Not every hero gets to have one of super-cool names.  For every Booster Gold, there’s a Chicken-Man; for every iconic Storm there’s a stomach-churning Maggott.  And then, there are the supers whose names are actively rude, the poor saps…

Welcome to Ten Things! Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with ‘An Amateur Comics Historian’, and the legal precedent set in ‘Rubber V. Glue, 1954’, Presents:




Wildguard’s would-be superhero has no powers of her own (not that that ever stopped the likes of Robin or The Falcon) other than her acrobatics and enthusiasm.  Her drive to be a superhero clearly led to her nom de guerre, which one hopes she adopted to defiantly throw the bird to those who would question her abilities, rather than because she loves The Spice Girls.




Will DeGuchi was a second-generation member of Strikeforce: Morituri, in a future world where an alien race known as The Horde has turned the entire world into a nightmarish testing ground.  Receiving telepathic powers with his certain death sentence (the Morituri effect had, at the time, a 100% chance of decedence by ‘splosion), Will DeGuchi jokingly named his super-fast teammate “Scaredycat”, receiving his code name in retaliation…




April Dumaka recieved powers thanks to the alien Dominators, joining the Legionnaires (a team consisting of younger clones/time-lost duplicates of the Legion of Super-Heroes) with her feline abilities.  Though a catspaw is the name for both a wind phenomena over water and a type of knot, the most common definition is that of a patsy or tool, leaving me with the worry that either April was going to end up being easily manipulated or they just didn’t care.  Her tenure was short enough that at least I didn’t have to be preoccupied for very long…




A member of the Young Gods, Catherine Moranis gained a variety of telepathic and mental powers thanks the intervention of the Fourth Host of the Celestials.  Chosen to be the perfect exemplar of a farmer, she and her compatriots (whom I’m pretty sure are based on a Donavan song) earned the respect of the Celestials, at least enough to keep the Earth from being destroyed.  Her name reflects her happy-go-lucky nature, but is also the main insult lobbed by self-proclaimed realists at anyone with a positive attitude…




I love this guy…  One of the heroes from the world of Common Grounds (also as the minicomic ‘Holey Crullers’), Gabe Alexander is a principled telepath whose primary appearance involves finding common ground (See what they did there?) with one of his worst villains when they both find a need for a restroom break at the same time, leading to an entertaining story and a memorable character, albeit one whose alias is often used to imply stupidity.




Another hero whose alias implies either foolishness or insanity, Kay Cera (birthname Jasmine Destine) is a member of the immortal Destine clan, who has survived for nearly 1000 years thanks to her ability to telepathically possess another host body.  When her youngest siblings became aware of their unusual heritage and took on superhero personas, Kay became Cuckoo, referencing the bird’s status as a “brood parasite”, depositing their eggs in the nests of other birds to be raised, similar to her mind-swapping antics…


4) HOTSHOTHotshot

Billy Lefferts is by all accounts a normal teenager, other than his pyrokinetic abilities, and his doting mother is so protective of her boy that she wants him to give up his costumed identity.  Though never as powerful as a Superman or as well-known as a Batman, Hotshot and the Hero Hotline provide an important service to the common folk of the DCU, assisting them with matters the JLA can’t be expected to notice.  Still, his name has not-entirely-unwarranted overtones of vanity and showoffiness that could be seen as demeaning…




There’s a lovely song by Sarah Silverman that describes perfectly my feelings on the use of “diva” to indicate personal pride, none of which can be shared on a family website.  Still, Alessandra Fermi (if that is her REAL name) at least comes by the name honestly, having worked as an opera singer before joining StormWatch, in its initial configuration as the superhero guard of the United Nations.  Lost in combat, she was later replaced by her sister in the role of Diva, with both Fermi siblings fitting the stereotype that their nom de guerre implies.




One of Steve Ditko’s most outré 60s creations (which is saying something, given all that the man was responsible for), Creeper’s name has slowly become slang for a sinister or unnerving person, usually in a predatory or perverted context.  It’s really a shame, since he has a unique look and motif, serving as something of a superhero version of The Joker, only wearing a red bearskin rug on his back.




Some people call her the Space Cowboy, others the gangster of love.  Some people call her Maurice, but it must be noted that those particular people call EVERYONE Maurice.  A hero of the Tangent Comics universe, a world that deviates more than most alternate realities from the Main DC Earth.  While her name is disturbing in an in-universe context, what with it being the same as that psycho-killer from Gotham City, it’s also the go-to insult for gangsters from the 1930s, i.e. “Who’s this joker, see?”  Still a great costume, though…

Feel free to follow along (@MightyKingCobra) for more Ten Things madness on Twitter! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, as fans of the X-Men’s short-lived and little-known mutant duo of Buttface and Schmucko will attest.  Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!


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About Author

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.

1 Comment

  1. Common Grounds had some great ones for this list, so nice pick. I love that book a lot. The rabi and Debutante story is probably my favorite, but the whole collection is wonderful! I hadn’t met anyone else who has read it, so this was a fun surprise!

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