Or -“Because Stephen Demanded It…”

So, Stephen challenged me to come up with a good Top Ten topic for the week, and (as is my way) I tried to come up with something positive to say about the nature of the world.  For various reasons, I’ve been out of sorts lately, and all I could come up with were a series of whines and complaints about the world in general, and comics in specific.  Rather than try and deny my inner nature, I have decided to find a positive spin on my own negativity, by talking about characters that I love and enjoy, who don’t quite bring it home in the naming department.

Be forewarned, there will be no bashing of Matter-Eater Lad.  His name is awesome.  The internet is just plain wrong.  That is all.

Aeon Flux (MTV, Film)

When Stephen, Otter Disaster and I were in college (and Rodrigo was five) MTV debuted a late-night series that was a thunderbolt from the blue for me, taking the cartoons of my youth and adding new concepts, edge, and maybe just a hint of nudity to create something that my early 20’s self was fascinated by.  The strongest of the Liquid Television lineup, Aeon Flux was highly conceptual and striking, and the original episodes lacked dialogue (save for some gibberish here and there), giving us a mostly-visual conceptual experience.  No matter how much I love Aeon, Trevor, and the stories they lived in, there’s just something completely wrong about her nom de guerre.  Even now, I don’t know what it means (an eon/aeon is generally used to refer to a billion years, or at least a long time, so it could possibly be some sort of time travel or time distortion reference?), but even that doesn’t diminish Aeon’s awesomeness.  Charlize Theron, on the other hand?

Banshee (X-Men, Marvel Comics)

Sean Cassidy.  Tough Guy.  Detective.  Superhero.  His powers made him one of the most versatile members of the X-Men in the pre-Phoenix days, and he eventually ended up leading an X-Men splinter team of his own in Generation X.  Now, herein lies a problem:  When they named him, they just came up with something that sounded vaguely Irish in nature, not knowing (or perhaps not caring) that a Banshee is a female fairy whose cry is said to foretell death.  It’s easier to forgive the gender issue for me than it is the second bit, wherein we’ve named our superhero after a creature who might spirit you away for unknown nefarious purposes if you so much as picked up a comb you stumble across.  Either way, Sean’s battlecry is much fiercer than his alias.  (But you should hear him sing Da-Doo-Ron-Ron.)

Black Lightning (DC Comics)

Jefferson Pierce holds a very important place in comic book history, not only as DC’s first black superhero, their first African-American headliner character but most importantly, the character who made sure that the Brown Bomber never happened.  (The Bomber was a concept that might have held Black Lightning’s spot in history, a white racist who transformed Shazam-style into a black hero.  It was reportedly worse than it even sounds.)  But for all his importance, and all the interesting stories he’s been a part of, the name Black Lightning is a clunker, an unfortunate combination of borderline racist and ridiculously obvious that is sillier than his mask/afro combo from back in the day.  Forty years down the line, it’s too late to do much more than wonder at the thought processes that must have gone on at DC in the 1970s to go with this, but at least it’s better than what might have been…

Elektra (Marvel Comics)

Killer ninja with a killer bod,  Elektra Natchios is one of Frank Miller’s great ideas from before everything he wrote was “WHORESWHORESWHORESWHORES” and her death is one of the strongest moments from early 80’s comics.  Even after her multiple resurrections and strangenesses, Elektra is one of Marvel’s most versatile anti-heroes, a female Wolverine without all the body hair and retcons.  Trouble is, her name is also referential of a Jungian theory that describes a girl’s sexual attraction to her own father, making her name a little creepy.  Add to this the fact that part of her impetus to become a hero/serial killer/assassin is the murder of her father, and you’ve got a neat character who kinda squicks me out whenever I think too hard.  Jennifer Garner has damaged the character’s cache as a money-maker, but that can’t last in the wild & wacky Marvel U, and soon enough she’ll be lusting after her parent and skewering bad guys again…

Grunge (Gen-13, Image Comics)

For all the guff I give 90’s Image Comics, there were some fun bits here and there.  I like some of Savage Dragon, bits of Stormwatch and WildC.A.T.S., and The Authority is a big bag of awesome.  Even Gen 13, the comic book that launched a thousand double entendres, had strong moments and a couple of breakout characters.  Percival Edmund Chang is a fun character, a devil-may-care skater type with absorption powers that make him pretty dangerous in a fight, and as recent issues of the doomed Wildstorm Universe have shown, a pretty sharp mind as well.  Too bad his battle name was already cliche at the time of his debut in 1994, referencing a music subgenre that quickly became a parody of itself as well as annoying anybody who got in my Dodge between ’91 and ’97.  (In my defense, Pearl Jam’s “Ten” was a phenomenal album.)

Hardbody (John Byrne’s Next Men)

Yes, I’m aware you have no idea who she is.  Round about the time Image hit it big, many other companies leapt onto the bandwagon as well, including Dark Horse Comics with their Legend imprint, where John Byrne, Mike Allred, and others set up shop.  **EDIT** The Next Men predate both Legend and Image Comics **EDIT** beginning with a concept that originated with a pitch to DC, and the characters actually appeared once in a DC comic, albeit in a nearly unrecognizable prototype form.  The Next Men were super-types in a real-world setting, and dealt with the ramifications of super-powers and superhero behavior in a world that approximated our reality.  None of their codenames were spectacular (by design) but the invulnerable Bethany going by “Hardbody,” a name that sounds like a Porky’s-level teen explotation flick, was worst of all.  A good rule of thumb to go by with characters who are the Innocent Bombshell:  Be wary of double entendres.


Speaking of double-entendres, in 1975, Marvel Comics produced a run of their “Giant-Size” double-feature issues that clearly illustrated the problem with this swamp-man’s sobriquet…  Next time you’re in a comic shop near a girl, don’t miss your chance to ask if she’s seen your “Giant-Size Man-Thing.”  Thousands of geeks have gone before you in this rite of passage, and thousands more will follow.  It is the way of our world, young grasshopper…

Mr. Fantastic

So, you’re the smartest man on the cinder, with amazing powers that make your body as fluid and malleable as your spectacular mind, and you’re the honcho of the premier super-team in the world.  What do you call yourself?  For all his genius, Reed Richards can’t fix the Amazon rainforest, cure world hunger, or even so much as wipe out the common cold, and he cannot pick himself a super-name either.  His teammates’ names run the gamut from prosaic to pretty awesome, but Mr. Fantastic has the double problem of being both egotistical and not very creative, since he’d already named the team the Fantastic Four.  Maybe it was something like Einstein’s choice to have multiple identical outfits to avoid wasting brain power?


Awesome look!  Great powers!  Swashbuckling daredevil!  Interesting (if convoluted) backstory!  Three fingers!  Beloved icon to all!

Dude, you’re named after a worm.

Red Robin

YUMM! Tim Drake is a brilliant kid, figuring out who Batman is based only on a few scant clues, and is one of the few self-made heroes in the Bat-family.  (Their origins tend to have a lot of gunplay, but not so much awesomeness.  That doesn’t come later.)  He proved himself to be a competent leader during his run as a Teen Titan, and is the one person who ever really made most of us forget the shadow of Dick Grayson as Robin.  His redesigned Robin suit actually made up for years of green chainmail panties, and his tragic star turn in Identity Crisis still gives me chills.  Then, he grew up, lost his mind, stole Doctor Mid-Nite’s spare costume, and named himself after a hamburger joint.  It could be worse, I suppose.  We could be reading the adventures of Batman, Robin, Batwoman, and the White Castle.

Actually, that might be kind of cool…

Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day: What other characters fall short in the name department?  (Please be kind to the Legion of Super-Heroes in your responses…  To quote Charles Foster Offdensen, that’s my bread and butter you’re $&!#ing with.)

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Spaceboots
    November 6, 2010 at 1:18 am — Reply

    Two great super-teams that I love dearly and are awesome, but have really unfortunate names: Critical Hit and Major Spoilers. :P

  2. jurman
    November 6, 2010 at 2:18 am — Reply

    Love your list! I will never look at Elektra the same way again.

    I would have to add Cable. He may not have originally been a great character but was decent later on. I could never figure out why he was named this. Has nothing to do with his powers as far as I could tell.

    Speedy would work better for Flash’s sidekick than Green Arrow’s.

    I loved He-Man as a kid, but even then I thought the name was stupid.

  3. Space Cadet Juan
    November 6, 2010 at 3:11 am — Reply

    The only thing I dislike about Hellboy is his name. Everything else about him is awesome, but such a dopey name.

  4. bob
    November 6, 2010 at 7:44 am — Reply

    Wow.You totally ignored ALL the bad Legion names!I agree,leave Matter Eater Lad alone.But Arm Fall Off Boy?Absorbing Boy?Reflecto?Not to mention strange characters like Grimbor the chainsman and his companion Charma?They were weird.
    I’d have to agree on Cable.Is he a wire or TV provider?

  5. November 6, 2010 at 8:47 am — Reply

    I think with Hardbody, you hit the nail on the head on when “deliberately silly” (like so many Legion codenames) crosses over into “unintentionally wrong”. But you have to admit, the name “Nightcrawler” is almost too cool for a worm; it should be a snake’s name.

  6. Slappy
    November 6, 2010 at 8:51 am — Reply

    I LOVE the name of Matter Eater Lad. It says what he does.

    Shadowcat? 1. She is a horrible character that they turned into everything to try to make her interesting.
    2. She doesn’t go into shadows she phases through walls. Call her phantom girl or something.

    Magick: Like Kitty should have stayed dead. A child forced to age and have all kinds of Magic thrown upon her. but hey lets make her cool and call he Magik with a K get it?

    • Navarre
      November 6, 2010 at 11:00 am — Reply

      Allow me to paraphrase Liam Neeson from the movie “Taken”:

      “What I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.

      If you [stop bashing Kitty and Illyana] now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. ”

      Okay…I won’t really kill you. Maybe an atomic wedgie or something.

      You did this just to give me an aneurysm, didn’t you? ;-)

      • Slappy
        November 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm — Reply

        I don’t quite understand. I thought the thread was about cool names to crappy characters?
        Just spelled out some bad ones.

        • brainypirate
          November 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm — Reply

          ???? Did you write that backwards? It’s crappy names, not crappy characters….

          • Slappy
            November 6, 2010 at 5:50 pm — Reply

            yes, on purpose.

      • Navarre
        November 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm — Reply

        When Magik teleports you to Limbo and Shadowcat leaves your body half-phased into the ground there, we’ll see if those two are “crappy” characters. The demons will enjoy playing with your skull. ;-)

        Illyana uses magic so her name is appropriate. She’s one of the more powerful magic-users in the Marvel universe.

        Kitty has had to work her way through all sorts of bad names. At least Shadowcat is better than Ariel or Sprite.

        In Astonishing X-Men #2, Kitty says to a reporter that “Shadowcat” is what she “used” to be called. So maybe she will be choosing another name soon. I hear that Phantom Girl is already taken though.

        • Slappy
          November 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm — Reply

          I believe it is, by a good character.

      • E Hobbs
        November 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm — Reply

        Good Luck.

  7. Brainlock
    November 6, 2010 at 8:56 am — Reply

    Red Robin – you do know that costume and name originally appeared in Kingdom Come as the new identity of one Richard Grayson, do you not? It was left in limbo until Jason Todd picked up the (bloody) cowl in alt.Earth during Countdown. I don’t read the Bat-books, so I don’t know if this is the same costume handed down to Tim or if he modeled his current costume on that one. It sucks to have older brothers, I’ll tell you that for nothing.

    Cable – someone once tried to explain it off when he was hanging with Lee Forrester. (yeah, Nate shagged his dad’s old squeeze. ew.) Something about he was the next LINK in evolution, his name TYING the past foundations of the Heroic Age to his upbringing in the future or something. yeah, really cheesy. It was right after the Loeb/Churchill run, which should have gone longer than it was allowed, if not for that nonsense with the Twelve mega-X-arc. then again, how much of his body was infected/cyborg was always in flux. from just his arm, to arm/shoulder and occasionally chest, to basically, his whole left side, it was always in flux…or was it actually just a representation of how he was changing his own personal timeline? 0.o? doo-do-doo-doo….

  8. November 6, 2010 at 10:54 am — Reply

    Great list, but I have to disagree with “Elektra.” I went to school with a girl name Electra and it wasn’t until years and years later that I found out that her name was tied to some sort of Freudian complex. I think the name can stand on its own merit, without instantly conjuring up weird incestual fetishes. Oedipus, on the other hand . . .

    • November 10, 2010 at 4:45 pm — Reply

      The problem with that is the fact that she’s Greek. You see, it’s true that Jung coined the term, based off of Freud’s already existing Oedipus Complex, but he used that name because (just like Oedipus Rex) “Electra” was an existing Greek tragedy that reflected the concept.

      If Elektra’s nationality were anything other than Greek, and if her story wasn’t so centered around her father, I’d be willing to buy that Miller just picked her name at random as something he thought sounded cool. Once you take those into account, however, it’s obvious that Miller knew the connection.

  9. November 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    Actually, Man-Thing is the reverse of an awful name. It is actually the best name.

    In the future, all names will be Man-Thing and everyone is happy forever.

    • Kevin
      November 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm — Reply

      This is the single best Internet post I have ever seen.

  10. Jericosis
    November 6, 2010 at 12:28 pm — Reply

    I thought of a few — “Calendar Man”? “Egghead”? “Box?” “Dough Boy”?

  11. Kevin
    November 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm — Reply

    Hate to be a buzzkill, but the character, much like the Freudian/Jungian complex, is named after the Sophocles play Electra, which is rooted in Greek myth. Euripedes wrote a version, as well.

    • November 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm — Reply

      hate to kill your buzzkill buzz, but for the purposes of the list it actually doesn’t matter what the artists’ intent was, it only matters how the audience perceives it. Sure Beaver College was in Beaver Pennsylvania, but they still changed their name as soon as it was convenient to do so. Why? Because as time went by, and without them doing anything, their name became a terrible name.

      • November 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm — Reply

        But how many people actually think of the complex when they see the name “Elektra?”

        • Kevin
          November 6, 2010 at 1:48 pm — Reply

          Exactly, Scott.

          Rodrigo, it’s still the source of the name. The character was not named after the complex. Doesn’t matter that the complex existed before the character; what matters is both the character and the complex are named after the same thing. It’s not really that hard to digest.

          • November 6, 2010 at 2:14 pm — Reply

            You’re right, it’s not, once someone explains it to you. But I think that the ‘Elektra Complex’ is more widely known than its origin, which means it usually HAS to be explained. That’s what makes it a poor name, the fact that it necessitates explanation, and more importantly differentiation.

            look at it this way: The word “rape” used to mean “seize” or “kidnap” and a lot of people know that, most of those people would still do a double-take if they read something that said “The Man in the Yellow Hat raped Curious George”

          • November 10, 2010 at 5:01 pm — Reply

            Yeah. Have to say I agree with Rodrigo on this. It is incumbent on the author to address the expected reaction within his/her audience. If I say, “he fell on his fanny” in America, that may be an odd turn of phrase, but it makes perfect sense. In Australia or England, however, it would not only be considered somewhat vulgar but VERY confusing. If I, as an author, don’t address this the issue is on me.

        • brainypirate
          November 6, 2010 at 5:02 pm — Reply

          I bet more people know of the Electra Complex than know of the Greek character.

        • November 6, 2010 at 7:42 pm — Reply

          But how many people actually think of the complex when they see the name “Elektra?”

          Um… I do?

          And I shall also have to call the George Carlin precedent: My list. My rules. I make ’em up. :D

          • Russell
            November 7, 2010 at 12:48 am — Reply

            I’m betting that you just didn’t know as much as you are pretending you knew.

            • November 7, 2010 at 9:33 am — Reply

              I’m betting that you just didn’t know as much as you are pretending you knew.

              Well, that is your right as the consumer… But it was, in fact, Elektra who spurred this entire exercise given that I have had issues reading the character without cognitive dissonance since my earliest psychology classes circa the late ’80s.

              The point of this was to start some interesting conversation, maybe make a few jokes to pass the day. I try really hard to avoid doing things whose only purpose is to bolster my own ego. Your mileage, as always, may vary.

        • Ricco
          November 8, 2010 at 11:35 am — Reply

          I thought about it too, I always assumed it was done on purpose seen how she goes psycho assassin/killer after her father dies…

    • November 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm — Reply

      Okay… I’m named after my uncle. Doesn’t change the fact that Elektra’s name squicks me. Mileage, as always, will vary.

  12. TaZ
    November 6, 2010 at 1:17 pm — Reply

    I’d put Black Goliath on the list before I’d put Black Lightning.

    I’d also add Gilgamesh (the Eternal that very briefly was in the Avengers to replace Herc.) Unless you were a real mythology or history buff that name sounded like a Hungarian food.

    • November 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm — Reply

      Hmmmm…Gil Goulash? Maybe Matthew needs a stalker in MSA.

  13. Navarre
    November 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm — Reply

    Every member of the main Great Lakes Avengers team has a terrible name. But I’m sure that was Byrne’s intent when he created them.

    “Flatman” is just awful though.

    • Slappy
      November 6, 2010 at 5:53 pm — Reply

      Better than Flatwoman. They would probably be accused of sexism on being demeaning in a comic book. We all know that there are no demeaning characters or sexism in comics now, don’t we boys and girls.

    • Damascus
      December 1, 2010 at 12:28 am — Reply

      WHAT? Are you being serious? That team is so appropriately named it’s ridiculous. Honestly though, I think for a team like the GLA, they almost had to have goofy names. They’re a super team that keeps Wisconsin safe. Doorman, Flatman, Mr. Immortal, Grasshopper (R.I.P), Dinah Soar (R.I.P), Squirrel Girl, Monkey Joe, Tippy Toe, Big Bertha.

      They even make fun of the name Flatman in one of the issues, asking him if he has a sidekick named Ribbon.

  14. November 6, 2010 at 1:40 pm — Reply


    The sidekick to the dark, gritty, striking-fear-in-the-heart-of-superstitious-criminals superhero is named . . . Robin.

    Is there something about that adorable little bird I’m unaware of?

    • Navarre
      November 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm — Reply

      Robin was originally named after Robin Hood instead of the bird. … But that really doesn’t make the name any better, does it? heh

  15. November 6, 2010 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    I’m aware of the origin of the awful Red Robin name, but Tim in universe isn’t… Why would he choose it? Editorial caveat.

    • Slappy
      November 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm — Reply

      Tim chose the name because he wanted to get that edge from a name without putting in the work. Since Red Robin was already “Damaged goods” from Jason Todd using it, he took that one. Thereby not damaging the reputation of Batman, Robin or anyone in the family.

  16. November 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm — Reply

    Also, just realized – on the face of it, Mr. Fantastic is a pretty goofy name. But the recent “Fantastic Four in… Ataque del MODOK!” actually gives a really sweet, romantic explanation for it.

  17. brainypirate
    November 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm — Reply

    Elongated Man
    Silver Samurai (wasn’t his costume green instead of silver?)
    Apache Chief
    Negative Man
    Killer Moth, Firefly, Calendar Man and a host of silly Batman villains–but maybe they’re just too silly to deserve a decent name….
    the fact that the Legion even uses superhero names at all, especially since half the team is super only when away from their home planets….
    Mandrake the Magician

    • brainypirate
      November 6, 2010 at 5:09 pm — Reply

      My mistake — I was thinking of the Super-Friends Samurai, who is not in fact Silver…

    • Damascus
      December 1, 2010 at 12:40 am — Reply

      Unless it was already taken, I just would have thought that they might have instead named Elongated Man something like Elastic Man. Originally when they created Elastic Man, the creator didn’t realize that they owned Plastic Man now and could have used him the whole time. Granted all said, it’s a good thing they didn’t call him Elastic Man, because later on it would have been awkward around the Justice League Satallite having a Plastic Man/Elastic Man confrontation.

  18. Allen
    November 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm — Reply

    Elongated Man (Just doesn’t roll off of the tongue)
    Black Goliath (Rather racist)
    The Tattooed Man (another one that doesn’t sit well on the tongue)
    Big Barda (I live with 5 women and not one of them wants to be called big)
    Stripsey (Nuff said)
    The Star Spangled Kid (Wow could we shorten that)

    • Russell
      November 7, 2010 at 12:38 am — Reply

      Are any of the women part of an intergalactic hit team from a planet called Apokolips?

      • Slappy
        November 7, 2010 at 6:46 am — Reply

        The Female Fury leader when Big Barda left was Lashina. During a mission to Earth, fellow member and sister of DeSadd, Bernadeth attacked Lashina as they were leaving stranding her with amnesia.

        Lashina eventually joined the Suicide Squad under Rick Flagg as Duchess. Not exactly an intergalactic team, but the closest I can think of.

        • Russell
          November 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm — Reply

          The Female Furies were an intergalactic hit team. Even an inter-demensional hit team (in comic book terms). Your post does reference actual events from comics, but it’s out of context.

          • Slappy
            November 7, 2010 at 7:31 pm — Reply

            1. Sorry, I thought you were asking something else. Particularly when you consider that because someone is from another planet does not automatically make them intergalactic. Just Alien. As far as I know ALL of the furies were from Apokolips, not various parts of the Galaxy. Thereby making the Suicide Squad a more intergalactic Hit team than the Furies in my opinion.
            2. What got you so riled to place your Bat-Dickness level to 11? Bart and Milhouse walk into your store and put their pingerptints on the glass again? Do people like Matthew make mistakes, yes. When you are vague, unclear and after the fact trying to appear holier than thou, of course people will misunderstand your statements.
            Check the rules. I know I can not enforce them, but going after someone in jest as I do with Navarre is one thing. You my boy appear to be bitter and mean.

  19. Russell
    November 7, 2010 at 12:46 am — Reply

    Next Men was published before Image was formed. It started before the “Legends” imprint and was later incorporated. Banshee was originally a “villain.”

    • November 7, 2010 at 9:29 am — Reply

      Next Men was published before Image was formed. It started before the “Legends” imprint and was later incorporated. Banshee was originally a “villain.”

      I stand corrected, as Next Men started in 1991 whereas Image was formed in ’92. Good catch, sir.

  20. Jim
    November 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm — Reply

    I thought of a lot of bad characters with bad names before I remembered this was GREAT characters with bad names.

    With that in mind, I have this one: Mr. Terrific. Michael Holt is an interesting character: he’s an African American man whose power is his mind AND he’s one of the few vocally atheist characters (as far as I can tell). And yet such a terrible name, made even worse by the fact that it’s on his jacket. I know it’s a legacy name but it’s still freaking ridiculous. Worse than Mr. Fantastic, really, because “terrific” is such a milquetoast word.

    Also, Mr. Sinister and The Nasty Boys sounds like a nu-metal group. I can’t take those names seriously, either.

    • November 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm — Reply

      With that in mind, I have this one: Mr. Terrific. Michael Holt is an interesting character: he’s an African American man whose power is his mind AND he’s one of the few vocally atheist characters (as far as I can tell). And yet such a terrible name, made even worse by the fact that it’s on his jacket. I know it’s a legacy name but it’s still freaking ridiculous. Worse than Mr. Fantastic, really, because “terrific” is such a milquetoast word.

      Yeah, but he’s a legacy hero, honoring Terry Sloane’s original name, so we might have to give him a pass on this one…

      • E Hobbs
        November 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm — Reply

        While I am a christian who respects freedom to choose, in Holt’s world working with the spectre…I find it funny. It was talked about in one JSA stories.

  21. Russell
    November 7, 2010 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, John Bryne, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum, and Frank Miller (in my opinion) were all really, really good at their jobs. A big part of their jobs was creating characters that could be enjoyed by children. I think if someone is going to be snarky about their work, they should at least do a cursory internet search that would probably take less than 1/10th of the time that it takes to write these articles.
    I really like the hero histories, but a lot of these posts are either not researched or embellished to tell the story you want to tell while pretending to be factual.

    If you are going to make jokes about Santa being too fat to fit down a chimney…

    But the Hardbody post goes beyond that.

    “Yes, I’m aware you have no idea who she is. ***When Image hit it big, many other companies leapt onto the bandwagon as well, including Dark Horse Comics with their Legend imprint, where John Byrne***, Mike Allred, and others set up shop.”

    That’s a a very big insult. And even after having it pointed out to you, you still didn’t take the time to change it. That’s libel per se.

    • November 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm — Reply

      That’s a a very big insult. And even after having it pointed out to you, you still didn’t take the time to change it. That’s libel per se.

      Hardly an insult, certainly not libel, but you certainly have a large axe to grind. I’m a huge fan of the Next Men, and I misremembered a series of events. The reason I didn’t change the post immediately was that I was at work, checking the site on my smart phone, which makes such changes a titanic pain in the ass to try and do. (The interface isn’t the most user-friendly to our editing software…)

      I’m sorry this wasn’t to your liking, Russell, but I kind of resent both your superior attitude and your tone here. I apologize for the unintentional slight on my part, but I hardly see how the difference between 1991 and 1993 is something that causes irreparable harm to John Byrne or his intellectual property (which, by the way, is returning in the near future from IDW Publishing, and is absolutely worth a look.) Libel does generally need to have a negative impact on a person’s reputation or standing, I believe.

      Thanks for your comments, overzealous though they seem to be.

      • Russell
        November 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm — Reply

        Stating that the work was an attempt to jump on the Image bandwagon on your site, which reviews comic books, does have a negative effect on a comic that is about to be relaunched.

        • November 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm — Reply

          Stating that the work was an attempt to jump on the Image bandwagon on your site, which reviews comic books, does have a negative effect on a comic that is about to be relaunched.

          I sincerely doubt that, but you are entitled to your opinion.

  22. Davis Cooper
    November 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm — Reply

    Lori Lemaris
    (Always shown in a wheelchair WAY too close to the old polio days!)
    Texas Twister
    (Too close to a form of torment we used on one another back in elementary school!)
    Night Thrasher
    (Scary skateboard man?)
    (Named after a way to purchase/use drugs?)
    Tigra, the Were-Woman
    (Yes, they caught that one… after a few issues!)
    Omega, the Unknown
    (And we will never know. The more they explained… the less we knew.)

  23. @lantis
    November 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm — Reply

    Well there are plenty of crappy names, but most of them are attached to equally crappy characters so I’m sure they don’t qualify for this list.

    I really can’t stand The Protector in the latest Avengers, bot his name and his character are terrible. He’s only good for the occasional comic relief for being oblivious to Earth standards and customs.

  24. JoeM
    November 8, 2010 at 11:00 am — Reply

    Whizzer and Silver Surfer.
    I think Whizzer is one of those names that at the time didn’t have the connotations that it does now. Not quite sure though, I wasn’t around when he was first introduced.
    Silver Surfer is one of those that is grandfathered in for me. I first saw him as a kid and loved him as a completely serious super-hero. But if you introduced him today there is no way I could take him seriously.

  25. Bob
    November 8, 2010 at 1:27 pm — Reply

    Black Panther

    Skids (I like the charactor, but I would hate to see her panties)




    Nightcrawler (sounds like a worm)

    and I really like Valor.

  26. November 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm — Reply

    Agamemnon (played in Time Bandits by Sean Connery) had assembled his army and his ships and was ready to attack the walled city of Troy. Problem was, no wind. After a few weeks, people started to figure the attack wasn’t going to happen, so they started wandering off.

    So ostensibly to appease the wind god, but in actuality to prove just how serious he was, Agamemnon took his teenage daughter Iphigenia to the bridge of his ship and plunged a knife into her chest. The winds came and Agamemnon spent the next ten years besieging troy.

    Problem was, Iphigenia was Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra’s favorite daughter, so the second Agamemnon walked in the door and said “honey I’m home”, she and her new boyfriend hacked him to death with axes.

    Orestes, who was a child, was taken to the hills by slaves, because they figured the new king would kill him to secure the throne. There he was raised until he was twenty.

    When he returned, he sprung his sister Electra from a tower where she was being imprisoned, the two of them found the original axes used to killed their father, and together they hacked to pieces their own mother and her lover.

    All this happened thousands of years before Freud started smoking cigars.

    Not only is Electra an awesome name, but the original Electra is so much cooler than the Marvel version.

    • Spaceboots
      November 8, 2010 at 3:46 pm — Reply

      How can you not like Kevin Smith?

        • Spaceboots
          November 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm — Reply

          Oh yeah, I remember that now. I guess there’s two kinds of people in the world, the people who wonder what Batman does when he has to go to the bathroom, and the people who don’t. Regardless of your handle, I appreciate your filling in the details on Electra.

          • November 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm — Reply


            It’s a great story. Sartre does a awesome version called The Orestes.

            Because the king gets the throne through murder, the whole town is cursed, and the people are suffering under of the sins of the King. But to lift the curse, Orestes has to kill his own mother, which is a pretty big sin in its own right.

            So when the deed is done, and Orestes is covered in his mother’s blood, he wanders out of the city and the curses follow him. The city is redeemed and Orestes is damned.

            It’s Sartre whole thing about how responsibility is absolute and merciless. Basically you go to do what you got to do, so don’t expect a reward.

          • Slappy
            November 11, 2010 at 4:42 am — Reply

            I know what the Dark Knight does when he must urinate!!!!
            He goes to the batroom!

  27. November 9, 2010 at 9:59 am — Reply

    “Holocaust”, Apocalypse’s “son” from the AoA run.

    I get what they were going for, but no. Just no.

  28. Wodwose
    November 10, 2010 at 8:48 am — Reply

    Deathstroke the Terminator. Sigh. Cool character, neat abilities, crap name. And a shite costume to boot. As a side note, look out for my new comic “Explodicus the Destructulator”.

    • November 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm — Reply

      I’m not sure how it happened, but the old Titans books just refer to him as Terminator. They really put an emphasis on “Deathstroke, the Terminator” after the movie hit it big.

      You’re right, though, it is pretty clunky. Even just calling him “Slade”, like they did in the cartoon, doesn’t make it much better. The name Slade sounds like, “Hi. You can call me Jake McBadass. This is my friend, Dirk Axehead.”

      • E Hobbs
        November 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm — Reply

        Two names I am stealing for my novel.

  29. Damascus
    December 1, 2010 at 2:36 am — Reply

    Ajax is a demigod, a member of The Pantheon and a son of Agamemnon and is named after the Greek warrior who fought in the Trojan War, but will forever make me think of household cleansers.

    Stature – I like Cassie Lang, I just don’t particularly care for her codename.
    Wiccan – Speaking of Young Avengers, I do like this better than Asgardian, but it’s still kinda lame.
    Angar the Screamer and his partner Screaming Mimi, sheesh.
    Angel Dust – I mean seriously, she can ramp up her adrenaline and give herself enhanced strength, speed, agility, endurance. She’s a friggin tweaker.
    Ch’od of the Starjammers – He’s a fairly cool character, but I don’t care how old I am, I can’t read that without hearing “chode” which just makes me giggle.

    All the characters from the short-lived comic Freex from Malibu had terrible names and powers.
    Poundcakes – Female villain who used to be a member of the Femizons. Awesome.
    Black Knight – The only reason I say this, is that the Dane Whitman version of the Black Knight had very little black actually in his costume, he should have been the Blue and Yellow Knight.
    Americop – It’s just a really dumb name. I’ll take Axe Cop over that one any day.
    Jean Grey – I like Phoenix mostly because it gives Jean a real super sounding name, for so long she’s just gone by her real name. It’s just boring and unoriginal, or since so few actually go by their real name maybe it’s extremely original.
    Moon-boy – I don’t think he’s ever referenced as having come from a moon of any kind.
    Boom Boom – Unfortunately Tabitha Smith hasn’t had much luck by way of aliases, Boom Boom, Boomer, Time Bomb, Meltdown, and Firecracker, none of which are any good.
    Negasonic Teenage Warhead – Do I really have to say anything here? Even Kitty Pryde makes fun of this name.
    Moondragon – This isn’t the name that would make me think of a skinny chick with a bald head (sometimes) and gemstone. It’s a decent name that just doesn’t seem to fit the character.

    That’s all Marvel, and I’m tired and bored now so yeah. That’s it for me. I tried to dig through wikipedia and some of my books to find some slightly more obscure characters to mention here.

    • Damascus
      December 1, 2010 at 2:47 am — Reply

      Before someone comments on my post too, now that I’ve read some of the other posts halfway down on here, there are some characters in my list that are not great characters. I do really like some of the characters in my list, Stature, Wiccan, Ch’od, Black Knight, but yeah as I was looking through different characters there were just a few that were kinda hilarious to me so I added them. I just wanted to cop to that up front before I’m called a Commie or something.

      • Slappy
        December 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm — Reply


  30. Stefanie
    April 14, 2011 at 4:07 am — Reply

    I don’t want to get in a big rant, so I’ll just say that I always thought superheroes or villians with the words ‘man’ or ‘woman’ in their title was ridiculosly redundant as everybody can, 90% of the time, tell what gender the person in question is just by looking. the 10% appiles to those who wear bulky armor (Jenny Swensen) or shapeshift into something that doesn’t have obvious anatomy.

    • Damascus
      April 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm — Reply

      Yeah, but if you did away with it you’d be just left with people like, Tony Stark as Iron, Diana as Wonder, Clark as Super, Spider, Invisible, etc. It wouldn’t work too well, but I do get the redundancy. I don’t like when a comic is supposed to take place in the future and their names end in Lad and Boy and stuff like that. ;)

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