The Art of Superhero Names: Part I

Introduction.
All of these names are from Marvel and DC comic books.  I didn't mean to neglect the rest of comicdom; it's just that these were the easiest lists of names to list from the various databases online.  Even then, I'm sure there are many names that have been overlooked.

However, note that names appear multiple times on the following lists since creators know that they would be that much cooler if they followed a more that one naming convention.  Even Superman fits into a couple of categories.

Unless otherwise specified, all names refer to individual characters, be they heroes or villains.  Where groups are referenced, the name will be followed with an asterisk.

Some characters are similarly marked as "(DC)" to denote that a name is duplicated between the two companies.  This undoubtedly occurred more than is designated in the following lists, but I didn't go out of my way to double check.  Sorry.


Science
Given the sci-fi nature of the majority of comic books, it isn't surprising that their creators would draw heavily from these fields.


Biology.  You get the impression that some comic book writers just flipped through a copy of Gray's Anatomy or a medical text for their inspiration.
  • Amygdala
  • Anti-Bodies*
  • Bloodtype
  • Brain Storm
  • Brain Wave
  • Brain, The
  • Brainiac
  • Carrion
  • Concussion
  • Frostbite
  • Hand*
  • HEART*
  • Helix
  • Lockjaw
  • Marrow
  • Shrunken Bones
  • Skin

The Periodic Table.  Elementary, of course!
  • Aluminum
  • Barium
  • Calcium
  • Chemistro
  • Chemo
  • Cobalt
  • Doctor Phosphorus
  • Element Girl
  • Gallium
  • Gold
  • Iridium
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Mister Element
  • Neon
  • Platinum
  • Plutonium
  • Quicksilver (Mercury was already taken)
  • Silver
  • Sodium
  • Tin
  • Zinc

Minerals.  Not recommended by the FDA.
  • Amethyst
  • Brimstone
  • Crystal
  • Gem Girl
  • Jade
  • Lodestone
  • Obsidian
  • Osmium
  • Sapphire Stagg Mason
  • Zirconium

Silly putty.  Every substance left over.
  • Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man
  • Charcoal
  • Doctor Alchemy
  • Heavy Metal*
  • Iron Fist
  • Iron Hand
  • Iron Major
  • Iron Man
  • Iron Munro
  • Ozone
  • Plastic Man
  • Plastique
  • Putty
  • Steel
  • Syonide
  • Titanium Man
  • Vapor

Power Plants.  Okay, not that powerful.
  • Black Orchid
  • Blackbriar Thorn
  • Mayflower
  • Plantman
  • Poison Ivy
  • Thorn

Forces of Nature.  This is what happens when writers watch the Weather Channel while running behind on their deadlines.
  • Aurora
  • Avalanche
  • Blizzard
  • Cataclysm
  • Cloud
  • Coldsnap
  • Earthquake
  • Force of Nature*
  • Four Winds*
  • Heat Wave
  • Heatstroke
  • Ice
  • Iceman
  • Icicle
  • Jetstream
  • Lava Men*
  • Magma
  • Major Disaster
  • Mist
  • Nightfall
  • Northwind
  • Nova
  • Rainbow Raider
  • Red Tornado
  • Rictor
  • Shockwave
  • Storm
  • Sunspot
  • Surf*
  • Thunderbolt
  • Thunderbolts*
  • Tsunami
  • Typhoon
  • Undertow*
  • Volcano Man
  • Weather Wizard
  • Whirlwind
  • Wildfire
  • Wind Warrior

The Atomic Age.  Physics, astronomy, and more.
  • Anti-Matter Man
  • Atom
  • Atomic Knight
  • Atomic Skull
  • Atom-Smasher
  • Beta Ray Bill
  • Captain Atom
  • Celsius
  • Eclipso
  • Electro
  • Electron
  • Fusion
  • Graviton
  • Half-Life
  • Illusion
  • Lightspeed
  • Magneto
  • Meltdown
  • Mister Atom
  • Mutant X
  • Neutron
  • Nuclear the Magnetic Marauder
  • Prism
  • Radiation Roy
  • Reactron
  • Robotman
  • Takion
  • Warp
  • Zero G

Astronomy.  It's what's in the stars.
  • Comet
  • Nebula Man
  • Quasar
  • Solarr
  • Soyuz
  • Sputnik



Animals
For some reason, comic book creators have drawn a tremendous amount of inspiration from animals.  A survey of the characters on these lists yielded >150 names.  This is even after elminating the characters that were --strictly speaking-- actual animals like Rex the Wonder Dog and the like and "Bat-Mite" who would otherwise have counted twice.  I did leave the talking animals though.  Howard the Duck deserves some respect for taking on villians like "Doctor Bong."


Creppy Crawly Things.  Get out your copy of Peterson's Field Guide.
  • Ant
  • Ant-Man
  • Black Spider
  • Black Widow
  • Blue Beetle
  • Bug Man, The
  • Bumblebee
  • Firebug
  • Firefly
  • Gypsy Moth
  • Leech
  • Maggott
  • Mantis
  • Nightcrawler
  • Parasite
  • Preying Mantis
  • Red Bee
  • Rex Leech
  • Scarab
  • Scarabus
  • Scorpion
  • Spider
  • Tarantula
  • Wasp
  • Worm
  • Yellow Wasp
  • Yellowjacket

The Aquarium.  If it swims, it's fair game.
  • Black Manta
  • Black Moray
  • Doctor Octopus
  • Dolphin
  • Eel
  • Eel (DC)
  • King Shark
  • Manta
  • Orca
  • Sea Devils
  • Shark
  • Squid

For the Birds.  A flock of fowl friends.
  • American Eagle
  • Bird-Brain
  • Black Canary
  • Black Condor
  • Black Crow
  • Black Talon
  • Black Vulture
  • Blackhawk
  • Blackhawks*
  • Blue Jay
  • Falcon
  • Falcona
  • Firebird
  • Firehawk
  • Flamebird
  • Golden Eagle
  • Gunhawk
  • Hawkeye
  • Hawkgirl
  • Hawkman
  • Hawkwoman
  • Howard the Duck
  • Killer Shrike
  • Killraven
  • Lady Blackhawk
  • Nighthawk
  • Owl
  • Penguin
  • Phanton Eagle
  • Phoenix
  • Raven
  • Robin
  • Silver Swan
  • Skyhawk
  • Snowbird
  • Songbird
  • Thunderbird
  • Vulture

Primates.  No one's going to make a monkey out of them.
  • Angel and Ape
  • Gorilla Grodd
  • Gorilla-Man
  • Man-Ape
  • Mandrill

Mammals.  Boring.  Okay, some of them.
  • Armadillo
  • Black Bison
  • Feral
  • Gazelle
  • Hyena
  • Jackal
  • Mammoth
  • Maverick
  • Porcupine
  • Porcupine Pete
  • Rhino
  • Silver Sable
  • Tasmanian Devil
  • Weasel
  • Wolverine

All that slithers.  Hissss, hissss.
  • Anaconda
  • Asp
  • Black Mamba
  • Black Racer
  • Cobra
  • Constrictor
  • Copperhead
  • Cottonmouth
  • Count Viper
  • Diamondback
  • King Snake
  • Kobra
  • Mad-Dog
  • Serpent Society*
  • Strike Force Kobra*
  • Venom
  • Viper

Scales glore.  After you've exhausted all the cool snake names...
  • Basilisk
  • Chameleon
  • Devil Dinosaur
  • Killer Croc
  • Lizard
  • Lizard King
  • Reptillia
  • Toad
  • Tuatara
  • Turtle
  • Turtle Man

Build a better mousetrap.  Meet the rodents.
  • Lab Rats*
  • Packrat
  • Rat Pack*
  • Ratcatcher
  • Vermin

Going Batty.  He's a franchise.  'Nuff said.
  • Acro-Bat
  • Batgirl
  • Batman
  • Man-Bat

Here Kitty, Kitty.  Hey, you don't have to be catty about it.
  • Black Cat
  • Black Panther
  • Bronze Tiger
  • Cat
  • Cat People*
  • Cat-Man
  • Catseye
  • Catwoman
  • Hellcat
  • Lion-Mane
  • Pantha
  • Sabretooth
  • Shadowcat
  • Sons of the Tiger*
  • Tigorr
  • Tigra
  • Tigress
  • Wildcat

It's a dog's life.  What?  No Poodle-man?!
  • Hellhound
  • Mongrel
  • Steppenwolf
  • Timber Wolf
  • Warwolves*
  • Watchdogs*
  • Wolfpack*
  • Wolfsbane

Foxy Lady!  It's just too easy.
  • Black Fox
  • Crimson Fox
  • Flying Fox
  • Silver fox

Generic.  Who says generality is the enemy of art?
  • Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man
  • Beast
  • Creature Commandos*
  • Fang
  • Fauna
  • Zoo Crew*


Mythology and Literature
Ignoring the characters who are based directly on their mythological namesakes (e.g., Thor, Herculeas, etc.), here are the leftovers.


Creatures of the Night.  Ghosts, gobins, and assorted ghouls seem to populate the pages of even the most spandex-based super hero comics.
  • Banshee
  • Changeling
  • Galactic Golem
  • Gargoyle
  • Ghost Rider
  • Green Gargoyle
  • Green Goblin
  • Gremlin
  • Grey Gargoyle
  • Hobgoblin
  • Jack O'Lantern
  • Monster, The
  • Phantom Girl
  • Phantom Lad
  • Phantom Lady
  • Phantom Stranger
  • Pip the Troll
  • Sasquatch
  • Silver Banshee
  • Silver Ghost
  • Spectre
  • Spook
  • Sprite
  • Troll Associates*
  • Vamp
  • Vampires*
  • Werewolf
  • Will O' The Wisp
  • Wraith
  • Zombie

Here be Dragons.  Even St. George had a comic book at one point.
  • Daughters of the Dragon*
  • Defenders/Dragon Circle*
  • Dragon King
  • Dragon Man
  • Dragon of the Moon
  • Dragons of the Crimson Dawn (team)
  • Jade Dragon
  • Lady Dragon
  • Moondragon
  • Shadowdragon
  • White Dragon

Practioners of Magic.  Wizards and Witches and more,
  • Adam Warlock
  • Doctor Druid
  • Magus
  • Merlin
  • Merlyn
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Silver Sorceress
  • Warlock
  • White Witch
  • Wizard

Zodiac.  Say, what's your sign?
  • Aquarian
  • Aquarius
  • Cancer
  • Capricorn
  • Gemini
  • Leo
  • Libra
  • Pisces
  • Sagittarius
  • Taurus
  • Virgo
  • Zodiac*

Greek Mythology.  It's Greek to me.
  • Andromeda
  • Atlas
  • Callisto
  • Chimera
  • Chronos
  • Colossus
  • Cyclops
  • Elektra
  • Furies*
  • Gorgon
  • HYDRA*
  • Jacosta
  • Juggernaut
  • Lady Minerva
  • Mars
  • Medusa
  • Muse
  • Phoenix
  • Teen Titans
  • Titan
  • Titania
  • Titans*
  • Titans of Myth*
  • Unicorn

Bible Study.  Fire and brimstone, anyone?
  • Apocalypse
  • Apocalypse's Horsemen*
  • Cain
  • Death
  • Exodus
  • Famine
  • Genesis
  • Goliath
  • Jericho
  • Nimrod
  • Penance
  • St. George
  • Trinity
  • Unholy Three*
  • War

Angels and Demons.  Halos and horns.
  • Archangel
  • Avenging Angel
  • Angel
  • Blue Devil
  • Cherubim
  • Demon Gate
  • Demonia
  • Demons*
  • Devil Dinosaur
  • Diablo
  • Doctor Demonicus
  • El Diablo
  • Etrigan the Demon
  • Fallen Angels
  • Halo
  • Hellhound
  • Hellrazer
  • Kid Devil
  • Mephisto
  • Satin Satan

Literary References.  How cultured are you?
  • Arabian Knight
  • Ariel
  • Caliban
  • Desaad
  • Excalibur*
  • Faust
  • I Ching
  • Lost Boys*
  • Mad Hatter
  • Madame Ovary
  • Oberon
  • Red Death
  • Sauron
  • Tempest
  • Tom Thumb
  • Wildboys*

Assorted mythology.  Everything else.
  • Destiny 
  • Doctor Destiny 
  • Doctor Fate 
  • Isis
  • Jihad*
  • Karma
  • Madame Xanadu 
  • Magic
  • Magik
  • Omen 
  • Oracle
  • Pantheon*
  • Polaris
  • Sentinels of Magic*
  • Sphinx
  • Tarot
  • Vashanti*
  • Vision
  • Young Gods*


Colors and Numbers
Need an adjective for your character?  Colors and numbers come with minimal baggage, so they get used a lot.  A whole lot.


Color Me Beautiful.  These guys just have a complete hang-up on names with colors, especially if you're an ethnic character.
  • Black Adam
  • Black Barax
  • Black Bison
  • Black Bolt
  • Black Canary
  • Black Cat
  • Black Condor
  • Black Crow
  • Black Flame
  • Black Fox
  • Black Hand
  • Black King
  • Black Knight
  • Black Lightning
  • Black Mamba
  • Black Manta
  • Black Mask
  • Black Mass
  • Black Moray
  • Black Orchid
  • Black Panther
  • Black Pirate
  • Black Queen
  • Black Racer
  • Black Spider
  • Black Talon
  • Black Thorn
  • Black Tom
  • Black Vulture
  • Black Widow
  • Blackbriar Thorn
  • Blackfire
  • Blackguard
  • Blackhawk
  • Blackstarr
  • Blue Beetle
  • Blue Devil
  • Blue Shield
  • Blue Streak
  • Blue Trinity*
  • Crimson Commando
  • Crimson Dynamo
  • Crimson Fox
  • Dark Beast
  • Dark Matter
  • Dark Phoenix
  • Darkhold Redeemers*
  • Darklight
  • Darkseid
  • Darkstar
  • Darkstars*
  • Golden Archer
  • Golden Eagle
  • Golden Gladiator
  • Golden Glider
  • Green Arrow
  • Green Gargoyle
  • Green Goblin
  • Green Lantern
  • Green Lantern Corps*
  • Grey Gargoyle
  • Erik the Red
  • Omega Red
  • Red Bee
  • Red Death
  • Red Eye
  • Red Guardian
  • Red Raven
  • Red Shadows*
  • Red Skull
  • Red Sonja
  • Red Star
  • Red Tornado
  • Red Torpedo
  • Red Trinity*
  • Rocket Red #7
  • Rocket Red Brigade*
  • Silver Banshee
  • Silver Ghost
  • Silver Sable
  • Silver Samurai
  • Silver Shade
  • Silver Sorceress
  • Silver Surfer
  • Silver Swan
  • Silversword
  • White Dragon
  • White Queen
  • White Witch
  • Yellow Claw
  • Yellow Peri
  • Yellow Wasp
  • Yellowjacket
  • Booster Gold
  • Bronze Tiger
  • Jade Dragon
  • Magenta
  • Purple Man
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Wintergreen

By the Numbers.  You can count on them.
  • Factor Three*
  • Fantastic Four*
  • Fearsome Five*
  • Force 4*
  • Frightful Four*
  • Inferior Five*
  • Remont-4*
  • Salem's Seven*
  • Secret Six*
  • Section Eight*
  • Seven Shadows*
  • Seven Soldiers of Victory*
  • Remont-4*
  • Salem's Seven*
  • Secret Six*
  • Section Eight*
  • Seven Shadows*
  • Seven Soldiers of Victory*
  • Sinister Seven*
  • Sinister Six*
  • Six Pack*
  • Sovereign 7*
  • Titanic Three*





Back to the index On to Part II