down-to-earth personality (but not his intelligence) and a combat style much more like his — though not identical.
Some people make a compelling case for Kuja, the Big Bad of Final Fantasy IX, being a composite of a bunch of different villains in the Final Fantasy series. Especially viable since he's the villain in a game intended to be an anniversary celebration chock full of shout outs.
Garland from Final Fantasy I gets a separate character named after him, but it's worth noting that FFI Garland kidnaps Princess Sarah. Kuja does this too - we just don't know that Garnet's real name is Sarah at that point.
He borrows a lot of his deportment - before he snaps after figuring out he's mortal - from Final Fantasy II's Emperor, staying relatively snooty and cool for most of the game. They also both kidnap a woman named Hilda.
From Kefka in Final Fantasy VI we get the way he kills Garland, booting him off a ledge in Terra; Kefka pulled the same thing on Gestahl. Both villains also boast an initial status as an underling to an Emperor/Queen who eventually rises to Big Bad status. Oh, and a large part of both their plans involves Eidolons.
The Master System version of Golden Axe ditched the three main characters from the arcade version and introduced a new one named Tarik, who is a renamed Ax Battler with the abilities to use the magic powers from the original trio.
Ironically enough, Tarik and Ax Battler were combined into one character in Golden Axe: Beast Rider named "Tarik the Ax Battler."
In Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, Ryu could change his fighting style and palette mid-fight to match those of Ken's and Akuma's. This is because he is not meant to be a standard incarnation of Ryu, but a combination of himself, Ken, and Akuma representing the entire Street Fighter series. This is why his theme music in the game is the Street Fighter II title tune instead of his usual theme and why he is labelled as "Complete Change Ryu" in the PS1 version. A more subtle example is Zangief, who can switch between his regular self and his alternate Mecha-Zangief form, who was originally an alternate character in Marvel vs. Street Fighter.
Haggar fits gameplay wise. He was supposed to be a character in Street Fighter 2, but was replaced with Zangief. He appears again in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as a standalone character, using moves he already had and a couple of nods to Zangief. His theme is also a composite of Cody and Guy's themes from Street Fighter IV.
The Proto Man in Mega Man Battle Network is based not only on the original Proto Man (name and general appearance), but Zero (long hair, prefers close combat, specifically swords) as well.
Meanwhile, Zero is the carrier of the Maverick Virus, the real cause of the war in the Mega Man X series. When a version of Zero actually appears in Battle Network, he isThe Virus himself.
The four Dark Man robots in Mega Man 5 were represented in Battle Network by the singular Dark Man.
In Metal Gear Solid 2, Vamp is a composite of two characters from the game's original plan - the original Vamp, and Chinaman. Vamp kept his main personality but inherited Chinaman's water-based and magic-themed powers (such as standing on water, swimming, shadow-pinning) in addition to his own immortality, bullet-dodging and parkour, and the boss fight with him is based primarily on the encounter planned with Chinaman with the railing parkour from Vamp's encounter thrown in. This explains why a large chunk of the powers Vamp uses in that boss fight are not previously shown in the story at all and come across as a bit random. Chinaman still appears in a flashback, as the dark-haired man in Fatman's arms when Pliskin tells Raiden about Dead Cell.
The unmasked version of Sub-Zero was among the list of characters that were cut out from the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy. However, most of his Special Moves and Finishing Moves were instead given to the masked Sub-Zero.
Playstation All Stars Battle Royale has just about the entire roster taking elements and abilities from their home series with little to no respect for canon. Jak's default outfit takes most of its influence from Jak 3 along with all the outfits he's worn throughout the series, while his Eco abilities match the game they came from by Level. note Eco Vent as his Level 1, Dark Jak as his Level 2 and Light Jak as his Level 3Nathan Drake uses weapons and tactics from Drake's Deception, yet his Level 3 Super utilizes the El Dorado sarcophagus from Drake's Fortune, which has sunk into the ocean by the end of that game. Big Daddy fights like a standard Bouncer type, yet can use plasmids like Subject Delta from BioShock 2 and his unlockable icons reference BioShock Infinite. These are just a few examples.
A literal example from Rockman 4 Minus Infinity: the Chimerabots are combinations of Robot Masters from the firstthreegames: Cut Man and Elec Man for the first, Wood Man and Quick Man for the second, and Needle Man and Gemini Man for the third. Each robot is the body and weapon of one Master with the AI and weapon path of the other.
It's been suggested that Saika Magoichi is a combination of Suzuki Shigehide (who sided with Hideyoshi in SW1-2) and Suzuki Shigetomo (Who sided with Masamune in the latter half of SW2 and SW3), both men who held the title of "Saika Magoichi", which is treated as the composite character's.
Kunoichi stands in for the historical Sanada Ten Braves, while Kotaro Fuma may also be a composite character for the Fuma ninja clan.
Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter Alpha is essentially the two main characters from Art of Fighting combined into one, looking a lot like Robert Garcia, but wearing Ryo Sakazaki's gi.
The Emperor Zul in Super Robot Wars Destiny is a combination of God Mars's Emperor Zul (has his appearance, personality and empire), Daltanias's Emperor Dolmen (because of the Kroppen cloning plot) and the King of Vega (he led the attack that destroyed Planet Fleed))
Mr. Game and Watch from the Super Smash Bros. series primarily looks like the random jumping civilians from the Game and Watch game "Fire", but he has many weapons based on many other Game & Watch games.
Mega Man in the fourth game is mostly the basic design from the Classic series, but uses elements from the Mega Man Megamix manga such as lines around the body and the hands and feet having a subtly different design.
In Tekken3 and Tag Tournament, Ogre has many moves from several characters who didn't appear in the game, most notably Jun, who is rumored to have been killed by him. He also has some of Anna's moves because Anna was originally not going to be included in Tekken 3 as the games were trying to phase out clone characters.
Raven was introduced as a replacement character for Kunimitsu. As Kunimitsu's moves were almost entirely the same as Yoshimitsu's with a few exclusive moves, a new fighting style was developed for Raven, and her exclusive moves were added to his moveset.
All Jacks from Gun Jack onwards are considered regular Jacks, but have the flying move introduced by Tekken 2's Prototype Jack. P. Jack only existed in the first place because the first two games had subbosses.
Lee Chaolan had the same moves as Marshall Law with a few added in the first two games. Tekken 3 introduced Forest Law who has more flips and is more fast moving than Marshall. The Lee Chaolan of Tekken Tag added more of Forest's moves to Lee's moveset, and some more kicks to make him unique. When Marshall returned in Tekken 4, he was like his old self, whereas Lee was more similar to Forest. By Tekken 5, Lee is completely distinct with more kicks, and this is most obvious in Tekken Tag 2 when Forest returned after several absences from games.
When the Touhou game moved from the PC-98 to Windows things changed. One of the striking examples is Marisa, who really only kept the basic theme and appearance of the PC-98 character of that name. Her new personality is much more similar to (the now absent) Mima's.
Both of the Moriya Shrine goddesses, Kanako Yasaka and Suwako Moriya, have elements of several other deities such as Take-Minakata, his wife Yasakatome, and Take-Mikazuchi. It's also implied Kanako came into existence as an in-universe example, from the worship of a group of people venerated as a single entity.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni manages with a in-universe example of this trope with Yasu who created his/her Beatrice persona based upon the ghost legends surrounding Beatrice on Rokkenjima, the rumors about Kinzo's secret lover, her mother's and grandmother's identities and her self.
Gameplay-wise, Cassie from the upcoming Mortal Kombat X is a composite of her two parents, as far as her fighting style goes, combining both Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage's moves from previous games, with a little of Jax and Stryker's thrown in.
In the first X-Men Legends, Allison Crestmere (Magma of the New Mutants) is given a personality and background similar to Kitty Pryde and the powers of her mainstream counterpart. The developers admitted that they wanted to use Kitty Pryde, but her powers don't translate well to an action RPG.
This also applies to most of the characters that appear in the game, as they appear with their mainstream "Earth 616" personalities and backstories, but start by default with their Ultimate appearances. The sequel also adds Age of Apocalypse into the mix.
It's really hard to combine AOA and 616 Sabretooth. Blink sees him as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold because "Mr. Creed" rescued her once (purely out of the goodness of his heart. In character for AOA.) Your character is more familiar with a 616 Sabretooth, saying "If he's got a good heart, it's because he ripped it out of someone's chest!" It really is as if you've met two different Victor Creeds. All the other cast members, though, are the straight-up 616 versions wearing the Ultimate Marvel costumes.
Something Positive does this with its Life Embellished cast, featuring at least a few people who are based off of various people the author has met, merged into one person.
El Goonish Shive merged a background character unofficially called Shy Girl with a minor character named Rhoda who then became more of a supporting character.
Arthur = Xander Harris/Jacob Black/Probably "Oz" Osbourne
A variation occurred in There Will Be Brawl: While fans were still awaiting Young Link and Toon Link to finally show up or be mentioned, like every other character in Super Smash Bros., it's eventually revealed that Link also is Young Link and Toon Link. They were compressed into one character. Link looks at a photo of his younger self. This photo includes both, Young Link/Toon Link, implying that they are both the same guy during the same period of time. Link is just their grown-up version.
Crinoverse The Crinoverse, existing as it does as a combination of multiple superhero universes, has a few of these. There's the Justice Avengers, a combination of the JLA and the Avengers, and a few others-Psimon is a combination of the Champions character and the DC character of the same name.
The Bennet family has three daughters instead of five: Jane, Lizzie and Lydia. Lydia has shades of Kitty (she's not as insufferable as Lydia in the books and, in a sense, has a happier ending). Mary Bennet is present as the girls' cousin.
Bing Lee, the adaptation's version of Mr. Bingley, only has one sister instead of two, Caroline Lee. She also fulfills the role of Anne de Bourgh as a girl who Catherine de Bourgh sees as Darcy's girlfriend and at the end, Caroline's part corresponds to Lady Catherine as someone who unintentionally brings the main couple together when she tries to separate them.
Emma Approved takes place in the same verse as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The latter's Caroline Lee is a verse-spanning Composite Character by taking the place of Emma's Augusta Elton.
TOME has quite a few of these adapted from characters in the original TTA, including Kizuna, who has characteristics of both Ruri (the character she's based on) and Zetto (her status as the Leader of the hackers was most likely taken from him.
Zetto himself also counts [[Spoiler: as a combination of Kirbopher15 from the original and himself, since he is the player who controls both characters in real life, a characteristic he did not have in the original.]] In contrast, many of the things Kirbopher15 did in the original would no longer work, causing Flamegirl and Nylocke to adopt many of his important traits from the original. Flamegirl now wields the antivirus and Nylocke now wields the drain edge/sword, for example.
An odd In-Universe/meta version of this trope can be seen in Adventure Time, in regards to Fionna. At first she seems like nothing more then a gender flipped version of Finn, but a later episode suggests that her voice and various personality quirks were also sub-consciously taken from Ice King's girlfriend, Betty.
Ant-Man was explicitly stated to be a composite character by the show's producers, which is why his real name is never given. He's a scientific authority on Pym Particles like the original Ant-Man, Henry Pym, but wears the costume worn by the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang, in the upcoming Ant-Man movie.
Along those same lines, Mockingbird is given most of Spider-Woman's plot from Secret Invasion, right down to getting kidnapped and replaced by Veranke, the Skrull Queen.
Baron Zemo is another one, mixing first Zemo (fought Cap during World War II and leads Masters Of Evil) with his son, the second Zemo (costume and personality, and the fact he's disfigured due to the actions of Captain America).
Viper combines her comics namesake with Skrull Elektra.
There is also Hulk, who takes from different versions of himself at different periods of time, mixing his original personality, well-known Savage Hulk and recent Green Scar Hulk.
Dr Hugo Strange is initially introduced as the morally ambiguous director of Arkham Asylum, who views the insanity of Batman's villains (and Batman himself) as a fascinating riddle. While he soon becomes the Mad Scientist of the comics, the early appearances owe more to Dr Jeremiah Arkham.
In the final season, Firefly becomes this, when he came into contact with an isotope and gained the powers and (partly) the codename of minor Batman baddie Doctor Phosphorus.
Ethan Bennet/Clayface is a combination of Two-Face (friends with Bruce, anger issues) and Clayface (name, powers).
Batman Beyond once paid homage to the Fantastic Four with the Terrific Trio, which actually consists of two examples: most prominently is team leader Magma, a Rock Monster like the Thing but also associated with fire like the Human Torch, while Freon has more in similarity with Vapor of the U-Foes (enemies of the Hulk) than with the Invisible Girl/Woman.
Clayface is this of the original three men to bear the name in the comics. He's an actor (Basil Karlo) named Matt Hagen who gained shapeshifting powers (Matt Hagen) but consequentially became horribly disfigured (Preston Payne).
Vertigo is a composite of Ebeneezer Darrk and the Green Arrow foe Count Vertigo. His name, powers, and Eastern European heritage come from Count Vertigo, while his status as a pupil of Ra's al Ghul and a turncoat member of the League of Assassins comes from Darrk.
The second Robin who appears in the final season is a composite of the second and third Robins, Jason Todd and Tim Drake, possessing Jason's backstory and general attitude and Tim's name and computer expertise.
Similar to Venom is Firestorm in The original Firestorm was an amalgam of slacker student Ronnie Raymond and physicist Martin Stein, then Raymond and Mikhail Arkadin, then Raymond on his own. After his death the new Firestorm was teenager Jason Rusch, who would combine with whomever happened to be nearby but would eventually combine with his friend Mick Wong, then Stein, then Firehawk, then his girlfriend Gehenna. The animated version was formed by a combination of gym teacher Ronnie Raymond and his student, a pre-teen Jason Rusch (now a science whizz-kid to provide Stein's atomic knowledge). As of Brightest Day and the New 52, the Rusch/Raymond combo is in the comics as well.
The TB&TB incarnation of Damian Wayne combines elements of three separate children of Bruce Wayne from different continuities - obviously he gets his name from Grant Morrison's Batman, but the story he appears in is more like the Golden Age "Imaginary Stories" with Bruce Wayne Jr. (complete with the Framing Story of Alfred writing fiction). And his mother isn't Talia, like comics Damian, or Kathy Kane, like Bruce Jr., but Catwoman like Helena Wayne of Earth-2, who became a vigilante in order to avenge the death of her mother, and continued on, taking her father's place after his subsequent death.
The Weeper in "Joker: The Vile and the Villainous" is based on a Golden Age character who was a foe of Bulletman, but the story itself is based on a team-up between Joker and a character called Willy the Weeper. The composite character has the original Weeper's real name and appearance (and is shown fighting Bulletman in flashback), but like Willy is an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who cries genuine tears for his victims.
The Hunter's name and appearance come from the Faceless Hunters who appeared in Strange Adventures. His role as humanoid frontman for Starro is loosely based on Cobi from R.E.B.E.L.S.
Equinox is two Justice League of America villains: Libra (balance-obsessed, cosmic-powered villain) and the Gray Man (embittered and crazy ex-agent of the Lords of Order).
OMAC enemy General Kafka is combined with the completely unrelated character Shrapnel, for no reason that's easy to figure out.
The Batman of Planet X is an existing character in his own right, but his civilian identity (created for the show) is heavily inspired by Clark Kent. Likewise, Vilsi Vayla is a combination of Vicki Vale (name and appearance) and Lois Lane (personality, voice, and relationship with the two Batmen).
Dilbert revived LOUD HOWARD, a character who'd proved quite popular with readers of the strip but who the author thought was too flat to make much use of. To make him more interesting, the show merged him with Nervous Ted and had him shout constantly about trivial worries.
The 1990s Discworld animated series replaces the unnamed Mended Drum barman in Wyrd Sisters with Hibiscus Dunelm, the new proprietor in Soul Music. Soul Music also gives Adrian "Big Mad Drongo" Turnipseed all the lines belonging to the other two students at the High Energy Magic Building, Skazz and Tez the Terrible. He's also given Skazz's Blinding Bangs.
In the original G.I. Joe animated series, the General Flagg that appears in the original "MASS Device" mini-series has the same name and role as the General Flagg from the comics, but his character design resembles that of General Austin, General Flagg's adviser from the comics.
In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, the Blizzard has the real name of Donnie Gill, the better-known Blizzard II in the comics. But his backstory as an embittered ex-Stark scientist who created the cryosuit comes from Gergor Shapanka, the original Blizzard.
And Justin Hammer is Titanium Man.
Whitney Stane is a composite of Whitney Frost (as Madame Masque) and Ezekiel Stane (as Obadiah Stane's child and a user of the Iron Monger armor).
The Black Knight used in the show is the villainous Nathan Garrett version, but he sports the costume and clean-shaven appearance of Dane Whitman, his his heroic successor.
The same combination (Garrett's personality and identity, Whitman's costume and physical appearance) was used for the Black Knight's appearance in the Avengers: United They Stand tie-in comic.
The version of Julia Carpenter seen in Iron Man has a lot of elements of Pepper Potts thrown in. This is especially obvious in the second season.
Johnny Test has Hank Anchorman in every season following the first; he looked much different in the first season before his design was changed to a human version of the one-off robot anchorman from "Sonic Johnny".
The Flash in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited was the Wally West incarnation, but also had elements of his predecessor Barry Allen (such as being a police scientist rather than a mechanic). His foe Mirror Master was the Sam Scudder version but possessed the amped up, supernatural abilities of his successor.
Also in Justice League Unlimited Steven Mandragora is a combination of Tobias Whale, Black Lighting's Arch-Enemy and Stefano Mandragora, the man murdered the Huntress' parents. Steven Mandragora has Tobias Whale's look and physical strength, but has Mandragora's name and status as the man who murdered Huntress' parents.
One brief gag during the episode The Greatest Story Never Told had Booster Gold see what appears to be Superman fall from the sky, only for "Superman" to turn towards Booster, showing the other is Batman, and addressed Booster with the voice of Wonder Woman.
The spikes on him are reminiscent of Doomsday. The pale skin may be a shout out to Bizarro as well.
A few of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic ponies are Composite Characters with other ponies, due to loss of trademark on the G1 ponies that were meant to be used. Surprise became Pinkie Pie, Firefly got turned into Rainbow Dash, Glory became Rarity, Twilight became Twilight Twinkle (though her name was changed to "Twilight Sparkle"), and Posey became Fluttershy.
Pinkie Pie is the best example of this. G1 Surprise was a fun-loving prankster who used that quality to confuse her enemies when it was time to get dangerous. However, G3 Pinkie Pie was a party planner. FIM Pinkie has Surprise's madcapness and then some but she's the foremost party planner in Ponyville. A lot of FIM characters are a G1 character's personality with a G3 character's name, but the FIM Pinkie Pie is really a fusion of Pinkie Pie and Surprise instead of just being Surprise in Pinkie Pie's colors. (Compare to Rainbow Dash, whose G3 incarnation was more like Rarity in personality, none of it carrying over to FIM RD aside from her color scheme.)
Surprise was originally a Pegasus, and Posey an Earth pony, but the races were switched for their G4 counterparts.
Greedy Smurf is a composite of both Baker Smurf and Chef Smurf and the original comic book version of Greedy.
Painter Smurf in the cartoon show combined elements of the comic book version and Sculptor Smurf. He still is that way in the live-action movie series.
In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Montana of the Enforcers and the Shocker (originally Herman Schultz in the comics) are now a single character. His partner in the Enforcers, Fancy Dan, becomes Ricochet (a hero in the comics continuity). The Ox also gets a power suit, but stays the Ox.
Their boss, Lonnie "Tombstone" Lincoln, also uses the alter-ego "Big Man," originally Frederick Foswell in the comics. (Interestingly, Foswell was in the series, and said that he knew if anyone was the Big Man, it wasn't Lincoln; it's unclear if something would have developed with this had the show not been Screwed by the Lawyers.) As a billionaire Villain with Good Publicity he's also far more reminiscent of the Kingpin than thug-for-hire comic Tombstone, or even the original Big Man, who was more of a street gang leader. Word of God says they were originally going to include the Kingpin as "the Big Man of Crime," but had to Write Around Trademarks since they were only allowed to use official Spider-Man characters. Kingpin is technically a Daredevil villain, so Sony didn't have the rights to him.
And the Cat, Black Cat's Gentleman Thief father, is combined with Uncle Ben's killer, which in turn makes Black Cat combined with Jessica Carradine.
There's also Sable Manfredi. Her role as the loyal daughter of the elderly crime-lord Silvio "Silvermane" Manfredi comes from Alisha Silver in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Her name and appearance are clearly based on Nazi-hunter and occasional Spidey ally Silver Sable (Silver Sablinova).
A minor example, the treacherous business partner who stole Adrian Toomes's inventions and drove him to become the Vulture got folded into Norman Osborn's character. Word of God also suggests that Norman invented Globulin Green himself, while in the comics it was made by his mentor, Mendel Stromm.
Liz Allan's brother Mark has a gambling addiction, much like Betty Brant's brother in the comics.
The Flash is a combination of the second and third Flashes Wally West (name and personality) and Barry Allen (occupation and Base of Operations).
Supervillain Brainiac on this series is a curious amalgamation of the comics' Brainiac and none other than Galactus, from Marvel comics. Since both characters are creations of Jack Kirby, this is a nifty choice. The same year this series was released, DC and Marvel published Amalgam Comics, a series of issues that combined characters from both companies. One of them was Galactiac, amalgam of Galactus and Brainiac. Coincidence?
On The Super Hero Squad Show, Scorpio (Nick Fury's brother in the comics) is Nick Fury himself using the identity to infiltrate Dr. Doom's plans.
In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book, Splinter was the pet rat of ninja master Hamato Yoshi, who gained anthropomorphic qualities after exposure to the mutagen. In the 1987 animated series, Splinter was Hamato Yoshi himself, who gained rat-like qualities due to the mutagen.
The 2003 version averts this, being the only animated adaptation that does so. However, in the first cartoon, the Shredder was teamed up with an exiled, brain-like alien megalomaniac who got around in a robotic body. In this series, the Shredder IS an exiled, brain-like alien megalomaniac operating a robotic body. Although Word of God is that the show runners tried to keep the two dissimilar, Turtles Forever went one step further and gave the 2003 Shredder a body with the same Make My Monster Grow function Krang's android body once displayed. (Shredder even said that Krang's technology and the Utroms worked well together.)
The 2012 cartoon reboot does the same thing, making Splinter and Hamato into the same person once again.
The 2012 show reintroduces Krang, but as a species of aliens called "The Kraang", who wear human disguises and operate covertly, combining the character with the alien species of the Utroms.
Robin from the Teen Titans is an amalgam of the first three characters who went by that name, although he is mainly implied (and later confirmed in the tie-in comics) to be Dick Grayson.
Tim Drake, the second Robin in the The New Adventures of Batman, has Jason's Todd's origin and some of the attendant attitude (plus similar luck with the Joker), but had Tim Drake's name and, judging by his future career as a communications engineer, his intelligence. Typical Robin wisecracking came from both. Perhaps as a result of being partially based on Jason Todd, Tim also had some of young Dick Grayson's traits as well, though Dick himself appears in the series.
This was a shrewd method of giving the lead character more roles in early episodes of Thomas and Friends adapted from The Railway Series novels. Whenever the original novels utilized a generic or unadapted engine, Thomas would be used in it's place. For example, he is the engine that tries to pull Henry out of the tunnel in "The Sad Story of Henry", or the rude engine that fetches James' trucks in "Troublesome Trucks", both of which were unnamed background characters in the original books.
The Fat Controller also took the role of the Narrow Gauge Controller in early episodes. Later on Mr Percival was created to take the role of the Thin Controller from the original books.
During 40's and 50's, MGM's animation studio used two bulldogs named Spike: the famous one seen in Tom and Jerry, and the one Tex Avery made up for his own shorts. Avery's Spike is mostly gone from most modern media involving the characters due to the One Steve Limit, with his role as Droopy's foil taken by Avery's own wolf character. However, for The Tom And Jerry Comedy Show, the Tom and Jerry Spike takes the role of both, acting as and adversary for the cat and mouse and as a character Droopy would interact with (and occasionally be pit against).
The Japanese dub actually did this to everyone by making them all the same characters as the ones in the live action movies. Especially Bulkhead, who was actually even renamed "Ironhide".
However, that's a very informed trait that doesn't show up in the series itself. In fact, comedic elements were added to that particular character that make "Ironhide" even less like Movie Ironhide than Bulkhead was.
Inverted (or something; we're not quite sure what) with Skywarp and Cyclonus. In Transformers Generation 1, Cyclonus may or may not be an upgraded Skywarp (blame error-prone animation for a confusing Transformation Sequence.) The Animated version, however? Skywarp is one of several clones of Starscream, each with one trait of the original taken Up to Eleven. Skywarp represents his cowardice. As for Cyclonus, he's a brief cameo, but All There in the Manual tells us that his "internal chronometer" is way off, he is seeking someone named Galvatron (that's Megatron's upgraded form in G1 and several other series), and he has some circuitry in common with Starscream, particularly his (now disabled) self-preservation instinct. This hints without saying that Cyclonus is from the future and used to be Skywarp.
Shockwave combines the logic-driven mad scientist characterization of his G1 incarnation with the hulking death machine appearance of his Movie counterpart.
As with Transformers Animated, Megatron has taken cues from both his G1 self (his voice actor albeit deeper, the buckethead, his lower legs resemble a pistol's handgrip) and film incarnations (sharp angles on his shoulders, two-toed feet, a demonic face with shark-like teeth, and alt-mode).
The Prime Scraplets are a composite of two Transformer-eating species from the Marvel Comic: The Scraplets (name, small size, that those almost eaten look like having a disease) and the Mechaniballs (general shape, not as small as actual Scraplets, and a more direct, physical approach to eat rather than the Scraplets' "infection and multiplication" one)
In Ultimate Spider-Man Harry Osborn becomes Venom. In most continuities he becomes the second Green Goblin while Venom is a separate character named Eddie Brock.
The origin of the Venom Symbiote also comes from Carnage's origin in Ultimate Spider-Man. The only major difference is that in the original comics, Curt Conners was the one who created the Symbiote from Peter's blood, rather than Doctor Octopus.
Electro starts off in his normal Earth-616 form (complete with the classic costume), but transforms into his energy-based Ultimate counterpart after an accident.
The Power Man used is the original Luke Cage version, but his costume is heavily based off that of Victor Alvarez, the modern Power Man.
Hector Ayala, the original White Tiger, is merged with his own father so that he becomes Ava Ayala's dad (he's her older brother in the comics).
Amadeus Cho becomes the Iron Spider, an identity used by Peter Parker around the time of Civil War in the comics.
The Vulture is the original Adrian Toomes version, but in contrast his comic book counterpart (who has no powers and relies on a winged flight suit), is an actual bird mutate like the Jimmy Natale version of the Vulture.
When Nickelodeon re-introduced America to Winx Club in 2011, they crammed the first two seasons into four, one-hour specials. The season two special, "The Shadow Phoenix," merged Lord Darkar with Professor Avalon by making the latter a disguise. In the original full season, the Avalon the Winx met was an imposter working for Darkar. The change caused a Plot Hole in the third season, since the real Avalon had arrived at Alfea by then.
In W.I.T.C.H. comics Nerissa's Dragon Shagon and bestial Kor were random man and his dog turned into her servants. In the cartoon this fate is given to Will's boyfriend Matt and his pet rat.
In X-Men, Lady Deathstrike was merged with Mariko Yashida, and thus was stated to be Wolverine's former lover from Japan.
In X-Men: Evolution, Avalanche seems to be a combination of the comic book Avalanche (name, role with the Brotherhood) and Rictor of the New Mutants (appearance, the details of how his powers work, occasional consideration of a Heel-Face Turn). The hotheadedness comes from both of them.
In Wolverine and the X-Men, Marrow appears in the Bad Future, where she befriends Rover the Sentinel and takes on the role of Tom Skylark in the comic book Bad FutureHere Comes Tomorrow, only without the Technopathy that explained how Tom had made friends with a Sentinel. Instead, she was given it by Polaris.
The show's version of Arclight is a male like the Age of Apocalypse characters, but sported the powers of the classic Marvel version who's a woman and wears a Spear Counterpart version of her costume.
Young Justice has Artemis, who shares the name and backstory of her counterpart, but also has elements of Arrowette and Mia Dearden thrown in. Notably, the chest emblem on Artemis' costume comes from Mia's Speedy costume.
Match is also given elements from various Bizarros (backwards S, insanity due to the difficulty of copying kryptonian DNA) and Superboy-Prime (carving an S-symbol into his own chest, having black eyes, status as the "original" Superboy).
Mark Desmond/Blockbuster gets his role as control-freak Cadmus boss who created Superboy from Director Westfield.
Klarion the Witch Boy's status as an insanely powerful and evil Lord of Chaos comes from The Child, a foe of Hawk and Dove and the JSA. Also, in "Misplaced" he takes the role of Bedlam in JLA: World Without Grownups.
Red Tornado's siblings Red Torpedo and Red Inferno both believed themselves to be human and became superheroes during the Golden Age. Red Torpedo's human identity was the original Red Torpedo from Quality Comics, and Red Inferno was the All-Star Squadron character Firebrand.
Static replaces Black Vulcan in the show's group of Superfriends analogues. His jacket however is a nod to Vulcan's black and yellow costume. (Presumably, it's because Black Lightning, whom Black Vulcan was based on, is already in the show elsewhere.)