I am seeing a pattern that when some tags are answered with non-cinematic references they receive extensive upvoting, but when other topics that clearly have cinematic and literature references (such as Marvel) are answered in the same fashion, they're downvoted due to supposed irrelevancy

Why can some topics be answered with novel or other forms of references, but others can't?

  • Really? I don't remember seeing answers being poorly received due to being novel-based answers to film questions (provided they're still canon-based, of course). But then, Marvel isn't a tag I've ever delved much into.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    May 20, 2016 at 16:37
  • 3
    Are you referring to answering comic book movie questions with comic-based answers? Because those can be non-helpful, depending on the question.
    – Rogue Jedi
    May 20, 2016 at 16:37
  • @RogueJedi, Yes I am. Sorry for the confusion.
    – KyloRen
    May 20, 2016 at 16:38
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    The comic book stories and backgrounds can highly differ (upto utter contradiction) from the film adapations, which makes answers that fail to at least point out or adress that difference not only wrong, but highly detrimental for understanding the matter.
    – TARS
    May 20, 2016 at 16:58
  • I've been a bit heavy-handed in editing the question to get at what you're driving at. If you think I've gone too far, feel free to use the rollback button
    – Valorum
    May 20, 2016 at 17:34
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    Isn't Marvel a very special case in that MCU is officially a different universe and thus none of non-MCU marvel material is actually canon for it, OFFICIALLY? May 20, 2016 at 21:02
  • @Valorum, No that is what I was trying to say, English is not a strong point for me. Thanks.
    – KyloRen
    May 21, 2016 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


The very short answer is that there are many different kinds of source material. My experience has been the the SFF:SE community tends to rate them in terms of usefulness (and hence upvotes) according to the following scale;

#1 - Faithful Source material

Where a pre-existing book/comic/whatever is directly adapted into a film or TV show, the general assumption is that the original source novel is actually the higher canon and the community will usually rewards answers relating to 'what came first'

#2 - Post-facto Novelisations / Shooting Scripts / Graphic Novelisations / Bonus Materials

This is where the related materials directly relate to the film/show and agree with it almost completely. It is almost universally held that these are at their best when the writer/creator of the original property was also involved in writing of the bonus materials.

#3 - Pre-facto Novelisations / Early Scripts

These are often written before scripts have been finalised and can often disagree with the finished product. They may exclude key events, change names or even included elements that were ultimately deleted from the finished film/TV show. Votes tend to flow very sluggishly if you try to use these sorts of sources.

#4 - Unrelated source material

This is where things get really dicey. It's not unusual for a property be "based on" an earlier work but without actually having any actual similarities in terms of plotting, characterisation or structure. In those cases, using the original material to explain the new property is pretty tenuous at best. For example, Magneto appears in a bunch of comics but that doesn't mean you can point at his abilities in the comics to explain his abilities in the X-Men films.

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