All the good superhero names are taken
I’m reading the new book Empire State by first time novelist Adam Christopher. It’s kind of a noir/superhero/alternate reality mash-up. I like it a lot so far, but early in the book there’s a scene where one of the characters witnesses a huge fight between two superheros named the Skyguard and the Science Pirate. And I couldn’t help but think while I was reading it, these are terrible superhero names.
Now, the impression I get from the book so far is that they’re not necessarily meant to be cool names, so I’ll make it clear that I’m not criticizing the author’s choices here. But it did get me thinking. Could I do better? Could anyone anymore?
I’ve toyed with superhero story ideas myself now and again, but never seriously. It’s not a genre I’ve ever been really excited about (as a writer anyway), and I was never that into comics either. If I did write a story though, I don’t have any idea what I would call my hero that wouldn’t sound either way too close to something else that’s already been done, or just plain ridiculous.
I can think of some stupid names. Like The Cannon-bald – a guy in his mid-forties who gets zapped with space rays and gains super strength, but nothing else about his appearance changes. Or, Drumroll – a down on his luck musician who gets shocked with electricity at a poorly wired club during his band’s performance, and when he wakes up he finds that he gained the ability to punch super fast.
But, while in the 30’s, these might have been serviceable origin stories – and before you scoff at that thought you should go check out some of actual “superheros” that were created back then – there’s no way they could pass for anything but childish in today’s psychologically tense, angst ridden hero world.
Anyway, that’s just my thoughts on the subject, but here’s a question. If you were a superhero, what would your name be?