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Some works have Loads and Loads of Characters. Thus the adaptation merges two or more of them into one, this is Composite Character.

This is the exact opposite.

Here, a character's personality and/or history has been taken apart and split across two or more characters. For example, say Alice was a defected Interpol agent who grew up in a Parisian slum. If, in the adaptation, Alice still left Interpol but Bob grew up in the Parisian slum, then this trope is played straight as an arrow.

Note that the creation of Literal Split Personalities or a Combining Mecha's components being separate individuals In-Universe does not fulfill this trope.

Examples of Decomposite Character include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Generation 1, Hot Rod became Rodimus Prime when he got the Matrix of Leadership. In the Unicron Trilogy, Hot Rod (named Hot Shot in the English dubs) and Rodimus are separate bots.

Comic Books

  • Owing to the iconic success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sam Jackson's Nick Fury was introduced as Nick Fury, Jr, the son of the white stubbly leader of the Howling Commandos that was the original Fury.
  • In the cartoon, Spike Witwicky was the Autobots' first human ally and Sparklplug's only son. In the comics, Buster Witwicky was first introduced in Spike's role before Spike later appeared.
  • Though the exact specifics of their relationship differed in the '80s, Cerebros and Fortress Maximus are two separate individuals in Transformers More Than Meets the Eye.
  • Transformers Robots in Disguise:
    • Bumblebee and Goldbug are two separate Autobots. Their usual connection is given a Mythology Gag when Bumblebee's rebuilt form looks similar to Goldbug.
    • One of the comic's most notable, and divisive aspects, is that Megatron and Galvatron are totally unconnected, Galvatron having a few million years on the Autobots and Decepticons. Likewise, his contemporaries, Cyclonus and Scourge, are not reborn versions of Skywarp and Thundercracker.
    • Metroplex's role as Autobot City and the Cybertronian embassy is taken on by Metrotitan. Interestingly, when looked at from Metrotitan's POV, this becomes Composite Character.
  • In Ultimate Fantastic Four, Gah Lak Tus's heralds are modelled after the Silver Surfer but have no relation to Norrin Radd (here the Silver Searcher), aside from Reed speculating that Gah Lak Tus' took inspiration from Radd.

Fan Works


  • In the 2020 version of The Invisible Man, the titular Invisible Man is a set of twins.
  • Superman in the DC Extended Universe is a Good Is Not Nice Beware the Superman Cowl, while most of the attributes associated with Superman (his idealistic look on humanity, his Hope Bringer status, his status as The Cape) are instead given to Shazam.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Superhuman Registration Act exists, but it's a Red Herring. Bucky acts as the Apple of Discord in the Civil War conflict.
    • The Eye of Agamotto suffers MASSIVE Adaptational Wimp, so the usual roles the Eye plays in the comics (being the weapon Strange has to master to become Sorcerer Supreme, being an Empathic Weapon that amplifies his magic) are given to the Cloak of Levitation.
    • While Maria Hill and Sharon Carter exist, Maria is given Sharon's usual role of being Nick Fury's second in command, Maria's more villainous actions in Civil War are given to Thaddeus Ross, and Sharon's usual role as Captain America's love interest is given to her great-aunt Peggy.
    • When Iron Man came out, it looked as though Edwin Jarvis had fallen victim to Adaptation Species Change and been made an artificial intelligence before Agent Carter established that Edwin Jarvis was Howard Stark's butler and J.A.R.V.I.S. was Tony's tribute to his late Parental Substitute.
    • While it wasn't the first adaptation to do it, though it was without a doubt the one that popularized it, Donald Blake is not Thor in this continuity. Dr. Blake is The Ghost and merely a Mythology Gag alias that Jane applied to the Thunder God.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, along with the Mind Stone, are Ultron's creators, not Hank Pym.
      • Ultron's daddy issues with Hank Pym are instead given to Darren Cross.
    • In Infinity Gauntlet, Nebula reversed Thanos' Badass Finger-Snap. While she appears in Avengers: Endgame, Hulk is the one who revives the Mad Titan's victims.
    • As Adam Warlock had yet to be properly introduced, Doctor Strange takes on the role of The Chessmaster who orchestrated Thanos' defeat.
    • Played with in Captain America: Civil War. In the comics, the ruler of Wakanda is the Black Panther. Here, the two titles are not synonymous. The Black Panther is the protector of Wakanda, but not necessarily its king.
    • Downplayed with regards to Thanos. He did not kill Drax the Destroyer's family, but Ronan the Accuser oversaw their deaths (they were part of their planet's unlucky 50%) under Thanos' orders.
    • Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home. He was a one-man show in the comics and while Quentin Beck is still the face of it all, he's backed by a massive support team who are all, collectively, Mysterio.
  • While Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse features both the Goblin and Kingpin, Kingpin is the one who kills Peter Parker instead of the Goblin.
  • Soundwave was slated to appear in Transformers before Micheal Bay decreed that there would be no size shifting. His Undying Loyalty to Megatron and distrust of Starscream was passed onto Blackout while his habit of infiltrating human society for intel purposes was given to Barricade.
  • X-Men film series:
    • In The Wolverine, the Silver Samurai's civilian identity from the comic, Harada, is a ninja. The Silver Samurai, here a suit of Powered Armor, is piloted by Mariko's grandfather, Ichirō.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse has Jean Grey becoming Phoenix with no outside assistance, hinting that the whole "The Phoenix is a just a repressed personality of Jean" concept is still canon. Dark Phoenix introduces the Phoenix Force and has Jean bond with it.

Live-Action TV

  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Though Franklin Hall appeared in the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it's Glenn Talbot who becomes Graviton.
    • Jessica Jones' neighbour Malcolm was historically a Dogged Nice Guy. Most of that role is given to Canon Foreigner Ruben.
    • In the comics, "Black Mariah" Dillard was a crime boss. In Luke Cage, Mariah Dillard is a Corrupt Politician and the granddaughter of a crime boss "Mama Mabel" who is visually modelled after the comics version of Black Mariah.
  • In Sherlock, Professor James Moriarty is split up across all three Big Bads:
    • The most obvious one is Jim Moriarty himself (Series 1 and 2's Big Bad). He's still Sherlock's Evil Counterpart and they have their final clash at Reichenbach (or at least a close enough equivalent).
    • Charles Augustus Magnussen (Series 3's Big Bad), the televised counterpart to Charles Augustus Milverton, is described as "the Napoleon of blackmail." In the novels, Moriarty was "the Napoleon of crime" and was, unlike how he's shown in the series, The Stoic, another trait that Magnussen inherited.
    • The Big Bad of Series 4, Eurus Holmes, takes on Moriarty's habit of crafting an overcomplicated scheme for Sherlock to solve. Given a rather good In-Universe justification. She knew Jim Moriarty and was having a bit of fun letting everyone think that the man had somehow faked his death.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Kirk's role is split into Picard (the one giving the passionate speeches) and Riker (The Casanova who gets with every alien Girl of the Week and leads the away teams). Actually an Author's Saving Throw as doing both led some fans to accuse Kirk of being a bad captain.
    • Though Data seems the most obvious expy of Spock, Spock's conflicted status as to his heritage is passed onto Worf.
  • Supergirl:
    • Mon-El's real name in the comics is Lar Gand. In the show, Lar Gand is his father.
    • While Jor-El still Superman to Earth, his status as a mentor was passed onto Alura Zor-El.
    • Hank Henshaw, but not Cyborg Superman, now shares his identity with the Martian Manhunter.
    • The eponymous heroine goes by Kara Danvers. Her pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths identity of Linda Lee is given to Red Daughter, albeit as a one-off disguise.

 Video Games

Western Animation

  • Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony G 3 is split up into Rainbow Dash and Rarity in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The former inherits the name and appearance, while the latter gets the personality and accent (albeit an Atlantic one instead of a British one).
    • Equestria Girls splits Twilight Sparkle into Sci-Twi and Sunset Shimmer: while Sci-Twi is the "main" Twilight and she inherits Pony Twilight's love of science and Adorkable moments, Sunset inherits from Pony Twilight the leadership role of the Humane Seven, feeling the burden of said leadership role, her inability to keep her emotions in check, her vast knowledge of Equestrian magic, and her The Comically Serious and Deadpan Snarker moments.
  • While Tiny Toon Adventures had an expy of each of the major Looney Tunes (Plucky for Daffy, Hampton for Porky), Bugs gets two. Buster Bunny, who inherits his Deadpan Snarker and Straight Man attitudes, and Babs Bunny, who takes on his more "wacky" characteristics.
  • Transformers:
    • In the early drafts for Beast Wars, Optimus Primal and Megatron were their G1 counterparts. In the cartoon, they're Cybertronians from the post-War era who simply named themselves after the legendary wartime figures.
    • In the 2015 Robots in Disguise, neither Grimlock or Sideswipe are the same individuals from the Cybertron games. Per Word of God, Grimlock was supposed to be a Canon Foreigner and Sideswipe was to be a new incarnation of Fastlane before Executive Meddling forced them to rename the characters.
    • Alpha Trion still appears in Transformers: Cyberverse as the one who gives Optimus the Matrix of Leadership and with his advanced age and mysticism granting him a position of high authority in Cybertronian society but his status as a Seer who offers the Autobots subtle hints about the future is given to Maccadam, who may or may not be Alchemist Prime. Like Trion in most other continuities, Maccadam outright says that he's staying behind on Cybertron and is totally unconcerned about how the lack of energon will affect his survival.
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