Top 20 Worst Superhero Names II  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sure, Kitty Pryde has been going by Shadowcat for a long time now, but there was a time that she was known as Ariel and Sprite. While I will agree that coming up with a superhero name for somebody with her powers that isn’t ghost themed is tricky, she eventually came up with Shadowcat, so why she started with Ariel and Sprite is beyond me. Neither of these imply what her powers are (which the X-Men names tend to do), so I’m beyond curious as to where they came from.
Not withstanding DC Comics obsession with adding “Lad” to names, this is what happens when another comic book company has an idea for a character and steals the name that you wanted. While I, as a grown-up realize without ever seeing this character that he is going to do something with iron, most 8 year olds probably don’t understand that Fe is the atomic symbol for iron, or that “ferrous” is an adjective referring to iron. While I appreciate DC Comics trying to educate comic book readers, sometimes you just have to dumb it down.
Ok, so he’s not a superhero so much as a villain, but work with me here. While the name is appropriate given his real name, Mortimer Toynbee, and his powers, it’s still a terrible name. The fact that he lets himself be saddled with it in the story just feeds into his boot-licker image and is probably why nobody in the comics or out of them really respects him.
A self-named character that realized he was making a joke choosing the name, the fact that the writers thought it was amusing is the sad thing. There’s a reason that almost everybody in the world of X-Men calls him Guido (his first name) instead of Strong Guy, many of them refusing to call him that on the basis of its stupidity.
At first glance, Doreen Green is a pretty cool character. Superhuman agility, retractable claws, a prehensile tale (a bit inconvenient, but great for balance), and even talking to squirrels could be handy when you consider the sheer number of them. But Squirrel Girl? It’s just not going to inspire fear into somebody like Magneto, or Apocalypse (a name that will inspire fear). I do appreciate Marvel thinking outside the box a bit on her powers, but I really want to believe that they could have come up with a better name for her.

In what world, is a small, migratory bird, a suitable name for a sidekick to a character with a name like Batman? Now, when Dick Grayson grows up he changes his name to Nightwing, a far more awe-inspiring name, but the fact that Batman has kept calling his junior sidekicks Robin implies that he thinks his name is too scary and he’s trying to lighten up his image, or he’s hoping that while everybody is laughing at the name of his sidekick he and Robin will be able to pummel their opponents into submission.
While he’s back to calling himself Luke Cage, at one time this New Avenger actually wanted people to take him serious as Power Man. His costume probably didn’t help things, but pretty much any superhero could use the name Power Man as they almost ALL HAVE POWERS! It’s just uncreative and unbecoming of a pretty good character with lots of depth. Definitely a wise choice to switch back to calling himself Luke Cage.
This is what happens when you let goth kids name themselves. Not only is the name a mouthful, it in no way represents her powers (telepathy and precognition). This is easily one of the worst names ever applied to a comic book character.
Sticking with the Fantastic Four, we have Reed Richards – Mr. Fantastic. In the running for the most pretentious superhero name of all time, he’s basically turning the team into Mr. Fantastic and the Fantastic Four given that his superhero name is also the name of the group. Tone down the ego a bit Reed and change your name that lets people know that you can stretch and bend to amazing lengths.
And so we’re sticking with the whole “Lad” thing. Not only did they saddle him with “lad”, but they also gave him an almost stupidly descriptive name. At least Ferro Lad had a name that while descriptive, didn’t come out and say “I turn into Iron”. Matter-Eater Lad, on the other hand, has exactly zero mystery to what he can do. If you tell somebody that Matter-Eater Lad is coming to help, you can pretty much guess how he’s going to help – he’s going to eat something. The fact that they couldn’t go with with Jaws or something dental in nature is just lazy writing.

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