Jan 08 2008

Superhero and Supervillain Naming Conventions

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

This article presents six tips about what works and what usually doesn’t when you’re naming your superheroes and villains. Find out why Mischief-Man is much worse than Mayhem.

1. Especially if you’re writing for an older audience, [Adjective] [Noun] probably isn’t the most name for a superhero, particularly if the noun is Man (or Woman or Girl or Boy or Lad). It’s outdated. If you want to create Strong-Man anyway, I suggest removing the hyphen (Strongman). The hyphen looks bad and forces an awkward-looking second capital letter. Most Readers Are Not-Fond Of Unnecessarily-Capitalized-Words And Hyphen-Phrases.

 

2. In the modern era, the most effective names are usually nouns or [Title] [Noun], like Dr. Octopus. Compare Dr. Octopus to “Octopus-Man” or Venom to anything you could do with “venomous.” Nouns are usually more evocative and feel less goofy than adjectives.

 

3. I would recommend staying away from animal names, especially [Animal]-Man. It’s a mostly-outdated convention–it worked for Batman in 1939 and Spider-Man in 1962, but new characters in the past 25 years haven’t used it much.

 

4. It’s still remotely acceptable to do [Rank] [Noun]. Captain America is the best example.  However, [Rank] [Adjective], like Captain Stupendous, is usually awful.  Please note that names with ranks often feel goofy, particularly when you do puns with “Major” and “General.”

 

5. The name’s most important role is to develop the character. Let’s say your character’s key trait is being noble or moral.  If you named him Moral-Man, readers would hate that.  On the other hand, Luke Skywalker worked quite well.  For more tips on making emotionally effective names, please see this article on naming superheroes.

 

6. How do people refer to your hero in casual conversation? “Hey, Mr. Fantastic!” sounds awkward. “Hey, Richard” sounds much more natural, but that only works if everybody knows what your hero’s first name is.  If your character’s identity isn’t public, you still have options. For example, the character might be referred to by his rank. “Hey, Cap’n!” beats calling him Captain America all the time, although it’s not as natural as a given name.  Alternatively, the character might make up a fake name (e.g. “I’m Captain Carnage, but you can call me Jim”) or other characters might shorten his name for casual conversation (e.g. shortening Spider-Man to Spidey).  

 

7. Finally, I recommend a name that makes strong use of sounds. B, M, F, and R sound firm but not menacing. K, V, X and H sound harsh. A, O, S, L, and U sound smooth and lofty. Finally, readers usually prefer names that string stressed syllables, like Superman, Carnage and Spiderman.

 

223 responses so far

223 Responses to “Superhero and Supervillain Naming Conventions”

  1. Tyon 15 Oct 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Another helpful article. I never gave much thought to number 7. But I did notice that V X B F seem strong and SL seems ‘sneaky’ or stealthy.

    I got a character named Mr. Amazing. Who is the ‘typical hero. Everyone loves him but then he starts getting drunk and screw everything up (then his name becomes a joke) which I think is funny. And then the public starts calling him Mr. Not-so-Amazing.

    Another one is an elemental, Iceboy. (Obviously, Iceman is taken). The simple fact that he is a bearded, alcohol drinking, cigar smoking, manly type of man makes it funny and adds some irony. His excuse as to why he never changed his name to Iceman is that he has too much other stuff to worry about changing his name.

    Another one I like is Crazy Eddie. Who doesn’t have many powers, but he is the typical bum/homeless looking person. His name is Eddie, but everyone calls him Crazy Eddie behind his back but to his face they call him just Eddie.

    What do you think about …let’s say my ICE character’s real name was Ivan Carl Edwards. What do you think about stuff like that? I did something similar to that with a short about vampires, I took the first letter of each name and came up with the title. (I really suck at naming my work and characters). The names are Viktor, Amanda, Micheal and Piotr to give you the title of VAMP. Would that be good, bad, cliche?

  2. Anonymouson 15 Oct 2008 at 5:14 pm

    They did advise against acronyms to let you know.

  3. B. Macon 15 Oct 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Iceboy doesn’t change his name to Iceman because he’s been too busy with other stuff. If you play that scene right, that line should be absolutely hilarious. For example, you could use the line straight-up by having him deliver it in a context that suggests that he really has been busy (he says “I’ve been busy” as his costume is torn and face is bloodied after an intense fight). Alternatively, you could play it more ironically by having him say he’s been busy as he tries to set a new beer-drinking record at a local bar.

    I’m not so fond of the acronym based names. At best, they seem like weak in-jokes. At worst, they’ll make readers scowl– how contrived would it be for someone who comes up with ice-based powers to have been randomly born with the initials I.C.E.?

    I think Mr. Amazing is OK if you want the name to feel slightly cheesy. But the Mr. Not-So-Amazing isn’t a very funny play on his name. Off the top of my head, it might be better for the public to start calling him Mr. Amusing if he’s turned into a bad joke. Sports fans razz bad teams with these kinds of names all the time. For example, Toronto’s Raptors are so bad that they’re known as the Craptors. The St. Louis Rams are the Lambs, etc.

  4. Bretton 17 Oct 2008 at 5:33 am

    There’s a part in my book where Alex is reading a book (it was tv until I made you-know-what-changes.) and the book is about a two heroes who are blatant parodies of my two favorite superheroes: Batman and Iron Man, as well as their archenemies, Joker and Mandarin. Here are the names I have for them:

    Batman = Blacknight (also has a wolfhound named Ace)

    Iron Man = Commander Titanium

    Joker = Madcap

    The Mandarin = (hehe) The Mandolin (classic play on words)

    Is this parody an appropriate in-joke, and do these names work?

  5. B. Macon 17 Oct 2008 at 10:25 am

    I have a few questions that may help. Does a parody of superheroes fit into your story very well? Is your story a comedy? Will the parody sequence somehow advance your plot or develop your characters? Will the parody feel congruent with your world? Do you have some plan for actually parodying these heroes besides just changing the name? If you answered yes to most of those, I think it may be worth a try.

    However, a “parody” where the author just imports a preexisting hero and changes the name is neither funny nor interesting (see Soon I Will Be Invincible). You need some kind of carciature or twist to make it funny.

  6. Bretton 19 Oct 2008 at 10:46 am

    Excellent point. I’ll make Commander Titanium an arrogant smart-alec and I’ll make Blacknight an asocial sarcastic jerk. Madcap will come up with schemes that make absolutely no sense (even under psychosis) and seem to have no discernable goal, And The Mandolin will be a failed megalomaniac with a crappy gimick. Good parodies you think?

  7. B. Macon 19 Oct 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I’d say Blackknight and particularly Madcap have the most potential for a comic scene with little setup, if you’re willing to push the envelope. Batman and Joker are already so asocial and crazy, respectively, that you’d have to take it pretty far. Arrogant smart-alecks can be funny, but I think they take more setup.

    Another parodic angle that I think has a lot of potential is that superheroes tend to have luridly tragic pasts. Pretty much everyone’s had at least their parents murdered, or is an alcoholic, or was captured and tortured by Afghan terrorists, or gets his sidekick murdered after the fans demanded it, and has totally dysfunctional relationships (particularly with women), or whatever. And that’s just Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark! Don’t even get me started on Peter “Six Armed” Parker, heh.

    So I think there’s quite a lot of material you can draw on here. Superhero stories are pretty parody-friendly. That said, I’m not entirely sure how the superhero parody would fit into your story. Would it develop an important character or advance the plot? If it doesn’t, it may feel like the chapter in Soon I Will Be Invincible that tried to poke fun of The Chronicles of Narnia. It was hilarious, but it was so far removed from the plot and the style of the rest of the book that it felt like a distraction as I was reading it.

  8. Bretton 19 Oct 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Blacknight has one K. If you think it needs two that’s fine, but I think it won’t be so easy to stumble over if it only has one. Also, Uppose I also made Blacknght overly brooding (he talks to himself), and melodramatic (mentally narrates his own moves, a la Grim Avenger from Hercules). I could also throw a hint of Superman into Commander Titanium (make him a bit a bit more idealistic and morally superior). As for the point of it all, it provides a comedic Gotcha! moment (you thought it was real didn’t you? Psych! it’s a book! HA!) and maybe I could have Alex try implementing one of Blacknight’s strategies and failing, or mentally comparing Blacknight’s relationship with Commander Titanium with his relationship with Edmond (Black Knight vs. White Knight, Dark Character vs. Idealist).

  9. B. Macon 19 Oct 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Hmm. I think the peril is that it may feel like a head-fake to your readers. If the story presents itself as a real-world superhero story, but isn’t really that kind of story, it might attract the wrong kind of readers. It’s very risky to switch audiences mid-book.

    The superhero tangent might work, though, if it shows something about the main character’s sense of heroicness. Starting out, he has these wildly romantic dreams of being a hero, without any sense of what it will actually take for him to save the day. In actuality, it may take intense work, moral compromise, or sacrificing something/someone he loves to be the hero. What do you think?

    Drawing an analogy between Blacknight/Titanium and the dark-character/idealist also seems worthwhile. That has a lot of potential, I think.

    Also, what do you think about tweaking his name to Black Knight?

  10. B. Macon 19 Oct 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Also, I found your Hercules clip pretty hilarious. It made good use of the Grim Avenger’s self-narration to create funny situations.

    GRIM AVENGER: “My reputation precedes me.”
    HERCULES: “Yeah, by about six seconds.”

    Finally, I loved that the Grim Avenger referred to himself as the Sentinel of Sanity. Haha.

  11. Bretton 20 Oct 2008 at 5:46 am

    Thanks, I think their Batman/Superman parody worked very well. I believe the name tweak will work. As for Alex, he not so much romantic as he is slightly arrogant and a bit melodramatic. (One girl rejects him and he thinks he’s the Dark Knight.) I don’t think his brooding/depressive period will last too long though. When he in it however, his already hot temper can become outright meanness and vengefulness which he misconstrues as “justice”.

  12. Johnon 16 Dec 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Blacknight is a Marvel character, so I don’t know how you’re going to develop him but if readers see your Blacknight I would try to make him as unique as possible.

  13. Bretton 16 Dec 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks, but why twice?

  14. Tomon 17 Feb 2009 at 8:40 am

    Hi, *insert awkward introduction in which I state my name is Tom, I have created several superhero characters, but now I need some help here*

    I created three teenage superheroes to work as a team, but I pretty much ran out of originality in terms of names after I named the leader. Now I really have a problem with one of the names. I called the girl ‘Mighty Girl’. I know, I really wasn’t very creative. Her powers are super-strength and flight (I know, so original), and I really couldn’t think of any interesting, original names for a hero with those powers. I desperately want to change the name, but like I said, I can’t think of anything original.

    In case you were wondering, this isn’t for a novel, actually it’s for a TV series, but the advice on this site (great site by the way) is still applicable for this.

    Can anyone help me?

  15. B. Macon 17 Feb 2009 at 8:46 am

    What are the other two names? That’ll help me get the style right.

  16. Ragged Boyon 17 Feb 2009 at 9:02 am

    Maybe Blackhawk, as they fly and can carry heavy objects. Just a suggestion.

  17. Wingson 17 Feb 2009 at 10:09 am

    I could also be of help with the two other names. Please share.

  18. Tomon 17 Feb 2009 at 10:25 am

    Well the leader has telepathy and telekinesis, and he’s called Psykid, (even though he’s a teenager, not a kid, artistic license). The other boy can control fire and ice, and is called Elemental Boy, it’s a mouthful, but it’s a decent name in my opinion (it can be shortened to E.B.), which leaves Mighty Girl as a pretty bland name.

  19. Holliequon 17 Feb 2009 at 11:37 am

    I’d be wary of using things like ‘boy’ and ‘kid’ in superhero names, it just feels a bit cheesy to me. For the psychic, what about something like . . . um ‘Minder’? (I just drew a total blank there and threw out the first name I thought of.) Elemental Boy also feels a little cheesy and bland. Since fire and ice are pretty conflicting powers, how about something that plays on that?

    I’m stumped for the girl, though. Probably something to do with birds, as R.B. suggested.

  20. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Tom!

    Perhaps I’m meddling in conventions out of my basic understanding, but I can’t seem to avoid putting my two cents on this one… I enjoy messing with words.

    If you’re still looking for alternate names I’ve brainstormed a few (although perhaps not quite what you were looking). Just putting these out there:

    Names

    I’m not quite sure what your elasticity on nomenclature is, but for the girl, how about:

    LATIN (to make something feminine, add an “a” at the end, like in Spanish, or an “i” for aesthetic reasons)

    Invalesco – to strengthen

    Vis Vires – (pl.) force, power/Vis – violence

    Fuga – flight, escape/Fugo – to put to flight

    GREEK (the “u” changes to “y” in English)

    Dunamis – power, strength

    Kratos – power, rule

    Lithos – stone (as in strength)

    Gune – woman (found in words like gynecologist)

    Neos – new, young

    MY MIXES (feel free to use or change, or only use the words from above, or completely disregard):

    Invalesci/Invalesca, Fuga, Dunami/Dynami, Krata, Litha, Visgyne, Fugo… Vis Girl, Krata Girl… any derivative word with the suffix Girl… *brain out of steam.

    For the telepath leader (in case you were open to other suggestions), how about:

    LATIN

    Demens (Dementis) – out of one’s mind (as in he’s in other people’s minds)

    Recito – to read aloud

    Specto – to look at (a mind)

    Inviso – to inspect

    Potestas – power, authority

    GREEK

    Phren – heart, mind

    Akuo – I hear (found in the English word “acoustics”)

    Gignoskein – to know

    MY MIXES:

    Specto Recite, Invisus, Fren/Phren, Acoustique, Acoustic… or use one of the words up there by themselves… or not.

    Wow. Getting that out felt good. I apologize if it wasn’t even near the mark. Good luck on your naming schemes!

  21. Tomon 17 Feb 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Wow, those are awesome! I might use one of those.

  22. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Alright! I had hoped I’d at least gotten your creative juices flowing! Anyone else need bizzare, yet seemingly original superhero name ideas? I’d like to offer something back to this incredible site… and I do like words…

  23. Chi.Rhoon 17 Feb 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Dforce- im creating a guy who has been genetically engineered in the form of splicing his genes with a silverback gorilla for strength and a cheetah for speed and quickness…you got any ideas?? thanx

  24. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Just so it is known, any names I throw out here will probably be Latin/Greek/Spanish influenced… if you’re looking for another language then, by all means ask…

    Chi.Rho,

    I shall try and work something up!

  25. Chi.Rhoon 17 Feb 2009 at 7:56 pm

    kool…thanks!

  26. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Chi.Rho,

    Here’s what I managed to bring together. If anything, let these names give you ideas at the very least.

    Scientific names
    Cheetah: Acinonyx jubatus
    Gorilla: ~ hominid (Gorilla gorilla, actually)

    LATIN

    Celer – quick, swift, rapid
    Cito – rapidly
    Festinatio – to hasten
    Humanus – pertaining to man
    Bestia – a beast, animal
    Scelero – to pollute with guilt (as in gene pollution)
    Cognatus – related by blood
    Cruentus – to stain with blood

    GREEK

    Herpeton – creeping animal (sort of misleading the people about his speed)
    Tachys – swift
    Aner – man/Andro/Andri – male human
    Geron – old man (full grown gorillas are the strongest, right?)

    SPANISH
    Sangre – blood
    Velocidad – velocity/Veloz – swift
    Rencor – grudge, hate; rancor
    Rápido – quick
    Plata – silver

    SUGGESTIONS:

    Celerar, Festinan, Anherpeton, Anergeron, Geraner, Tageron, Acigeron, Bestius, Sangros… drat… most of these sound too out there for someone spliced (at least to me, they do)… perhaps just picking a word from up there would suit the character best? Anyway, have at them, and good luck.

  27. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Oh! Make sure you take a second look at B. Mac’s tips for naming characters, too! It would help if character traits (personal ones, not power-based ones) were also added to your description… powers are fine, but they don’t really tell much about the actual person or which name they would prefer (remember, your characters are people too!). Which name would they like more?

  28. Chi.Rhoon 17 Feb 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Thanx man…i really appreciate that…you got some good stuff for real…thanx!!

  29. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 9:24 pm

    … sweet… I’m helping…

  30. Chi.Rhoon 17 Feb 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I like sangre…the character is part of a group of metahuman children who were forced to become child soldiers for this evil dictator…and then the four of them plan an escape and then..there is more but i gotta flesh it out. But for the character im talking about i want him to be sorta introverted, borderline mean…he had to watch the dictator kill his sister and then he was forced to pay allegiance to him. So he is out for blood. By fire and sword, mercilessly. what do you think..does tha make sense?

  31. Dforceon 17 Feb 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Sure it makes sense (to me at least; can’t speak for everyone).

    So some traits I have to work with are rebellious, quiet, and aggressive, right? I may need some time to get you more names (by tomorrow evening I should have a few).

  32. Chi.Rhoon 17 Feb 2009 at 10:09 pm

    kool

  33. Dforceon 18 Feb 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Here you are, good sir.

    LATIN

    Quies Quietis – quiet, rest, peace
    Silens – silent, still
    Silentium – silence
    Infesus – hostile, aggressive
    Pertinax – persistent, stubborn, mean, firm
    Saevio – to rage, be furious

    GREEK

    Arkeo – to ward off, to defend (as in he’s aggressive enough to do it)

    MIXES

    Quies Silens, Arkyo, Arcao, Sokra (palindrome of Arkos ~ Arkeo), Infeso, … uh… honestly, I think any of those words could be used all their own.

  34. Holliequon 18 Feb 2009 at 6:50 pm

    I think Sokra has a pretty harsh sound that could go with his aggressiveness. I also liked Sangre from the list above.

    Just my two cents.

  35. Kosetsuon 01 Mar 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Okay, I’ve got a character… no, make that two characters who desperately need new superhero names.

    Darryl Pope – he falls. With style. Literally, his superpower is the ability to have perfect control over his descent to the ground. He can control lateral distance covered, acceleration/decceleration, or positioning of his body. Literally, hovering in the air for him is jumping up and then never coming back down. By himself, he can do as much as he wants, but involving other bodies/people puts more and more of a strain on his power.
    Oh, and whenever he puts his faith/trust into others, their superpowers suddenly become more potent/powerful. But he doesn’t know that yet.

    Naming Ideas (so far): Drifter, Freefall, Glide, Stratos, Dropzone, Stuntman, Upsurge*, Apex* …
    * = names keeping in mind his secondary power

    Allison Parker – she’s an allergenkinetic… That is, she is able to use her mind to manipulate things she is allergic to. It’s sort of a survival instinct for her body – she’s allergic to a LOT of things, so being able to automatically shove allergens away with her mind (that is, without touching them directly) is really useful. The trouble is, those are the only things that she can manipulate… or so she thinks.
    The truth is, Allison has the potential to become a truly powerful psychokinetic heroine, but she is unconsciously limiting herself to manipulating her own allergens. What’s a girl to do…?

    Naming Idea (so far): Lady Allergen, …

    …Help?

  36. B. Macon 01 Mar 2009 at 11:55 pm

    I like Freefall (or Downfall if you prefer), Glide/Glider and Drifter/Drift. I think that Dropzone is a bit too cheesy and Stuntman seems more in line with a different theme of character. I’d recommend naming him based on the powers he knows about at the beginning. Otherwise, you’d probably have to give him an interim super-name and it’d be awkward.

    Allison’s powers are a bit corny, which is not bad but might make it tricky to use her powers to inspire her name. Unless this is a farce like The Tick, I think that a name like Lady Allergen will probably be too corny. You might try using her origin story or a theme instead to inspire her name. For example, Raven and Captain America are two names that are more thematic than power-based.

  37. Kosetsuon 02 Mar 2009 at 5:54 am

    The truth is, Allison was originally from a team of superheroes that I created as “jokes” – the hero who powers up from friendship speeches, a drug-addicted mentor to the rookies, the superhero mime, etc., etc. So yes, her powers would seem a bit silly.

    Furthermore, as far as origin stories go… Well, that’s like trying to give an X-man a superhero name based on their origin story.

    In Allison’s world, meta-humans aren’t all that uncommon, but people with more than one superpower (and/or the courage to face evil, blah blah blah…) can apprentice themselves to an existing superhero and move into the business that way. Or, as Allison did, they can form a smaller team of rookie superheroes and take care of a small, localized area until they gain a few archnemeses and start to gain public acclaim.

    Now, in a world where superherodom is a career path, and not just a calling in life, Allison needs a serious name to reflect who she is, what she can do, not to mention her intent to protect innocence and justice and all that jazz. But for the life of me, I can’t come up with any decent ideas… I came here hoping that someone might have some fresh input to get my creative juices flowing again.

    Theme-related words for ideas: Atopy, Immunogen, Type-I reaction, histamine, anti-histamine, antibodies, etc…

  38. Kosetsuon 02 Mar 2009 at 5:59 am

    Interestingly enough, some delving into Wikipedia turned up this interesting number:

    Genetic basis
    Allergic diseases are strongly familial: identical twins are likely to have the same allergic diseases about 70% of the time; the same allergy occurs about 40% of the time in non-identical twins. Allergic parents are more likely to have allergic children, and their allergies are likely to be more severe than those from non-allergic parents. Some allergies, however, are not consistent along genealogies; parents who are allergic to peanuts may have children who are allergic to ragweed. It seems that the likelihood of developing allergies is inherited and related to an irregularity in the immune system, but the specific allergen is not.

    The risk of allergic sensitization and the development of allergies varies with age, with young children most at risk. Several studies have shown that IgE levels are highest in childhood and fall rapidly between the ages of 10 and 30 years. The peak prevalence of hay fever is highest in children and young adults and the incidence of asthma is highest in children under 10. Overall, boys have a higher risk of developing allergy than girls, although for some diseases, namely asthma in young adults, females are more likely to be affected. Sex differences tend to decrease in adulthood. Ethnicity may play a role in some allergies, however racial factors have been difficult to separate from environmental influences and changes due to migration. Interestingly, it has been suggested that different genetic loci are responsible for asthma, specifically, in people of Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, and African origins.”

    I see a lot of similarities between genetic inheritance of allergies and genetic inheritance of superpowers… This could become a new origin story for a world of superheroes.

  39. Holliequon 02 Mar 2009 at 10:29 am

    What about Immuna for the girl? It’s not great, I know, but that’s about the best I can come up with. Since you’re finding it so hard to come up with her name, why don’t you pick one based on her personality/motivations?

    I like Freefall best for the other guy.

  40. Kosetsuon 04 Mar 2009 at 2:45 pm

    @Holliequ:

    That sounds like a good idea… I’ll go and try that.

  41. JAMMYJon 17 May 2009 at 3:11 am

    hey i have i few idea’s for names for my hero Rampart, Barricade and Barrier what do you think.

  42. B. Macon 17 May 2009 at 3:22 am

    Rampart appeared in three issues of GI Joe, as recently as 2005. Barricade appeared in seven issues of Transformers, including several in 2008. I couldn’t find anything for Barrier. I kind of like Barrier.

  43. Mr. Briton 17 May 2009 at 3:28 am

    I’m guessing he has some sort of shielding power. I like Barrier but can I suggest Blockade. It feels stronger than Barrier if you ask me. Berrier is still good though so go with whatever.

  44. JAMMYJon 17 May 2009 at 7:58 am

    I like the sound of Blockade yeah my hero can create force fields around him and can fire them aswell.

    Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

  45. Tomon 17 May 2009 at 8:35 am

    I’m certain Blockade is a character, but according to Wikipedia it isn’t so I must be wrong.

    Good thing it’s not taken, it’s a good name.

  46. B. Macon 17 May 2009 at 9:12 am

    He’s a minor character that appeared in Young Justice and Superboy as recently as 2000.

  47. JAMMYJon 17 May 2009 at 9:19 am

    Could i still use the name then or should i go back to the drawing board?

  48. B. Macon 17 May 2009 at 9:24 am

    Your call, I think. If your editor is worried, you might be asked to do a new one later, but it wouldn’t affect your odds of getting published.

  49. JAMMYJon 17 May 2009 at 9:49 am

    I’ve been going through some names and Barrier seems to be my best bet how dose everyone think it sounds?

  50. B. Macon 17 May 2009 at 10:11 am

    Sounds good.

  51. JAMMYJon 17 May 2009 at 10:16 am

    🙂 thanks

  52. Moondragon007on 27 Sep 2009 at 3:34 pm

    “Allison Parker – she’s an allergenkinetic… That is, she is able to use her mind to manipulate things she is allergic to. It’s sort of a survival instinct for her body – she’s allergic to a LOT of things, so being able to automatically shove allergens away with her mind (that is, without touching them directly) is really useful. The trouble is, those are the only things that she can manipulate… or so she thinks.
    The truth is, Allison has the potential to become a truly powerful psychokinetic heroine, but she is unconsciously limiting herself to manipulating her own allergens. What’s a girl to do…?

    Naming Idea (so far): Lady Allergen, …”

    Would Anna Phalaxis (pun on anaphalaxis, as in anapalaxic reaction) be too corny?

    —————————————————-

    I need a superhero/codename for a character:

    Michelle “Don’t Call Me Jean Gray” Thompson – has telekinesis, telepathy, and pyrokinesis. Think Carrie meets Firestarter meets Matt Parkman. Unlike Jean Gray, her hair is brown.

  53. NewAgeZombion 06 Oct 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Hi, I’m new here. I have names for the three main characters in what’s going to (hopefully) be a superhero novel, but I don’t really think the names are that great. The basis of “what makes a superhero” is not that typical, in the universe I created.

    (In it, superheros are typically non-human creatures, pretty much the exact opposite of a zombie: They need Necros to survive. (Zombies need Prana.) They’re truly alive, cannot be controlled by necromancers, retain all the dexterity and speed of a human and look about the same as they did before changing. Zombies that retain souls are also known to become heroes, but are more likely to become villains. All superbeings and zombies have increased strength, not like “lift three tons” strength, but capable of things that would usually take a bodybuilder. They also have heat vision, enhanced sense of smell and high sensitivity to salt.)

    One heroine has the extra power of earth manipulation, but it’s highly volatile. Right now I’m calling her Terrastrike. The only superhero I created that I think has a half-decent name, Naga, can take on the form of an etheral snake for a few minutes at a time, or a physical one for slightly longer periods. He has to rest about fifteen minute minimum between spurts of taking on either snake form. I’m welcome to new names for him, too, but I think Naga is pretty good. The biggest name problem is the main villain, though: He’s a necromancer and can control most true zombies. The only thing I can think of is Carrion, but that makes me think of two well-established villains, despite having no relation whatsoever: The Vulture and Carnage. So he really needs a better name, and giving Terrastrike an new one definitely wouldn’t hurt.

  54. Ragged Boyon 06 Oct 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Hola NewAgeZombi! Welcome to SN, I’d love to help!

    For Naga, you could try Serpent(ine), Slither, Or a type of snake, for something more abstract, Coil or Kundalini 😉 .

    For Terrastrike, how about Faultline, since she’s volatile?

    For Carrion, The name Charon keeps coming to mind. I like Charon for a darker feel. And in mythology he dealed a lot with the dead.

    What do you think?

  55. Marissaon 06 Oct 2009 at 9:10 pm

    I, personally, like Terrastrike.

    However, Serpentine/Serpent is too… Eh. It’s one step better than something like Snake Boy, but… I don’t know, that might just be my opinion.

  56. NewAgeZombion 07 Oct 2009 at 2:25 pm

    The thing about using the fact that Terrastrike’s power is volatile is that any elemental or weather-related power is volatile in the universe I made, so it’s not really a distinguishing feature.

    Charon would be a real good name, and the villian’s messed up enough in the head to think her really is Charon. I’ll keep my eye out for a better name, but I thing Charon is a winner.

    I agree Marissa when it comes to the name Serpent(ine). Coil or slither would be doable, I suppose, but Kundalini is a wee bit too abstract for my tastes. And there’s reason behind calling him Naga: Nagas were depicted as both good and evil, and that’s a very good summing up of the general opinion of superheros in the universe I’m creating.

    I also came up with the final main hero, whom I’m currently calling Probe. Her powers allow her to “see” inside openings like keyholes and unlock or unscrew things, or produce small incorpreal projectiles that can cause extreme pain without causing physical injury.

  57. Marissaon 07 Oct 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I don’t think Probe is the best name for your character. Through no fault of your own, people will always (without fail) think about aliens. =/

  58. ShardReaperon 07 Oct 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Marissa has a point. How about something like Tumbler or Keymaster?

  59. NewAgeZombion 08 Oct 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I aready knew the name had to be scrapped. I just needed something to call her for the time being. I think Tumbler would work just fine.

  60. beccaon 05 Dec 2009 at 6:31 pm

    In my novel, there is a government/police employed team of independent operatives called Specialized Crime Fighters, or SCFs; known to the laity as superheroes. Since they’re all basically non-powered glorified police officers, I gave them all super bland names and codenamed each one after a bird (Falcon, Rook, Eagle, Hawk, etc). I was also doing NaNoWriMo and just gave them the first names I could think of. What do you guys think of this? I know my bird names kind of suck, but I can’t think of anything else. The names kind of have to be literal and technical, but since they don’t have powers I didn’t really have anything to base their names on. I’m kind of stuck on this issue now.

  61. B. Macon 05 Dec 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I think one of the potential problems with themed names is that it might be hard to remember which is which. (In particular, I’d have trouble distinguishing Hawk from Eagle). Perhaps you could expand the theme a bit? For example, maybe you could take names from a broader range of animals than just birds. I think it’d be easier to distinguish Eagle from Orca, for example, particularly if Orca’s powers are remotely connected to water or ice.

  62. Beccaon 06 Dec 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Ah, makes sense, B. Mac. I just grabbed the first names I could wrap my head around, and now I’m grappling for better ones. Today I was toying with the idea of just giving them their regular names. The main superhero, the one in the story the most, would just be Captain Beckwith. Long story, but he has no secret identity and his superhero-dom is his job, so it would make sense to just use his real title.

  63. Ragged Boyon 06 Dec 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Do each of them specialize in something particular? If so, you could base your names around that. Bull could be a demolition specialist, Weasel could be recon/stealth, Gopher is the research expert, etc.

    Just a suggestion.

  64. beccaon 06 Dec 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Good idea, RB! I think I could definitely use that when I start my rewrites.

  65. Hopefulon 04 Jul 2010 at 4:17 pm

    What do you think about the names Stronghold, Black Diamond, Aquarius, and Cortex

  66. B. Macon 04 Jul 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I really like Cortex. Black Diamond and Stronghold sound okay, Aquarius less so.

  67. Hopefulon 04 Jul 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Just out of curiosity, what could be changed to make them better and/or what is wrong with them

  68. B. Macon 05 Jul 2010 at 12:00 am

    I don’t feel that Diamond is a terribly interesting noun. It doesn’t have much personality or say very much about the character. There are some cases where a word like Black might be effective (I think it is in “Black Widow” and “the Dark Wanderer”), but I don’t think it adds enough to Diamond. For one thing, “Onyx” conveys both the rarity/value and darkness of a black diamond in fewer words. (Plus, I like the sound/rhythm better, for what that’s worth).

    With Black Diamond, I would recommend getting a better noun and/or finding an adjective that modifies it in a more interesting/surprising way.

    Stronghold is serviceable but strikes me as a kind of generic tough guy name. As far as that goes, it works. Personally, I’d prefer something along the lines of Aegis, Citadel, Garrison or Alcazar.

    Aquarius… I don’t think it says anything about the character except his element. It’s better than Aquaman, but not much. What’s his personality like?

  69. Hopefulon 05 Jul 2010 at 8:50 am

    I was choosing names that would make since with their powers. Black Diamond is literaly a black diamond that looks like human. He has that little brother annoiance but can be dark if he wants to. Stronghold is the strong and silent type when he is not in costume and is a little more open when in costume. Aquarius is a blantant optomistic and kind of a hooser

  70. B. Macon 05 Jul 2010 at 8:54 am

    Hmm, what’s a hooser? (Not a resident of Indiana, I assume).

  71. Hopefulon 05 Jul 2010 at 10:00 am

    A redneck mixed with white trash. They come from a small town in the midwest, where they are hoosers

  72. Foxon 07 Aug 2010 at 7:58 pm

    (I think I posted something similar to this on my review forum, but repetition is the best way to get something noticed.)

    I cannot, for the life of me, think of a superhero name for my main character.

    She is Mickey Demora, age 17, Hispanic. She has extraordinary agility (imagine a super-powered free runner or someone who practices parkour) and minor regenerative abilities. (as in, cuts, scrapes, etc. can be quickly healed, but lost limbs can’t be healed at all) She fights using nonlethal weapons like staffs. Personality-wise, she’s very aggressive and over-confident.

    Help me! This has been the one thing that has been keeping me from writing, for some reason.

  73. B. Macon 07 Aug 2010 at 8:12 pm

    What’s the mood of the story like? What are some of the important things she does that other characters wouldn’t do?

  74. Foxon 07 Aug 2010 at 9:10 pm

    The mood isn’t hilarious, but it’s not super-dark, either. The best way I can describe it is a light atmosphere in a dark, dirty, modern world.

    While other characters would run if they thought they weren’t going to win a fight, Mickey would keep fighting, because there’s still a small chance she could overcome her opponent. She’s the only one that would even think about bystanders during a fight, making sure they’re far away to avoid shrapnel, stray bullets, and the like. Most importantly, she uses her abilities for the good of society as a whole, not for a group or individual.

    … “Good of society as a whole” sounded a lot less cliche when I thought it.

  75. NicKennyon 08 Aug 2010 at 10:48 am

    Names aren’t too hard. Just keep thinking until you find something that works. Here’s a few I think might work. Ripcord, Viper, Backlash, Breakdown, Gale, Parkour, The Freerunner, Blur or Throwdown. That’s all I can think of at the moment though I’m not sure about their availability. Viper, is taken by Marvel. Not sure about the rest.

  76. Foxon 10 Aug 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you for the suggestions, NicKenny. Names have always been ridiculously hard for me, and when I need to think of a name that embodies the main character and doesn’t sound cliche…

    Does anybody have a particular method for figuring out a superhero alias?

  77. Cassandraon 11 Aug 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I spend a lot of time on google, wiki, thesaurus. I tend to concentrate on the person’s power, as opposed to his or her personality. I don’t really think my method is the best . . . in fact, it tends to be quite time-consuming. I usually only bother with it when I’m looking for an excuse to procrastinate. If I’m serious about writing though, I just put in some kind of placeholder until something stands out to me in the story.

  78. B. Macon 11 Aug 2010 at 11:38 pm

    I tend to focus on identity/theme and personality rather than powers. I feel that the character’s personality and other distinguishing traits are usually more interesting than the details of his powers. For example, if you had to come up with five things that made Captain America interesting, would his shield make the list? I don’t think it says as much about him as his (originally) uniquely American persona.



    When I need a “super” name, I usually use a word from the dictionary or combine dictionary words because I find real words easiest to remember and because I think it fits the mood of my work better. I’m working with government agents, so I think something like Sandstorm probably sounds more believable as a call-sign than something more distinctly superheroic like Aqualad.



    I also like using exotic first names combined with generic surnames and vice versa. Hex Abrams. Jonah Bedlam. (Major) Jim Bogey. (Doctor) Shiva Darpa, weapons designer extraordinaire. (Agent) Gain Orange. Villainous scientist Dr. Jacob Mallow (pronounced “malo,” like Spanish for “bad/evil”)

  79. Rachel Mon 17 Oct 2010 at 11:11 am

    I have a character who has fire as his power, but he also has training in Japanese martial arts, and is very good with various weapons. The best hero name I can come up with for him is Hothead. There is also a man who can breathe underwater (Shark Attack?), and a woman who uses magic (no idea!). Please help!

  80. Dillanon 17 Oct 2010 at 3:04 pm

    @rachel mI like hothead it probably goes far enough to describe his personality as well as his powers 🙂

  81. Rachel Mon 17 Oct 2010 at 6:02 pm

    He’s pretty level-headed, though. He’s got a strong sense of honor and chivalry.

  82. Dillanon 17 Oct 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I think that could work-imma fan of the name regardless.Hey do you have any ideas on how a lab explosion could have mutagenic effects on say a fictional metropolis city.Allowing me to simutaneously give my mc powers but also have a number of superpowered villains?

  83. Rachel Mon 17 Oct 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Unlicensed lab experiment gone horribly awry? Hmm… Maybe some pharma company decided to cut some corners and some dangerous power source overloaded. Then whatever they were working on (super-virus, organic performance enhancers, ect.) got spread over a large area by the explosion, affecting dozens, maybe hundreds of people. An untested virus or organism could cause completely different reactions within a group of people. Hope this helps!

  84. B. Macon 17 Oct 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Gaseous clouds, a la Static Shock’s Big Bang (a chemical disaster in the middle of a gang war) or the Bhopal disaster? Some possible triggers would be…
    –Cutting corners, as mentioned by Rachel. Possibly because the company was already involved in shady business and its financial backers (possibly a criminal group) were pushing for faster results.
    –The plant was sabotaged by a rival businessman, or a criminal group, a terrorist or the Reds or a villain or whatever.
    –Perhaps the plant was sabotaged as an inside job. (Maybe a disgruntled ex-employee, or the owner is trying to temporarily drive down the value of the company so that he can buy the rest for cheap and/or scare away a corporate raider moving in for a hostile takeover).
    –Something that ties into something one of the protagonists is involved in. (One advantage of making the hero somehow involved is that it makes him/her less of a passive recipient of a lucky chemical spill and more of a proactive character that is doing interesting things on his/her own).

    Alternately, if villainous behavior is involved, you could do something like someone poisoning one of the town’s aquifers. If the city-dwellers heard about the disaster quickly, the effects would probably be reasonably mild depending on how quickly people stop using water and wait for outside groups to bring in bottled water, but the effects would be more scattered throughout the city, which might be helpful if you want to have heroes and villains that wouldn’t logically live in the same parts of town.

  85. B. Macon 17 Oct 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Or maybe something like a massive natural disaster, like a chemical leak caused by a hurricane or tornado or something else that makes immediate containment/cleanup very difficult. (Also, a natural disaster would help explain why the event is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing–a lot of people want superpowers, but it’s not like you could stage a hurricane if you wanted to recreate the accident to give yourself powers).

  86. Rachel Mon 17 Oct 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Or maybe some kind of bio/chemical terrorist attack during a rally, protest, or parade (A bunch of radicals planted a dirty bomb underneath a float in the Thanksgiving parade).

  87. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 8:32 am

    oh thanks rachel and b mac this is incrediblly helpful I looked up the Bhopal disaster. It seems horrific but i can use that to say how several people where exposed to mutagenic chemicals, thus making potential villains in the process. Oh rachel I like the parade scenerio it seems like an event in which is almost destined to go horriblly awry

  88. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 9:21 am

    I’m happy to be of service. I’m still trying to find a good hero name for my female mc, if you have any ideas? She’s a magic user, but it’s not her most-used skill in battle. She’s a martial artist, and very strong and acrobatic.

  89. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 9:51 am

    You could do a name based on a sorceress of old like morrigan la fay or circe or something similar to that.But I guess it depends on the sorcery there are all different kinds,such as tibetian, oriential,midevil,fantasy etc. I had a magic based character before called the arch mage you could try that if it’d help

  90. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 9:56 am

    Good suggestion, but I don’t want the name to focus just on her magic.

  91. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:03 am

    a beguile mage is kinda like that uses stealth martial prowess and illusion based magic. Well Arch-mage to me is more of a title i guess it does focus on the magical aspect but her training could have required her to go through martial combat to hone the body and mind…

  92. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:31 am

    “her training could have required her to go through martial combat to hone the body and mind…”
    Unquestionably. I just don’t want her to fall into the “I can kill you just by saying three magic words” category. Her powers are constructive, not destructive. She’s got kind of a Mother Earth aspect.

  93. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:32 am

    Dillan- Just curious, but how old are you?

  94. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:34 am

    im 18 19 in december I like the mother eath aspect you could go With gaia or Terra or If shes wise you could go with something like Athena =)

  95. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:42 am

    Hmm… Athena might work, thanks!
    I was wondering if you’re still toying with the team idea? If you’re interested I have some characters I came up with a few years ago. I don’t think I’ll use them, and you’re welcome to tinker with them.

  96. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:45 am

    sure now that i have a way of explaining a large amount of people gaining powers i think a team idea could work. hey how old are you btw

  97. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:47 am

    23, 24 in March.

  98. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:50 am

    I have a sister oh birthday is in march time =). I’d love to hear about those characters

  99. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:52 am

    I’d love to hear about those characters of yours, Oh hey are you doing a comic or novel?

  100. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 10:54 am

    Novel, you? It will take a few minutes to dig for the files, I keep everything on paper.

  101. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:01 am

    Im working on a comic superhero/science fiction and yeah i know what you mean my character is all on paper but yeah i have some difficulty coming up with other hero characters, villains no problem but heroes… lol

  102. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:15 am

    First is Sharon- She melds into solid, inorganic material and controls it. She can regenerate when she’s melded, but only if the injury happened while she is occupying the material. She is vulnerable to ice, because the crystallization slows her down. Also, she can only control so much material at once. Say, 20 times her body weight.

  103. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:21 am

    that has a lot of potential for some interesting scenerios, keep ’em coming

  104. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:24 am

    Next up is Lee- He has a kind of infrared sense(like snakes), very acute sense of smell, and has developed venom fangs.
    Feel free to go nuts with this one! ; )

  105. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:27 am

    i love this one, maybe the mutagenic effects made him appear more snake like. He could have a ton of snake related abilities =)

  106. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:28 am

    Katya is gifted with above-average speed, agility, sight, smell, and hearing. Her skin is able to take on similar colors to her background(This takes a lot of training to control).

  107. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:34 am

    Mark is very strong, and pretty much fireproof. He is not very graceful, but he has the ability to “feel” others emotions.

  108. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:34 am

    she kinda reminds me of starfire from TT =)

  109. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:35 am

    Who?

  110. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:38 am

    Starfire from teen titans only vaguely though oh and marks ability to feel others emotions is a nice touch =)

  111. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:39 am

    It makes for a strangely pacifist strongman!

  112. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:42 am

    I like him for a serious main character thanks for that 😉

  113. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:44 am

    On to Cody- She is able to electrically charge particles in the air(she would be useless in a cleanroom), forming “mini-lightning”. Very difficult to control!

  114. dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:47 am

    i like the difficulty to control her powers and the electrical aspects because i think electricty is difficult to control

  115. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 11:51 am

    Then there is Nick- He can mentally project. Meaning he can make people see whatever he wants, but they’re just images. He can’t make someone feel one of his illusions. He also has a kind of low-light vision.

  116. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I like that his mental projections are only images making it easier for someone to realize what they’re seeing isn’t real

  117. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Like I said, feel free to tinker! ; )

    Autumn- She’s a teleporter(restrict her however you like). She has spacial awareness, and a kind of precognition(An “Oh, crap! Something’s gonna happen!” Spidey-sense?).

  118. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Haha oh crap somethings gonna happen sounds cool lol

  119. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:16 pm

    There is also Travis- He is a mildly telekinetic matter metamorph. He can change an object into something else. This does not work on living things. He can turn a rock into a blade, but not a rat into a horse.

  120. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Although turning a rat into a noble steed seems halarious 😉

  121. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Totally! ; )

  122. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Hey if you need help on your magic character lemme know im better at explaining magic based characters than psionic 🙁 unfortunately for me that my favorate characters have psionic powers lol

  123. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Last, but certainly not least, is Violet- She is about 8 years old, and(depending how you want to work it) the most powerful of the team. She stores almost every form of energy that can be gathered. This makes her immune to lightning, lasers, ect. She can overload, but training helps push the envelope. She lets the energy out in the form of electricity(After 5 years of training she can store enough energy to power Chicago for 3 days).

  124. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I’m always open to suggestions! I might be able to help with your psionic powers, if you need it.

  125. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Well, those are the more interesting characters. They all have back stories, but if you’re doing one main origin event you probably don’t need them.

  126. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Yeah definately I don’t know are you familar with jean grey and the phoenix

  127. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Somewhat, I’m more of a Nightcrawler fan.

  128. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Why, did I accidentally rip off Marvel?

  129. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:44 pm

    No no I was saying because my characters powers are simular to hers they start off kinda weaker but when strained to his breaking point he has a surge of power,they’d increase exponentially and beyond his ability to handle and control.But unlike the dark phoenix he doesn’t go crazy he learns how to control them over an extended period of time making vastly more powerful.His mastery allows him to learn the depths of his powers and gaining fine tune control he could use the in new various ways

  130. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I like that! Tell me about your mc?

  131. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Well, this and the team story are seperate btw,but he’d start of with basically telepathy and telekinesis on a very minor but uncontrolable level. He can’t consciously control them yet so they’re more of a hinderance on his life(like he can’t sit in class due to hearing all the other students thoughts and daydreams making school a nightmare for him because he can’t block out their thoughts and then his telekinesis is explosive merely attemting to pick up a paper clip can result in blowing up a hole in the floor) thats all ive really got on him currently, he gets more powerful and can control them later but im not sure on the pacing because basically his powers are growing beyond a rate he can handle. This cause both mental and emotional strain for him as he tries to lead an ordinary life. But in terms of how he learns to control them im drawing a blank, I need something more original than he goes and studies with monks in some remote region learning new meditation techniques that help him focus his powers

  132. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:02 pm

    What setting is this?

  133. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:09 pm

    He oventually becomes very monk like though, almost like a yoda figure very otherworldly and such with knowledge of aspects outside of the physical realm. And very knowledgable on psionics

  134. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Not to far in the future from now

  135. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:16 pm

    However, he does take a larger role in the universe later on kinda like guardians of the galaxy

  136. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Hmm… Maybe he searched on Google for a “How to Control Your Superpower” video? =)

  137. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Haha yeah ive seen a few psi videos online when i was doing research,thats definately original 🙂

  138. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:20 pm

    He kinda becomes like a jedi grandmaster

  139. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:22 pm

    What does your mc look like? Do you have a costume in mind?

  140. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Like a green latern but with purple main color and dark blue color maybe a hooded cloak as well

  141. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Can I get your email? I have a sketch but I can’t figure out how to show you.

  142. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Hey that email adress is messing up for me.I havent used it in months let me create a new one and send you the link

  143. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Ok, just sent it. Please be gentle, I haven’t drawn in years.

  144. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I really like the design(I seriously do its really good) oh and i cant draw period. But thats the image i had for him exactly. Also sorry about the time im on on the mobil incredible slow so bare with me 😉

  145. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I’m glad you like it! =)

  146. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Yeah do u have another type of social network because emailing on this phone sucks

  147. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Facebook?

  148. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I’d need to make, one i’m behind on the social networking ill make one and get back to you in a few min 😉

  149. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Ok yeah i just made one no pic yet but yeah look up dillan taylor you should find it 😉

  150. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 2:58 pm

    There are 8 Dillan Taylors on FB without a profile pic!

  151. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Or send me your email name or whatever

  152. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Its one that says im thinking about writting

  153. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:13 pm

    If your profile isn’t public I can’t see it.

  154. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Hey send me your email it’d probably be easier

  155. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Ok sent the request

  156. NicKennyon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Rachel M. For your charicter with magical abilities Magenta could work well. It’s got a nice ring to it.

  157. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks, but Sky High already used it. 🙁

  158. NicKennyon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Oh yeah. Sorry… Well then, how about Dynasty, Simulcra, Zenith, Apex or Miracle?

  159. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Hmm… All good suggestions…

  160. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:41 pm

    If Marvel didn’t already use it, I’d call her Pheonix. 🙁

  161. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I like zeninth, you could also go with mrs miracle. There’s a mister miracle but not sure on a miss

  162. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I don’t know, it seems kind of hokey.

  163. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 4:05 pm

    You could call her cleric if her magic is more healing based I think that’d work well in a magic/martial prowess mix

  164. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 4:08 pm

    LOL! “Everyone hates a cleric.” is a running joke in our D&D group!

  165. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Sorry, I don’t mean to be critical, I’m just going to have to meditate on this for a while.

    What do you think about the name Shark Attack for my water-breather?

  166. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Lol clerics are pro in dnd can’t believe you play as well, ive lost most of my books but i have the Phb and the epic level guide 😉 favorite class was an epick blackguard/legendary dreadnought

  167. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I’m usually a simple ranger or rouge. My hubby got me into D&D, he used to be the DM for our group in Japan.

  168. Dillanon 18 Oct 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Me and my friends played alot hence the high level (he’s level 32) but yeah if you need a villain in their he’s definitly a good one for a medival type setting.

  169. Rachel Mon 18 Oct 2010 at 4:21 pm

    When you get to a computer, open up a FB chat w/ me and ask me about the haunted outhouse.

  170. B. Macon 19 Oct 2010 at 9:45 am

    I played until the third edition and couldn’t afford to make the switch to later editions. I found clerics grossly overpowered, particularly Heal and Harm at the later levels. Out of six people in our group, I think 4 people wanted to be clerics. To prove a point, I offered to run a 20th level cleric against any other 20th level character in a duel and the cleric waylaid all of them except for a preposterously ingenious sorcerer that horribly abused Invisibility + Otto’s Irresistible Dance to set up a murder-suicide with Delayed Blast Fireball.



    If a sorcerer needs to kill a cleric in a duel and murder-suicide isn’t an option, I think the best way would be using Irresistible Dance and Invisibility, which gives you 2-5 chances to cast Tasha’s Hideous Laughter (it’ll probably take a few tries because clerics are good at Will checks), at which point you have many, many rounds to set up a killer spell combination.

  171. Dillanon 19 Oct 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Sorceror ftw haha clerics are overpowered but sorceror their out of the ball park 😉

  172. HiddenTigeron 23 Feb 2011 at 9:35 am

    I’m naming my villains right now, and I’m giving them ‘good guy’ sounding names because I don’t think they’d think of themselves as villains. Is this a good idea or will it confuse the readers?

  173. B. Macon 23 Feb 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I agree that they probably wouldn’t think of themselves as villains. That’s one reason I am terribly unfond of names like the Injustice League or Sinister Six (unless it’s done for comedic effect).

    I think you can probably do names that feel true to their perspective but suggest that they’re not the good guys. For example, you could probably figure out that the Crips, Vice Lords, Bloods, Latin Kings and Texas Syndicate are not nice people even if you didn’t know they were gangs.

  174. Phishy042on 27 Apr 2011 at 11:47 am

    Ok, so im writing a superhero “parody”. The superhero and villain in my story, although drive the story, are minor characters, and as such, your basic cookie-cutter types.

    The superhero, is your basic Superman type. With a supergirl type sidekick.
    The villain is your basic “Mad-Scientist” type.

    As important as these characters are to the story, they need strong, believable names. Sounding similar to typical hero name but different enough to remain unique.

    Names i got so far –
    Superhero – “ExtravaGent”
    Villain – “Dr. Insoluble” or possibly “Insoluboss”. (as this is a parody story i originally wanted to name him “Dr. Professor”, but i don’t know if that sounds too cornball and even over the top for a slightly comical novel)

    I am having slight trouble with naming the Supergirl sidekick. I dont know if i should go the “Superman/Supergirl” rout and name her “ExtravaGirl” or if i should give her a more unique name, like “HERricane”

  175. B. Macon 27 Apr 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I like ExtravaGent for an obnoxious take on Superman. Of the three names for the villain, I feel Dr. Professor is the most effective. I’m not quite feeling ExtravaGirl or HERricane for the sidekick. Something like [Adjective] Girl would probably work. (Oh God, now I can’t get Cut Lass out of my head. Eww).

  176. Phishy042on 27 Apr 2011 at 9:57 pm

    lol ty. I was also thinking of something along the lines of MiracuLass, but didn’t really want it to sound to much like “Miraculous Ass”. Although i could make real good fun with a name like that, and as the story unfolds will be the main protagonists love interest, so it would make more sense in his eyes, i wasn’t sure if that might be to distracting.

    On that same note, Marvel Lass, would be so much better, but im sure theres copyright laws involved in that one.

    Also, i must say, my favorite superhero name i have ever heard is “Clobberella” from Futurama’s Less Then Hero. The Zookeeper…….. omg.

    I was trying to go down that ‘ella route, but between Clobberella and Barbarella, everything i came up with sounded to similar.

  177. B. Macon 28 Apr 2011 at 4:07 am

  178. Blues574on 06 Aug 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Alright, need a name for a superheroine, who’s powers are the ability to possess people, and send out energy blasts. Her real name is Cara Kendrick, and my friend suggested Rebel Tygress to me. She had to pass a test and go through two years of competitive training to get her powers for good. Has blonde hair and brown eyes, a rather slim figure (Think Kelly Kelly/Barbie Blank from WWE). Dunno how much that’ll help but I haven’t been able to catch anything.

  179. JMelloulon 07 Aug 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Hey Blues,

    I was just brainstorming possible names for your character and here are some things I came up with.

    “Navita” (taken from the latin word for energy, “navitas”)
    “The Apostate” (since apostate means traitor and she can make people into traitors, by possessing them…)
    “Vehemence” (a little more sinister)

    Also as I was reading your comment I was a little pulled out by the combination of energy blasts and possession. They don’t really fit together, in my opinion, though they could easily be unified if your superheroine possesses people by somehow accessing the energy within individual’s bodies. This would make her an energy manipulator with a unique twist rather than a superhero with two stitched together powers.

  180. Castilleon 07 Aug 2011 at 5:50 pm

    First, an explanation of my character(still in conceptual stage):

    It involves a hero with a powersuit, only this suit is outfitted with solar panels, which will allow him to absorb the natural energy of the sun and /or high energy strobe lights. He would then use some process, (haven’t quite figured that part out yet) turn this energy into a highly concentrated beam of radiation (from the light).

    ….

    I’m currently torn between two different names right now. Which sounds better?

    Lightbringer?

    …or Sunstorm?

  181. B. Macon 07 Aug 2011 at 10:18 pm

    They both strike me as a bit stereotypically comic book-y (which I think could work depending on the impression you’re going for), but I like Sunstorm better.

  182. Blues574on 07 Aug 2011 at 10:54 pm

    What do you mean accessing the energy in their body? Example or something? Please? Also, do you have any other ideas that would work well with the one or the other? Btw, I really like Navitas.

  183. ekimmakon 08 Aug 2011 at 1:25 am

    http://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Sunstorm

  184. JMelloulon 08 Aug 2011 at 4:38 am

    Blues,

    I really like Navitas too – it’s my favorite of my suggestions. Well I mean that if in the ‘science’ of your world, people have energy – like chi – and that your character is really an energy manipulator that can manipulate the energy within peoples bodies (i.e. merge with it) and thus possess people through that way, while also being able to manipulate energy to send blasts of energy.

    That also leaves room for learning new skills involving / based off manipulating energy if you ever want that. An open door is always nice.

    Castille,

    For your power-suited character I agree with B. Mac that they are too stereotypical (unless, like he said, that’s what you’re going for). How about:

    Solarus – it might seem a little on the nose, but as long as you don’t point out the solar panels or the emphasis on “solar” to frequently it shouldn’t be too big of a problem

    And as far as the process, depending on the time and how much you want to suspend disbelief, you could explain it as him stripping the radiation from the sunlight or somehow increasing the concentration of it in smaller amounts of sunlight and “shooting” those at his enemies.

  185. Blues574on 08 Aug 2011 at 9:37 am

    I see what you mean. That’s a great idea actually.

  186. Blues574on 08 Aug 2011 at 9:38 am

    Thanks.

  187. JMelloulon 08 Aug 2011 at 10:09 am

    Sure! I’m glad you like it!

  188. DAnderson 28 Oct 2011 at 10:54 am

    Hi guys,
    I’m a writer just starting out, and I have an idea for a hero that was created as military experiment. So, he has all the powers you’d expect: Super strength, super speed, invulnerability, his eyes and ears are enhanced to give him better perception, and he can fly (its my favourite power so!). I called him Gauntlet because in his own view he is a one man army able to hit his enemies from all directions, and if that’s not enough he has these really cool gauntlets that allow him to shoot lasers and to manipulate metal objects.

    My question to you all is, am I stuck on this name and can you guys give me some alternatives?

  189. B. Macon 28 Oct 2011 at 3:21 pm

    “I have an idea for a hero that was created as military experiment. So, he has all the powers you’d expect: Super strength, super speed, invulnerability, his eyes and ears are enhanced to give him better perception, and he can fly…” Those powers strike me as pretty generic (very similar to Superman’s). It might help to give him at least one that’s more distinct. I think Gauntlet is a pretty effective name.

  190. DAnderson 29 Oct 2011 at 4:28 am

    Hey Thanks B. Mac,
    I realised just like you that his powers were ordinary but when I had to think of what a super soldier would actually have (as in what the military were actually going to pay to see in an effective weapon) were the powers that I listed.

    Are the powers he has in his gauntlets not distinct enough? If not, what do you think would be some better powers that would go well with the generic ones?

  191. B. McKenzieon 29 Oct 2011 at 4:49 am

    Well, the ability to shoot lasers is basically interchangeable with heat vision, I feel. Manipulating metal objects could be distinct, but it sounds like it isn’t the major power here. (For example, Superman sometimes mixes things up with ice breath and heat vision, but they don’t get used as often as strength and speed).



    Why’d the military give him super-strength? (It seems like it’d only be useful at close range? Does the military see him getting in a lot of melee fights?) Depending on how it plans to use him, maybe it’d focus on something like a more versatile power, or maybe something related to stealth or marksmanship/long range? Maybe something electronic, like the ability to control a vehicle remotely?

  192. DAnderson 29 Oct 2011 at 5:15 am

    Yes you’re right. When I first started to think of this character, I looked primarily at who the man was instead of what powers would work in the story. Which is why his powers are so generic. Should I have decided what powers he had before I created who he was or should I have woven the powers into him as I built his personality?

    I don’t also want to bring up his magnetic powers because then he will be more Magneto.

    What do you mean by ‘versatile power’?

  193. B. McKenzieon 29 Oct 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Something that can be used in a variety of situations, ideally in clever ways. Super-strength is pretty limited to combat, I feel.

  194. CCOlsonon 29 Oct 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Superstrength can be used in clever ways if you eschew punching your enemy in the face and use it instead to manipulate surroundings. Such as dropping a whole floor of a building on someone’s head by knocking out the building supports (something that would take a knowledge of architecture or construction). Or by opting for archery with a bow a normal human couldn’t pull (although recoil could still be a problem if your hero still weighs a normal amount. A bow with a 600 pound pull will exert a lot of force in the opposite direction when you loose and arrow from it) which allows for arrow options and style points.

    Superstrength also allows for ripping doors off cars, opening locked doors in a direct way, carrying lots of groceries, running longer, farther and with more equipment than others, making longer jumps (which allows successful fleeing across rooftops), winning rodeo tournaments, destruction work in old buildings, construction work in new buildings. Just try challenging reality and you’ll find lots of areas where superstrength alters things significantly.

    On magnetism, you could study up on what magnetism actually does, which is in large part NOT what Magneto could do. For one, bullets are copper jacketed lead. Thoroughly unmagnetic, thus not affected by true magnetism.

  195. Anonymouson 26 Jan 2013 at 9:33 am

    Oof. One of the heroes in my novel is named Captain Amazing, which, according to this, is awful. But since he is a parody of Superman, do you think it could work?

  196. B. McKenzieon 26 Jan 2013 at 12:48 pm

    “Do you think it could work?” Yes. For example, “Captain Freedom: A Superhero’s Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves” is a hilarious example of using Stylistic Suck to make a character interesting. It also cues us that the character isn’t meant to be taken seriously–if your character was supposed to be taken seriously, I’d recommend a less generic name.

    My main cautionary note here would be that the market for superhero parodies is badly oversaturated and these books do not typically sell very well, so you’ll be facing an uphill battle in a publisher’s office. For example, on Amazon, a search for “superhero parody” didn’t turn up any parodies with more than 20 reviews–you might want to pitch it on some other level with a (somewhat) larger reader pool, such as “superhero comedy.”

    Erik Larsen, a publisher at Image Comics, notes that superhero parody doesn’t play all that well in comic books, either. “Superhero parody books or ‘funny’ comics about girls with big jugs die pretty quickly in this market.”

  197. Anonymouson 26 Jan 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Yeah. The tone of the book is somewhat similar to SIWBI. Between a parody and an actual story.

  198. B. Macon 26 Jan 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Hmm. “The tone of the book is somewhat similar to SIWBI.” Then I think you can eschew the parody angle altogether–I think the distinctive element of parody is imitating something for comedic effect, usually in an exaggerated and mocking way (like Airplane! versus airplane disaster movies or Spaceballs versus Star Wars). SIWBI doesn’t deliver much exaggeration or mockery.

  199. Shelbyon 04 Jul 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I really need help thinking of a name of the comic and the heroes name her secret identity name is Ella Clark and her powers are:
    -super strength
    -flight
    -telepathy
    -invisibility
    -invincible
    Please help she is 20 and is a journalist

  200. Dinstowon 15 Sep 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Something I think it should be important to consider is what the *character* would name themselves. Would they have considered the things on this list? Are they thinking of how the name will sound when people are saying it all the time, or are they just picking something cool without much thought?

  201. B. McKenzieon 15 Sep 2013 at 11:00 pm

    “…how the name will sound when people are saying it all the time…” Yeah, you’ll probably use the main characters’ names a few hundred times over the course of a novel. If the names are bad, they will probably get pretty annoying quickly.

    One aggravating scenario I’ve seen a few times is when a character has a really dumb name which is supposed to be funny, and maybe it is the first time*, but using a dumb name a few hundred times is a pretty steep price to pay for a joke that’s never all that memorable.

    *E.g. while I think “Agent Orange” is actually funny in this scene, it’s such a goofy name that I have to try to work around it in any scene which is remotely serious. Most of the main characters are on a first-name basis with him, so I can use “Gain” instead, but if “Agent Orange” were his only name, it’d be a serious problem. What I’ll probably end up doing is having him explain that his last name is Orange, so he technically SHOULD be “Agent Orange,” but PR bureaucrats specifically changed his title over his objections. Then I can completely avoid the phrase “Agent Orange” outside of that one comedic scene.

  202. Weisson 08 Feb 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I’ve just stumbled upon this site, and my god, this has been one of the most helpful writing resources I’ve found thus far. Wonderful job so far! I hope I can continue to use this site for help with my book, hehe~

    Now, I’m writing a novel about a teenage witch and a teenage witch hunter who – after being forced to cooperate after experiencing a chain of events that can best be summarized as the unintentional angering of a powerful skeletal demon, the destruction of several department stores, and the reluctant forming of a blood contract – team up to hunt and kill the dangerous, bloodthirsty witches of the world.

    The witch is of no concern here, as I already have her name finalized. It’s the hunter I’m concerned about. The hunter’s name is Warren; he’s rather lonely and terrified of the prospect of total solitude, and so he maintains a nonchalant and sarcastic attitude as a way to reel in friends and allies, even if he disagrees with their views. Warren is not very confrontational, and would rather back down to avoid conflict instead of stand up for what he believes in. This is reflected even in his posture; he walks with the slouch of a guy who just wants to get through life without incident. He’d rather open up a bakery and live a quiet life than be a hunter, but there’s a small part of him that still yearns for the thrill of the hunt. Warren’s also quite prone to worrying over his friends and almost becomes a ‘team dad’ in a way when he’s forced to work with others. All around, he’s a rather non-judgmental person, too.

    Warren fights with a pair of twin Desert Eagle pistols that can be loaded with bullets containing capsules filled with compressed magical energy, which is called Essence in my novel’s world. Generally, humans can only access Essence through compacted capsules that can be merged with modified ammunition, and it comes in a few general brands. Warren’s particular brand is electricity, as he finds it easiest to paralyze and even kill witches with, and it’s far more controllable than fire.
    His inhuman reflexes – part of the plot, I promise – contribute to incredible accuracy and guarantee he rarely, if ever, misses.

    I was planning on giving him a nickname like ‘The Magic Bullet Marksman’, or something of the sort, but I don’t feel that says as much about him as it could. It’s bestowed upon him by the agency works at, by the way!

    So, hopefully there’s someone here that can give me a hand with this!

  203. Weisson 09 Feb 2014 at 5:18 am

    Actually, no, changed my mind; it’s entirely possible for Warren to miss, which he does rather frequently; he’s just an incredibly good shot, is all.

  204. B. McKenzieon 09 Feb 2014 at 10:50 am

    Weiss: “He’d rather open up a bakery and live a quiet life than be a hunter…” I think giving him a more exotic alternate plan than opening up a bakery would probably make him more interesting than something more mundane.

  205. Chloe Williamson 09 Feb 2014 at 10:56 am

    My character is Nicole Matthews. Her powers originated in a solar/lunar event when beams of radiation were thrown down at the earth.

    Her powers: Light manipulation and control. She can make light solid but also has powers similar (but not the same) as Dawnstar form the JL Adventures Trapped in Time movie. Also, she has a dark side (sort of like Jekyll and Hyde) that has the same powers as her normal side but controls darkness instead and is more powerful because it can’t hold back.. She can’t chose when her dark side emerges.

    I was thinking of calling her Dawn and her counterpart side Dusk, but that seemed a really irritating switch all the time. My other idea was Midnight but it had nothing to do with her powers.

    I appreciate any help. These are all for my own enjoyment and not publication.

  206. Weisson 09 Feb 2014 at 10:57 am

    @B. McKenzie

    Thank you for the tip! You made a fair point. Based on what you’ve seen of his personality so far, would wanting to manufacture weaponry such as guns be a more interesting alternative? (Ah, writing is a lot harder than I’d been anticipating!)

    I’m still working on his title/nickname/alias, and so far, I’m not yielding any results. I may just stick with ‘Magic Bullet Marksman’ for the first draft, unless something better comes along.

  207. B. McKenzieon 09 Feb 2014 at 7:56 pm

    “Based on what you’ve seen of his personality so far, would wanting to manufacture weaponry such as guns be a more interesting alternative?” Yes, definitely. I think this would be a major improvement because the element of crafting guns will be much easier to work into the plot than anything related to baking would be. Also, making firearms is inherently more dangerous and will probably lead to more interesting interactions with a more memorable clientele… no offense, bread fans*. 🙂

    *E.g. contrast an arms deal gone wrong with a bread sale gone wrong.

    “(Ah, writing is a lot harder than I’d been anticipating!)” It is vastly more work for vastly less pay than I could have imagined starting out. I’ve reluctantly come to accept that I will probably never be able to make minimum wage as a fiction writer… Nonfiction has been much kinder.

  208. Weisson 10 Feb 2014 at 4:31 am

    @B. McKenzie

    All right, gun manufacturing it is! I figure Warren probably won’t be able to open a shop of his own in the first book – he’s only seventeen, and so there probably are some restrictions, hehe – but perhaps he’ll be able to work part-time. Moreover, the clientele will definitely be more diverse and intriguing! Oh, and it will give me a method for Warren to modify his weapons a bit, too.

    Although, I did once see two women savagely battle over the last loaf of a certain brand of bread, so I suppose bread enthusiasts are terrifying in their own right. 🙂

    Ah, that’s why I’m so apprehensive about attempting a fiction series; I probably won’t be the next J.R.R Tolkien or J.K. Rowling, and yet I still can’t help but try my absolute hardest anyway.

    -Weiss

  209. Weisson 10 Feb 2014 at 4:34 am

    @Weiss

    …Well, that was a secret twist ending I certainly hadn’t been anticipating. Please edit my comment name to say ‘Weiss’, if it’s not too much trouble? I apologize for any inconveniences I may have caused!

  210. B. McKenzieon 10 Feb 2014 at 7:39 am

    “I did once see two women savagely battle over the last loaf of a certain brand of bread, so I suppose bread enthusiasts are terrifying in their own right.” Fair enough, but I’m having trouble envisioning a scenario where an angry Pepperidge Farm customer swears a vow of death because his bread malfunctioned in the heat of battle. 🙂

    Also, some stories which mix technology and fantasy have a convention that magical beings tend to cause technology to malfunction. So it’d be pretty easy to come up with a malfunction scenario…

  211. Weisson 10 Feb 2014 at 7:50 am

    @B. McKenzie

    I’m now envisioning someone attempting to battle with a loaf of bread, and that made me laugh. True! Gun manufacturing would provide the opportunity to have conflict between Warren and various npcs!

    Ah! That gave me an idea! Perhaps I’ll have witches radiate an aura that causes technology and weaponry to glitch and malfunction?
    I think that might incite some interesting cataclysms between protagonists, hehe!

    Also, forgive any typos; mobile phones are treacherous beings. 🙂

  212. J.Croweon 16 Dec 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Hmmm….

    Well, bugger. The two names I’ve chosen for my heroes have a specific reason for being it.

    {project} OVERMAN is a transhumanist superhero, who’s been enhanced with a motion sensor in the back of his head, a radio implant in his ear, and implants that can detect electromagnetic fields (and eventually an implant in his brain that allows him to temporarily turn on superhuman strength like people in crisis situations can do). I chose the name “OVERMAN” because of the Nietzsche connotations, and the whole concept of transcending humanity.

    Mothman chose his name for two reasons: He was a big fan of the Tim Burton Batman films, and he has a strange fascination with Moths (which I totally plan to explore further. Fun fact: the guy he’s loosely based off of is afraid of moths…but I didn’t want to completely overdo the batman aspect). That, and I really like the costume I designed, as Mothman is the only “costumed” hero (that, and I built this character from the name).
    Oh, and the cryptid connotations don’t hurt either.

    The villains, however, have pretty good ones in my opinion (despite being named after songs).

    Serenade is a sociopath, a punk, a philosopher, and a nihilist. The name “Serenade” is not so much their “villain persona”, but rather their YouTube username on their philosophy vlog. They don’t have a public persona for their terrorist actions: the media simply refers to them as “The Bomber” or something like that (unless I want them to leave a rose, but that’d be too incriminating so I won’t…..well, maybe a by-mail-boquet….payed for from a Swiss bank account…).
    Named after a line from the Green Day song “Peacemaker” (“well death to the ones at the end of the serenade”). (I’m using “they” because the character identifies as gender neutral, and is very androgynous). (Helped “create” {project}OVERMAN).

    Nathan “Neo” Blackwell is the head of [Blackwell Industries/BlackEden] (undecided on the name), a company dedicated to developing new technologies to help the world. A man severely lacking in the morals department, he is willing to go to great lengths to achieve his goals. However, said goals are to help the human race, cure all diseases, and make people biologically enhanced. Unfortunately for him, he’s also a total ass and highly narcissistic. Ends up buying the rights to the overman’s enhancements, and employing Overman for further development as a new form of future law-enforcement. Named after the song “Mr.Blackwell” from KISS’ concept album/rock opera “Music From The Elder” (which is going to be a reoccurring theme in the comic, in regards to the themes of the album’s story).

    So yeah. The 4 protagonist’s names.

  213. Jamie L.on 18 Jan 2016 at 3:04 am

    This is a fantastic article! I’m writing a HEAVILY deconstructive superhero play about an Chinese-American gangster in California who loses his boyfriend in a carjacking. The police barely make an effort to solve his case, so he shoots the murderer in revenge, tags a broken-heart and the name TIN MAN on the guy’s door, and becomes leader of a vigilante gang. The play’s title is “Takotsubo”–the Japanese term for “Broken-heart syndrome.”

    I picked “Tin Man” because it refers to the Tin Man in “Wizard of Oz.” The Tin Man’s made of metal and laments that he’s emotionless because he lost his heart, but he’s the nicest person in the whole damn story. And then “Takotsubo” sounds pretty harsh on a literal front with the T’s, K, and S, (and with being a foreign Japanese word), but “broken-heart syndrome” is exactly what it sounds like: Your heart broke so much that it’s affected your physical health.

    One day I went, “I wonder what it would be like if the Oz crew were a street gang,” and I made a whole lot of tattoo sketches. The Tin Man’s tribal broken-heart tattoo was my favorite, and so I started building up this script about an Asian-American gangster who hates that he’s fulfilling the “Asian gangster” stereotype, and yet he’s ALWAYS acted like a superhero.

    When the Tin Man isn’t the snarky, gun-wielding, and boxing gang-leader, he’s the playful, sexy, and extremely damaged Cord Cai. Oz’s Tin Man cries a lot because he’s so compassionate. My Tin Man cries a lot because he’s hurting, and he’s hurting because he was forced to make so many fucked up choices.

    So there’s this huge conflict between what Cord thinks of himself and what he actually is: Cord hates being a bisexual Asian because those two stereotypes are the opposites of each other (bisexuals are pigeonholed as sex-crazed, but Asian men are pigeonholed as unattractive losers), and he was constantly bullied in school for “being a fag” by ignorant teens. He hates being “yet another Asian gangster,” even though his city actually loves and respects his gang for keeping order better than the police. He constantly claims that he lost his heart after his first boyfriend died, but he’s extremely moral and he’s spent years in a steady relationship with his second boyfriend. Then there’s all of his heart tattoos that symbolize people he cares about, plus the massive tribal broken-heart tattoo on his chest.

    Cord grew up with Superman and he desperately wants to emulate that heroism, but then comes reality where he gets carjacked and his boyfriend gets shot, and the police barely do anything because they were both Asian and they live in a crime-heavy area anyway. And all this shit happens when they’re nineteen and barely out of high school, so Cord feels that the only kind of justice he can rely on now is street justice. And if he’s gone that far, he might as well become another Asian gangster with a weird code-name.

    Originally I wanted to avoid any mention of gangsters or kung fu, but then I went, “Wait, why the hell would Cord think he can be a superhero? What shiny, happy bubble of naivety would he be living in?” I’m Asian-American. I grew up with all the stereotypes. The vast majority of comic-book Asians are villains, and frequently gangsters. The benevolent Asians are mystical kung fu masters who teach white people their mystical kung fu powers before they tragically die. There are barely any Asian-AMERICANS in the comic book mythos. Hell, I spent years wishing for someone to write an Asian-American hero that didn’t know kung fu, until I finally realized I could write that fucking thing myself, because I love writing and I love comic books.

    Hell, I saw Jubilee in the newest X-Men trailer and I flipped out because “YELLOW TRENCHCOAT?! IS THAT JUBILEE?! AAAAAAAHHHH, I HAVEN’T SEEN JUBILEE SINCE I WAS LIKE, FIVE! …Damn it, it’s the end of the world? No wonder they finally remembered there’s an Asian-American mutant.”

    So this story is how an Asian-American gangster “villain” was never a villain at all, but he believes he is because that is all he’s seen in his life. And then he finally flips the stereotype, reclaims himself, and he calls himself a superhero and he does the Superman shirt-rip.

  214. B. McKenzieon 19 Jan 2016 at 6:53 pm

    “This is a fantastic article! I’m writing a HEAVILY deconstructive superhero play about an Chinese-American gangster in California who loses his boyfriend in a carjacking.” I feel like the market for gay superhero stories may be strongly oversaturated relative to demand. (In my opinion, the only 2 types of superhero story that are more oversaturated are superhero parodies and ersatz Supermans / Superman deconstructions, and parodies might be arguable). Not sure how to help there besides standard advice regarding personality/traits over demographics — being able to say anything about the character besides demographics (e.g. in your case, his work as a gangster, or any unusual choices, or any unusual personality traits) will probably help significantly. Also, would strongly recommend deconstructing anyone besides Superman. Preferably someone with more depth and/or more open to interpretation and/or not already the subject of 90%+ of superhero deconstructions.

    “Damn it, it’s the end of the world? No wonder they finally remembered there’s an Asian-American mutant.”” I think the end of the world mattered less than Chinese box office returns. 🙂

  215. catswoodsriveron 21 Jan 2016 at 6:03 pm

    For a short story, there is a lab project on making humans have powers by making them cyborgs. Some kids were in it when they were babies and released separately into the world. They don’t know at first. Also, their powers aren’t much, just enough for stuff in their area of expertise to do a little better. Here are their names:
    Socios: Good people skills. Can tell if someone is lying and predict people’s actions. Passed his knowledge onto his sister.
    Fawn: Sister of Socios, good with animals. Animals like her and are calmer around her.

    Terra: Plant skills. “Green thumb.” Has the knowledge to keep plants alive and they thrive under her care.

    Dadaellos: Machine skills. Gets really into all projects. Can build anything, given time.

    Aquarios: Water and marine life skills. Loves to swim even though the water is fairly toxic. Tries to clean up the water as best as he can.

    Casa: Life skills. Similar to magic, she can manipulate life energy. She has known about the project and her involvement in it. She is a key member of the revolutionaries.

  216. Jamie L.on 22 Jan 2016 at 5:58 pm

    “(IMO, the only 2 types of superhero story that are more oversaturated are superhero parodies and ersatz Supermans / Superman deconstructions, and parodies might be arguable). Not sure how to help there besides standard advice regarding personality/traits over demographics — being able to say anything about the character besides demographics (e.g. in your case, his work as a gangster, or any unusual choices, or any unusual personality traits) will probably help significantly.”

    The problem about “personality traits that don’t involve demographics” is that my play HINGES on “race changes everything about the story.”

    Cord is a sweet, average guy who goes through a horrible trauma and ends up becoming a vigilante… But instead of getting inspired to become a superhero like in most other origin stories, Cord shoots his boyfriend’s murderer in a desperate bid for revenge and then he becomes a gangster. Why? The police have taken months to work on his case, because most people barely care about the struggles and trauma that Asian-Americans go through. Then he does semi-legal crime cleanup with his gang (generally shooting the most dangerous criminals and apprehending the not-as-dangerous ones), because he feels like he’s already gone too far to be anything close to a hero. He also runs weed and gives the proceeds to people who are financially struggling, especially those who are suffering the effects of gentrification. (The story’s set in Oakland, California.)

    The literal only difference between him and another run-of-the-mill superhero is that he’s Asian-American instead of white, and I’m exploring all of the things that this one difference makes in an otherwise “standard” superhero story.

    He has the sexy-playboy aspect of Batman because he and his current boyfriend have an open relationship (Cord can sleep with other people as long as his boyfriend knows his plans beforehand and Cord makes sure to use protection). Cord thinks he needs a lot of sex, but he’s confused a need for intimacy with his libido (they have a great relationship aside from his boyfriend’s unpredictable work schedule as a nurse). He’s also subconsciously overcompensating to avoid the “sexless, unattractive Asian-American guy” stereotype.

    Cord is very sweet and openly expressive because 1) being harmless in his normal life is a good way to avoid being suspected as the snarky, pragmatic Tin Man, and 2) it emphasizes how utterly wrong he is about always calling himself “yet another Asian gangster.” He’s more than physically capable of running a gang because he boxes and he’s extremely proficient with guns, but the emotional toll of allegedly fulfilling a stereotype has left him with a fuckton of depression/self-hate and PTSD.

    “Also, would strongly recommend deconstructing anyone besides Superman. Preferably someone with more depth and/or more open to interpretation and/or not already the subject of 90%+ of superhero deconstructions.”

    I draw on the Superman mythos a LOT in the story, but not in a deconstructive “this is how shit falls apart in real life” way. Comic books are American, and Supes is one of the most American symbols of them all besides the literal Captain America. Cord wrestles a LOT with “being Asian versus being American:” He loves comic books, but all he sees to represent himself is how Asians are largely sidekicks, helpless bystanders, or villains. And how barely anyone remembers the “American” part of “Asian-American.”

    With all the times someone asked him where he’s from (he was born in San Jose and moved north to Oakland when he was eight), if he’s ever been to China (nope), or if he speaks “Chinese” (he speaks Mandarin, which is a problem in northern California where there’s a lot of Cantonese-speakers instead), Cord’s internalized the message that nobody will ever see him as “belonging to this country,” or “one of us.” So he goes, “if I can’t be a hero, I’m at least going to run my own life instead of serving someone else.” And then he becomes a gangster.

  217. B. McKenzieon 22 Jan 2016 at 7:15 pm

    “The literal only difference between him and another run-of-the-mill superhero is that he’s Asian-American instead of white, and I’m exploring all of the things that this one difference makes in an otherwise “standard” superhero story. ” I really doubt that this is the case (e.g. he’s a gangster, so he almost certainly has a highly unusual personality and major choices compared to most superheroes). However, if the only notable thing about a main character really were his demographics, that’d be a pretty compelling case for an instant rejection.

  218. Jamie L.on 23 Jan 2016 at 6:25 pm

    “I really doubt that this is the case (e.g. he’s a gangster, so he almost certainly has a highly unusual personality and major choices compared to most superheroes). However, if the only notable thing about a main character really were his demographics, I think it’d probably be an instant rejection. ”

    Have you kept up with the race-related catastrophes in the media, especially in theater and comic book movies? Being Asian-American is important to this story, and it’s especially important to comic books where the “Asian gangster” is the only thing we’re portrayed as when we’re not scientists or kung fu masters.

    —–
    Here’s the Asian-American specific summary:

    When Cord Cai suffers the loss of his boyfriend to a carjacking, the police barely help because nobody cares about a couple of Asian-American kids getting shot in Oakland. Desperate to end his pain, he first attempts to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, but after getting dragged to a psych ward by an off-duty policeman, his despair is replaced with anger.

    So he tracks down and shoots Roland’s murderer in revenge–not because he wants to, but because it’s better justice than what he got. Then he tags the man’s door with a broken-heart and the name TIN MAN. With that, Cord resigns himself to becoming yet another Asian gangster–but he decides that if he’s going to be a stereotype, he might as well clean up Oakland while he’s at it.

    For years, Cord refuses to call himself anything but “another Asian gangster who couldn’t be a doctor”–but the city says otherwise. While “beloved” is a pretty strong word to describe the Tin Man’s reputation, he’s one of the most respected figures in Oakland for doing the police’s job better than the police.

    Takotsubo is Cord’s journey not to BECOME a superhero, but to ACKNOWLEDGE it.


    The race-neutral summary is around the same:

    Cord Cai and his boyfriend Roland Fujii are driving home one night when they take a wrong turn and get carjacked. Roland gets shot and killed, but the police barely help thanks to passing them over as the latest victims of Oakland’s streets. Cord tries to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, but after getting dragged to the psych ward by an off-duty police officer, Cord’s despair is replaced with anger. He tracks down and shoots Roland’s murderer in revenge–not because he wants to, but because it’s better justice than what he got. Then he tags the man’s door with a broken-heart and the name TIN MAN.

    Cord feels like he can’t do anything legal after this kind of vigilantism, but while he resigns himself to starting a gang, he can’t stop himself from cleaning up Oakland through street justice instead of normal justice.

    For years, Cord refuses to call himself anything but “another Oakland guy who couldn’t get out of the streets”–but the city says otherwise. While “beloved” is a pretty strong word to describe the Tin Man’s reputation, he’s definitely one of the most respected figures in Oakland for doing the police’s job better than the police.
    Cord is a superhero in all but name, but he refuses to call himself anything but another Oakland guy who couldn’t escape the streets.

    Takotsubo is Cord’s journey not to BECOME a superhero, but to ACKNOWLEDGE it.

    —-
    I’m sorry for going overboard on the Asian-American themes, but considering we’re STILL being whitewashed, erased, and stereotyped like it’s the 1950s, I don’t want my script to end up being full of white people like 90% of the superhero genre and the only way is to fill my script with Asian-American culture and themes as possible. I can’t risk leaving diversity up to a casting director, not with all the ridiculously stupid examples of whitewashing in film and stage just in the past couple of years.

  219. B. McKenzieon 23 Jan 2016 at 8:34 pm

    “I can’t risk leaving diversity up to a casting director, not with all the ridiculously stupid examples of whitewashing in film and stage just in the past couple of years.” I wouldn’t recommend worrying about what a casting director might say. Personally, I anticipate there will be zero Hollywood interest here for a variety of reasons. If Hollywood did pick this up, you’d probably be horrified by the outcome. For example, reaching PG-13 (highly desirable from a sales perspective) would probably require cutting homosexuality altogether. (Also, I don’t think Chinese censors will OK a release in China otherwise). I suspect the main character might also be recast as a cop infiltrating the triads. Also, if the studio decides it wants a well-established actor that’s an established box-office draw, pretty much everyone on the list is white or black.



    Personally, I’d recommend just worrying about writing a comic that might be able to sell 10,000+ issues, which I think would be a challenge but potentially doable. Hollywood’s business models tend to need vastly more viewers to function, e.g. 10m+, far more viewers than this plot could actually sustain.

  220. Jamie L.on 24 Jan 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Well, you gave your input and I don’t think anything else I say about this particular concept is going to reach. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    Keep up with this website, though–these articles are binge-worthy.

  221. B. McKenzieon 25 Jan 2016 at 8:07 pm

    “Well, you gave your input and I don’t think anything else I say about this particular concept is going to reach.” Well said. For what it’s worth, the characterization sounds effective.

    “Keep up with this website, though–these articles are binge-worthy.” Thanks!

  222. Amanda Son 11 Apr 2016 at 4:03 pm

    What’s a good name for a wheelchair hero? I keep thinking of my best friend’s nickname, 4×4, but that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Would Axle be too obvious? Is there anything related to wheels that wouldn’t be obvious?

  223. B. McKenzieon 11 Apr 2016 at 5:58 pm

    “Is there anything related to wheels that wouldn’t be obvious?” No, I’d recommend using the name to develop something besides the character’s handicap. E.g. Daredevil’s name covers a key personality trait and religious themes rather than his blindness, Professor X’s name pushes his cerebral nature rather than his wheelchair, and Wolverine’s name implies a personality trait and an interesting visual rather than his raging addiction to poutine.

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