The following guidelines establish an approach for the use and writing of overviews in articles within the Marvel Database. By definition, overviews are a general summary of a subject, and they are the first section of the body of text that a reader will see in an article.
Overviews are an introductory piece of text meant to provide a quick but comprehensive understanding of an article's subject. They are mostly meant for articles whose subject's history spans many years and many stories, like important super heroes or super villains. Because of their nature, it's extremely necessary for an editor to be familiar with the subject whose overview they are writing.
In order to provide consistency between overviews across the entire wiki, there is an expected formula to be used. Overviews should normally not be longer than three paragraphs, and their length is expected to vary depending the career and importance of its subject. This formula will be exemplified using the overview for Anthony Stark (Earth-616).
The lede is the opening of the overview, and it should summarize the most important aspects of the article's subject in a snappy way, boiling down the core elements of the subject to a few words:
- Tony Stark is a genius inventor and billionaire industrialist, who suits up in his armor of cutting-edge technology to become the super hero Iron Man.
A summary of the subject's backstory. In the case of super heroes or super villains, it can include a few details about their upbringing, but it should mostly focus on the catalyst that caused them to become who they are.
- The adopted son of weapons manufacturer Howard Stark, Tony inherited his family's company at a young age following his parents' death. While overseeing a manufacturing plant in a foreign country, Stark was kidnapped by local terrorists. Instead of giving in to his captors' demands to build weapons for them, Stark created a powerful suit of armor for himself to escape. Returning to America, Stark further upgraded the armor and put his vast resources and intellect to use for the betterment of the world as Iron Man.
Career and World
This section should encompass a summary of the subject's history and context. In the case of super heroes, it could list their regular status quo, their enemies, their allies, and important milestones.
- Tony kept his alter-ego a secret for most of his career, juggling his responsibilities as head of Stark Industries while becoming a key player in the superhuman community as Iron Man, founding the world's premier super hero team, the Avengers. Over the years, Stark has faced numerous enemies, such as the Mandarin, Justin Hammer, Iron Monger and the Titanium Man, as well as many personal demons, most notably his addiction to alcohol, which once caused Tony to step down from superheroics, with his confidant Jim Rhodes becoming Iron Man on that occasion. For many years, Tony covered his alter-ego claiming that Iron Man was his anonymous bodyguard, but eventually brought his dual identity to the public light.
This part is meant to give readers a quick breakdown of the character's current circumstances and what led to them. Because of its nature, it is advisable to keep track of written summaries to ensure this section up-to-date.
- Recently, Tony escaped death by reconfiguring his body with a digital back-up of his mind, inadvertently causing him to become temporarily convinced that he was a clone of the real, late Tony Stark. This resulted in Tony leading an army of artificial-life forms in a war against the anti-A.I. campaign of his adoptive brother Arno. After coming around the fact that he was the real Tony Stark all along and once he stopped Arno's deranged plan to enslave humanity to stop a non-existent alien threat, Tony opted to embark on a journey of self-discovery to escape the baggage of his career. Stepping away from his high-tech lifestyle, Tony finds himself returning to his roots in an attempt to put back the "man" in Iron Man.
The following articles contain examples of overviews written following these guidelines:
- Elizabeth Braddock (Earth-616)
- Emma Frost (Earth-616)
- Otto Octavius (Earth-616)
- Peter Parker (Earth-616)
- Benjamin Reilly (Earth-616)
- James Rhodes (Earth-616)
- Anthony Stark (Earth-616)
- Charles Xavier (Earth-616)