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CSBG Archive

Top Five Characters Whose Real Names Are Way Too “On Point”

Top Five Month (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) continues with a look at characters whose real names are a bit TOO “on point” when it comes to their powers or future undertakings.

Here are the top five…

Enjoy!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Julian Gregory Day

All of those names are way too normal to make the top five. I mean, if his last name was Calendar, then maybe, but Day is a pretty common last name.

Captain Nathaniel Adam

If it were ATOM, then yeah, he’d definitely make the list, but it’s Adam, so it’s JUST believable enough not to make the list.

Otto Octavius

Same thing with Doctor Octavius

5. Scott Free

It’s definitely up there, but Free isn’t really THAT crazy of a last name, is it?

4. Edward Nigma

Now, NIGMA is, so while Scott Free and E. Nigma are both very close, I give E. Nigma the slight edge.

3. Roy G. Bivolo

Roy G. Bivolo, however, just doesn’t make any sense.

So that’s unbelievably on pont.

2. Julio Richter

This guy is so far up the list because, unlike the people above, he wasn’t INSPIRED by his name. If he were, he would likely not even be on the list, as Richter is a common enough last name (Stanley Cup Champion Goalie Mike Richter, for one). However, he is a MUTANT. His abilities to make earthquakes was not known when he got his name, and yet his name is still RICHTER? That’s amazingly on point.

1. Victor Von Doom

One of the four best supervillains ever and his last name happens to be Von Doom?

ON POINT TO THE MAX!!!

117 Comments

Calendar Man’s first two names are versions of the calendar, the Julian and Gregorian.

And on the matter of Roy G. Bivolo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_G._Biv

What about Telford Porter?

Calendar Man’s first two names are versions of the calendar, the Julian and Gregorian.

Right, but they’re also so normal. If it was Julian Gregory Calendar, then yeah, that’d be something! And really, if you’re already going Julian Gregory, why NOT go Calendar instead of Day? Why not go all the way with it? Like Roy G. Bivolo! Cary Bates clearly was ready to go all the way!

I’m glad to see someone else understood Roy G Biv

Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Indigo
Violet

Its pretty much the one thing I remember from art class as a kid.

Was Telford Porter his given name? I always thought it was an alias he had come up with somewhere over the years. If not, then yeah, he would likely bump Scott Free off the list!

Doctor Doom SHOULD HAVE BEEN Victor Van Damme

Ulysses X. Lugman, The Slug.

How about Victor Fries, aka Mr. Freeze?

One of the worst mistakes a writer can make is to give his character stupid, unrealistic names (because the writer thinks he is being clever). This yanks the reader out of the story and reminds him that it isn’t real, that he is only reading. A mature writer knows better.

Captain Adam and Otto Octavius are realistic names that work well. The others on the above list are simply CORNY and indicate one reason why comic books are considered kiddee fare.

But as corny as the name Dr. Doom is, when a character is successful, and lasts long enough, the sheer repetition of his name makes it sink past our inner bullshit detector until we no longer question it. Isn’t this how it works with goofy hero names like Captain America and She-Hulk?

They are kiddie fare, or at least they used to be when most of these names were given out.

I give all the Silver Age names a pass because that was the norm and the Roy G Biv and Calender Man names are actually intelligently thought out.

I like to imagine that Doc Ock’s real name is what inspired him to create the arms in the first place.

I seem to remember they retconned Edward Nygma’s original name to Eddie Nashton, and he changed his name to edward nygma later, which was completely silly, sorry doctor doom, but i’mma let you finish, but Ed Nygma is the best supervillain of ALL TIME! ALL TIME!!

Nathaniel Adam is a realistic name, Otto Octavius not so much. I put the latter squarely in the Silver Age kiddie fare category. I agree, though, that some classic characters have clunky names that we give a pass simply because of their fame and longevity.

Oh, an alias would make sense. He’s such a weasel.

I know someone who owns a greenhouse named Eisley (as in Isley as in Poison Ivy).

As soon as I saw this on Twitter I thought ‘Scott Free’. Love it.

Blackagar Boltagon, aka Black Bolt

Also Thomas Oscar Morrow from the Flash.

You people haven’t ever wondered what would name you should give to your offspring to turn him or her to a silver age superhero/villain?
For me it would be quite easy, having one of those last names ending in “man”. Couple of names with suitable initials and bang, his future career as superhero would be there (and if necessary, I can even provide material for how-he-got-his-powers)

How about Headsman – Cleavon Twain?

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 5, 2010 at 6:56 am

– Scott Free has the excuse that we saw him being named by Darkseid for deliberately ironic reasons, as shown in New Gods #7; remember, Darkseid planned for him to escape Apokolips and nullify the Pact from the get-go.

— Wouldn’t naming him Victor Van Damme just make him “Doctor Damn?” Try getting that into a 1960s comic, whydontcha? Besides, “Doom” is a real, if rare, last name. The”von” is the part that really doesn’t make that much sense. In any case, Doom isn’t exactly a realistic character even by comic-book standards; a Ruritanian dictator wearing hi-tech armor who uses “Gypsy” magic pretty much requires an insane name like Victor Von Doom. Save the “Van Damme” stuff for his infinitely less inventive and less impressive Ultimate counterpart.

— Telford Porter was listed — not said — in an old comic as the Vanisher’s real name, but then disavowed in a Handbook years later. No one ever seems to call him anything but “Vanisher” in dialogue, so it’s rather moot.

— Really, all the Inhumans’ names could count. Medusa is really Medusalith Amaquelin-Boltagon, f’rinstance.

And a few who didn’t make the list:

— This was Chester Goulds M.O. throughout Dick Tracy, from the fact that Prune Face (it’s two words in the original strip story) is apparently named “Boche” to backwards on-the-nose names like the midget gangster Jerome Trohs or the greedy bystander Charlie Yenom and even to names that just aren’t even trying to be real names like B.O. Plenty and Nilon Hoze. Not to mention Dick’s girlfriend and later wife, Tess Trueheart.

— How convenient that the Kree superhero was actually named Mar-Vell. What are the odds of an alien name coincidentally being an Earth word, a contested trademark, and the name of the character’s comics publisher?

— Steve Gerber gets a pass on grounds of deliberate absurdism, but he did make his villain Ruby Thursday’s real name Thursday Rubenstein.

— Count Nefaria at Marvel and Prince Evillo of planet Tartarus (minor LSH villain) at DC. At least Keith Giffen later made fun of the latter name in-story by pointing out that the guy pretty much *had* to become a villain.

— And how about Doctors Stephen and Hugo Strange? Good thing thy grew up to be involved in serious weirdness, eh?

— It’s meant as a joke, of course, but Judge Death’s name before he became an undead horror was Sidney D’eath.

— How convenient that the guy destined to control a magic thunderbolt was named Johnny Thunder?

— 1940s Justice Society enemy the Alchemist’s real name was Zabor Zodiac. He returned briefly in All-Star Squadron #1-3.

— Roy Thomas named the Nazi supervillainess Warrior Woman “Frieda Ratsel,” which is a bit like naming, say, a French supervillain “Pierre Garliqueter” or a British villain “Sir Thomas Lymey.”

Y’know, most of those names are pretty awful, especially Doom and Nigma… but I can let Nigma pass if it’s an alias.

And I have to say I’m totally fine with Scot Free, considering the guy comes from a whole different plane of existence. Scott Free was never going to have a realistic background and backstory – if he’s a God, or something like it, he’s much more explicitly an *idea* than a human character might be, and it’s cool for his name to refelct that. I think it actually makes MORE sense for us to relate to characters like that by archetypical language than by non-human-language sounding names like Zoltar or S’kglyx or whatever.

I’m not sure, but, didn’t Scott Free chose his name when he was the first person who escaped from Apocalypse? As I recall, he was never given a name, and, as he jumped through the boom tube onto Earth, he yelled out, “I am Scott Free”, and everyone who heard it assumed it was his name. True, it is still an incredibly silly name, but still a little better than being born with the last name Von Doom. Imagine being a certified public accountant with the last name Von Doom.

There was Anthony Lupus, the werewolf (surprise!) in Batman #255, drawn by Neal Adams.

Has The Riddler had a stroke on that cover?

For me, Scott gets a pass because of the in-universe explanation of his name. IIRC, after numerous early attempts to escape Apokolips failed, Granny Goodness called the unnamed son of New Genesis’ Highfather “Scott Free” just to taunt him.

I think you to given an honorable mention to the most recent Clock King for the hilarious moment when Blue Beetle jokingly speculates that his name is Rolex Chronoberg; then later as soon as the Clock King shows up, Blue Beetle immediately lunges at him shouting “YOU’RE GOING DOWN, CHRONOBERG!”

Anybody can do a “literal-minded” name; a subtler one though is much harder, and more fun (in my opinion) to find out later. In fact most common names have meanings that have been lost with time.

As for the RoyG.Biv thing, I never heard of it until now. Probably because I’m from a Spanish-speaking country so the acronym would be different. (Also, the Rainbow Rider was reinvented as gay probably just because of his symbol- now THAT’S unsubtle!)

Also: I seem to recall that Julio’s last name was Rictor, since he was Mexican, and they changed it later. I may be wrong on this, but he was based on the earthquake that devastated Mexico in 1985 (in fact it was hinted that HE had accidentally caused it in Marvel Earth- of course that’s topical today, as he’s not old enough.)

As for name suggestions… how about the loser villain Kite Man, also known as- Charles Brown? Haa ha ha!

Ultra Boy

Got his powers after being swallowed by a “space whale”.

Real name? Jo Nah.

Marvel’s Werewolf by Night, Jack Russell.

No love for Turner D. Century?

1.Regarding the Vanisher, “Telford Porter” is, officially, an alias (Cf. the DELUXE HANDBOOK and the entry at MARVEL.COM. The wikipedia article is incorrect).

2. How about real people with aptonyms?

Cardinal Jaime Sin

Doctor Travis Doom (check out his website, WhiteDoom)

Igor Judge, Lord Chief Justice.

Meteorologist Amy Freeze

Usain Bolt

Paige Worthy, fact checker

Russell Brain, neurologist

Margaret Court, tennis player

Larry Speakes, presidential spokesman

I daresay that each of these is as “silly” as any Comic Book name.

I feel like just slightly behind Von Doom is Captain Mar-Vell.

(Noh-Varr is kind of cool though because it’s disguised just cleverly enough… if it is even the intentional play on “nova” that I’m guessing it is).

http://nameoftheyear.blogspot.com/

All comic writers should consult this tourney. There is always genius there.

The worst real name ever was that of the obscure Iron Man villain Vibro– ” Anton Vibreaux “. If only he had used his powers to go into porn, he might have fared better.

One of the worst mistakes a writer can make is to give his character stupid, unrealistic names (because the writer thinks he is being clever). This yanks the reader out of the story and reminds him that it isn’t real, that he is only reading. A mature writer knows better.

I agree with this rule in other genres, but in a genre where people fly, throw tanks and can obliterate cities with beams shooting out of their eyes, I’d argue that weird names are far from the only thing reminding the reader he is only reading fiction.

I thought Julio’s name was Rictor, not Richter. I don’t know if that makes it worse, though…

Like David Lee Roth, the Rainbow Raider was just a bivolo.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 5, 2010 at 11:27 am

“Turner D. Century” wasn’t the guy’s real name, but an alias he took.

Damn, someone beat me to Jack Russel; I was ready to feel all clever and important.

Scott Free cracks me up, too…one of my buddies is a closed-minded Marvel Zombie, and everytime I want to give him a headache, I blurt out some Silver Age DC goodness; Miracle Man’s real name being one of them.

The 1940s Black Widow was named Claire Voyant.

Can you tell what nationality Napoleon’s parents were? ‘Course I can.

But what does “Von Doom” mean in Latverian?

Those are all good choices, but my #1 would’ve been the Headsman’s name: Cleavon Twain.

CLEAVON IS NOT A REAL NAME. NOBODY ON EARTH EVER IS NAMED CLEAVON. IF YOU HAVE TO INVENT A PERSON’S NAME TO MAKE A PUN THEN DON’T MAKE A PUN.

I hope I’ve made myself clear, Marvel Comics.

Chris: Poor Cleavon Little, star of Blazing Saddles. If he were still alive, he’d be crying right now.

Cleavon Little (of “Blazing Saddles” fame) would beg to differ.

You know, if he were still alive.

So. Why is the Batman logo on the Calendar Man’s entry wearing a toupee?

Re: Cleavon. Seriously, Chris, way to diss the late Mr. Little (he was not only great in Blazing Saddles, but Vanishing Point as well. Hell, I even liked him in Fletch Lives). And since you mentioned “nobody on earth,” I have to mention the obscure Maltese soccer star Cleavon Frendo.

Aptronyms can be one of the most awesome things in comics when you’re really pushing the cheese level way up there.

I mean, Jubilation Lee guys. Jubilation. Lee.

There is a doctor in my town who sells magnet therapy devices (they treat everything from insomnia to arthritis).

His name is Dr. Bogusz.

Another good one was Marvel’s Werewolf by Night: Jack Russell. I didn’t get that one for years.

There’s a dentist who advertises in the Boston area named Stephen Spitz. Reading these bad reviews makes it sound like he could well turn into a villain…

http://www.ratemds.com/doctor-ratings/138288/Dr-Stephen-Spitz-BOSTON-MA.html

There’s an ad I see frequently in my local paper for laser eye surgery at the offices of Dr. Stephen Vile. I always tell anyone sitting nearby when I see it that I’ll never let anyone named “Dr. Vile” near my eyes with a frickin’ laser beam. On that same note, I always thought Dr. Stephen Strange was a little on the nose, but then I think the whole point was they they wanted the character to have a cool superhero name, but also wanted him to be the kind of guy who was above giving himself a cool name pseudonym, so they just made his real name sound cool.

I always thought the worst real name for a superhero ever was “Sarah Rainmaker” (a.k.a. Gen-13′s Rainmaker, so she was an unimaginative as the people who named her), both because it was WAY too “on the nose” (who’d have through SHE’D go on to get weather control powers?) and because it uses the old cliche that all Native Americans have to have English phrases for last names. Like making a character Native American is a license to just not even try to think up a name for them. Though I suppose we should just consider ourselves lucky they didn’t go with “Raindancer” instead.

Let’s not forget Judge Learned Hand. Or doctors named Payne or Aker. Or Catch-22′s Major Major Major Major.

Years ago, I was involved in a role-playing game set in the modern day. My character was named “Don Quail,” and man did he get pissed when people brought up the then-vice-president…

J.

I think Robert is right.

I seem to remember that Granny nicknamed him Scott Free, to mock him. So it is a in-world “on point” name.

And I have to say that I think the meaningful names are kinda cool. Superhero stories are all about symbolism, anyway.

Regarding Scott Free, was there an in-universe explanation for why Granny Goodness, a resident of Apokalips, would give one of her charges a nickname based on an English language pun? Yes, I do know that she lives on Apokalips and works for a guy named Darkseid, but one can argue that those are coincidental in nature, like Lee being a surname in both English and Chinese. Scott Free, in contrast, is chosen for its punning aspect.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Apparently they speak English on Apokolips: after all, Desaad has a names that would only make sense to an Earther, andf “Darkseid” and “Apokolips” are already phonetic versions of English words.

Apokaloptian names have always seemed a little off:

Darkseid, Granny Goodness, Desaad, Steppenwolf, Kalibak, Amazing Grace, Glorious Godfrey, Sleez, Orion, Lashina, Stompa, Verman Vundabar, Dr. Bedlam, Nurse Maggit, Killroy, Simyan.

The ones that are just English words could just be a translation issue (i.e., Granny Goodness isn’t really called “Granny Goodness,” but some Apokaliptian name that translates into English as “Granny Goodness”) but the ones that are misspelled Englis words (“Darkseid,” “Sleez,” “Nurse Maggit”) are clearly supposed to be the characters’ actual names (the logic of an Apokaliptian word that translates into English as “Maggit” instead of “Maggot” escapes me – even if her “real” name is a misspelling of the Apokaliptian word for “Maggot,” why not use THAT as her English name instead of translating it with a creative misspelling?). And how does an ancient immortal alien end up with a name from Earth history or culture (obviously Kirby just liked naming characters that way; I suspect that the in-universe justification is that the New Gods actually influenced Earth history or something, but idea that the historical Marquis de Sade was actually named after Darkseid’s master roturer Desaad doesn’t really hold water, considering that the Marquis inherited the name from his parents, who were not notorious sadists).

I hate it when people post just to correct misspellings when it’s clear what they meant in their original post, but I thought it was worth it in this instance, to point out that I misspelled “English” in the phrase “…misspelled Englis (sic) words…” which is delightful.

That is all.

Kite Man was named “Charles Brown” by Tony Isabella when he did the “Shadow War of Hawkman” miniseries he wrote 25 years after Kite Man first appeared. I thought it was a pretty amusing choice ;)

And let’s not forget that Matter-Eater Lad hails from the planet … Bismoll.

I don’t get the pun in Cleavon Twain.

Where’s Tommy Tomorrow?

Or Johnny Blaze?

Damien Hellstrom?

Richard Dragon?

Shang Chi?

I Ching?

General Immortus?

Vandal Savage?

oh and best of all — in looking up General Immortus on Wikipedia I found Mitchell Mayo — Condiment King!

Cleavon Twain — cut in two.

“I don’t get the pun in Cleavon Twain.”

Cleavon Twain => Cleave in twain => Cut in two

Damn, one minute late! That’s what I get for putting in the middle step ;)

Okay, after doing some google research it appears that Julio’s real name really is Richter and his codename is Rictor. Meaning his real name describes his power better than his codename. That’s even weirder.

Natalia Knight — Nocturna
Anton Knight — Night Slayer
Star Hawkins
Dr. Phillip Solar – Doctor Solar
Raven Darkholme — Mystique (I think she was colored a bit darker in earlier appearances)
Dr. Strange — Doctor Stephen Strange

Trajan, is “aptonym” your idea? If so, way to go.

Excronimuss: “Doctor Doom SHOULD HAVE BEEN Victor Van Damme” But could we live with Jean Claude Von Doom?

Then there’s always those famous writers Claude Balz and I.P. Freely. But that goes without saying.

Benjamin Grimm — consider the guy’s personality in early FF stories.

The first of these I thought of were Victor Von Doom, Stephen Strange and Anthony Druid, but the names that made the list are all very good.

I always got a kick out of aliens whose names just happened to translate into ominous names like Annihilus or Blastaar…

The Trickster — James Jesse

What about the writers? Doesn’t anyone find it odd that Tomb Of Dracula was written by Wolfman, whose first name is Marv and it was published by Marvel?

Zombie X:

Although I would love to claim it, aptonym is not my invention. I found it on wikipedia.

Yes bump Scott Free. IIRC, he was actually named for his escape attempts, And Telford Porter is too wonderfully ridiculous. It’s such a shame that the character is dead now, he really did have potential. It’s a shame that in 40+ years only Joe Casey and Kyle/Yost ever used him well.

Go SPEED RACER, Go! Yeah not a comic, blah..

Johnny Blaze, your head just happens to be ON FIRE..

What If.. Johnny Storm married Ororo Munroe?

Peter Parker’s original job was going to be as a valet.

The Trickster — James Jesse

The Trickster is not really a good example because his name isn’t just some coincidence. His name actually made him pursue crime. Also the name James Jesse doesn’t have any relation to his super-gimmick.

Jack Russell seems a bit obscure and too clever to me, rather than being “on point.” After all, when I think of a werewolf, those cute little terriers hardly come to mind. I suppose if Marvel had been allowed to write a werewolf book in the ’60s, Stan Lee would have come up with a name like Wolfgang von Lupus, or maybe Marv Wolfman.

I believe Doc Ock was nicknamed that by his students before he even made the arms.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 6, 2010 at 5:58 am

– It’s meant as a joke, of course, but Judge Death’s name before he became an undead horror was Sidney D’eath.

— How convenient that the guy destined to control a magic thunderbolt was named Johnny Thunder?

— 1940s Justice Society enemy the Alchemist’s real name was Zabor Zodiac. He returned briefly in All-Star Squadron #1-3.

— Roy Thomas named the Nazi supervillainess Warrior Woman “Frieda Ratsel,” which is a bit like naming, say, a French supervillain “Pierre Garliqueter” or a British villain “Sir Thomas Lymey.”

One more: Steve Gerber named the corporate villain in the early ’70s Man-Thing stories “F. A. Schist”

From New Gods #7 page 22, in the final panel, Granny Goodness did indeed christen the future Mister Miracle with the name Scott Free as a mocking, ironic joke.

As for why the gods of New Genesis and Apokolips speak English and have named derived from various historical, literary and Biblical sources, well, we might as well ask why is it that over at Marvel, the Norse Gods of Asgard all talk like they just stepped off the stage of a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

"O" the Humanatee!

September 6, 2010 at 9:39 am

Sigmund Freud’s last name is close to (and possibly related to) Freude, the German word for “Joy.” C.G. Jung’s last name means “young.” If you’re going to choose between the two most famous psychoanalysts, are you going to go for being joyful or feeling young? (Admittedly, joyful Sigmund is the guy who said the purpose of psychoanalysis was to convert neurotic misery to everyday unhappiness.)

I can’t believe that NOBODY has suggested Sinestro! That’s his actual last name, people. (Full name: Thaal Sinestro.)

p.s. The “Jo Nah” suggestion could be an honorable mention.

Ok, Trajan, but great research. And that’s a great list.

Rebis, good point. Thaal Sinestro and Telford Porter are he worst names ever.

Also, I’d like to point out that Tom Strong is the dude’s ACTUAL NAME.

Others:
Blackagar Boltagon
Cain Marko (Marko Cain, or Mark of Cain, whose brother is not ABEL to walk)
Cassandra Nova (or Casanova, the famous womanizer, becomes the famous superpowered manipulator).
Low Key Lyesmith (from American Gods)
Harleen Quinzel. It’s like her parents were BEGGING her to become the Joker’s right hand.
Victor Freis
James HOWLett (Ouch.)
Diana Prince (An alias, to be sure, but a very terrible one.)
Ishmael Questor
Marc Spector (For a guy who dresses like a ghost, they might as well have called him Bob Phantasm).
Simon Hurt (Same kind of deal. Jonathan Pain, Carlton Agony, Frederick Affliction, Jack Anguish…)

Also, Nick Fury is constantly angry, lampooned effectively by Ellis with Dirk Anger.

Actually,

The is a Dutch surname “Van Dam”.
There are people with German surnames that start with “Von”. As in “Von Trapp” (Sound of Music, anyone? :) ).

However, Marvel made a small mistake…. The sound “Doom” spelled in German would be “Duhm” or “Dum”.

So it would be “Victor von Dum”, not “Victor von Doom”.

But at least now all of the English speakers pronounce it rightly, since the “oom”-sound is very much used in German.

I’ve always been mildly bothered by the name of Serpent Society’s Asp (an Egyptian dancer): Cleopatra “Clio” Nefertiti.

Man, I can’t believe I didn’t see this till today.

Scott Free shouldn’t count; every New God has a stupid name associated with their abilities, regardless of when they were assigned the name. All New Gods (and Inhumans, for that matter) should get a pass.

Thaal Sinestro… hehe.

GOTU: “Hal Jordan, newly appointed Green Lantern of Earth, you will undergo training with your instructors, our most trusted Lieutenants, none of whom are evil. They are Green Lantern Therapist, Green Lantern Killabeeyotch, and Green Lantern Jenn O’Cyde. We trust them all, implicitly.”

HAL: “What?”

Ray Palmer, the Atom

These may be the best comments I’ve read on this site! Bravo!

BTW – Let’s not forget ominous Spider-man foe Dr. Jonathan Ohnn, alias The Spot.

Keep in mind that there are really people named Dr. Doom and Dr. Hurt;
http://www.whitedoom.com/Travis/index.html Dr. Travis Doom, a computer science professor at Wright State. And my old friend Dr. Robert Hurt, a JPL astronomer http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/mission/profile/50-Robert-Hurt. Turns out there’s also a Dr. Hurt at Brown U. in Engineering.

I always thought “Rictor” would’ve made more sense as the surname and “Richter” as the codename

The Rhino’s name was originally supposed to be Alex O’hirn. I guess someone at Marvel recognised how ridiculous that was, because now his name is Sytsevitch. (Which may be problematic itself, because I get the impressive he’s supposed to be Russian, and ‘-vich’ names in Russian are patronymic middle names, not surnames. But maybe he’s actually some other type of Slav.) I have no idea when or how his name was changed. As far as I can tell, he’s supposed to be the same guy.

Is the Asp really named Cleopatra Nefertiti? That’s really stupid. Modern Egyptians have Arabic names. Is she supposed to be a time traveller? Even that wouldn’t work since Nefertiti is a native Egyptian name and Kleopatra is a Greek name (she was a member of the Ptolemaic Dynasty that followed Alexander’s conquest).

The “Alex OI’Hirn” name was coined awhile after the Systevich name had been floated. Tom DeFalco made the Rhino an immigrant from either Russia or some other former SSR back int he 1990s/. “O’Hirn” seems to have come from Brian Bendis’s Ultimate Rhino concept.

Mary, I’m pretty sure O’Hirn was a name used only in the Ultimate Universe and in the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon. From the time Lee and Romita first gave Rhino’s origin, he was established as being an Eastern European immigrant.

I’ve never read Ultimate Spider-Man. I did read Essential Spider-Man 2, and he was O’Hirn in his first appearance by Stan Lee.

Let’s not forget Superboy’s Silver Age nemesis, The Tummy Troubler. Her civilian name was Annabelle Acid and she was never shown out of costume without her precocious twin nephews. Yep, that makes her Aunt Acid.

Sweet list. Otto Octavius would’ve been my #1. Von Doom certainly deserves his place on the list, but I couldn’t imagine the good doc being anybody else but Von Doom!

who could forget:

Cliff Steele, Robotman?

Mary Warner, I don’t have the issues in front of me but I’m VERY sure you’re misremembering. I don’t think Rhino’s real name was given in his first appearance.

I don’t have the issue, either. I got the Essentials from a library. But I can’t think of anywhere else I could’ve encountered the name.

Mary, have you ever seen the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon?

I love I love I love I love my calendar man.

Each and every day of the yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeear

No, I haven’t. I’ve seen the FOX cartoon from the ’90s, a few episodes of the MTV cartoon, and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. But I haven’t seen any of Spectacular.

Then you had the RL baseball game that shook the foundations of heaven…

The Starting Pitchers were Jim Gott & Tim Teufel……

Yeah, I was also surprised not to see Jack Russell, Jo Nah and Blackagar Boltagon (which is the one that always makes me giggle) on the list.

Don’t forget the Hitman villains Moe and Lou Dubelz (or something like that). They were conjoined twins: Tommy killed one and the other drags his corpse around for a few years.

Isn’t Blackagar Boltagon and all of the goofy inhuman names recent creations to explain they’re “super-hero”esque names?

I had assumed the Inhuman’s real names were a recent invention, too, but I read Fantastic Four Annual #18 (1984) for the first time recently. Black Bolt’s name is given as Blackantor Boltagon, and Medusa’s as Medusalith Anaquelin. So there was a slight change for Black Bolt, but other than that the names have been in use for more than a quarter century (Yeesh, I’m old! I was a teenager then.) I notice the last names are apparently patronymic– has that convention been followed for the other Inhumans as well?
I think it would’ve made more sense for them to have completely different names, and the super-type names could just be created for use among outsiders (there could be a taboo about revealing their real names or something).
Has it ever been explained why most of the royal Inhumans wore masks until recently? I’ve never understood that. (And Black Bolt still wears his.) There could easily be a taboo about nobles showing their faces, but that wouldn’t explain why Crystal, Triton, and Maximus were always maskless.

The first time the inhumans were actaully give “real” names was in the OHBMU.Before that,they were just called by the shorter versions.To be fair,only Black Bolt sounds like a superhero name.Medusa,Karnak.et al,could be real names,and not code names.

The Rhino’s origin is a bit less fleshed-out than T.s ndicates. Int he Lee-Romita story, he’s an anonymous thug recruited by the vaguely Soviet spies, but no mention is made of the thug’s national origin: he speaks and sounds like Lee’s typical stupid toughs, dropping the last “g” in words and so forth.

If the origin story in ASM #43 suggests anything, it’s that the spies recruited the Rhino after coming Stateside, not before. Most later writers treated him as if he were an American hoodlum by origin, with Gerry Conway having the Rhino quote Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade in a Defenders story in the mid-1970s.

Then, in the mid-90s, Tom DeFalco decided to give the guy more of a personality and revealed that he was an immigrant from a Soviet-dominated country who’d volunteered for the experiment in hopes of getting better treatment for his family back in Eastern Europe. Since the fall of Communism, he’d brought them to the U.S. using illicit funds, but his mother rejected him for his criminal lifestyle, and supporting his family became his new motive for crime.

Brian Bendis came up with the O’Hirn name in Ultimate Spider-Man, and Marvel editorial briefly had in turn up in the main universe somewhere, IIRC (Milligan’s Tangled Web story, maybe?). However, the main Marvel version of the Rhino had already picked up the name “Alexei Systevich” somewhere, possibly in a late 1990s Handbook or Marvel Encyclopedia, and that stuck for the mainstream version.

The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, which blended Ultimate and mainstream material with adapted movie and earlier cartoons, used the O’Hirn name, adding to the general confusion.

I always thought a surfer named Norrin “Radd” was pretty cheesy

I don’t really think Doom even belongs on the list, let alone at the top of it. The name’s foreboding and all, but in a fairly generic, nonspecific way. Strictly speaking, it’s not really that on the nose, not in the way that a lot of the others are.

And yeah, Sinestro has to be on the list. Not only for the name, but the fact that he’s a dead ringer for Snidely Whiplash and has devil-red skin. It doesn’t get more on point than that.

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