Writing for franchises is complicated. It’s a complex ecosystem where you coexist with a lot of other artists while obeying corporate masters. Sometimes a character is off-limits, or the actor who plays it isn’t available -- or you just plain don’t feel like using it. In that case, you can repurpose a different character -- or, being a creative type, just do what creative types do and creativify.

And that’s what this list is about. All the characters listed here got their start as second-rate substitutes (and a few even got stuck there).

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