The Top 3 "Real Names" Marvel Keeps Lazily Reusing for Its Superheroes

Marvel Studios has recently picked a director for their next comic-book adaptation, Doctor Strange. But sharp-eyed fans have wondered if the good doctor's full name, "Stephen Strange," may prove a little confusing when he meets fellow Avenger Captain America, aka "Steven Rogers."


The truth is that a Steve/Stephen mixup is the least of Marvel's sins when it comes to nomenclature. The company has an inexplicable fondness for a tiny pool of "alter-ego" names and keep returning to that same well over the decades, with the result that, for every Iron Man being the sole "Anthony" in the universe, there are four Henrys fighting over whether they're Beast or Ant-Man.

But there are a select few names that Marvel really keeps using over and over, often for their most famous characters, that has led to a severe name imbalance in the House of Ideas. Can you guess which ones? You may be surprised, shocked, and slightly aroused...



PSYLOCKE (Betsy Braddock), SILVER SCORPION (Betty Barstow), GOLDEN GIRL (Betsy Ross), Betty Ross (from Hulk), Betty Brant (from Spider-Man)

This should probably be "Elizabeth," but tbh besides Liz Allen of minor Spider-Man fame (and famous waitress Beth in the Avengers movie!!), Marvel's exclusively used the peppy 40's nicknames Betty and Betsy as their diminutives. That makes the sheer amount of Bettys and Betsys in Marvel comics very confusing, especially since many of them don't have superheroine aliases. Definitely the number-one feminine choice, although it hasn't been used as much in recent years.



SPIDER-MAN (Peter Parker), STAR-LORD (Peter Quill), COLOSSUS (Piotr Rasputin), QUICKSILVER (Pietro Maximoff), Peter Wisdom (from Excalibur)

Marvel's "Peter" problem wouldn't be quite so bad if (A) it wasn't their most famous character's alter-ego and (b) Fox stopped changing all the WEIRD ETHNIC VERSIONS to Peter in their movies. As it is, there are now at least three well-known Peters/Petes that readers and viewers have to keep straight in their heads, with more on the way when Guardians of the Galaxy is released next month.



WAR MACHINE (James Rhodes), WINTER SOLDIER/BUCKY (James Barnes), LUKE CAGE (James Lucas), WARPATH (James Proudstar), WOLVERINE/LOGAN (James Howlett), GUARDIAN (James Hudson), MULTIPLE MAN (James Madrox), James Morita (of the Howling Commandos)

Ridiculous, isn't it? Every time there's a male Marvel character who goes by a nickname or another non-superhero alias, seems we eventually learn his real name is James. It was qt with Rhodey, got to be a pattern with Bucky, and by the time we learned that Wolverine's decades-lost real name was not Logan but James, it was overkill.

It's not that James is a bad name or anything. Very distinguished, strong, and simple. It's that so damn many high-profile Marvel characters share it for some inexplicable reason -- Luke Cage, really? -- when other, similar names (e.g. John) only have a couple of bearers. Maybe Marvel gets a really generous grant from a "James Foundation" every year or something.

Source: My friend with a comic

Do you share a name with a superhero, ONTD?