Every superhero needs a couple of things: superhuman powers, a cape, and maybe a sidekick. He also needs a regular Joe name to hide his higher calling. Spider-Man fights crime, but PeterParker dries the dinner dishes.
It’s been this way since Superman first appeared in a 1938 comic book. Mild-mannered reporter ClarkKent has been donning a cape and leaping tall buildings in a single bound for over eight decades.
Many of the best known comic book characters made their debuts before the 1960s, leaving some of their real life identities as dated as Gary or Wally.
Happily, comic book writers have an easy means to update any of their characters. While a few famous figures – think Spider-Man, Batman, and Superman – never really ditch their human counterparts, in other cases, the superhero role is a title. It can be passed on intentionally, or inherited unexpectedly. For every Wally, there’s a Scott. The updates keep on coming, too. How else do you explain that the current RedRanger in the Power Rangers franchise answers to Jayden?
You could name your son Blazeor Slade, and hope he has the confidence to pull off a larger-than-life appellation, but there are some true gems amongst our heroes’ workaday names. They prove that popular and classic choices can be exciting. While some of these are obscure, Hollywood has adapted plenty of superhero stories for the big screen in recent years: the X-Men, Green Lantern, and CaptainAmerica are all up this summer, with more in the works.
This list is all boys, but there are plenty of heroic choices for girls, too. Tune in next week!