Let's say you're a Muggle
within the superhero community. For some reason, you have a hard time recalling the names of the local heroes. You witness a woman fly by, and you see on the front of her uniform an atomic symbol. You know her name had something to do with that symbol, but you can't remember what. Then a guy leaps by with the initials "BB" written on his chest. Nothing clicks in your mind as to what his
And then, this guy shows up.
Written on his uniform, clear as crystal, is "Captain Charlie
". You sigh in relief, knowing that this kind of superhero uniform respects your memory problems, unlike the others, who — you later remember (with Charlie's help) — are named "Atomic Alice and Bounding Bob
You have just met the Name-Tag Superhero
As this trope goes at least as far back as The Silver Age of Comic Books
, expect most of the examples here to come from this era.
Compare Expo Label
, which is about objects with labels identifying them.
Table Top Games
- Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad of the Legion of Super-Heroes all debuted with their names printed on their costumes, as seen above. By their next appearance, they have new outfits without any names on them.
- Herbie's superhero alter ego, the Fat Fury, wore a shirt upon which "Fat Fury" was proudly emblazoned.
- In the One Shot Comic Book Spider-Man versus Wolverine Peter Parker is in West Germany on assignment with the Daily Bugle and without his Spider-Man suit. Wolverine tracks him down by scent and conscripts him for a job. Parker goes to a costume rental place to see if they have a black body suit. The costumer doesn't; all he has is a knockoff of Spidey's red-and-blue suit that his son was planning to use for a costume party, which has "Die Spinne" written on the back.
- In the comic series Cage, Luke Cage had the letters C-A-G-E emblazoned on four gold rings, so his last name was visible when he made a fist.
- In Empowered, a number of superheroes and villains have their names across their chests. Somewhat subverting this, Ninjette's supranym is written across her butt.
- While not a superhero, Sgt. Rock is a comic book headliner, and occasionally fell prey to this trope on cover illustrations. Particularly if Rock was shown from behind, as in this example, he might have his last name written on the back of his uniform in big white letters.
- In Champions, the minor supervillain Bulldozer has his name tattooed in big letters going down his arm so he can show it off while introducing himself.
- Hero Factory: the 2.0 and 3.0 upgrades had the Heroes' names on a piece of their armor.
- This is common with store bought Halloween costumes. For instance, Halloween Batman feels the need to tell you he's Batman.