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It seems on a lot of other SE sites, that sub-tags (like marvel-comics for instance*) are only used when referring to something specific about that sub-tag, if there is no explicit link to Marvel in the question, then it should not exist.

As an example, if I am using the tags correctly:

  • Why does theme X appear in marvel comics so often?
  • Who is in charge of Marvel comics?

Would use the marvel-comics tag, whereas:

[Question about marvel character]

Would not, as any publisher could own the rights to that character.

Am I looking at these tags right, or am I using them wrong? IT seems redundant to have both and a tag. Perhaps if it was just it would be better?

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From what I've seen on SciFi.SE the position is, if you're asking a marvel-comics related question about anything in the universe of Marvel, then the tag is appropriate as it creates a better archiving system on the site as a whole.

Other sub tags would be used if your question involved more specific things; like if your question was about that universe, or if the answer you're looking for needs to be kept in a Marvel cartoon universe only.

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As I understand it (I'm not directly familiar with the subject matter), many American superhero comics are set in shared universes which are owned by a publishing company. So there is a Marvel Comics shared universe, and a DC comics shared universe; the tags and thus refer to these universes, and not directly to the publishing company. Therefore they should be used on questions about these universes or about specific comics set in these universes, regardless of who published the work (e.g. a question about an X-Men movie could have the tag, although may only have the more specific tag, even if the movie is not published by Marvel).

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I think should be 100% appropriate in 2 cases and might be quite useful in a 3rd:

  • As you noted, when the question actually concerns Marvel universe (offline)

  • When the question's scope is, explicitly, within a larger marvel universe BUT wider than a specific comic (E.g. NOT confined to X-Men only) - either about character's story arc that encompasses >1 comic, or the question is about multiple compics at once.

  • To serve (as Oghma) said, as a good classification.

    This can be VERY useful because, to non-expert reader, having "Beast" tag, or even "Aquaman" tag, doesn't place these comics/characters into Marvel universe by default.

    X-Men is kind of widely known, but many Marvel heros/comics/arcs aren't. As someone who's very far from a comics expert, I personally deeply appreciate knowing when specific comic universe is stated for an obscure (to me) comic, to know the context.

    However, I'd hesitate to require that all Marvel or DC related question be forced to have such a tag, and therefore its universal utility for classification is a bit iffy.

Otherwise, it shouldn't be used.

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