Descriptive nicknames given to a character. This get used a good bit for superheroes. Superman, the Man of Steel, for example. Because, we suppose, it is hard to squeeze all the required coolness into just one name. Stuffy literature majors refer to these as epithets. Because, we guess, a word is not cool unless you have to stop and define it when using it in a sentence. Pretty meta.
If the nickname is just the hero's name with a descriptor in front of it, that's Sister Trope The Adjectival Superhero
. See also: Red Baron
In Film Adaptations, many of these may be exempt from the Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames
clause, due to the fact that they're used more as a title than a "name".
- 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.
- Batgirl (Barbara Gordon): The Dominoed Daredoll.
- Robin: The Boy Wonder, and eventually the Teen Wonder. (Oracle once called Nightwing the Twentysomething Wonder, but it never caught on.)
- Batman and Robin: The Dynamic Duo.
- Batgirl and Robin: The Dynamite Duo.
- Batman Beyond: The Tomorrow Knight
- 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, The Emerald Knight, and once, rather amusingly, the Aroused Crusader.note Promotional material for the Justice League animated series mashed them up into Emerald Crusader.
- Green Arrow: The Emerald Archer
- Captain Marvel: The World's Mightiest Mortal, the Big Red Cheese. (The latter is an in-story insult used by his enemies, particularly Dr. Sivana, but it's often used out of comics as an affectionate nickname)
- 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.
- The Avengers: The Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
- Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Heroes, the First Family of Comics.
- Sub-Mariner is a common moniker for Namor, but he's also occasionally known as "The Avenging Son of Atlantis"; "Avenging Son" is the literal translation of his name.
- The Thing: The Idol of Millions as well as The Loveable/Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing. Sometimes, he refers to himself as Aunt Petunia's Favorite Nephew.
- The Hulk: The Jade Giant, Ol' Greenskin, Ol' Jadejaws.
- She-Hulk: The Jade Giantess, The Glorious Green Glamazon. (Also "Shulkie", but she doesn't like that one.)
- The Sentry: The Golden Guardian of Good.
- Deadpool: The Merc with the Mouth, The Regenerating Degenerate, and The Crimson Comedian
- Captain America: The Sentinel of Liberty, the Star-Spangled Avenger, the Living Legend of WWII, or 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, Hornhead, and sometimes just "Red".
- 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.
- Hercules: The Prince of Power, the Lion of Olympus. Herc's sidekick, Amadeus Cho, briefly inherited the "Prince of Power" title when it seemed that Herc was dead.
- Iron Man: The Armored Avenger, The Golden Avenger, Shellhead.
- Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, Young Dragon
- Spider-Man: The Webslinger, Wallcrawler, Webhead, the Arachknight, and yet again (and not coincidentally) familiarly, Spidey, and Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, if you're not into that whole "brevity" thing.
- The Mighty Thor: The God of Thunder, Thunderer, the Golden Avenger (seriously) and the Odinson.
- The X-Men: The Children of the Atom
- Xorn: The Man from Room X
- Wolverine: The Canucklehead, Runt, Berserker
- Nightcrawler: The Elf, The Demon, shares "Wallcrawler" with Spider-Man.
- Gambit: The Ragin' Cajun
- 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 "The First Avenger". New Iron Man merchandise during the period is also labeled "The Armored Avenger" to match.
- The Punisher: In his first encounter with Captain America, the narration at one point referred to him as "The Ebony Executioner". However, this was the only time the title was used.
- Carol Danvers, currently known as Captain Marvel, is billed as "Earth's Mightiest Hero" in her new ongoing series.
- Nova: The Human Rocket.
- The Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks, The Man Who Cannot Die
- Empowered: 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.
- From Alan Moore's Miracleman, Big Ben, the Man With No Time for Crime.
Manga and Anime
- Doctor Who:
- The Doctor: The Oncoming Storm (in the language of the Daleks)
- Rose: The Bad Wolf.
- Amy: The Girl Who Waited.
- Rory: The Boy Who Waited, the Last Centurion.
- Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer, the Chosen One.
- Power Rangers and Super Sentai occasionally fall into this when the Rangers' In the Name of the Moon phrases describe themselves rather than their powers or their mission of justice or something.
- Power Rangers S.P.D.: Omega Ranger is "Force from the Future" and Shadow Ranger is "Defender of the Galaxy". Shadow's Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger counterpart, DekaMaster, is the "Guard Dog of Hell".
- Most of the Mahou Sentai Magiranger include "The [color] Magician" as part of their announcements.
- The Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger are (deep breath) The Fanged Hero (Red), The Bullet Hero (Black), The Armored Hero (Blue), The Slashing Hero (Green), The Horned Heroine (Pink), The Thunderous Hero (Gold), The Steel Hero (Cyan), The Clashing Hero (Grey), The Marine Heroine (Violet), and The Radiant Hero (Silver).
- In Tiger & Bunny:
- Wild Tiger is the Crusher for Justice.
- Rock Bison is the Bull Tank of the West Coast.
- Blue Rose is the Idol of the World of Heroes.
- Dragon Kid is the Lightning Bolt Kung Fu Master.
- Fire Emblem is the Bourgeois Open Flame Broil.
- 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 Kingnote of Knights, Rider (Alexander) is King of Conquerors, while Archer (Gilgamesh) is King of Heroes.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Blue Blur, the Fastest Thing Alive, the Azul Wind.
- Mega Man: The Blue Bomber
- Captain Gordon: DEFENDER OF EARTH!
- Touhou: Nearly all named characters have titles which often change from game to game.
- Half-Life: Dr Gordon Freeman is The One Free Man.
- Nearly every Link in The Legend of Zelda has been given his own title.
- The Wonderful 101: All of the 100 Wonderful Ones have them. Of the main characters;
- Red is The Crimson Fist.
- Blue is The Supersonic Blade.
- Green is Le Sniper Supérieur.
- Pink is The Queen of Rage.
- Yellow is The Hammering Russkie.
- White is The Claws of Calamity.
- Black is The 8-Bit Enforcer.
- Every Fallout game's player character is referred to by their description:
- Ōkami: All the minor gods refer to Amaterasu as "Origin of all that is good and mother to us all''.
- Every character in Street Fighter IV and its follow-up sequels was given one of these. The ones that stick the most in the actual game are Sagat, The Eternal King, and Akuma, The Master Of The Fist.
- Outside of the game, Chun-Li is known as The First Lady Of Fighting for being the first ever female character in a fighting game.
Anime and Manga
- The Joker: The Clown Prince of Crime, the Thin White Duke of Death, the Harlequin of Hate, the Mountebank of Menace, the Lord of Laughs, the Ace of Knaves. 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, the Last Czarnian, The Master of Frag, Archbishop of the Alpha-Centauri Diocese of the Church of the Holy Space Dolphin
- Ra's Al-Ghul: his name literally translates to "The Demon's Head."
- Lady Shiva, Deadshot, Deathstroke, The Wrath, Cheshire, Merlyn and The Black Spider have all been referred to as the "World's deadliest assassin."
- Sinestro: The Terror God (mainly from Arkillo or other Sinestro Corps members, before his return to the GL Corps.
- Doctor Polaris: Master of Magnetism almost four months before the first appearance of Magneto.
- Darkseid, The Rock, the Chain and the Lightning; The Tiger-Force at the Core of All Things. Darkseid IS.
- 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.
- Overlord Zenon: God Of All Overlords
- Killer7 brings us Ayame Blackburn, a gun-toting Cosplay Otaku Girl who styles herself as a Magical Girl in Sailor Fuku and an anigao mask, and declares herself the "Chairman of the Education Guidance Council".
- Silhouette Mirage has the protagonist Shyna, the self-proclaimed Messenger of Justice. To her enemies however she's the Messenger of Destruction.
- Fallout: New Vegas has Joshua Graham, The Burned Man. His successor Legate Lanius is known as the Monster of the East.
- And The Courier, depending on how you treat the Powder Gangers: The Grim Fucking Reaper.
- Aku, the Shapeshifting Master of Darkness, the Shogun of Sorrow.