Superhero Sobriquets

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Look! Up in the sky! Not a bird, not a plane, it's Troperman! Also known as the Man of Cliché and the Trope Detective!

Despite the name, this is a sister-trope to Sobriquet, not its subtrope. While Sobriquet is about when a person is so badass, they receive a badass nickname, this is not about in-story nicknames, but rather various names superheroes are given by writers. They don't have to be badass and, in fact, many of the nicknames aren't that badass at all, but rather just descriptive (because many, of course, derive from The Silver Age of Comic Books). Often used in narrative boxes.

If the nickname is just the hero's name with a descriptor in front of it, that's Sister Trope The Adjectival Superhero.

Examples of Superhero Sobriquets include:

Heroic Handles

DC Comics

  • Batman: The Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the Cowled Crimefighter, the World's Greatest Detective, the Dark Avenger, the Darknight Detective, and, familiarly, Bats. Also called the Gotham Goliath in some late Golden Age and early Silver Age stories, plus the Masked Manhunter in some Bronze Age stories.
  • Superman: The Man of Steel, the Man of Tomorrow, the Last Son of Krypton, the Metropolis Kid, the Big Blue Boy Scout, Big Blue, the Big Red S, and, again familiarly, Supes. Other nicknames seen in The Silver Age of Comic Books and The Bronze Age of Comic Books were the Metropolis Marvel and the Action Ace.
    • Fun fact: many nicknames were the basis for the replacement Supermen in the "Reign of the Supermen" storyline:
      • The Man of Steel: Steel
      • The Man of Tomorrow: the Cyborg Superman
      • The Last Son of Krypton: the Eradicator
      • The Metropolis Kid: Superboy (Kon-El). Also known as just "the Kid"
    • Superboy (Kal-El version): the Boy of Tomorrow, the Boy of Steel, the Smallville Sensation
    • Supergirl: The Maid of Might, the Girl of Steel.
    • Krypto the Superdog: the Dog of Steel.
  • Superman and Batman: The World's Finest Team.
  • Elongated Man: The Ductile Detective, the Stretchable Sleuth.
  • Aquaman: King of the Seven Seas, Monarch of the Oceans, the Sea King.
  • The Atom: Tiny Titan.
  • The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, Scarlet Speedster. Also was occasionally called the Sultan of Speed, the Monarch of Motion, and the Vizier of Velocity.
    • As a group, the speedsters strongly affiliated with the Flash - the Flash Family - are referred to as "Those Who Ride The Lightning".
  • Hawkman: Winged Avenger, Winged Wonder.
  • Green Lantern: The Emerald Gladiator, and once, rather amusingly, the Aroused Crusader.
  • Green Arrow: The Emerald Archer
  • Captain Marvel: The World's Mightiest Mortal, the Big Red Cheese.
  • Booster Gold has been trying to popularize "The Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of". He's also been known as the Corporate Crusader.
  • Booster Gold and Blue Beetle: The Blue and Gold
  • Wonder Woman: The Spirit of Truth, the Amazing Amazon.
  • Plastic Man: The Pliable Paladin, The Pencil Necked Geek, The Sultan of Stretch, The Indian Rubber Man
  • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew has a few:
    • Captain Carrot himself was described in the comic's opening narrative as the Zoo Crew's "Leapin' Leader."
    • Rubberduck was nicknamed the Malleable Mallard.
    • Fastback was called the Terrapin Torpedo, as well as the Reptilian Rocket.
    • Little Cheese was dubbed the Micro-Mouse.
    • Pig-Iron was named the Porcine Powerhouse and the Swine of Steel (and also, in a reference to the Fantastic Four's Thing, once referred to himself as "the Idol of Dozens").
    • The Just'a Lotta Animals mostly used animal-themed variations on their Earth-1 counterparts' nicknames, thus Super-Squirrel was the "Squirrel of Steel," the Crash was "the Fastest Animal Alive," and the Batmouse's sidekick was named Boyd, the Robin Wonder.

Marvel Comics

  • The Avengers: The Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
  • The Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Heroes, the First Family of Comics.
    • Namor is also occasionally known as "The Avenging Son of Atlantis"; "Avenging Son" is the literal translation of his name.
    • The Thing: The Idol of Millions.
  • The Hulk: The Jade Giant
    • She Hulk: The Jade Giantess, The Glorious Green Glamazon.
  • The Sentry: The Golden Guardian of Good.
  • Deadpool: The Merc with the Mouth, The Regenerating Degenerate, and The Crimson Comedian
  • Captain America (comics): The Sentinel of Liberty, the Living Legend of WWII, just plain Cap.
    • The movie adds "The Star-Spangled Man with A Plan" as part of a USO campaign in-story as another title for Cap.
      • Also "The First Avenger".
  • Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, and, back in The Silver Age, Hornhead.
  • Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts, the Sorcerer Supreme (the latter is actually an official title granted to Earth's most powerful sorcerer. Strange has surrendered the title more than once and is currently without it). His lover, Clea, was sometimes called the Mystic Maiden.
  • Gamora: The Most Dangerous Woman in the Galaxy.
  • Hercules: The Prince of Power, the Lion of Olympus.
    • Herc's sidekick, Amadeus Cho, has recently inherited the "Prince of Power" title.
  • Iron Man: The Armored Avenger, The Golden Avenger, Shellhead.
  • Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, Young Dragon
  • Spider-Man: The Webslinger, Wallcrawler, Webhead, and yet again (and not coincidentally) familiarly, Spidey.
  • The X-Men: The Children of the Atom
    • Xorn: The Man from Room X
    • Wolverine: The Canucklehead, Runt, Berserker
    • The "Children of the Atom" sobriquet is actually an acknowledgment of an earlier science fiction story which may or may not have been an inspiration for the team.
  • 2010's entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have dubbed Thor "The Mighty Avenger" and Captain America (comics) "The First Avenger". New Iron Man merchandise during the period is also labeled "The Armored Avenger" to match.

Other Comics

  • The Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks, The Man Who Cannot Die
  • Maid Man, being a Batman Expy, can't help but have a bunch of these: the Garter-belted Gladiator, the Dark Knight Domestic, the Delicate Cycle Detective, the Hard-hitting Hygenist, the Sanitary Sentinel, the Iron-handed Immaculist, the Manservant of Steel, the Squeaky-clean Samurai, the Corset-clad Crusader and the Velveteen Virtuoso of Violence.

Anime and Manga

  • In Tiger and Bunny:
    • Wild Tiger is the Crusher for Justice.
    • Rock Bison is the Bull Tank of the West Coast.
    • Dragon Kid is the Lightning Bolt Kung Fu Master.
    • Sky High is the Wind Wizard and the Wind Master.
  • Mazinger Z is the Invincible Tower of Black Iron.
  • Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero: Saber (Arthuria, or:King Arthur) is King[1] of Knights, Rider (Alexander) is King of Conquerors, while Archer (Gilgamesh) is King of Heroes.


Video Games

Evil Epithets

DC Comics

  • The Joker: The Clown Prince of Crime, the Thin White Duke of Death, the Harlequin of Hate. Grant Morrison's The Clown at Midnight has the Joker reflecting on the media names for him: the Laughing Leper, the Dandy of Death and the Clown Prince of Pain.
  • In the Deep Six from The DCU, one of them is Shaligo, The Flying Finback.
  • The Riddler, the Prince of Puzzles.
  • Scarecrow, the Master of Fear.
  • Lobo: The Main Man
  • Ra's al Ghul: his name literally translates to "The Demon's Head."

Marvel Comics

  • Thanos, the Mad Titan.
  • Magneto: Master of Magnetism, Buckethead.
  • Mysterio, Master of Illusion.

Anime and Manga

  • Lina Inverse, Queen of Destruction, Enemy of All Living Things, Dragon Spooker, and Bandit Killer. (She's a good guy, but she has a poor reputation).
  • Seiichirou Kitano of Angel Densetsu starts collecting nicknames throughout the series. A LOT of nicknames:
    • Hekikuu's Guardian, the Greatest Guardian of Them All, the Demon of Hekikuu, the First-Year Guardian of Hekikuu High. The Devil Himself, manifested into our world. The Final Boss, the Ultimate Weapon. Also, the Human Weapon, the Last Boss, the God of Slaughter and Pillage, the Guardian of Hell, Bloody Saburo, and Exploding Goro. (The speaker kinda lost it on the last two.)
    • Kitano and Ryoko together are known as: The Most Powerful Violence Couple in History, and the Strongest Couple in Hekikuu.
    • As the cast grows, the collected group are known as: The Kitano family, or Kitano-san's Hekikuu army.
    • Back in the day, Kitano's father was known as the Devil Guardian.
  • In addition to "The Black Swordsman," Guts of Berserk is also known as the "Hundred Man Slayer" for his single-handed slaughter of a hundred Blue Whale Knights. Much like Lina, he's a good guy, but is as Byronic and antiheroic as they come.


Tabletop Games

Video Games

  1. Not Queen