This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #1: Restricted Title: xkcd 1xxx
I had a visit yesterday from my good friend Major M. Provement. I say 'good friend' but he can actually be pretty annoying - he's always picking fault in my puzzles and trying to produce something better than what I come up with.
Case in point: Yesterday. I showed him my new puzzle:
After a little while of staring at the images, he asked me: "What am I looking for?" I mean, come on - wasn't it obvious??
"It's a four-letter word," I said. "Look I'll show you... First you identify the people, then you take the last letters of one of their names, so you get UgO Monye, Jos ButtleR, Madam MiM and Jude LaW, and if you anagram them together they spell WORM!"
The Major frowned. "That's not very satisfying," he said. "For a start, this is just a bunch of faces, literally no instructions about what to do with them - using the last letters of their names isn't clued anywhere at all, not even a hint; the same goes for anagramming - that's unfair. Then what you're expecting of your solver is inconsistent - the first name for some, the last name for others - and there are even other four-letter words you can make by taking the ends of some other names: MERE, SEEM, SOME... so how were we supposed to know which one you were thinking of? Plus, for that third image you can choose either the first name or the surname - it's ambiguous, and that's not very satisfying."
I was about to open my mouth in protest, but he hadn't finished speaking.
"However," he went on, "it's not completely unsalvageable. In fact, there's something these four images have in common that might make quite a good puzzle. Let me see..."
And with that, he took my puzzle, moved the images around, added in some more, and started scrawling lines all across it, saying things like, "And you'll need to give the solver a helping hand - their initials perhaps, to speed along the scutwork... A sensible ordering... An answer key... And a hint in the title, of course."
And with a flourish he presented me his improvement on my puzzle:
(In fact, he'd even made a colour-blind-friendly version too...)
"But, but, but..." I stammered, a bit put out by this complete reworking of my puzzle. "This... It's... See, I..."
"I guarantee you," said the Major with a smile, "that this is now a far better, more accessible, more constrained, and more enjoyable puzzle - you just needed to spend a little more time thinking things through from your solver's point of view during your creative process. It will still take a little time to work through, of course, but the payoff at the end will be worth it - see, the final answer is 10-letters long, very topical to the method of solving, and...
...you'll still get your worm."
TASK: Identify the famous faces from fiction and real life and use the diagram and title to help you deduce the final 10-letter answer.