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Category: comic book hero names

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This week, Appellation Mountain’s Abby Sandel looks at comic book names, stripping away the heroes’ superpowers to reveal their more human personae names.

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 Peter Parker dries the dinner dishes.

It’s been this way since Superman first appeared in a 1938 comic book.  Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent 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 Red Ranger in the Power Rangers franchise answers to Jayden?

You could name your son Blaze or 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 Captain America 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!

Anthony – Who’s cooler than Tony Stark?

Arthur – Aquaman was born Arthur Curry, before he discovered that he was descended from the lost tribe of Atlantis.

Bartholomew

Bruce – Worn by Batman’s other half, Bruce Wayne, as well as scientist-turned-Hulk, Bruce Banner.

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