What are some good ways to come up with superhero names?


Quick Answer

To come up with a good superhero name, try using linguistic elements that reflect themes, symbols and emotions associated with the character's powers or origin story. Alternatively, consider names related to the character’s mission or personality. Additionally, real names or words that sound like real names can be good starting points for coming up with superhero names.

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Full Answer

A theme can help you to determine whether to use a particular title when naming your superhero, such as “Doctor," “Sergeant” or “Master.” For example, the character of Captain America uses a title that is associated with the military, and thus with themes of patriotism and might.

Considering your character’s mission also helps to come up with a good name. The character of Oracle provides information and assistance, a duty not unlike how oracles in ancient mythology provided supernatural guidance. Wonder Woman provides one example of emotion-based naming, while Green Lantern gets his name from his origin story. Another important consideration is the time period of the character’s existence; a name suited to a 1940s hero may not correspond to the ideal qualities of a 1980s-era superhero.

Many of the most memorable superhero and villain names follow common patterns, which can provide a format for coming up with new superhero names. The most recognized pattern pairs a noun or adjective with the suffix -man, -woman or -boy, as in “Batman,” “Catwoman,” “Superman,” “Hellboy” and “Spider-Man.”

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