Decomposite Character

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In adapting a work, one sometimes finds there are too many characters to fit on the screen, and some roles can be conveniently squeezed into a single character. Thus the Sidekick, Plucky Comic Relief, and Love Interest might all be the same person. This is the Composite Character.

More rarely, a creator might choose to break a character apart and spread it over several different characters. In this way, you might end up with several characters who are composites of their previous role with a bit of the decomposed character's role. Alternatively, you could simply end up with two characters, each of whom has parts of the old.

This isn't Literal Split Personality. That's when one character is split into two within the show itself.


This is an example. That is also that example.

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     Anime 
  • In Free!, Rei's prototype Kaede was this. According to this interview, when creating the anime, Kouji Ouji, the original light novel's author, wanted an original character to interact with the cast during their time in high school. His appreciation for beauty (as well as his being on the track team and general lack of swimming knowlege) went to Rei, while his easygoing attitude went over to Nagisa. His physical appearance, it would seem, went to Seijuurou (and his sibling Momotaro, as of Eternal Summer). Other characters who inherited his atmosphere include Nitori and Sasabe.
  • In the chapter Live Alive in Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruhi and Yuki fill in for the lead vocalist/guitarist of an unnamed band during the school festival. In the anime equivalent, the band is called Enoz and the lead vocalist/guitarist becomes two members: Miyuki Enomoto (vocalist) and Takako Nakanishi (guitarist).
  • The game Kimikiss featured a main protagonist named Kouichi Aihara; this was split into two distinct protagonists for the anime: Kouichi Sanada (he gained his appearance) and Kazuki Aihara (he gained his soccer skills).
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT, Precia's familiar Linith was turned into Linith Lanster (human form) and Linith II (cat).
  • In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Berg Katse was revealed to be a mutant who could switch genders at will. His female form appeared unmasked as the Dark Action Girl long before The Reveal. In both edited dubs, Battle of the Planets and G-Force: Guardians of Space, that female form either identified herself as a sister or a "loyal follower". BOTP adapted her into at least four separate characters (Zoltar's sister "Mala", a spy named "S-9", another spy named "Hannah", and a reporter named "Ms. Ostric"), due to the writers not knowing they were all intended to be the same person.
    • BOTP also had the habit of taking some Galactor commanders that had more than one episode appearance and adapting them into two separate characters, due to the episodes being translated out-of-order.
  • In Speed Racer, the characters of Skull Duggery and Zoomer Slick were actually the same person in the original Japanese show (Mach Go Go Go): an early rival of Go Mifune named Genzo Sakai who only appeared for a few episodes.
  • In adaptations of Tenchi Muyo! not written by the original author, Mihoshi was given a Galactic Police partner named Kiyone Makibi. When the OVA series was given a sequel in 2005, elements of her character were split among two new ones, Tenchi's fiance Noike Kamiki Jurai, and Mihoshi's sister-in-law, Mashisu Makibi.
  • The anime adapation of The Twelve Kingdoms added new characters Yuka Sugimoto and Ikuya Asano, so that Youko Nakajima would express her thoughts with them, rather than through narration.
  • In the X & Y saga of Pokémon Adventures, the attributes of the Player Character are split between X (The Hero from unknown lands) and Y (Grace's daughter).
  • While Wally from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire is Absent from the classic Pokémon anime, his attributes are divided between May's brother Max (the kid who looks up to The Hero) and her Rival Drew (Green-haired rival).

     Comic Books 
  • At one point The Vision was stated to be the Golden Age Human Torch, who had been rebuilt and given the brain patterns of Wonder Man by Ultron. Avengers West Coast later retconned this story into being Canon Discontinuity, while Avengers Forever established that both versions of the tale were correct via a Timey-Wimey Ball. A split in the timestream created two separate versions of the Human Torch, one of whom was later reactivated and returned to life as a superhero, and the other of whom was rebuilt as the Vision.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • Ultimate X-Men:
      • Despite Wolverine suspecting otherwise, neither James or Heather Hudson were Vindicator, but rather it was John Wraith.
      • William Stryker becomes two characters in the Ultimate X-Men. William Sr. is an anti-mutant military leader, as in the second X-Men film, while William Jr. is the religious extremist from the original comics. However, Stryker's both this trope and Composite Character, as William Jr. later becomes Ultimate Universe Master Mold; gigantic Sentinel.
      • Angel is split into two character, with his "Archangel" identity going to Derek Morgan (not that one).
    • There are three separate versions of The Vision:
    • Ultimate Spider-Man:
      • Miles Warren is mentioned in an earlier issue of Ultimate Spider-Man as Harry's hypnotherapist and is later seen dating Aunt May, but he's not the creator of clone of Spider-Man in this. As with William Stryker, Jr., this also lapses into Composite Character, as that role is taken by Doctor Octopus.
      • Doctor Strange is Stephen Strange, Jr., the son of the original Doctor Strange and Clea.
      • Ben Reilly is an African-American man, instead of a clone of Peter Parker. Again, this also lapses into Composite Character as the Ultimate version of Spider-Woman takes that role, becoming an Opposite-Sex Clone of Peter.
      • Tinkerer gets this treatment with Elijah Stern taking the Tinkerer identity and Phineas Mason (the Tinkerer in the classic Marvel Universe) later appeared in Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual # 2.
      • Scorpion got split into two characters, with his costume and tail going to a clone of Peter, and the second Scorpion being a Mexican crime lord, who is in effect a Race Lifted Mac Gargan with a similar name (Maximus Gargan).
      • Flash Thompson: His sympathetic qualities and admiration for Spider-Man were transferred to original character Kenny Kong, with Ultimate Flash keeping his Jerk Jock personality and traits, which had the unfortunate effect of this one being reduced to a Flat Character.
    • The Ultimates: In addition to the Vision:
      • Emil Blonksy isn't the Abomination, but is an unpowered soldier, with Chang Lam, a Chinese scientist, acting as the Abomination instead.
      • The Incredible Hulk is split into into two characters, with Bruce Banner being the classic Hulk and Tyrone Cash serving as an analogue of Banner's Mr. Fixit persona.
    • In Ultimate Extinction, Gah Lak Tus's heralds are silvery beings which resemble the Silver Surfer. Then Ultimate Fantastic Four introduces the Silver Searcher, who is Norrin Radd from the planet Zenn-La, but has no connection to Gah Lak Tus beyond Reed speculating that the heralds were modelled on his appearance.
  • Nick Fury, due to the popularity of being portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has now been split into two characters in the comics. The classic Nick Fury (who is a white male), and the black and bald Nick Fury, Jr., who is the original's son.
  • Likewise, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie introduced a cool new version of Yondu, who became something of an Ensemble Darkhorse. Unfortunately, he was also absolutely nothing like the Yondu from the comics. Sam Humphries worked around this by introducing a movie-inspired version of Yondu as the distant ancestor of the original Yondu, and this worked out rather well since the original is technically from the 31st century anyway.
  • Spyke from X-Men: Evolution has yet to gain official Canon Immigrant status, but did inspire two separate characters. The Spike from X-Force got Spyke's powers and a variation of his Codename, while David Munroe from Black Panther got his status as Storm's nephew and the middle name "Evan" (Spyke's name was Evan Daniels).
  • Geldoff from Ultimate Spider-Man has gotten the reverse treatment in the mainstream Marvel Universe. The first was a member of the Initiative known as Proton, who died during Secret Invasion, while Inhumanity has since introduced a teen boy named Geldhoff as one of the new Inhumans.
  • In The Smurfs comic book story "King Smurf", the title character gives Harmony Smurf a drum to become the official messenger of the Smurf Village as Drummer Smurf. Later appearances of Drummer Smurf are assumed to be Harmony Smurf temporarily taking the role again to give important information. However, Harmony Smurf and Drummer Smurf briefly appear together in "The Finance Smurf" thus becoming separate characters from then on.
  • In most versions of Sonic the Hedgehog Super Sonic is just a transformation of Sonic's but in Sonic the Comic Super Sonic is a separate character and Sonic's Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Doctor Robotnik and Doctor Eggman are two different characters. Eggman started off as Robotnik's Alternate Universe counterpart, but replaced him once Archie decided to have Robotnik Killed Off for Real and wanted to introduce a more game-accurate version of the character.
  • Mecha Sonic from the games is both this and a Composite Character in both comic adaptations. In the games, the robotic Sonic from Sonic 2 (nicknamed Silver Sonic by fans) and the one from Sonic & Knuckles are two different models of the same robot, Mecha Sonic (not to be confused with Metal Sonic). A redesigned version of the first model made a cameo in Sonic Adventure. Another alternate design of the original one was seen in the 8-bit version of Sonic 2, which is a separate game, and possibly a separate continuity, from the 16-bit game.
    • Fleetway: The Sonic 2 incarnation had a brief unnamed appearance in one of the earliest issues. Then when the Sonic & Knuckles adaptation came, its Mecha Sonic version was used, but instead of being a new model of the Sonic 2 robot, he was treated a as new version of Metal Sonic (or at least that's what Sonic seemed to think). Also worth of note is the Emperor Metallix saga, in which the villains are an army of Metal Sonics, led by a large red Metal Sonic whose design is loosely based on Metal Sonic Kai (Metal Sonic's ultimate form from Chaotix).
    • Archie: Sonic's roboticized form was given the name of Mecha Sonic, as well as a similar (but not identical) look to the S&K incarnation. Then a robotic Sonic based on the Sonic 2 incarnation named Silver Sonic (this is most likely where the name comes from) was introduced a bit later. After that, another robot going by the name of Silver Sonic II, whose design was based on the Sonic Adventure look, was introduced. Adding to the confusion, Metal Sonic was incorrectly called Mecha Sonic in his first appearances, despite being a separate character.
      • Adding even more confusion, it was eventually established that the original Metal Sonic that went by the name of Mecha Sonic is a separate character from the current Metal Sonic and goes by the name of Shard the Metal Sonic now. So Metal Sonic is both a composite and decomposite character as well.
    • Sooooo, to recap, we have, in order of first appearance:
      • Shard the Metal Sonic, aka Mecha Sonic, aka Metal Sonic, who is based on Metal Sonic from Sonic CD.
      • Mecha Sonic, Sonic's roboticized form, which seems to be loosely based on Mecha Sonic from S&K.
      • Silver Sonic, who is based on the Sonic 2 model of Mecha Sonic.
      • Silver Sonic II, who is based on the Sonic Adventure redesign of the Sonic 2 version of Mecha Sonic.
      • An army of Metal Sonics based on Neo Metal Sonic, Metal Sonic's enhanced form from Sonic Heroes. They all appeared in a single story arc and were destroyed at the end of this one.
      • The current Metal Sonic, originally treated as the same character as the original one. Also based on the games' Metal Sonic.
      • Prototype Silver Sonic, who was retroactively introduced in a flashback after the Continuity Reboot and is based on the Mecha Sonic from the 8-bit Sonic 2. Wheeeeew!
  • The X-Men member Maggott appeared as two separate characters in the Ultimate Marvel universe; one as a murdered teenager, and the other as a young child who was living in the sewers of New York after the rise of the Sentinels.
  • Icemaiden originally debuted in the Super Friends comic book, with her real name given as Sigrid Nansen. When the character was made canon years later, Justice League International established that her real name was in fact Tora Olafsdotter, and she eventually changed her superhero Codename to Ice. Subsequent writers revealed that Sigrid and Tora were two different characters, and that Sigrid had simply given the Icemaiden name to Tora after resigning from the Global Guardians.
  • Larry Hama once pitched to Marvel a book called Fury Force, about Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. fighting against HYDRA, led by Captain America enemy Baron Zemo. The pitch was rejected, but Hama would later recycle it as his G.I.Joe comics; many elements of Zemo were split between Hama's versions of Destro and Cobra Commander.
  • Transformers:
    • In the Transformers Generation 1 cartoon and comics, Galvatron was a future version of Megatron that was reformatted by Unicron. In the ongoing IDW continuity, Galvatron is an ancient Transformer who left Cybertron long before the miner from Tarn named Megatron began his uprising. As of the Dawn of the Autobots storyline, Megatron has renounced the Decepticon movement he founded and become The Atoner, while Galvatron has taken the opportunity to take command of those Decepticons still loyal to the cause.
    • In the original cartoon and comic, Bumblebee was critically injured and received an upgrade while being rebuilt, becoming Goldbug and joining the Throttlebots. In the IDW franchise, Goldbug is a Throttlebot unrelated to Bumblebee, with both existing contemporaneously (circa the events of All Hail Megatron). So far, though, Goldbug has appeared only once, in Spotlight: Metroplex.
    • Buster Witwicky was the young human who befriended the Autobots in the original comics. Spike Witwicky was the young human who befriended the Autobots in the cartoon. While the cartoon went though a Time Skip Twenty Minutes into the Future, giving Spike a family of his own, the comics remained contemporary to The '80s, and introduced Spike as Buster's older brother who'd gone away to college before the start of the comic.
  • The New 52 does this to Cyborg-Superman, as it's not Hank Henshaw, who's shown to still be fully human. However, it lapses with Composite Character, as Cyborg-Superman turned out to be Superman's uncle and Supergirl's father, Zor-El.
  • Also in The New 52, Lobo was split into two characaters: the most familiar face, with the pre-New 52 appearance, is said to be an Identity Impersonator, while an all-new different looking character showed up claiming to be the real Lobo (altough many fans wish it to be the other way round).
  • DC Comics' Earth One has done this twice and comibined it with Gender Flip:
    • Superman: Earth One sees Lex Luthor's main traits are divided between the Luthor couple, Dr. Lex Luthor and his wife Alexandra. Moves into Gender Flip with Lex dying and Alexandra taking up his name.
    • Simiarly, in Batman: Earth One, Harvey Dent and his sister, Jessica, become disfigured. As with Lex Luthor, Harvey died and it's Jessica who serves as this setting's Two-Face.
  • Superman
    • Ursa and Faora combine this with Canon Immigrant. In the 1978 film, and its sequel, Faora was introduced as a Kryptonian villainess renamed Ursa. Faora continued to appear in the comics, but later Ursa was introduced as a separate character.
  • The Death of Superman's third act, Reign of the Supermen!, features the titular four Supermen as pretenders to the dead Superman's legacy, each representing one aspect of his personality. The Cyborg Superman (a psychotic dead astronaut in an indestructible robotic body) represents Superman's sheer power and strength, though he lacks his moral compass; Superboy (a teenage clone of Superman) represents his free spirit and his humble origins; the Eradicator (a brutal crime-fighting Kryptonian android) represents his alien nature; and Steel (a brilliant engineer who resolves to fight crime with a suit of Powered Armor) represents his idealism and courage. To drive the point home, each of the Supermen takes on one of Superman's nicknames: the Cyborg Superman is "The Man of Tomorrow", Superboy is "The Metropolis Kid", the Eradicator is "The Last Son of Krypton", and Steel is "The Man of Steel".
  • * The New 52 took years to reintroduce Wally West, and when they did he was back to being twelve-year-old, had no connection to his previous True Companions (who were still adults), had a different personality and back story, and, due to a Race Lift, didn't even look the same. In what may well have been an Author's Saving Throw, DC Rebirth begins with the reveal that the previous version of Wally is stuck in the Speed Force, while the New 52's version is actually his cousin, both of them having been named for their great-grandfather.
  • In original The Green Hornet media Britt Reid was Britt Reid and the fact the radio series was made and set in the thirties and forties and the TV series was made and set in the sixties was just one of those Comic-Book Time things. The NOW comics series famously established that the original Britt was the uncle of the TV Britt, who in turn was the uncle of the comic's Paul and Alan Reid, making the Hornet a Legacy Character.
  • All-New Wolverine introduces the Sisters, four clones of X-23 created by Alchemax: Zelda, Bellona, X23_3PAR ("given" name unknown), and Gabby. Each of the girls echo aspects of Laura and her personality at different stages of her life:
    • Zelda is Laura's maturity and icy stoicism in the face of danger, along with her tactical acumen.
    • Bellona shares her rage and impulsiveness.
    • X23_3PAR represents her fatalism and determination.
    • Gabby is unique in that she's what Laura could have been; she's the innocence that was stolen from her by the Facility.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Simpsons AU The Fourth Simpson Child, Lisa's role in the series is split with the author's OC Samantha (her older sister and the titular character). This was done so the two could serve as Foils of each other. Both are quite intelligent young girls, but Lisa lets that go to her head, making her an arrogant Jerk Ass, whilst Samantha is a Wide-Eyed Idealist who is genuinely kind to everyone she meets.
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Clumsy and Dimwitty appear as separate characters, whereas in the comic books Dimwitty and Clumsy are assumed to be one and the same.
    • Tracker and Tapper had characteristics from the adult Nat Smurf divvied up between the two of them since Nat Smurf in the series did not appear as anything but a Smurfling from Smurfling Island.
  • In Avatar: The Last Alicorn, the roles of Jet, Mai and Katara are all split up, sometimes even among the same character.
    • Prince Blueblood represents Jet pre-season 2 in being antagonistic to team avatar despite sharing similar goals at first. However, he then takes on the role of Mai, in being the "prince zuko" of the fic's Love Interest.
    • "Flowerbloom" represents Mai's combat skills, and being one of the Azula's best friends.
    • Suri takes on Jet's obsessive pursuit of water benders when in Ba Sing Se.
    • Rainbow Dash has Katara's combat prowess and fierce temper.
    • Fluttershy meanwhile has Katara's healing abilities, and motherly personality.
  • In Tangled In Time, Tetra and Shiek were disguises of Zelda, in story they are now three separate characters and are each other's siblings.
  • Weirdly common in Danny Phantom fanfic, where "Danny" and "Phantom" will inexplicably be presented as two separate characters. To be fair, there was an episode where this happened, but in fanfic it's just presented as a permanent fact, and the two sides generally don't have the personalities from that episode. Also, in fanfic, these two are usually paired together.
  • In Disney High School, Vanessa appears as the school's Alpha Bitch. Word of God says that she might introduce Ursula as her mother at some point, rather than them being the same person as in The Little Mermaid.

     Film — Animated 
  • In Astro Boy, Dr. Tenma's Face–Heel Turn actions from the series was given to president Stone in the film.
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm takes elements of the story Year Two. The Reaper was Judson Caspian. However, despite both being voiced by Stacy Keach, Carl Beaumont isn't the Phantasm. Instead, it's his daughter, Andrea, who takes up the role.
  • In Big Hero 6 Hiro Takachiho got this treatment when being adapted into Hiro Hamada, his Canon Foreigner brother Tadashi took some of Hiro's triats, including his maturity and being the one who built Baymax.
  • Disney decomposed Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame into two characters. In the book, Archdeacon Claude Frollo is a tragic Anti-Villain. In the Disney film, the Archdeacon is a sympathetic character while Frollo is a separate character and outright evil.
  • The short film 9 had 5 as the old, wise, one-eyed mentor of the title character. Its feature length adaptation gave much of 5's original personality and role to 2 (a Posthumous Flat Character in the short), while 5 kept his one-eyed appearance and was relegated to 2's pupil.

     Film — Live Action 
  • Apollo 13 composited a whole team of astronauts and engineers working to figure out how to power up the command module again into Ken Mattingly and a couple of other guys. Inversely, the team of engineers who figured how to make the Command Module's air filters fit the (incompatible) slots of the Lunar Module were a decomposition of a single engineer who devised the solution while driving to work.
  • King Kong (2005). The original movie had the character Jack Driscoll; he was the love interest, the ship's first mate, and a swashbuckling square-jawed he-man. In the 2005 remake, these three character traits were given to three separate characters: Jack Driscoll, Mr. Hayes, and Bruce Baxter, respectively.
  • In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Jacob Marley is split into the brothers Jacob and Robert Marley to accommodate being played by Those Two Guys, Statler and Waldorf.
  • X-Men
    • Rogue is a composite character of Rogue and Kitty Pryde. However, Kitty herself also appears, making her an example of this trope.
    • Moira MacTaggert was changed to an American CIA agent in her late twenties/early thirties during the Cuban Missile Crisis in X-Men: First Class, so Olivia Williams' Scottish doctor in X-Men: The Last Stand (who is in her late thirties in 2006) becomes a separate person in the movie-verse who happens to share the same name.
    • Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class is a grown woman, despite the film being set decades before a much younger girl with a different background, but similar powers (minus telepathy) appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The girl was supposed to be Emma Frost, but this was changed at the last minute by the producers. She is not named in the movie, and even the end credits only call her "Emma" (and not "Emma Frost"). While many accused First Class of creating a plot hole, in reality, they are two separate characters.
    • The Wolverine: Silver Samurai is split into two separate characters. Harada (Samurai's civilian ID in the comics) is depicted as a ninja and Mariko's former lover, while the ACTUAL Silver Samurai is Mariko's grandfather, Ichirō, who uses a silver suit of samurai-themed powered armor.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: In the comics, Magda was the mother of both Nina (the Adaptation Name Change for Anya) and Quicksilver, but in the movie-verse, Magda and Ms. Maximoff are two distinct characters; the former is Erik Lehnsherr's wife, and the latter is a woman he once had a fling with in the mid-1950s. Nina and Peter Maximoff are therefore half-siblings.
  • This is basically the reason Soundwave wasn't in the first Transformers movie. His role was originally going to be tracking down the Witwicky glasses through the use of deployers like Frenzy and Ravage. But there came a moment when he would change his al-mode from a helicopter to a humvee, as per Transformers tradition of Size Shifting. When Michael Bay came on board he made a verdict of no size changing for the robots, insisting they fit inside their vehicles. So to fit the story together they had to split up the role among different characters, with the reduced screentime they chose to leave him out rather than do it sub-par. The helicopter Blackout was the closest approximation (with extreme loyalty to Megatron and a dislike of Starscream) and the cop car Barricade filling part of his role.
  • In the 1960 film 13 Ghosts, the character Elaine is a medium, the dead uncle's female assistant, and the housekeeper. The 2001 remake Thir13en Ghosts has the 3 separate characters of a (male) medium, the uncle's female assistant, and the housekeeper.
  • In another of the numerous Robin Hood examples, Disney's The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men has Scarlet, Scathlocke, and Stutley as separate characters, despite the first two definitely being, and the third probably being, variations on the same character's name in the legends.
  • Star Wars
    • According to Word of God, each of Darth Sidious' primary lieutenants in the Star Wars prequel trilogy is meant to foreshadow some aspect of Darth Vader's personality before Anakin finally becomes Darth Vader at the conclusion of the trilogy. Darth Maul is an unquestioningly loyal Sith warrior who serves Sidious as an enforcer and assassin, Count Dooku is a fallen Jedi Knight who serves the Separatists as a political and military leader, and General Grievous is a grotesque human-machine hybrid who requires cybernetic implants to survive and eventually gets set on fire.
    • The situation concerning evolution of the characters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn during the writing process is also something to consider. Obi-Wan originally being written to go to Naboo alone, corroborated by released concept art, and thus taking up the role of being in charge of saving the queen and discovering Anakin on Tatooine. Naturally going on to take the role of his primary mentor in the subsequent chapters. Qui-Gon originally being the name of a Jedi friend of his that Obi-Wan meets up with on Coruscant that joins with him during the mission to liberate Naboo. Obi-Wan's original role in the film/trilogy being split up among the existing Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. Qui-Gon being made Obi-Wan's Jedi Master, the duo being on the mission to Naboo, and having Jinn be the one to find and take Anakin to the Jedi. With Obi-Wan pursuing taking Anakin as his apprentice after Qui-Gon's death, and act in that role in the following film.
  • In the original stage version of A Man for All Seasons, a character called the Common Man acts as a Greek Chorus and plays several different roles, including Thomas More's servant Matthew and More's executioner. In the film, all of those roles are now separate characters, with some of the Common Man's more critical comments going to Matthew.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Ant-Man makes Hank Pym a retired superhero who used to be Ant-Man back in the 80's. Yellowjacket, the costumed identity Pym later adopted in The Avengers, is used by Darren Cross (a completely separate character in the comics). This makes Cross both a Decomposite Character and a Composite Character.
    • The same thing is done with Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp. Jan is the original Wasp back in the 1980's, and in the present, her daughter, Hope Van Dyne, takes over the identity as the modern Wasp. Like Yellowjacket, this manages to be a mix of a Decomposite and Composite Character.
    • In the comics, Ultron was built by Ant-Man. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the role as Ultron's creator was split between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner.
    • The Vision was created by Ultron and Professor Horton in the comics, but their role is divvied up between several other characters in the movie. His body is first created by Helen Cho as a new vessel for Ultron, but Bruce Banner and Tony Stark place the sentient JARVIS AI inside of it instead, while a bolt of Thor's lightning is what finally brings Vision to life.
    • Ulysses Klaw appears in Age of Ultron, but not Captain America: Civil War, where his role as King T'Chaka's murderer is given to Baron Zemo instead.
    • Captain America (1990) had Lt. Colonel Louis, a charming, friendly handsome, moustached Southerner who was Cap's superior and possibly friend. Captain America: The First Avenger has Colonel Philips, a charismatic Southerner who is Cap's superior, and Howard Stark, a charming, moustachoed, handsome pal of Steve's. Whether this was deliberate is something else entirely.
    • In the comics, Drax the Destroyer is constantly trying to kill Thanos because Thanos killed his family. However, in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, it's changed so that Ronan the Accuser is the one who killed Drax's family. Drax starts off with a grudge against Ronan, but once Ronan is killed, he sets his sights on Thanos (since the killings occurred while Ronan was working for Thanos).
    • Iron Man 3 somehow manages to do both this and Composite Character. The Mandarin is decomposed into Trevor Slattery, an actor playing the part of an evil terrorist mastermind, and Aldrich Killian, the Big Bad who hired him who at the end proclaims himself the real Mandarin; the first Iron Man also had the Ten Rings, which are also an allusion to the Mandarin. Yet, Aldrich Killian is also a one-shot character from the comics (the co-creator of Extremis, the super serum that drives the plot) and here is a composite of himself, The Mandarin, as stated, and the AIM Scientist Supreme- although admittedly that's more of a job title than one character, it's still not one who has anything at all to do with the comic book Killian.
      • The short film All Hail The King later confirms that there is also a real Mandarin out there, making that three separate characters calling themselves the Mandarin at some point or another.
      • Iron Man 3 has an example between its pitch and final script. Originally, Tony was to seduce a fellow scientist while helping her with some ideas (the basis for Extremis) and then ditch her. The spurned scientist would then become the Big Bad. Executive Meddling forced them to split the role between two characters: Aldrich Killian (spurned scientist who becomes the Big Bad), and Maya Hansen (scientist Tony helped while seducing her, who becomes Killian's Number Two).
    • Also, in the comics, the Iron Patriot was Norman Osborn. Because Marvel hadn't yet made the deal with Sony to integrate Spider-Man into the MCU when Iron Man 3 was made, James Rhodes ended up being the movie version of Iron Patriot instead. Now that Marvel can use Spider-Man characters in the movies, it's likely that Osborn will exist in the MCU.
    • In the MCU in general, it's shown that there are two Infinity Gauntlets.
    • Following the lead of the 70's TV show (see below) the Thor movie makes Thor and his alter-ego Donald Blake two separate characters, though Blake is The Ghost and is just a Mythology Gag with Thor briefly using his name as an alias.
  • Similarly to the some of the other Marvel Comics adaptation examples, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 does this to Norman Osborn, with his role as the original Green Goblin and Gwen Stacy's killer taken by his son, Harry (who took up the mantle after his father in the comics).
  • In the film The Ghost Breakers, Bob Hope plays a cowardly funny guy with the same first and last name who gets the girl. In The Remake, "Scared Stiff", Jerry Lewis plays a cowardly funny guy with the same first and last name, and Dean Martin gets the girl.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), the traditional Shredder roles are split between Oroku Saki/The Shredder, and his pupil, Eric Sacks. Sacks leads the Foot Clan openly and is the mastermind of the plans, while Saki largely functions as a bruiser who keeps threats like the Turtles at bay. This is largely due to the fact that the film originally intended Eric Sacks to actually be The Shredder, with reshoots and edits used to insert Saki back into the story after the Internet Backdraft the film received over making the Shredder into a white guy.
  • From Disney's Maleficent: The title character remains mostly intact throughout the film; however, during the final battle, she retains her humanoid form, and her iconic dragon form is instead given to her raven/servant, Diaval (who Maleficent has a tendency to transform into various creatures throughout the film, such as a human).
  • In Annie (2014), the closest thing we get to Rooster Hannigan is both Guy and Annie's unnamed fake father. Guy is the one who plots to send Annie away with phony parents for his own gain, and "Easy Street" is now sung by him and Hannigan. The latter is the one who poses as Annie's father (alongside her "mother"), and nearly succeeds in kidnapping her, as Rooster and Lily did.
  • Mortdecai is based on several of the Charlie Mortdecai novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli, with the plot being sort of a composite of the first novel, Don't Point That Thing With Me as well as the unfinished final novel The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery. In the first book, Mortdecai meets Johanna Krampf, the nymphomaniac wife of a wealthy American businessman, and is married to her in later installments. Johanna is characterized as pretending to be a Brainless Beauty, and beneath the surface having ruthless and cunning traits. Here, Mortdecai is married to Johanna, who is cunning, but a rather different character, belonging to British high society. There is also a separate character, Georgina Krampf, the nymphomaniac daughter of a wealthy American businessman, who gets Book!Johanna's Brainless Beauty façade and hidden untrustworthiness.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service:
    • Some character traits are transferred from Rupert Greaves, the chief training officer, to Sir Giles, head of the secret service, forming Merlin and Arthur, respectively.
    • Mark Hamill is combined with James Arnold to become... James Arnold as played by Mark Hamill. Much of James Arnold remains in the form of a new character, Richmond Valentine.
  • In the novel Beastly, a twist at the ends reveals that Kendra the witch and Kyle's housekeeper were actually the same person. The Film of the Book leaves this out, making them separate people.
  • The James Bond franchise has examples of this. Often times aspects of characters being split apart into new ones in different movies.
    • The character Graf Hugo von der Drache, better known by the name Hugo Drax, from Fleming's novel Moonraker has been split up quite a bit.
      • Naturally there is the adaptation of Drax in the film version of Moonraker portrayed by Michael Lonsdale whose similarities include sharing a name, though it appears to be his real name rather than an alias, and position as a wealthy industrialist with confused national roots who for one reason or another tries acting English and produces rockets of some kind.
      • Subsequently there was Alec Trevelyan of Goldeneye played by Sean Bean whose similarities including having very similar scarring to the right half of his face that was also caused by an explosion, both manage to infiltrate British society by feigning a lack of memory about his past association with enemies of theirs when picked up by English forces, each is thought of as a British patriot who fought for his country at the start, and both plan to get revenge on England by hitting London with a super weapon. Both also managing to arrange the attack in such a way that it could make a hefty financial profit as well.
      • There is also Col. Tan-Sun Moon aka Gustav Graves from Die Another Day played by Toby Stephens and Will Yun Lee. In that both characters were members of a hostile force that winds up changing his name and faking his nationality to be English, subsequently becomes a wealthy businessman, manages to get knighted, and instigates a project that he sells as being beneficial for the world but actually plans to use as a weapon to help vindicate his people/party. Each also has some form of competition with Bond at an establishment called the Blades Club.
    • In the novel Live and Let Die, Bond has an ally named Quarrel, who is later killed in Dr. No. Because Dr. No was the first 007 book to be made into a film, the later Live and Let Die movie gave Quarrel's role in the plot to Quarrel Jr., the Suspiciously Similar Son of the original.
    • The character Francisco Scaramanga from the novel The Man with the Golden Gun was also split up into multiple characters in the series.
      • For starters there is the adaptation of Scaramanga from the film version of The Man with the Golden Gun played by Christopher Lee. Beyond sharing the name both have the iconic golden gun weapon as well as the nickname that comes with it, both early in their lives serves as a trick shot at a circus, both killing a man who killed a circus elephant he had befriended which led to them running away and finding themselves taken into a powerful group (the Spangled Mob and the KGB), eventually becoming the world's most notorious assassin.
      • Other elements of his character can be found in Franz Sanchez from Licence to Kill portrayed by Robert Davi. Including elements such as his more thug-like nature, both are associated with a drug running scheme/organization, and Bond manages to get into his inner circle by getting a job under him with his cover eventually being blown by one of the villain's associates.
      • A case could also be made for Tiago Rodriguez, better known as Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem from Skyfall takes some cues as well. With regard to how he is a Hispanic criminal/agent of some kind portrayed as Bond's equal/dark counterpart who he must track down and defeat, because he has been causing the deaths of several agents, after returning from a leave of absence that led to everyone believing he was dead and in need of redeeming himself to MI6. Both could also be described as being sexually ambiguous to some degree. They also each have a "William Tell" scene with Bond.
    • In both the novel and the movie Thunderball, SPECTRE hires a pilot to steal a pair of nuclear warheads. However, the movie changes their agent from Giuseppe Petacchi, a single pilot from World War II who is willing to sell out for a high enough price, and splits him into François Derval, NATO pilot, and the thoroughly-evil Angelo, a SPECTRE agent trained to kill him and take his place.
  • Despite being present in The Dark Knight, Sal Maroni's role of scarring Harvey Dent, transforming him into Two-Face, is taken by the Joker. Maroni still had an indirect role in it, such as being the one who hired the Joker.

     Literature 
  • Oscar Wilde said about The Picture of Dorian Gray that the artist, Basil is who he actually is; Lord Henry is who the world sees him as; and Dorian is who he would like to be. So, it is this effect via Author Avatar.
  • In The History of Middle-earth, this process is apparent in the development of what became The Silmarillion.
    • In the Lost Tales Finrod Felagund and his nasty, treacherous cousin Celegorm were originally the same elf. He'd sworn an oath to seize the Silmaril jewels from anyone who found them, by any means necessary, then swore an oath to aid the family of Barahir in anything they wanted, then met Beren who wanted help getting a Silmaril for King Thingol. The conflict of interest was so bad it split him apart into two characters!
    • Finrod was also the father of Galadriel and her brothers; this is why, at the beginning of Fellowship Of The Ring, Gildor refers to himself as part of the "house of Finrod," and this name is used in the appendices as well. Later on, Tolkien merged Finrod with his son Inglor, and renamed the father of the house to Finarfin.
    • Finwë Nolemë, the original king of the Noldoli (Noldor), was Turgon's father but not Fëanor's, and led the Noldoli at the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. When Tolkien merged Finwë Nolemë with Fëanor's father Bruithwir who died in Valinor, he then split the Composite Character into Finwë, his son Fingolfin, and his grandson Fingon — hence why their names are so similar.
    • In The Lost Road Elendil has one son, Herendil. In The Lord of the Rings Herendil has been split into two sons, Isildur and Anárion; Herendil resembles Isildur more, with a fiery and somewhat rebellious spirit and a fascination with Sur (Sauron).
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe New Series Adventures novel The Resurrection Casket is Treasure Island Recycled In Space. There's a character called Jimm, who has all the characteristics of Jim Hawkins, but most of the key plot points go to Rose Tyler.
  • In the Robin Hood ballads, the character Much the Miller's Son is occasionally called Midge instead. In The Gallows in the Greenwood, they become two separate characters: Much, one of the more important outlaws, and his younger brother Midge who turns out to be a girl wearing men's clothing for safety and convenience; the outlaws all know, but the POV character who meets her takes a while to catch on.
  • The Covenant Of Primus, set in the Transformers Aligned Universe, takes a page from IDW Publishing's Transformers comics and has Galvatron as a separate entity from Megatron. In fact, this Galvatron was active before Megatron was.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Sun Jian has two wives, the older Lady Wu (mother of Sun Ce, Sun Quan, and several other children) and her fictional younger sister who is nicknamed as "Wu Guotai" (mother of Sun Lang and Princess Sun a.k.a. Sun Shangxiang). Historically, Lady Wu has no sister and Sun Shangxiang is Lady Wu's biological daughter while Sun Lang's mother's identity is unknown.
  • Les Misérables has Reformed Criminal Jean Valjean who is on the run from his past, being chased by the original Inspector Javert, a police officier born in jail by a gypsy mother and a convicted criminal father who nevertheless rose to the rank of Inspector and him being a insanely Lawful Neutral By-the-Book Cop. Both of these characters are based on Eugine Francois Vidocq, an 18th-century French businessman running from his criminal past, only for him to eventually reach an arrangement with the authorities that allowed him to use his experience as a criminal to catch other criminals, becoming a law enforcer that served as the acknowledged inspiration of Edgar Allan Poe's Detective C. Auguste Dupin.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire is part high-fantasy and part Historical Fiction by other means. George R. R. Martin modelled Westeros and the main cast on the Wars of the Roses and The Hundred Years War, and generally works by taking certain traits, events, characters from history and then divide and multiply it several times.
    • The most interesting case is that of Richard Of Gloucester, King Richard III. At least four characters - Ned Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Tyrion Lannister and Theon Greyjoy have aspects dealing with his life and legend. Ned Stark shares Gloucester's popularity in Northern England. Stannis has his No Social Skills among the English nobility, stemming from his rigid sense of duty and justice, as well as his gifts as a military commander. Tyrion Lannister is essentially a tribute to the rhetorical splendor of Shakespeare's Richard III, complete with disability and Deadpan Snarker {{Angst}, he's eventually framed for the death of his nephew (like some historians believe of Richard himself) and becomes so notorious that a play is made of his life in Braavos which does for him what Shakespeare did for his counterpart. Theon Greyjoy's reputation as the killer of the young Stark Princes directly echoes the "Princes of the Tower" legend, with Theon subsequently tortured into becoming a disabled freak with a limp called, "Reek"note 
    • Likewise, King Edward IV of the House of York is bifurcated into King Robert Baratheon (a former womanizing warrior grown fat and lazy in age) and King Robb Stark (for his unpopular marriage that alienates a key supporter). Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick is converted into Tywin Lannister (who also has bits of King Edward Longshanks and King Philip le Bel) and Walder Frey. While Henry Tudor (who landed in England under the Welsh Dragon) could be Aegon VI or Daenerys Targaryen(who also has aspects of Tudor's grandaughter, Queen Elizabeth).
  • The Discworld novel Maskerade which pastiches The Phantom of the Opera has two Opera Ghosts, carefully splitting the "dashing romantic" elements of the Phantom from the "psychotic murderer" elements.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Agent Carter
    • The show does this with some of the Howling Commandos as a result of making use of Suspiciously Similar Substitute characters. In Captain America: The First Avenger, one of the featured Commandos is James Montgomery Falsworth, who in the comics is the costumed hero Union Jack. The film version of Falsworth is heavily based on the comicbook Howling Commando member Percival "Pinky" Pinkerton, and is thus a Composite Character of the two. In Agent Carter, since Falsworth's actor was unavailable, Pinky Pinkerton fills his role (which oddly makes him a Composite Character of himself). In the same episode, the Commandos speculate on a nickname to give Peggy, and propose "Miss Union Jack".
    • Shared with the Iron Man films, the comic books featured Edwin Jarvis, butler to Tony Stark and eventually the rest of the Avengers. In the movies, the character was changed to JARVIS, Tony's assistant AI; but when Agent Carter started it introduced the human version of Jarvis as Howard Stark's butler.
  • Arrowverse:
    • On Arrow:
      • The comic character of Deathstroke, an Anti-Villain with occasional touches of Anti-Hero, has been decomposed into two characters in the island flashbacks. His name, Slade Wilson, and better fighting ability go to an Anti-Hero mentor to Oliver. His mask and villainous nature, with slightly lesser fighting prowess goes to Billy Wintergreen, Slade's butler in the comics and here his former partner. In Season Two, Slade eventually takes on traits of the latter, however, and becomes closer to the comic self.
      • Green Arrow's Evil Counterpart Merlyn becomes Tommy Merlyn and his father Malcolm Merlyn. Tommy initially served as a Red Herring before his dad was revealed as the Dark Archer.
      • Similarly, from the start, Oliver's Love Interest was Dinah Laurel Lance, the civilian identity of Black Canary, here depicted without her powers or vigilante identity (and going by her middle name). In Season 2, however, they're introducing Black Canary (simply dubbed The Canary) as a separate character, with Laurel planned to take the identity later, as with above. This actually makes her a double Decomposite; in the comics, Canary was a Legacy Character, with her mother being the original; her mother has appeared on the show as a non-vigilante (as far as we know), so this new Canary is basically also a Composite Character of both the original Dinah Drake Canary and Dinah Laurel Lance versions of the character.
      • In the comics, the Green Arrow's Friend on the Force is CIA Agent Edward Fyers. Here, Fyers was made into a villain and his Friend on the Force role is incorporated to Black Canary's father, Detective/Officer/Captain Quentin Larry Lance.
      • In the comics and most media, Roy Harper is Oliver Queen's very first ally who was kicked out due to his drug addiction. In the show, the now Canon Immigrant John Diggle takes the role of Oliver's very first ally before Roy is even introduced while his drug problems were distributed to Thea Queen (pre-Season 1) and Laurel Lance (Season 2), though he technically had a drug problem on the show itself in the form of the Mirakuru.
      • Shado appears in the show and is still an archer, but the main aspects of her character (namely being the Woman in Black veil wearing Dark Action Girl who is the daughter of The Leader a powerful group) is incorporated to Nyssa Al-Ghul. Additionally, the show gave her a twin sister who was suspiciously introduced a season after her death.
      • In the comics, Ray Palmer's Love Interest is Jean Loring. In the show, Jean Loring appeared in Season 2 as the Queen family's lawyer and friend and she belongs to the generation of the Queen's matriarch, Moira. When Ray shows up in Season 3, he mentions a dead fiancee named Anna. He then reveals in Legends of Tomorrow that Anna's surname is also Loring, though what exactly is her relation to Jean is not stated.
      • Oliver Queen's illegitimate son in the comics is Connor Hawke. Here, the child's name is revealed to be William Clayton while Connor is set to appear in Legends of Tomorrow as a separate, unrelated character, whose father is John Diggle.
      • "Ra's Al-Ghul" is revealed in Season 3 as merely the title of whoever The Leader of The League of Assassins is, thus making it this by default.
    • The Flash (2014):
      • Earlier, the show split the Weather Wizard into two characters. The first is Clyde Mardon, and the second is his older brother Mark, who becomes the new Weather Wizard after Clyde is shot and killed in the pilot episode.
      • In Season 2 following the Heroic Sacrifice of S.T.A.R. Labs engineer Ronnie Raymond, his role in the Firestorm matrix is taken by Jefferson Jackson. In the comics, the second Firestorm is supposed to be Jason Rusch, who already appeared during the middle of Season 1.
      • In the comics, Hunter Zolomon is the civilian identity of the Supervillain Zoom. Zoom is the Big Bad of Season 2, while Hunter Zolomon is a separate character introduced as Jay Garrick's Earth-1 counterpart instead, Actually, this is a case of Lying Creator as Jay is an alias and Hunter is indeed Zoom.
      • Caitlin Snow is the civilian identity of Supervillain Killer Frost. In the show, she appears as one of Barry's allies and friends while Killer Frost is eventually confirmed to be her Evil Twin from Earth-2.
      • Deathstorm is Ronnie Raymond's identity when he Came Back Wrong. Just like Caitlin, he is confirmed to be his Evil Twin from Earth-2.
    • Legends of Tomorrow:
      • In the comics, Pohzar is the Soviet Firestorm. Here, his civilian identity appears but Valentina Vostok, the Negative Woman from the comics, is the one who becomes the Soviet Firestorm.
      • In the comics, Rip Hunter's Love Interest is his Sexy Secretary turned fellow Time Master Bonnie Baxter. The show introduces a Canon Foreigner named Miranda Coulburn as his wife, while Baxter's more direct counterpart Eve shows up halfway through the series. Interestingly, both ladies have similar appearance and are also Time Masters (well, was in Miranda's case).
      • Vixen exists in the universe of the show, but because of scheduling issues with the actress who plays her, an alternate Legacy Character version of Vixen will appear in Season 2.
  • Beetleborgs
  • Though Game of Thrones usually goes the Composite Character route, it has a few examples of this.
    • Xaro Xhoan Daxos seems to have been split between the series Xaro, who was also given a Race Lift and became an Adaptational Badass, and The Spice King, a TV-exclusive character who has the book Xaro's appearance and Ambiguously Gay mannerisms.
    • Likewise, Reek from the books has his traits split between Ramsay Snow, his secret identity in the books after the real one was killed, known simply as "the boy" prior to The Reveal and Dagmer, an Ironborn who acts as Theon's Number Two when they invade Winterfell who eventually betrays him.
  • In the Grimm take on Peter Pan, which has the Lost Boys as a group of homeless Wesen kids who kidnap women to be their mother, there are three Wendys: the previous "mother", who dies in the first scene and is actually named Wendy; Rosalee, who they kidnap to replace her; and their "sister" Lily (despite being named after Tiger Lily), an Ill Girl the boys attempt to treat with a vague understanding of how herbal tea works.
  • A French Made-for-TV Movie distant adaptation of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot's Christmas split the illegitimate son killer into two characters and introduced one early, to keep a bit of mystery for those who had read the original material.
  • In Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, we have Kit as Dragon Knight (aka Ryuki, main Rider Shinji's shiny suit in the original Kamen Rider Ryuki version) 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. So this is a composite and decomposed character.
  • Since Kotaro Minami is the only Kamen Rider to star in two different shows (Kamen Rider Black and Kamen Rider Black RX), team-ups and anniversary specials usually split him into two separate characters. For instance, Kamen Rider Decade used dimension-hopping to have Kotaro team up with a Mirror Universe version of himself who never adopted the Black RX identity, allowing both Riders to appear simultaneously.
  • Once Upon a Time is more known for its composite characters, however it decomposites Peter Pan into three characters: Rumpelstiltskin cut off Hook's hand and doubles as the crocodile, his son Baelfire wound up in Kensington Gardens and befriended the Darling family, and his father Malcolm became the actual Peter Pan.
    • In season 4, an interesting case happens: it features Elsa from Frozen, who was based on the titular character from the novel The Snow Queen. However, the Snow Queen of the novel also appears, as Elsa's aunt.
    • Ursula. Her role as an antagonist for Ariel is given to Regina when she impersonates the goddess Ursula, while her actual backstory is a lot like Ariel’s.
    • Briar Rose is Aurora's mother, and Maleficent tried the Sleeping Beauty curse twice, both of which have different aspects of the animated version. It was Briar Rose's prince who Maleficent threatened in dragon form, but Aurora's prince is called Philip. (Genius Bonus: In the Perrault tale, Aurore is the daughter of the unnamed Sleeping Beauty.)
  • The Power Rangers franchise provide many examples:
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers:
      • The normal version of Zyuranger's Dora Franke became the Frankenstein monster, while his second and third forms Zombie Franke and Satan Franke became two different forms of the same character, Mutitus.
      • Dai Satan's role in split as his Sentai footage goes to Lokar, who's another lackey of Rita, and Canon Foreigner Lord Zedd taking over Dai Satan's role as Rita/Witch Bandora's boss. Franchise-wide, while Zedd also has Emperor Gorma XV's role as the boss of the Dairanger monsters, the Gorma costume was used for Wild Force's Master Org.
    • Zeo: Prince Buldont of Ohranger, who later grew into an older form, Kaiser Buldont, became the brothers Prince Sproket (younger) and Prince Gasket (older).
    • The conversion of Gingaman to Lost Galaxy.
      • The Big Bad Captain Zahab was split off into Scorpius and his more direct counterpart, Captain Mutiny.
      • Borderline example Furio: He has the costume of Dr. Hinelar's final form, but Sanbash's role in the story. Sanbash's costume, not available at the time, was later used for a new character named Villamax.
      • Borderline example comes in Trakeena: She fills in the role of Shelinda, but also has traits of Illies (her successful plot against Treacheron, using many of the monsters Illies used). Her accidental One-Winged Angel form in the next season's Crossover Special was originally the Infernal Dark Hell Beast summoned by Gil. Illies, meanwhile, would later appear as Hexuba.
      • In Gingaman, Saya has been the only Pink Ranger during its run. Since Kendrix "dies" during the middle of the show, a reformed Karone took her place from then on.
    • In the conversion of GoGoFive to Lightspeed Rescue, Dr. Mondo Tatsumi (Team Dad, creator of the team's technology) was split into Captain Mitchell and Dr. Fairweather.
    • Twice when converting Timeranger to Time Force. The costume of Big Bad Don Dolnero was used for comic relief character Gluto, and the Big Bad with some of Dolnero's role was original-design Ransik. Meanwhile, the Rangers' commanding officer Captain Ryuya was split into Captain Logan and, more directly, Alex.
    • Ninja Storm's Motodrone: he's based off the adult form of Manmaruba, while Eyezak, a Monster of the Week he used, is actually Manmaruba's One-Winged Angel form.
    • Dino Thunder: Due to Trent turning good far sooner than Mikoto did, Abare Killer's remaining stint as a bad guy was fulfilled by a White Ranger clone.
    • Jungle Fury: Long, the ultimate Big Bad of Gekiranger, was split into Dai Shi (inheriting his Big Bad status and One-Winged Angel form) and General Scorch (inheriting his Phantom Beast form and Treacherous Advisor status). Da Shi possesses Jarod so in a way Long's Power Ranger counterpart is also Jarod who is also Rio's counterpart.
  • Robin of Sherwood accounts for the diverse/contradictory characterizations of Robin Hood through a combination of this trope and Suspiciously Similar Substitute. The initial Robin on the show, Robin of Loxley, covers the "oppressed Saxons fighting against the Normans"/traditional English myth part of the story, and after this death, he is replaced by Robert of Huntington, who fits the characterization of Robin Hood as a nobleman of Norman ancestry who sympathizes with and defends the poor.
  • Raphael Santiago's role in Simon's vampirism in City of Ashes is largely given to Camille Belcourt on Shadowhunters despite Raphael still existing as a separate character.
  • When the creators of Smallville made the hugely controversial decision to kill off Jimmy Olsen in the Season 8 finale, they performed a last second Retcon that established that "Jimmy" had actually been named Henry James Olsen, and that the real Jimmy (the one who would later grow up to be a Daily Planet employee and Superman's pal) was actually his little brother.
    • There were also two separate, completely unrelated versions of Professor Hamilton from the comics. The first was a middle-aged African-American scientist, while the second was a young, Ambiguously Brown guy who joined the cast in the later seasons.
  • In Spartacus: War of the Damned, the historical German Rebel Leader Castus was divided into two characters; Agron, who took most of his characterizations sans name, and Castus, an In-Name-Only character who is instead the Sixth Ranger to Spartacus' La Résistance. Ultimately, the latter suffered his namesake's fate (albeit a little early), while the former was Spared by the Adaptation.
  • In The Hollow Crown, the Duke of Aumerle in Richard II and the Duke of York in Henry V are based on the same historical character, but are portrayed on screen as quite different people.
  • In the Made-for-TV Movie The Incredible Hulk Returns The Mighty Thor appears; but instead of Don Blake turning into Thor, Blake and Thor are separate characters. Blake calls upon Odin while holding Thor's warhammer and Thor magically appears. Presumably in the spinoff series that never happened, One's a doctor, one's a Norse God. Together, They Fight Crime.
  • The Walking Dead
    • Due to debuting much later than his comic counterpart, the role of Tyreese in the first two seasons was distributed to three different characters, namely; T-Dog (his Captain Ersatz), Shane (for his role as The Lancer and the Love Triangle gone bad storyline) and Daryl (for his relationship with Carol and later The Lancer after Shane's death). It's also worth noting that Hershel Greene suffered his death in the comics instead of him.
    • Speaking of which, a lot of Dale's characteristics as Team Dad and serving as a voice of reason to Rick were instead given to Hershel due to Dale dying much earlier in the show than he did in the comic. Once Hershel himself finally dies (timely, this time), Bob picks up the remaining slack and suffers Dale's fate.
    • Hershel Greene only has one late wife in the comics. Here, he had two, with some of their children remixing their character relations to either of the late wives (those who weren't Adapted Out, at least).
    • Due to being In-Name-Only characters, Allen and his son Ben's Character Development are respectively given to Ryan Samuels and his daughter Lizzie.
    • Dr. Stevens from the comics was split into Dr. Stevens, a Gender Flipped In-Name-Only character, and Milton Mamet, his more direct counterpart.
    • Much like Dale above, Andrea dies, but unlike him, her comic counterpart is currently alive and well. Because of this, her characterizations were distributed to several characters; Carol becomes the group's resident Badass sniper and Lady of War, Sasha picks up her character arc in Season 5 (the Fear the Hunters arc where Dale was supposed to die), and her best friend Michonne picks up her role as Rick's female Lancer, confidant, and his Second Love.
    • While Alice is physically Adapted Out, her important character traits were distributed to both Andrea (as the wry Woodbury Elite Mook) and Milton (as the one who's interested in studying walkers). Since both have comic counterparts note , this makes her both a Decomposite and Composite Character.
    • The three Marauders in the comics became seven in the show. Since all of them were Named by the Adaptation, it's hard to determine if they really underwent this trope or the additional four are Canon Foreigners.
    • Ron Anderson from the comics was split into the brothers Ron (older) and Sam (younger). The older was given Adaptational Villainy and becomes a nemesis to Carl, while the younger was given the character arc from the comics.
    • A large number of the character traits of the Alexandria residents were split into (sometimes combined with) different characters.
  • The Wire: The Real Life Avon Barksdale's life of crime was so long and eventful that the writers had trouble fitting it all in. As such, many of the traits and acts perpetrated during his years as a juvenile offender were transferred to Bodie instead.
  • Tin Man
    • There are two characters who correspond to the Great and Powerful Oz in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Mystic Man is the humbug wizard and former ruler of the Central City, and DG's father Ahamo is the guy with the hot air balloon and former co-ruler of the Outer Zone.
    • Likewise, there are two characters who fill the role of the Wicked Witch. There's Azkadellia, a psychopathic sorceress who pursues the heroes in search of a magical Macguffin, and the original Wicked Witch, a withered old woman with a soul of pure evil. Although it turns out that Azkadellia is actually possessed by the spirit of the original Wicked Witch. The real Azkadellia is kind and pure of heart.
  • A casting call for Boardwalk Empire's Season 1 implied that the finale would introduce new character Declan Rohan, a charming IRA member that was Margaret Schroeder's long lost brother, but he didn't appear in the end. Instead, Season 2 introduced separately charming IRA member Owen Sleater and Margaret's long lost brother Eamonn Rohan, who has no apparent interest in politics or sex.
  • Lance Hunter of Agents Of Shield is a composite of the comic book Agent of STRIKE with the comics character Clint Barton/Hawkeye, who appears as a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Like the Hawkeye of the mainline comics, Hunter is a Deadpan Snarker divorced from Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird- and with the inevitable Working with the Ex plotline. The Hawkeye of the films is closer to the Ultimate Comics take on the character- having a past as a black ops agent and being Happily Married in the present. This gets a Lampshade Hanging in the comics where Lance hooks up with Bobbi, and she accidentally calls him Clint.
  • Gotham does this with Sal Maroni by subjecting him to a type 2 of Death by Adaptation, killing him off before Bruce Wayne ever becomes Batman, meaning that someone else will take his role as the man who makes Harvey Dent Two-Face.
  • In Supergirl (2015) Cat Grant has an estranged, adult son named Adam Foster and a teenage son named Carter Grant. In the comics she had one son named Adam Grant, who probably wasn't as old as either of his TV counterparts when he died.
  • While Lois and Clark does see Winslow Schott appear in one episode, he doesn't use the codename "Toyman", and it's instead used by a villain of a later episode.

     Mythology, Folklore and Religion 
  • This often happens in mythology, were there might be many different versions of and names for the same character depending on the version you are hearing. In the Finnish national epic Kalevala, based on a large number of collected legends and songs, the autor Elias Lönnroth chosed to make the villain Louhi into a distinct person from the character Loviatar, while old folk poems often used their names interchangeably.
  • It tended to happen when the pre-writing religions and mythologies in a region started to drift apart and the characters became quite different. For example, the Greek Ares and Roman Mars were seen as versions of each other even when both faiths were still active, but in the actual myths they have completely different personalities.
  • Scholars of mythology often come up with plausible theories that deities were split up into different ones over time. For instance, the Earth-goddesses Rhea (mother of Zeus and his siblings) and Demeter (one of Zeus' sisters) are often seen as offshoots of Gaia (Zeus' and Demeter's grandmother, according to Hesiod), and Eleithyia (one of Zeus' and Hera's two daughters) is often interpreted as a personification of one of Hera's functions, being the protector of childbirth.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Not a "character" but an entire promotion had this done to it in the 1990s through 2010s, when the NWA was running a revival of Championship Wrestling from Florida and WWE was running a revival of Florida Championship Wrestling, which were really two different but interchangeable names for the same company. Both relied on footage and wrestlers from that company, just to make it more obvious.

     Theater 
  • From the video production of Cats; on stage, the character of Gus is usually depicted as a young cat but becomes an older cat for his big number. This number usually segues into another number with the younger version, "Growltiger's Last Stand". The older version was played by Sir John Mills, who was far too old, and blind, to do the required singing and dancing. So, they split both versions into two characters, with the younger Gus now named Asparagus.

     Video Games 
  • From Super Smash Bros.:
    • Both Mario and Link have multiple versions of themselves appear in the games (though never more than two of each, the regular version and one variant), which are treated as separate characters: Mario has Dr. Mario as an alternate character and Metal Mario as a boss in the first game, while Link has Young Link and his reincarnation Toon Link. Pikachu and Pichu appearing together in Melee is borderline, as while the two could be considered the same character it's more likely that they're just different members of the same species.
    • In Melee and Brawl, a few characters could switch between different forms: Zelda could transform into her alter-ego Sheik, Samus could lose her armor and become Zero Suit Samus, and the Pokémon Trainer could switch between Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard. As of the fourth game, the devs made a concerted effort to drop these mechanics; and as a result Zelda, Sheik, Samus, and Zero Suit Samus are all separate characters and the Pokémon Trainer was replaced with just Charizard.
    • Dark Pit started off as a "Fallen Angel"-themed Palette Swap of Pit in Brawl. In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Sakurai decided to make him into a character. As of Smash 4, he's now got his own slot on the roster (albeit as a Moveset Clone of Pit).
  • Some characters from Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars were decomposed into separate characters on League of Legends. Sniper, for example, had his increasing range passive transferred to Tristana, his ultimate skill transferred to Caitlyn, and his basic skill transferred to Miss Fortune.
  • Mega Man Star Force, being the sequel series to Mega Man Battle Network, takes the roles and character traits of the first protagonist's circle of friends and reuses them in various combinations. Battle Network had Yai, the brainy rich girl with a complex about her diminutive stature, which Star Force takes and splits into Zack, the brainy kid with a height complex, and rich girl Luna. Battle Network's musically-inclined love interest Mayl, is split into musically-inclined love interest Sonia and other love interest Luna (making her both an example of Decomposite Character and Composite Character). Luna and Sonia both also borrow a plot element from Yai, whose vast family fortune was frequently used to write the cast both in and out of various problems, as Luna's parents are just as obscenely rich as Yai's and Sonia is a wildly popular pop star.
  • In the original Tomb Raider continuity, Lara's tech support was provided by a wise-cracking African-American hacker named Zip. In the movies, the same basic role was filled by a white British guy named Bryce, who was more of a Deadpan Snarker and more of a stereotypically awkward geek than the self-assured Zip. Come Tomb Raider: Legend, Zip got a makeover, but also a second-in-command named Alister, another white British techie with less overt social confidence, who seems to have been created to incorporate Bryce's qualities into the games while retaining Zip as a separate character.
  • There is a tendency to do this in Super Mario Bros. Spin-off titles to increase the character roster. For example, baby versions of various Mario characters have appeared alongside their adult selves with no explanation. A few of Mario's and other character's powered-up forms have also evolved into their own separate characters. Some examples include Metal Mario, Dr.Mario, Tanooki Mario, Cat Mario, Pink Gold Peach, Cat Peach and Dry Bowser.
  • Warframe has an unusual example in that it's both the original work and the adaptation (thanks to the developers constantly updating the game): the original boss of Mars was Sergeant Nef Anyo, a Corpus military figure responsible for overseeing the Solar Rail network. Update 16.4 split him into the Sergeant, who retained the old appearance and role as boss, and Nef Anyo, a con man posing as a preacher who instigated the False Profit event. It seems that Nef's new boss fight, which had been in the works for quite some time, wasn't ready when the event launched, so he was temporarily split in two; it's likely that the Sergeant will be quietly replaced once the new fight is ready. Oddly, the same did not happen for Tyl Regor, the Grineer scientist who had a very similar situation with the very next event in Update 16.5, possibly because his character and personality remained fairly similar.
  • Similarly to the Smash Bros. and Mario Bros. examples, Hyrule Warriors has multiple versions of key characters on its playable roster: The base game includes both Zelda and Sheik, though story mode never includes both at once since as far as the story goes they're the same person. DLC adds more variants: Young Link and Toon Link for regular Link, Tetra for Zelda, and Twili Midna for Midna.
  • Batman: Arkham City: Despite the Maroni family being mentioned in the Arkham City Stories, Sal Maroni's role as the one who made Harvey Dent Two-Face is taken by Carmine Falcone, as Two-Face himself in an audio tape explicitly identifies Falcone was the one who did it.
  • In Overwatch, Hanzo and Genji were originally a single ninja character, but the character was considered so cluttered and unfocused both in design and mechanics that he was split into two different characters: Hanzo focused on archery while Genji was a shuriken-throwing swordsman.
  • Contra 4 turned the various character designs and Dub Name Changes of series protagonists Bill Rizer and Lance Bean into seven different playable characters:
    • "Bill" and "Lance" use their official names and most iconic designs.
    • "Mad Dog" and "Scorpion" use their names from the American manual of the original Contra and designs based on the arcade version of Super C. (Story-wise, they're also Retconned into being the protagonists of Operation C.)
    • "Jimbo" and "Sully" use their names from the American manual of Contra III: The Alien Wars and designs from the same game.
    • Finally, "Probotector" is based on the robots that replaced the human characters in the Bowdlerized European games.

     Webcomics 
  • In Shortpacked!, Ultra Car was originally an Automated Automobile, but later became a Robot Girl. In Dumbing of Age, Ultra-Car (car form) is a comic book character and there's also Carla, an ordinary human who looks like SP!UC's humanoid chassis, has some aspects of her personality, and is a fan of the UC cartoon.
  • While Arthur, King of Time and Space mostly uses the same characters in every arc, the baseline and space arcs have different Maimed Kings. The baseline has Le Morte D Arthur's King Pellam, father of Pelles and Pellinore, and the space arc has King Amfortas from Eschenbach's earlier Parzival, who is not related to the Pellinores at all and, in AKOTAS, is a computer.

     Western Animation 
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
  • In the original comic and videogame versions of Earthworm Jim, Professor Monkey-For-A-Head was an Evilutionary Biologist focused Mad Scientist and Bob the Killer Goldfish was a more generic would-be tyrant. In the cartoon version, the Professor loses his evilutionary schtick and is a generic Mad Scientist, whilst Bob gains a fairly heavy Hollywood Evolution motif (despite, ironically, talking like a bombastic fundamentalist Dixie preacher).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: G3's Rainbow Dash was split between G4's version of Rainbow Dash who has her name and look and Rarity who has her fashion-conscious personality and accent (albeit an Atlantic accent instead of a wholly British Accent). The three are the trope image.
  • An in-universe example ended up being a major plot twist in The Boondocks episode "The Story of Catcher Freeman". Both Granddad and Ruckus tells wildly different, questionably accurate versions of the same story of a slave revolt involving Catcher Freeman/Catch-a-Freeman, a female slaved named Thelma, a slave master named Master Colonel, and a cowardly house slave named Tobias. After a few minutes on the internet, Huey finds Tobias and Catcher were actually the same person: a cowardly house slave who joined the revolt after he killed his master accidentally.
  • The Prince and the Pauper starring Mickey Mouse gives both Mickeys both personalities associated with the character. Pauper Mickey is the cheerful Nice Guy that Mickey is known as today, while the Prince is more like the mischievous and adventurous hero that he was known as in his earlier years.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures, while Plucky is a counterpart to Daffy, Hamton to Porky, Dizzy to Taz, etc., Bugs Bunny has two successors: Buster and Babs Bunnynote , Babs features more of his "wacky" traits (as well as his ability to impersonate others) and Buster shares more of his Deadpan Snarker / Straight Man traits and calm and suave personality.
  • In Transformers Animated, we're not quite sure what happened 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 when multiple characters are upgraded at once.) 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 (but cool) 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.
    • In the G1 Transformers Galvatron is best remembered as being super Ax-Crazy. In Transformers Armada, when Megatron became Galvatron he retains much of his sanity, but his ax craziness handed over to Cyclonus who was already like that in his first appearance. Which is ironic since in G1 he was the sanest of the Decepticons.
  • In addition to changing the events of happening on present-day Earth to a time-travel adventure that took place in its past, Beast Wars did this to Optimus Primal and Beast-era Megatron by making them legacy characters to their Generation 1 namesakes, as the toyline originally had them as not legacy characters, but as the G1 characters themselves with new forms.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter Parker briefly uses the Iron Spider identity before ditching the armor and returning to the classic Spider-Man ID. The Iron Spider armor and name end up in the hands of Amadeus Cho in Season 3.
  • Young Justice splits the comic's version of Roy Harper into two characters: Roy Harper, whom we meet in the first episode, and the original Roy Harper whom the other was cloned from. The former takes the name "Red Arrow" and has a relationship and child with Cheshire, while the latter loses his arm and takes the name "Arsenal."
  • In-universe example in the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode where the Gaang see a play detailing their adventures. In one scene, a mysterious masked warrior named the Blue Spirit rescues Aang from Prince Zuko which is weird because in reality the Blue Spirit was actually Zuko in disguise. It's likely that the writer of the play didn't know that.
  • Around the World with Willy Fog: Rigodon and Tico (a cat and a hamster replacing Passepartout from the novel), and Dix and Bully (two dogs replacing Fix from the novel). Both pairs rarely split.
  • In the comics, the Reaver were composed of several of the Hellfire Club guards Wolverine mutilated in The Dark Phoenix Saga. While their debut on the '90s X-Men show does help set-up the show's version of the arc, it's well before the actual Dark Phoenix arc and hence before the Inner Circle (as the Hellfire Club was called on the show) make their debut, meaning that they aren't the guards Wolverine fought in this version.
  • In the book Ivanhoe, the Black Knight was the disguise of King Richard I. In Ivanhoe: The King's Knight, it is the disguise of Brian de Bois-Guilbert and later Prince John.

     Multiple Media and Meta 
  • TRON 2.0 and its spin off comic were thrown into Canon Discontinuity when TRON: Legacy was green-lit, but it appears the character of Jet Bradley was split between Sam Flynn (being a Spin-Offspring, the hacking ability, the arrest record and apparent apathy to Encom's trouble in the beginning) and Beck in the spinoff TRON: Uprising (a Hero with Bad Publicity who leads a revolt in the system and has a very troubled relationship with his father / mentor).
  • In the mainstream Marvel Comics continuity, Cameron Klein is a minor S.H.I.E.L.D technician. One episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. features a character named Hank Thompson who was previously a S.H.I.E.L.D agent named Cameron Klein, before having his memories and identity replaced as part of the TAHITI project. Captain America: The Winter Soldier features an unnamed S.H.I.E.L.D technician in a minor role (the guy who disobeys an order from Brock Rumlow in an attempt to prevent HYDRA's scheme) who returns for a cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron... where he is given the name Cameron Klein.
  • Crimson Dynamo in both The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! and Avengers Assemble is Ivan Vanko, the Composite Character of the original Dynamo and Whiplash from Iron Man 2, right down to having "Ivan Vanko" as his real name, but without the Whiplash elements, though the degree to this varies as the only way to know this about the EMH Dynamo is through promotional materials and the tie-in comic, and his real name in never mentioned in the show itself, whereas the AA version is actually referred in-show to as "Ivan Vanko" and is modeled on Mickey Rourke. The becomes bizarre in Season 3 of AA as the Anton Vanko Whiplash, who is based on the Iron Man 2 Whiplash, actually appears in one episode.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DecompositeCharacter