One Steve Limit/Comic Books

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Inversions of, and exceptions to, a One Steve Limit in Comic Books include:

  • Marvel has Johnny Storm and Johnny Blaze and they both use fire.
    • And of course you've got two Hanks running around (Pym of the Avengers and McCoy of the X-Men).
      • And working together in the Secret Avengers, for more name-based confusions since they both fill the scientist role and the teams on first name basis.
  • The Plain Janes the five lead characters are all named Jane. They have adjectives attached to help determine who is who. Ex: Theatre Jane.
  • Pearls Before Swine has its endless supply of "Bobs" in addition to Neighbor Bob and the fictitious Angry Bob. Stephan Pastis wrote in commentary that "Bob" is a funny name. It has two "b"'s ("b" is a funny sounding letter), it's a palindrome, and a verb.
  • The Adventures of Tintin has two detectives that look nearly identical and are named "Thomson" and "Thompson" (Dupond and Dupont in the original French). This also a case of No Name Given, as neither has a first name ever mentioned that could be used to tell them apart.
    • Though in a straight example, a third character coincidentally carrying the same name, Allan Thompson, effectively got his surname erased in the English translation to avoid undue confusion.
  • In the series Alias (no relation to the TV series), the main character, Jessica Jones, had a run-in with another Jessica, Jessica Drew. Both Jessicas were former superheroes turned private investigators. This is a plot point, because another character, Mattie Franklin (former superhero turned junkie) broke into Jones' office, thinking it belonged to Drew, whom she knew and was looking for.
    • It also may be some Lampshade Hanging, as Brian Michael Bendis had actually wanted to write the series about Jessica Drew, but Marvel didn't want to risk her on a MAX title. So instead, the somewhat similar Jessica Jones was created and retconned into the Marvel Universe.
  • Scott Pilgrim has a second character named Scott, who is always referred to by the rest of the cast as "Other Scott". Regular Scott also has a tendency to mix up people with similar names, and for most of the second book confuses Lucas Lee (the villain), Lucas "Crash" Wilson (a member of the series' recurring "Quirky Miniboss Squad") and Luke Wilson (the actor) as well as when referring to Todd Ingram (the evil vegan ex) says "Todd Rundgren or whatever is psychic!"
  • In The DCU, any two characters who share a surname will always turn out to be related—though rarely will either character be created with that intention. This often occurs with characters who were originally published by different companies that were eventually assimilated by the Borg acquired by DC. They've even done it with a Sanders and a Saunders, who became distant cousins or something.
    • In his first appearance, Harvey "Two-Face" Dent was named Harvey Kent. This was changed to avoid suggesting a familial connection to that other Kent gentleman.
    • Chuck Dixon actually wanted to make Dinah Drake, the original Black Canary, the great-aunt of Tim Drake, the third Robin, but DC Editorial shot it down. Pity, given that it was more plausible than some of the other examples: both Drake families are, canonically, long-time Gotham residents.
    • Starman had an FBI agent named Woodley Allen in his supporting cast introduced in 1941. In 1956 DC introduced the, far better known, police scientist named Barry Allen. Surely two people in similar professions with the same family name are related? Surprisingly no indication of any relation had been given and the only time the two appear in the same book its in separate stories where one is a reprint.
  • In the Batman family, there are two Harvey's; Harvey "Two-Face" Dent and Detective Harvey Bullock.
    • There are also two Victor's: Victor Fries and Victor Zsasz.
  • Marvel has two Hanks, both of whom are doctors and Avengers. In an X-Men/Star Trek crossover, Nurse Chapel asks for "Dr McCoy?"
    • The Beast referred to this at least once (outside the crossover), saying that whenever addressed as "Dr. McCoy, he felt the urge to say, "He's dead, Jim!"
    • They also DO have 2 Steves - Steve Rogers and Stephen Strange. Fortunately, while Captain America (comics) is occasionally called Steve, it's very rare for anyone to refer to Dr. Strange by his first name
      • And when they do, it's always Stephen, not Steve.
  • Incidentally, Marvel refuses to have two active super-heroes by the same name, in two separate collections but in the same universe. They can have, say, the Chameleon impersonating Spider-Man in his series, or a new Captain America while Steve Rogers cannot use the shield. However: When Jim Starlin wanted to resurrect Adam Warlock, the Warlock from the New Mutants had to go—and was killed in his own series. Similarly, the return of "the man called Nova" (Richard Rider) meant that the girl called Nova (Frankie Raye, herald of Galactus) was to be killed.
    • X-Man Robert "Bobby" Drake aka Iceman and New Mutant Roberto "Bobby" Da Costa aka Sunspot.
    • Young X-Man Hope Abbott aka Trance and Hope the Mutant Messiah raised in exile by Cable.
    • Peter Rasputin and Peter Wisdom. This would not be particularly notable (the X-Books have Loads and Loads of Characters, and Wisdom never uses his full name anyway) except a) they spent a fair amount of time in the same title and b) both of them have dated Kitty Pryde. They also share the name with the Marvel Universe's Peter Parker.
      • Averted, during Excalibur Rasputin was usually called Piotr, his actual name.
    • Penance from Generation X came back after Speedball had gone emocore and called himself Penance as well. Nowadays she's called Hollow.
    • In New X-Men: Academy X, there are technically two Joshes in the New Mutants squad - Joshua Guthrie (Icarus) and Josh Foley (Elixir). However, earlier in Uncanny X-Men, Josh Guthrie decided to go by "Jay" because he feels that after his girlfriend died his old name should be left in his past too.
    • There is a "Laurie" and a "Laura" in New X-Men: Childhood's End, but one is dead and one can't die.
    • X-Men used an aversion of this as part of Jubilee's backstory—her parents were murdered because her father happened to have the same name as another doctor who was involved with organised crime.
    • Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler and Juggernaut's father Kurt Marko. Nathan Christopher Charles Summers aka Cable, named after his grandfathers Nathaniel Essex, Christopher Summers, and Charles Xavier. Victor Creed aka Sabretooth and Victor Borkowski aka Anole. Brian Braddock aka Captain Britain and Charles's father Brian Xavier.
    • Silly, because like many above examples, not only were the two Warlocks not related in anyway, they both had enemies called The Magus, who also were not related in anyway other than name.
      • Although the New Mutants Warlock was named so as a homage to Adam Warlock, hence why he also had a villain named the Magus.
        • To further the point. Adam Warlock's Magus was a possible future incarnation of himself. New Mutants' Magus is the father of their Warlock and its their custom for the child to kill the father and then become the new Magus.
      • Please note that none of these characters use any kind of magic!
  • Cassandra Cain and Cassandra Sandsmark filled the roles of Batgirl and Wonder Girl, respectively. While Wonder Girl is still the same person, the mantle of Batgirl was passed to Stephanie Brown.
    • Cassie Sandsmark was on the Young Justice team with Cissie Jones-King & a girl called Suzee. They were all blonde. Meanwhile Marvel had already had a blonde teen character named Cassie Lang. This was called out by fans as a bunch of girl characters too similar. Eventually Cissie quit & Suzee started going by Greta.
    • There's also Connor Hawke (the second Green Arrow) and Conner Kent (Superboy).
  • And then there's James Robinson's Starman series....
  • In Y: The Last Man Yorick sleeps with a woman with the same name as his fiancee Beth. As a result Beth II (or Other Beth) has a child she names Beth Junior. Eventually all three meet up in Paris.

Hero: "I'm sorry Beth, but Beth has a right to know about... Beth."
Beth: "What?"
Beth 2: "I know it would have probably been easier if I'd named her Betty or Elizabeth, but I've never gotten along with chicks who go by the variations, have you?"

  • Jason Todd (the second Robin) shares a first name with Jason Garrick (the first Flash), Jason Bard (private investigator and occasional love interest to Barbara Gordon) and Jason Blood (the demon Etrigan), among others.
  • Most of José Carioca's various relatives are also named José (family reunions must be confusing). Fortunately, they all have unique last names that they can be identified by. For extra fun, José's rival (Who's not related to him) is also named José. This is probably because it's a stereotypical name for a Brazilian.
  • Peanuts had two characters named Patty. The original Patty dates from the first strip, and wore a checkered dress and bow. The more memorable character was the later appearing Peppermint Patty. One would assume the pun necessitated the exception, but Original Patty disappeared by the mid '70s. (Worth pointing out, too, is that Original Patty was Charlie Brown's very first antagonist in the first-ever Peanuts strip (when CB was something of a Jerkass, not the lovable emo kid we know and love), while Peppermint Patty was always portrayed as being madly and desperately in love with the clueless Chuck.)
  • Three Mikes in the coming-of-age book set in The Eighties, The Copybook Tales.
  • In an Americomics Blue Bulleteer oneshot, the heroine known as the Blue Bulleteer crosses paths with a hero also calling himself the Blue Bulleteer. Neither has ever heard of the other. She's had the name for longer, but he had it patented. By the end of the story they seem to have reconciled the fact that they operate under the same, because they both keep using it afterwards.
  • In X-Force, team director/owner Spike Freeman and team member the Spike shared a name. Lampshaded when Mr. Freeman says he really likes the Spike, and not just because of his name. Interestingly, this is the only time it ever came up, since the director usually goes by "Mr. Freeman" anyway.
  • Not really noticed much, because they usually use other names/nicknames, but there are a lot of Jameses in the Marvel Universe. James 'Logan/Wolverine' Howlett, James 'Bucky' Buchanan Barnes, James 'Jamie/Multiple Man' Maddrox, and James 'Rhodey/War Machine' Rhodes. And that's not counting really minor characters like James 'Jimmy/X-Ray' Darnell, James 'Mad Jim' Jaspers, and James Braddock from Captain Britain. People in Marvel really like the name James.
  • Averted in British girls' comic Bunty, whose main strip The Four Marys was Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The girls went by nicknames based on their surname - "Raddy" (Mary Radleigh), "Cotty" (Mary Cotter), "Simpy" (Mary Simpson) and "Fieldy" (Mary Field.)
  • In Marvel Comics, Cain Marko is the Juggernaut; William Baker, alias Flint Marko, is the Sandman; Michael Marko is "Man Mountain" Marko. This wouldn't be so unusual if the last name weren't so uncommon, really.
  • In Judge Dredd comics there have been two completely separate characters with the incredibly specific name "Spikes 'Harvey' Rotten", and in addition to sharing the same name, both were reputed to be ruthless bikers and part of a biker gang called "The Muties." The only thing that really sets them apart is their physical appearance. The first Spikes "Harvey" Rotten was a minor character who died in an illegal street race through Mega-City One; the second accompanied Dredd on his trek to Mega-City Two during the "Cursed Earth" story arc.
  • The mothers who raised Superman and Batman are Martha Kent and Martha Wayne, respectively. Due to the Death by Origin Story of the latter, there is only one now.
  • Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog has both Ray the Manta Ray (leader of the Forty Fathom Freedom Fighters and Canon Foreigner) and Ray the Flying Squirrel (member of the Chaotix, originally from Sega Sonic the Hedgehog). When the original Ray was introduced, the writers most likely hadn't heard of the game Ray (or weren't planning to ever use him).
  • James "Jim" Gordon married Babara Kean Gordon. They had two kids, James and Barbara Gordon.
  • Deliberately averted with various minor characters in The Walking Dead, as it would really stretch suspension of disbelief to not have any repeating names among all the random groups of survivors.
  • Originally, the name "Starfire" belonged to a Russian superhero, but over time he fell into obscurity. The name then became associated with the Teen Titans character. When the original was used again later, his name had changed to Red Star.
  • Early in The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker dated Betty Brant while his classmate Liz Allan made a play for him. Both girls were called pet forms of the name Elizabeth. Meanwhile in The Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner's love interest was Betty Ross; and Betty (or Betsy) Ross had also been the name of a Captain America supporting character in the Golden Age, who for a time became his sidekick, the first Golden Girl. Betty Brant worked as secretary to J. Jonah Jameson, a position where after her wedding to Ned Leeds she was replaced by the rather similar sounding Gloria Grant.
  • There's something about "Mary" for Peter Parker: His late mother was called Mary Parker, while his Aunt May bears a name that can be a variation of "Mary". Peter went on to date and eventually marry Mary Jane Watson, the niece of Aunt May's best friend, Anna May Watson (and in the New Testament, Anna is the mother of Mary). It later was revealed that MJ's mother was called Madeline (a French variant of Mary Magdalene). And when Peter and Mary Jane had a daughter, they decided to call her May.
    • Similarly Ben is the name of Peter Parker's uncle, clone and son. Upon the son's debut May asks which her brother is named before deciding it doesn't matter.
  • Played with in Fables. Jack Horner, Jack of the Tales, Jack o' Lantern, Jack Frost, Jack B. Nimble, Jack B. Quick, and Jack Giantslayer are all aliases for the same person. Every last fable about someone called Jack, with the exceptions of Jack Spratt, Jack Ketch and Jack Frost (in The Great Fables Crossover), seems to turn out to be him, and he magically becomes the central character of any story he's in, to such a degree they had to boot him out of the comic.
  • How can we forget Captain Marvel one male and one female and there were at least two Ms. Marvels too.
  • Adverted in the Universe as a whole, but played straight in story basis in the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe. Since is also a Mythology Gag, the name Mortimer is used a lot. But, the Mortimers never interact and are keep in the boundaries of the story been told at the same time.