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Old 10-02-2023, 07:17 AM   #11
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Characters from Superhero Games Who Need Better Names

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Most superhero names are problematic. Realistically, most superheroes shouldn't be able to give themselves k3wl names that everybody obediently repeats. Most likely, anyone with a secret identity is going to be named by whatever journalists start calling them, or in this day and age, what social media calls them. But because thematic naming is a thing in comics, new superheroes always go through some scene where someone wonders "What's he called?" and the superhero gets a dramatic frame to quip their chosen name. The asker, suitably impressed, duly spreads that name to everybody, and alternative nicknames never show up unless you're a villain.

Or else the superhero doesn't name himself, but someone impressed with him will, after an encounter, say something like "That guy was a real so-and-so. Hey... 'So-and-so'!" And again, everybody just accepts it.
The MCU was (often) pretty good at presenting this somewhat realistically: Iron Man was named by the media and the name stuck hard when Tony very publicly adopted the title. Captain America was named as part of a publicity campaign. Starlord struggled to get his chosen moniker recognized. Warmachine was annoyed at the "Iron Patriot" name that was forced on him by marketing research.
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Old 10-02-2023, 08:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: Characters from Superhero Games Who Need Better Names

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There's some major exceptions to this principle. What else are you going to call "Spiderman"? There's that spider theme on his costume and he does whatever a spider can (except bite people and inject dissolving juice).
Toyed with in 2002's Spider-Man, where Peter Parker goes into the wrestling ring calling himself "The Human Spider," and the announcer ignores his desired name and calls him "Spider-Man." This instance, at least, was the writers very consciously making the point that superheroes getting to name themselves is silly.

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It's a fairly common phenomenon with animal-themed characters who have simple names (The Rhino, The scorpion and so on) but it doesn't often stretch beyond them.
Also toyed with in 1989's Batman, where the criminals in the beginning are talking about "The Bat." But this becomes a movie where the hero explicitly gets to name himself (the origin of the line "I'm Batman") despite having a pre-established nickname.

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Thor
is just his name.
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Old 10-02-2023, 08:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: Characters from Superhero Games Who Need Better Names

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The MCU was (often) pretty good at presenting this somewhat realistically: Iron Man was named by the media and the name stuck hard when Tony very publicly adopted the title. Captain America was named as part of a publicity campaign. Starlord struggled to get his chosen moniker recognized. Warmachine was annoyed at the "Iron Patriot" name that was forced on him by marketing research.
That is to say, the MCU has built up the idea that superheroes are an institution, and that institution has certain customs and traditions, one of which is that superheroes need catchy names, and there's actually some legal and economic apparatus around this custom to support it. MCU has built an internal edifice to explain away silly superhero names.

This sort of thing is actually itself lampshaded a lot in parodies, where super-organizations find themselves swamped in buearocracy and public appearances because they've become too successful.

I think my favorite super-villain name of all time, which doesn't appear to fall prey to the silly naming problem (unless it means something I'm not aware of) is "Casanova Frankenstein." Apparently just the guy's name, it nevertheless captures his cultured insanity.
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Old 10-02-2023, 10:29 AM   #14
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Default Re: Characters from Superhero Games Who Need Better Names

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<Thor>

is just his name.
But he gets called Thor and not "Hammer Man" because he actually looks like popular conceptions of the mythological Thor. It's also why the Jane Foster version would be lucky to get to "Thor girl".
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Old 10-02-2023, 12:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: Characters from Superhero Games Who Need Better Names

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But he gets called Thor and not "Hammer Man" because he actually looks like popular conceptions of the mythological Thor.
No, it's because he hasn't got a secret identity. His name is simply Thor.

"What's your name?"
"Thor."
"Hi, Thor."

"What's your name?"
"Hammer Man."
"I can see that, but what's your name?"

Now I'm not up on comic books, but isn't Marvel's Thor actually supposed to be the mythological Thor and not just resemble him? He's not taking on the identity of a mythological figure; he is that mythological figure.
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Old 10-02-2023, 02:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: Characters from Superhero Games Who Need Better Names

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No, it's because he hasn't got a secret identity. His name is simply Thor.


Now I'm not up on comic books, but isn't Marvel's Thor actually supposed to be the mythological Thor and not just resemble him? He's not taking on the identity of a mythological figure; he is that mythological figure.
How about what he's called before he starts regularly talking to reporters? He get's called "Thor" anyway because he _looks_ the part.

As to who he "really" is that's varied over the years. In the beginning in the early 60s he was lame Dr. Donald Blake who gained the power (and appearance) of Thor because he was worthy and could lift the hammer.

Eventually it was retconned that he was Thor before Odin turned him into Blake to teach him humility. He eventually gave up being Blake.

There's always been a strong amount of magic in Thor and Asgard but Asgardians are also physically different from humans being 3x as dense as just one example. In the MCU the "Asgardian Alien" angle got played up.

At no point in the comics or the MCU has Thor been shown to be able to hear prayers said in his name or to grant boons to his worshippers beyond his personal abilities. Odin might have been able to do these things but he's too secretive for the answer to be clear.

In flashbacks we've seen Thor have adventures in historical Midgard but he doesn't hang out with his worshippers much then either. Indeed he usually appears to be quite uncomfortable with the whole "god" business.

The MCU's "Asgardian Space Alien" has a lot going for it and really isn't all that far from the comics version in broad terms.
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Old 10-02-2023, 07:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: Characters from Superhero Games Who Need Better Names

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
How about what he's called before he starts regularly talking to reporters? He get's called "Thor" anyway because he _looks_ the part.
FWIW, which isn't much since I know this is MCU Thor, not mythology Thor. But in the mythology Thor is a redhead, or at least red bearded.

Also, I'm fighting muscle memory to not write Žór all the time.
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Old 10-02-2023, 08:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Characters from Superhero Games Who Need Better Names

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FWIW, which isn't much since I know this is MCU Thor, not mythology Thor. But in the mythology Thor is a redhead, or at least red bearded.

Also, I'm fighting muscle memory to not write Žór all the time.
I know the details are not quite right but he's generically "Norse" with the height, the muscles and the long blond hair and he's got a generic hammer that works like the most famous of godly weapons (even if most of use wouldn't know how to pronounce it).
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Old 10-02-2023, 08:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: Characters from Superhero Games Who Need Better Names

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There's some major exceptions to this principle. What else are you going to call "Spiderman"? There's that spider theme on his costume and he does whatever a spider can (except bite people and inject dissolving juice).

"Hawkman" is about as obvious and Batman brands so aggressively with bat symbols and motifs that it's pretty obvious what to call him.

It's a fairly common phenomenon with animal-themed characters who have simple names (The Rhino, The scorpion and so on) but it doesn't often stretch beyond them. Thor, the Invisible Girl, maybe the Human Torch but obviously not Mr Fantastic. Then you start wondering why "Plastic Man" isn't called "Rubberman" and you'll run out of those obvious exceptions tot he rule eventually.
Mr Fantastic's name has never really stuck anyway. 90% of the time he's just called Reed Richards.
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Old 10-02-2023, 08:52 PM   #20
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I'd probably just go with Crow for Buzzard. Maybe he went by Carrion Crow at first, and it's been shortened.
Yeah, I have one character who I named Tarantula Hawk (It's a kind of wasp) but I realised that it wouldn't stick and T-Hawk was born.
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