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Comic Theme Time Month – Best Female Adoption of a Male Superhero/Supervillain Name

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic is “What do you think is the best example of a female superhero/supervillain adopting the name of a male superhero/supervillain?”

Read on to see what I’m looking for specifically, along with some examples to get you started…

Monica Rambeau was not particularly aware of the Kree Captain Marvel when she adopted the name during the 1980s, but she wore it well for many years…

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Yellowjacket made a surprisingly good superhero until she was unceremoniously killed off during the Crossing storyline in the Avengers…

What are some other good examples?


Ayla Ranzz as Lightning Lad. ;-)

Why are they asking us?

Kate Bishop as Hawkeye!

Rene Montoya as The Question.

I liked the new Ventriloquist (Peyton Riley) who showed up in Dini’s Batman comics.

The Question
White Tiger
Robin (Carrie Kelly)
Robin (Stephanie Brown)
Doctor Octopus

Lady Stilt-man was amazing.

Inza Nelson as Dr. Fate. Courtney as Star Spangled Kid.

Manhunter! Great call. Kate Spencer is by far my favorite of any of the myriad Manhunters.

Spider-Girl and American Dream from MC2!



Red Guardian.

Nova (although we can probably consider that a coincidence instead of taking up the mantle).

Dr. Light, of course. She put it to better use than he ever had.

She-Hulk is pretty awesome, totally came into her own over the years. A plain Jane who transforms into a sexy powerhouse instead of a monster.

Captain Marvel
The Enforcer

Heather Hudson taking on the Vindicator mantle is the best example I can think of. She spent more time in the costume and as leader of Alpha Flight than her husband ever did.

And on the villain side, there’s always the Mist from James Robinson’s Starman.

I have to second Lady Stilt-man just genius

Speaking of James Robinson’s Starman, there was a whole issue about this theme, where it was revealed that during the Golden Age, a bunch of JSAers were captured so their girlfriends and wives took on their identities for one night in order to rescue them. It was a pretty cool story giving the ladies the spotlight and letting them be badass after decades of being mostly background love interests.

Renee Montoya becoming The Question
I really enjoyed Phyla-Vell as Quasar, however shortlived it was

Danette Reilly as Firebrand.

Jazmin Cullen as Kid Quantum.

I think Moonstone and Viper have got to be the best. How many people even remember the originals?

I still think of Monica Rambeau as the REAL Captain Marvel (as long as we’re restricting the choices to Marvel’s versions).

Firebrand – Roy Thomas took a Golden Ager with a handful – if that many – of Silver/Bronze Age appearances, introduced his sister, and created bascially the cornerstone of the All-Star Squadron.

I think Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) is the clear winner as far as a new character that is unique and impressive and who carved out her own identity so that the predecessor was pretty well forgotten, or at least remembered in a totally different light from his successor.

Lady Bullseye. Wasn’t Moonstone a guy in the 70’s?

Firebrand, Manhunter, Captain Marvel get repeat votes for me.

Kid Quantum (Jazmin from LSH). She even ended up team leader.

I’m so happy that two people have already mentioned Lady Stiltman.

Does Phoenix count? Barnon Zemo II was originally introduced as The Phoenix. Then Jean Grey turned into the famous one. I guess that doesn’t really count as adopting a name, as she clearly didn’t have him in mind at all, and neither did anyone else, most likely.

Christine Spar as Grendel.

How about Jesse Quick? And does Zatanna count? (Different name than Zatara, of course, but otherwise…)

Viper, the Mist and Manhunter get my vote. I was unaware of any of the Kids Quantum.

Firebrand – Roy Thomas took a Golden Ager with a handful – if that many – of Silver/Bronze Age appearances, introduced his sister, and created bascially the cornerstone of the All-Star Squadron.

I’d hazard to say that Firebrand hadn’t had any Silver/Bronze Age appearances before the issue that introduced his sister.

Worst ever: Mr. Sinister.

Rod’s Firebrand had a handful of appearances before Danette’s first appearance as Firebrand in the ’70s
Freedom Fighters series.

Oh! Dang, that’s right. I stand corrected.

What about LOKI

This brings up the other question – What are the female names that have been passed along to males? I can think of only two offhand: Red Tornado and the Wasp. Are there any others?

I think that Kate Spencer’s Manhunter is head and shoulders above any of the others, and really rescued that name from the murky convoluted continuity nightmare.

Shining Knight hasn’t been mentioned yet, nor has Spellbinder. Those both worked as improvements on the originals (to be fair, I haven’t read a lot of Sir Justin stories.)

For one that was more ‘on par with’, rather than an improvement, I’d suggest Yolanda Montez and Wildcat.

Votes also for Manhunter & Moonstone. And While Captain Marvel did hold her own, there’s very few writers who’ve used her to her full potential, I feel.

And how have we made it this far with nobody mentioning Dove?

Wait a minute, there’s a Lady Stilt-Man????
Wouldn’t that be Lady Stilt-Woman???

Jesse quick was The Flash for about half an issue during Terminal Velocity

What about Thor-Girl and the new Red Skull? I liked Jessica Drew: Spider-Woman, and loved when the Carpenter Spiderwoman would show up as a member of Freedom Force in the late 80′.

Hawkeye and the Question

Oh and to add another woman’s name being taken over by a man: Ronin (Maya Lopez to Clint Barton)



And, I think, the original Firebrand was set to appear in issue 16 of Secret Society of Super Villains, but it was cancelled after #15. At least his head was in the “Next Issue” blurb at the bottom of the last page.

Dr. Light is my own personal fave. Captain Marvel would be my second pick. Both were great additions to the mythos and both were gotten rid of way too soon.

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