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Dark Age of Supernames

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"It got ridiculous. You'd get these lists with names that we'd never, ever use, and you could tell the other guy just went through a laundry list of stupid-ass names. That's where a thing like Blood Tears would come from."
Image Comics co-founder and Top Cow president Marc Silvestri at the 2012 Emerald City Comic Con.

Part of the Dark Age of Superheroes involved making not only their appearance, morality, and demeanor Darker and Edgier, but also their names. Heroes born during The '90s ditched the Something Person Naming Conventions and took a page from Names to Run Away from Really Fast, using names both scary and trite.

Most names became one word, usually gritty, edgy, and trendy. At times, two words were merged into a single name, usually including some combination of Dark, Blood, or a verb for killing. Because substandard literacy is kewl, they are occasionally misspelled in clever ways like Darkchylde, Stryker, or Blüdwulf — which, not coincidentally, also makes the names easier to trademark.

Characters surviving from this time period may have to struggle with sounding dated, but then again, surviving the nineties hopefully means they have more to them than just boasts of Badassness.

See also Fad Super. Contrast The Adjectival Superhero. May prove to be an Atrocious Alias - either in their time if they seem overblown or ridiculous, or later as trends change - and as such can end up as an Audience-Alienating Era for the character who once bore such a name.


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    DC Comics 
  • Bloodlines: The miniseries produced a whole slew of these: Ballistic, Cardinal Sin, Edge, Gunfire, Hook, Jamm, Krag, Loose Cannon, Mongrel (an African-American/Vietnamese superhero), Nightblade, Razorsharp, Terrorsmith... it goes on and on. There was also Hitman, who was exactly that, but his comic ran with it, in a Black Comedy sort of way. In Hitman's own series, there was Nightfist, a tough vigilante who shows no mercy and will hit you, with his fists, hard.
    • That said, Nightfist was a crooked hero who beat up crooks for their money and wore a costume so people wouldn't ask questions.
    • In the Hitman Annual, it was mentioned that all of the Bloodlines-created supers except Hitman had been killed in less than two years. (As The Flash put it, "There's more to this business than putting on a costume and going out to 'be super'.")
    • The whole business was mocked in another Hitman issue.
      McAllister: Well, anyway, the result was a completely new generation of superpowered human beings...
      Monaghan: You mean like whatsizname? An' that other guy?
      McAllister: That's them.
    • Even Rob Liefeld felt DC was ripping off his title Youngblood (Image Comics) with Bloodlines.
  • Wild Dog was introduced in the late '80s, and might be uncharitably described as "The Punisher dressed for some hockey." He wore a hockey mask and jersey with a local school's mascot (a "wild dog," natch.) His look did, however, fit the book's central premise of a "realistic" vigilante hero who could buy all of his clothing and gear off the rack from sporting goods stores, hardware stores, etc.
  • Even the Legion of Super-Heroes went through this phase. Traditionally a bastion of Something Person names, the '90s-era reboot turned Lightning Lad into "Live Wire", Triplicate Girl into "Triad," Colossal Boy into "Leviathan," Princess Projectra into "Sensor," and so forth. When the series was rebooted again in 2004, most of the new names went by the wayside, and the Something Person codenames returned to the fore.
  • Many of the new super people created for Kingdom Come embody this trope: Nightstar (Starfire and Nightwing's daughter), 666, Bat-Knight, Black Mongul, NIL8 (the name is spelled out, by the way), Swastika, Shiva the Destroyer and Cathedral... This is deliberate, since Kingdom Come is a deconstruction of the Dark Age. Minor character Demon Damsel manages to be both this trope and Silver Age of Supernames, as she's allegedly a rejected candidate for the Legion of Super-Heroes, which is why her name fits the "Lightning Lad"-"Saturn Girl" format.
  • Nightwing celebrated his own ongoing series by moving to a town named Blüdhaven. It was described as being close to Gotham (the Bat-Family frequently guest-starred in each other's comics), but was also described unambiguously as more crime-ridden and corrupt than Gotham, although 50+ years of comics never saw Batman so much as chase a purse-snatcher there. Eventually the whole city got destroyed during the Infinite Crisis crossover event.
  • The Grant Morrison parody one-shot Doom Force did not have this with the Doom Force. The mock editorial, however listed many other Doom Force characters with such names as Lock And Load. Morrison did, however, deconstruct this trope in Aztek, The Ultimate Man with Bloodtype and Death-Doll. It turned out they used to be Mr. America and Liberty Lass: The crime-fighting husband and wife team that doesn't know each other's secret identities. Unluckily for them, they ran afoul of the Dark Age, as embodied by the strange qualities of the city of Vanity.
  • Deathstroke the Terminator. A good example of a character managing to stay top-tier despite a name that seems hilariously over the top today. It's probably for the best the cartoon stuck with "Slade." Apparently, his name wasn't intended to be quite that bad: in his first battle with the Titans, he was called only Deathstroke to a certain point, and then called only Terminator as if he'd been called that all along. Apparently something went wrong at the editing stage. This was handwaved by saying his full handle was "Deathstroke the Terminator." You'd think they'd have dropped one name or the other by this point (especially with Crisis on Infinite Earths giving them the opportunity to say that in the new combined reality, he'd never been called anything but Deathstroke), but for whatever reason, the over-the-top name stuck. What's even weirder is that DC barely uses Terminator in his full name for obvious reasons (despite the character debuting before the movie). But, for some reason, they use it just often enough so people never forget that it was his original name all along.
  • A couple years before Marvel used the name, Milestone Comics also had a villain named Holocaust, originally from the Blood Syndicate. He even had his own miniseries, My Name Is Holocaust, which indeed it was... until it wasn't. For reasons not entirely clear (In-Universe, he signs on with a new boss that insists on rebranding him; later, Static surmises "Someone just got around to seeing Schindler's List"), Holocaust changed his name to "Pyre" at the end of his series. (Perhaps, as with the Marvel example that might also be related to the rename, the name was just too dark?) In 2010, however, Holocaust turned up again in Teen Titans, using his original name.
  • Although a mild example, Arsenal counts. Notably, he started off as "Speedy" when he was a Kid Sidekick, then became "Arsenal," switched to "Red Arrow" when he joined the Justice League of America, and then switched back to "Arsenal" when he went Darker and Edgier. However, one of the reasons behind Roy's name change was that Arsenal represented that he used other weapons besides a bow, and later, he mastered a form of martial arts that allows him to use anything as a weapon. After the loss of his arm and the death of his daughter Lian in Justice League: Cry for Justice, his change back to Arsenal was followed by him completely dropping the bow (his badly designed prosthetic made it unable for him to use a bow like he used to) and switching to knives and some sort of staff on his back.
  • In The Multiversity, the members of The Gentry have such colorful monikers as Dame Merciless, Hellmachine, Lord Broken, Demogorgunn and... Intellectron.

    Image Comics 
  • The Maxx, whose series, was ironically, phenomenal. In his own book, the Maxx met The Pitt, an Image character who starred in a rather less distinguished (and shorter-lived) comic.
  • Spawn, who practically epitomized this trope in the 90s.
  • Youngblood (Image Comics) is typically regarded as one of the Trope Codifiers:
    • Deathshot, Riptide, Badrock, Combat, Psi-Fire, Psylence (sometimes Psilence), Bloodwulf, Diehard, Wylder.
    • Badrock was initially called a more mild name, "Bedrock," whose catchphrase was "Yabba Dabba Doom!" Lawyers from a certain Stone Age town resulted in Liefeld and his studio renaming him Badrock, thus invoking this trope.
    • Of course, some members' names are fairly muted in comparison: Chapel, Shaft, Cougar, Troll, Vogue, and Brahman, for instance.
  • Parodied in Wildguard with Crimson Phantom Vengeance, a Batman-style vigilante (eliminated in the first round of competition as "not what we're looking for") and Mr. Transmuto, whose fashion sense is stuck in the 90s, as well. Also Red Rover's enemy Heartwyrm. The name "Wildguard" itself kind of smacks of this trope, though.
  • An interesting character came up in an old TV special, with Stan Lee suggesting a character name, then both Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane designing the character. The suggested name was "OverKill", with Stan joking at the end that they did a good job, but that the character now belonged to him. When he showed up as a villain in Spawn, his name was changed to the even more ridiculous OverTKill.
  • Savage Dragon supporting character KillCat is a parody of this sort of thing — not that it stopped some writers from having him play the '90s Anti-Hero completely straight, though.
  • By the later Nineties, even Image was conscious of this trend. That's probably why a bunch of criminals burst into uproarious laughter when the team Bloodpool told them their name.
  • The assassin team Bloodstrike, although its roster was surprisingly light on dark names, with only Deadlock sporting one.
  • Brigade was no slouch either, with names like Battlestone, Coldsnap and Lethal.

    Marvel Comics 
  • The Avengers: In the 1990s, the team met a Shi'ar alien named Deathcry, who, judging by her surname (Neramani), was related to the Shi'ar empress Lilandra Neramani and possibly her niece by Deathbird (the latter introduced in the 1970s Ms. Marvel title).
  • Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers, after losing her Binary powers, took on the name "Warbird" after the Air Force fighter planes when she returned to earth and rejoined the Avengers.
  • Darkhawk: Darkhawk had an obvious dark age name that sounds rather generic now.
  • Deadpool: The titular character was originally an homage (or ripoff, depending on who you ask) of an 80s DC character with a Dark Age name, Deathstroke the Terminator (already mentioned, by the way), since you do the "Deathstroke" in the "Deadpool." Deadpool (or dead pool) is an actual word that technically fits the character, even if it does sound very 90s-ish. Deadpool himself lampshades how his own name is dark and gritty when he mocks the unfortunately-named Kraven for having a not-so-fearsome name:
    Deadpool: Note: "Deadpool" has the word "dead" in it. Ooooh... scaaary! Here are some others... Deathlok... Deathtrap, that jerk... Doctor Doom! Now you try!
  • Deathlok: Deathlok the Demolisher was a very early example from 1974.
  • Hyperkind: One of the comics in Marvel's "Razorline" imprint (a vanity imprint for Clive Barker), had three of its four heroes with this sort of name (and the last a borderline case): Armatta, Logix, Amokk, and Bliss. To be fair, there was a certain amount of Lampshade Hanging for two of the names, as Amokk was a comic geek, and selected his and Logix's names specifically because that's how they did it in comic books at the time. For that matter, the name "Razorline" itself qualifies.
  • Killraven: Jonathan Raven was dubbed Killraven during his time as a slave competing in forced gladitorial combat.
  • Marvel 2099: X-Men 2099 had some of the best. Skullfire, Bloodhawk, Metalhead, Meanstreak, Junkpile, and Psyclone. Note that those are all members of the actual X-Men note  — Skullfire in particular is the leader! That said, Skullfire never really used his codename, just going by "Tim" 99% of the time. Apparently even he knew how 90s that codename it was. A notable exception was Serpentina — Tina to her friends. Naturally, she dies in the third issue.
  • Marvel Comics 2: Darkdevil from Spider-Girl, who was the son of Ben Reilly.
  • Marvel UK: The short-lived sub-universe had the Warheads, Motormouth & Killpower, Death's Head II, Death Metal, Death Wreck (the last three versions of the same character), Hell's Angel (later Dark Angel, following a lawsuit by Hell's Angels), and Codename: Genetix. Oh, and a number of these appeared in a comic called Overkill.
  • New Warriors:
    • Night Thrasher, whose name came from his advanced weaponized skateboard, thank you very much. Spider-Man once lampshaded this. While fighting alongside Night Thrasher and The Punisher, he responded to their insults to his name with "Oh please! Insults from someone who sounds like he has naughty nighttime dreams and another who sounds like he wants to spank people?!"
    • Probably as a reference to the Dark Age of Supernames is Speedball, who changed his name to Penance supposedly to become "deep" and to escape his comedy-character background, because of the Stamford incident. His cat Niels is renamed "P-cat the Penitent Puss" (although while Penance himself was originally intended to be played straight, at least until they realised it wasn't working, "P-cat" was introduced in a Squirrel Girl story which absolutely took the piss out of the whole Wangsty fiasco). He has since gone back to Speedball, and Niels now goes by the moniker "Hairball" in his adventures with the Pet Avengers.
    • Rage, who is actually a 13-year-old who was mutated into a full grown adult with superpowers, picked his name no doubt in an attempt to be edgy.
  • Spider-Man:
    • In Web of Spider-Man, during the "Name of the Rose" (issues #84-89) and "My Enemy's Enemy" (issues #97-100) arcs, a more gun-toting version of New York crime lord Rose appeared, calling himself Blood Rose. The Rose was previously Richard Fisk, and Blood Rose was also Richard Fisk.
    • In a series of back-up stories featured in Web of Spider-Man during the 1990s, recently introduced hero Nightwatch faces one of his first enemies, a man with a "Macedonian death-mask" who calls himself Deathgrin.
  • Son Of Satan: Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, also known as "Hellstorm".
  • Transformers: At least half the Transformers have names that sound like this. Ravage, Prowl, Deadend, Dirge, Snarl, Razorclaw, etc...
    • It got worse later on in the franchise. And then Generation 2 happened, and they must have thought "We're running out of names, so let's take older names and make 'em cooler", so that gave stuff like Staxx (who is a semi-truck with smokestacks...) To be fair, this was G2, i.e., before the standard practice with new Transformers stuff was to simply set the series in an alternate universe and primarily re-use old names. Of course, even in G1, you had guys like Megastorm...
    • The trade for The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers gives us a standout example, even though we never see him in person — Gorelock.
  • Venom: Venom (who had his own Darker and Edgier series in Venom: Lethal Protector, where he was an Anti-Hero) and his Ax-Crazy spawn Carnage. This tradition is also carried on by his spawn Toxin; fortunately he's actually a good guy.
    • Later, after being separated from the Venom symbiote, Eddie Brock would obtain another symbiote known as Anti-Venom in Brand New Day, born of the remnants of the Venom symbiote in Brock's body and his white blood cells with some help from Mister Negative. After losing Anti-Venom at the end of Spider-Island, Brock then is bonded to the Toxin symbiote for a time.
    • There has also been a host of other, lesser symbiotes that have appeared in various Spider-Man and Venom-related books, including Dreadface (a symbiote with Mind Control powers encountered by the Fantastic Four), the five symbiotes spawned from Venom by the Life Foundation (named Scream, Phage, Agony, Riot, and Lasher), Hybrid (a merger of the aforementioned Life Foundation symbiotes sans Scream), and Scorn (a piece of the Carnage symbiote recovered after its apparent demise at the hands of The Sentry). Like Toxin, several of them are heroic in nature, but they have a habit of being used as C-List Fodder to advance the plotlines of the "main" symbiotes.
  • X-Men:
    • The villain Holocaust is notable for having too dark a name. When toy company ToyBiz made an action figure of him, they changed it to the less genocidal Dark Nemesis. This carried over to the comics with a name change to Nemesis. They later switched him back to Holocaust just in time for him to be snorted to death by an evil Superman Substitute. Holocaust was originally known as Nemesis prior to the events of Age of Apocalypse. When Magneto ripped him apart for killing Scarlet Witch, he got a new name after coming back.
    • In the 1980s, Emma Frost, still the White Queen of the villainous Hellfire Club, had her own group of students, the Hellions, to mirror Xavier's New Mutants. One of the students was James Proudstar, brother to John Proudstar and codenamed Warpath.
    • During X-Force (1991), a Morlock named Thornn (with two 'n'), with feral powers, joined the team, then defected.
    • Adam X, the X-Treme, considered to be an incarnation of 1990s excesses, actually debuted in the 1993 annual issue of X-Force.
    • Raza Longknife of the Starjammers, although he was introduced in the 1970s, during the Phoenix Saga.
    • Warstar, a member of the Shi'ar imperial guard.

    Top Cow 
  • Cyberforce: Ripclaw, Cyblade, Heatwave, Stryker.
  • The spin-off Codename: Strykeforce featured Stryker leading a team that included Bloodbow and Killrazor.
  • The Darkness.
  • Witchblade.
  • Ravenshadow, Pyre, and Flagg of Rising Stars. (Flagg later changes to "Patriot," not because it's a better name but due to a real life request from American Flagg! creator Howard Chaykin, which is lampshaded in the storyline itself.)
  • Common Grounds features perennial nice guy Captain Gallant's three sons, Bloodstain, Die-Cut, and Deathmarch.

  • Penance — not the Marvel character who used to be Speedball, nor the young woman with diamond-sharp skin from the 90s X-kids team Generation X.
  • Wild C.A.T.s (WildStorm):
    • Warblade, Grifter, Maul, Zealot, etc.
    • Also poked fun at when Ladytron asks someone "what's up with this kill-hell-death-blood name thing?" Naturally, the other guy makes fun of the name "Ladytron," and hijinx ensue.
  • The Authority's Midnighter (despite him snarking about someone else on the Quotes page) is actually a sort of hidden reference. The Midnighters were a 60s soul band — of the sort that would perform at The Apollo, which is his partner's name.
  • Gen¹³: Grunge.
  • Deathblow. His old teammates from Stormwatch include Hellstrike and Backlash; The original Stormwatch was surprisingly light on this in general — unless you count "single normal word" types like Fuji, Winter, and Synergy.
  • Lampshaded in Stormwatch: Team Achilles with a character named "Ripslashbloodclawmaimblade" who smokes a cigar, appears to be made out of sharp stabbing instruments and spouts off the line "That's what I do best. And I'm the best there is at what needs to be done!"
  • In addition to Hellstrike and Cannon, Stormwatch also had Battalion, who channeled his telekinesis through (what else?) guns to battle his evil father, Despot of WarGuard. Notably, though, he abandoned the guns and codename after a few years to become an administrator.
  • Darkchylde. For what you could probably consider bonus points, her real name is Ariel Chylde. Even as a civilian, her name is super kewl!

    Other Comics 
  • Parodied ruthlessly with the New Zealand comic Bloodface, and his team the "Bloodgroup," all of whom have Blood in their names, constantly scream and grimace, and are drawn like Rob Liefeld characters. The only female member of the team is called Wandering Menstrual.
  • Parodied in Penthouse Comics' Captain Adventure, with the villainous Team Supreme. Comprising of Manpower, Red Rogue, Edge, Bloodskull, Death Killer, Blazing Fury, and Hotblood, they speak in meaningless pop culture references and end their every sentence with Tradesnark™.
  • Although the regular heroes in Astro City avoid this trope, it was invoked (usually briefly) for characters who appeared during the series' aptly-named "Dark Age," such as Stonecold, Broadsword, Hellhound, Pale Horseman, and Hollowpoint.
  • Grimjack of First Comics.
  • Done by Disney Italy, twice:
    • The first time it happened was in 1969, with the character of Paperinik the Devilish Avenger. Did we mention that this is the superhero/antihero alter ego of Donald Duck?
    • In the nineties Paperinik New Adventures gave us a rather subtle example with Xadhoom, meaning "Creditor" in Xerbian. Doesn't sound much? Well, the Evronians owe her a planet and a race, and she openly admits she plans to collect in full.
  • Parodied in Soulsearchers and Company #6 when the team temporarily become '90s antiheroes. Bridget becomes 'Deathstaff', Baraka 'H.O.T.T. Blood', Janocz 'Animal Attraction', Kelly 'Tink', and Peterson 'Kitchen Sink, the Number Cruncher'.
  • Lampshaded in Mr. Hero: The Newmatic Man when the recurring enemy organization empowered new agents using a method that tended to exaggerate the subjects' personality flaws. The two new superhumans demanded costumes and codenames to go along with their respective heat and electric powers: Bloodboil and Deadbolt.

    Fan Fiction 

  • Mystery Men: Mr. Furious, who presents himself as a brooding 90s style anti-hero. He claims his "real" name is "Dark... Phoenix... Phoenix Dark, yeah, that's my name". When pressed, however, he sheepishly admits his real name is actually Roy.
  • Syndrome, the Big Bad of The Incredibles was almost certainly named to evoke this kind of effect, in contrast to the Silver Age naming of the heroes and even other villains like Bomb Voyage or The Underminer.

  • In Shadowboy, the Heroes who are stated as starting in the 90s have names that reflect this. Of particular note being Razordemon.
  • Some capes in Worm have names like this, particularly the Slaughterhouse 9. Burnscar, Crawler, Mannequin, Bonesaw, Siberian, Hookwolf, Screamer, Breed, Miasma, Nyx, Psychosoma, and Skinslip are the stand-outs, but Jack Slash counts as well. Given the setting and the characters, they still manage to come across as threatening rather than Narm.
  • Subverted in the Discworld, where veteran policeman Sam Vimes remarks that calling yourself something like Bjorn The Immortal and walking into a heroes' bar means you tend to get carried out of it - usually in a box but, if you're lucky, on a stretcher.

    Live Action TV 
  • Drifter, the main character of an early G4TV show called Portal that took place inside of MMOs.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Professional Wrestling (especially in the 1990s) is chock full of these spanning pretty much the entirety of its colorful history, with varying degrees of success, ranging from the surprisingly successful (and intentionally ironic) the execrable Shockmaster. Dusty Rhodes, in his stint as Guest Host of RAW, admits his mistake on that one (complete with humorous Santino Marella reenactment AND Arn Anderson providing the character's voice, in a Shout-Out to tag-team partner/Kayfabe brother Ole Anderson's original role), apologetically saying to D-Generation X (another great example of this trope, by the way) "I thought it would work!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Most of the villains (and more than few of the heroes) in the Dark Champions. Of course, the intent of this game was to simulate this genre of comics, so it's entirely fitting.
  • The Cyberpunk 2020 RPG included quotes from characters with names like Ripperjack and Morgan Blackhand. Appropriate to the Cyberpunk genre, though at times they come across more like parodies of self-consciously "edgy" tough guys, which may have been intentional.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The hellbred, a playable race introduced in the Fiendish Codex II, are nearly-damned mortals allowed to come Back from the Dead to undertake a Redemption Quest to save their souls. They tend to keep their original first names, but adopt a new last name to fit their new circumstances: "Covenant," "Devilbrood," "Doomdriven," "Heavenrent," "Hellbound," "Martyr," "Soullost," etc.
    • The spikers, a race of humanoids from the Infernal Battlefield of Acheron whose metallic-hued flesh is covered in spines, go by visceral or comat-related names like "Dirk Gutrender," "Spike Demonbane" or "Thrust Bloodletter."
  • In the Mutants & Masterminds setting "Freedom City," the "Iron Age" of the 1980s involved the criminalization of super-heroics in Freedom City. Enter FORCE Ops (Freelance Organization of Criminal Elimination Operatives), a bad-ass team of heroes fighting a no-holds-barred battle against crime AND the authoritarian government. Members include: Kismet, a mysterious mercenary; Network, an elite hacker turned into pure energy; and Nightrage, a super-heroic vampire.
  • So, so many Warhammer 40,000 names, for understandable reasons. Ragnar Blackmane, Night Haunter (real name Konrad Kurze), Doomrider, Huron Blackheart, etc. Ragnar's case even more so, as he comes from a Viking-Age Norse type culture fond of sobriquets and the name itself is a double reference to both his black hair and beard, and the fact that he killed a black Fenrisian wolf as a Neophyte and wears its pelt.

  • As mentioned under Marvel Comics, above, The Transformers toys often end up with this, though in many instances it's not because they're trying to make the character sound Darker and Edgier (though that was not an unintended effect). Rather, it was because Hasbro started to run into issues trying to trademark certain names and wound up making changes to get the characters copyrighted names.
    • This trend is mocked by the official Transformers wiki as "Blastification", which came about almost entirely because toy copyright laws are messy and hard to grasp.

    Video Games 
  • If you want to see this trope in the extreme, look no further than the City of Heroes playerbase itself. The number of heroes with names like this has spawned much derision from the playerbase, especially from the role-players. Granted, most of the "creatively misspelled" names are simply a way to get a desired name that's long since been taken by another player, but it's a safe bet that there are plenty of people who were fans of the Dark Age of Comics and do this deliberately.
    • Perhaps fortunately, there aren't many examples of this among NPC heroes and villains, with the only real examples being among the more minor "Rogues Gallery" rather than the Signature characters. Notable cases are Mangle, Hollow Point, Comatorium, and Blood Thorn.
  • The above also applies to Champions Online (AKA The Other City of Heroes).
  • The same goes for World of Warcraft, especially for rogues, especially on PvP servers. If you haven't seen it, you will never believe how many variations of names like "ShadowKiller" there are.
  • Some of the random hero names in Warcraft III can sound like they're trying way too hard, especially demon hunters and death knights. Painkiller, Bloodwrath, Darkterror and Lord Dethstorm (sic) come to mind. They have even been used as justification for some player names in WoW, as described above.
  • Arc System Works' games really loves this trope. From BlazBlue we have Ragna the Bloodedge, Rachel Alucard, Iron Tager, Valkenhayn R. Hellsing, Azrael and Bullet. From Guilty Gear, basically almost all the cast is this, although in this case it's justified since most of them are named after heavy metal bands or songs.
    • Taken to the point of self-parody with the anti-hero protagonist of Guilty Gear, Sol Badguy. It's a tribute to Freddie Mercury's solo album, Mr. Bad Guy (Daisuke Ishiwatari really likes Queen), but the in-universe explanation given in Xrd reveals that Sol didn't choose the alias for himself. "Sol" was bequeathed upon Frederick by Slayer because of the former's passionate nature, whereas "Badguy" comes from reports of an unknown "bad guy" dismantling numerous underground criminal organizations during his journey. It stuck.
  • DeathSpank is a parody of this trope.
  • Darkdeath Evilman, from Zettai Hero Project.
  • Stryker, veteran Mortal Kombatant.
  • Look through the list of Final Fantasy main character names and spot when the series went Darker and Edgier and super 90s Cyberpunk: Cecil Harvey, Bartz Klauser, Terra Branford, Cloud Strife.
  • Reaper from Overwatch: He picked that name to echo the upcoming death he's going to bring to his enemies, but combined with his design, it had the side-effect of encouraging fans to call him an "edgelord" and claim that he's trying too hard. Fellow Talon operatives Widowmaker, Sombra, and Doomfist also qualify. Being an agent of the Nebulous Evil Organisation requires an edgy codename, it seems.
    • Reaper players themselves also have a predilection for these kinds of usernames, if the Twitter account @ReaperNames is any indication.
  • The cast of the F-Zero series includes various superheroes and supervillains, with masks, exaggerated body builds, capes, and all. The most evil characters all have names straight from the Dark Age of Supernames. There's Captain Falcon's Evil Knockoff, Blood Falcon; Blood Falcon's evil master and the apparent Big Bad, Black Shadow; and then his boss, The Man Behind the Man, Deathborn. Even their racing machines get the name treatment — Blood Hawk, Black Bull, and Dark Schneider respectively.

    Web Comics 
  • Just about everyone in Antihero for Hire does this intentionally. Early on, one of the recurring villains was constantly changing his name into ice-related puns during the fight with the main character.
    Dechs: When we're done I'm going to ducktape a name to your forehead.
  • Parodied in Penny Arcade, with the characters Raven Darktalon Blood and Grimm Shado.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Dr. McNinja's brother Sean gives himself the codename "Dark Smoke Puncher," an arguably ludicrous moniker. This fact isn't lost on Doc himself, who says that it sounds like something he got from a friend playing Counter-Strike.
  • El Sabueso from The Dreadful is intended as a parody of 90s comics and the works of Rob Liefeld, so it's only fitting that his name is Spanish for "The Bloodhound" and that he has a horse named Bludkolt.
  • In The Order of the Stick, the dinosaur that Belkar rescues is later named "Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator" by Belkar. While the others in the Order are skeptical about the name, he points out it's not really a good time, because they're currently being attacked by Tarquin and his party, and it's not really brought up again. Somewhat subverted in that the dinosaur isn't actually given that name until after he's been polymorphed into a small, largely harmless lizard.
  • In Love and Capes, Mark Spencer, as the Superman Expy, is "The Crusader", but many of the other super characters have names like these, although they're pretty reasonable. Darkblade, Amazonia, Windstar (and his niece Starlet), Blurstreak, Mermantis, Arachnerd, Microdot and so on. But a handful of characters have handles more like those of the Golden Age; Major Might, Golden Torch, Dr. Karma, Steel Worker, the Evil Brain.
  • One-Punch Man has a few of these, such as the sisters named Blizzard of Hell and Tornado of Terror, as well as Death Gatling, Demon Cyborg, Zombieman, Darkness Blade, Funeral Suspenders, etc.

    Web Original 
  • As seen on the quotes page, Linkara pokes fun at this trope with his Dark Age fanboy character, 90's Kid and his character, Bloodgun. Though in the later review of Darker Image #1 even 90's Kid concedes that Deathblow is a stupid namenote .
    90's Kid: "Bloodgun doesn't even have a FACE, man! I mean, who needs a face when you're shooting stuff all the time!? Bloodgun just has his ripped bod and his gun: The Bloodgun of Bloodgun!"
  • Take a look at the userlist of any large fan forum, and just try and count the amount of names that start with "dark". Especially if it's a fan forum where usernames tend to be the same as the poster's fan character.
  • Whateley Universe: fairly common at Superhero School Whateley Academy, especially since finding a good codename can be difficult when most of the better ones are already in use. Give a set of empowered teenagers the chance to name themselves and it's pretty much inevitable that some of them would choose names like these. It is surprising that more don't, really. These include:
    • A lot of the Bad Seeds (children of supervillains): Render, Thrasher, She-Beast, Techno-Devil, Damien Faust...
    • Also The Goths: Bloodworm, Remis, Romulus, Screech, Wraith, Residue, Wyrd, Pestilence, Skinwalker...
    • And several Ultraviolents: Bloodwolf, Systemic, Killstench, Maggot, Gore...
    • One of the Good Ol' Boys is very insistent on people using his full codename, "The Man Called Vengeance". Fantastico generally calls him 'Vengie' or just 'Larry', much to Larry's consternation.
    • Harvey Calloway, a one of the devisor students, is usually a mild-mannered sort, but he suffers from Diedrick's Syndrome. He chose the codename 'Mega-Death' during a manic bout, and generally regrets this since then - those times he doesn't, he's too busy ranting and scheming to care...
    • The minor character Soothe, a projective Empath and Former Teen Rebel, used the codename 'Riot Act' during her Whateley years. Her girlfriend pokes fun at her about it now.

    Western Animation 
  • An animated version: The Ripping Friends (by John Kricfalusi) featured Crag, Rip, Slab, and Chunk. As with a lot of Kricfalusi's material, the viewer may be excused for not being 100% clear whether this was intended as a parody or a devoted, loving tribute.

    Real Life 
  • Cracked compiled a list of the 9 manliest names in the world. It includes Powers Boothe, Stirling Mortlock and Staff Sgt. Max Fightmaster (whom has since been promoted to Sgt. First Class Max Fightmaster).
  • "Blood and Guts" Patton.
  • The Norse were not averse to nicknames like this, "Eric Bloodaxe" and "Björn Ironside" being two famous examples. They also cheerfully inverted it at times — legendary kings such as Ragnar Hairy-Breeches and Ivar the Boneless are remembered alongside men such as Sigurd Snake-In-The-Eye. note 
  • Some Real Life Superheroes have names like Razorhawk, Insignis, Ghost, Ha!, Oni, and Silver Dragon (making up a team called the Black Monday Society); there's also Dark Guardian, Mr. Xtreme, Phantom Zero, Crimson Fist, Geist, Shadow Hare, Mr Ravenblade, Lucid, Catastrophe, and Death's Head Moth.note 
  • A lot of Black Metal stage names; Necrobutcher is a standout. A great deal of metal subgenres tend to fall into it. Black Metal is one of the more subdued. Older ones include death metal, doom metal, and thrash metal. Others include grindcore and its spinoff pornogrind.
  • Manly Wade Wellman. Seriously, that's his real name. He was a well-known writer of pulp science fiction, fantasy, and crime stories for magazines like Astounding Stories, Weird Tales, and Unknown from the 1930s up until The '80s, even winning the World Fantasy Award in 1975 and being awarded the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1980. He's best known for the Silver John stories. More info here.