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The Adjectival Superhero

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Much better than the regular Thor.

"Of all the descriptive names of all the things people say when they hear a hero in action, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Invincible Iron Man, the only descriptive word for this guy is 'The God-damn Batman!"

A Comic Book Naming Convention - sort of - with roots in the Silver Age. The superhero's name is preceded by some sort of silly, over-the-top adjective such as "The Egregious Trope-Man". Usually in the actual book's title even if rarely used in the story.

Keep in mind that not just any descriptors qualify for the trope — "New Trope-Man" is too simple, but "All-New, All-Different Trope-Man" can be sufficiently over-the-top. Now mostly used in the modern day either due to the Grandfather Clause or as a deliberate homage to the Silver Age. If the superhero gets a movie, expect the descriptor to be used at least once.

Comes from the same era as Something Person names and Superhero Sobriquets, and often is an Alliterative Name. Replace a team's name with the number of members, and you have The Notable Numeral. Also compare other name and title tropes involving adjectives, Adjective Noun Fred and The Magnificent. Contrast the Dark Age of Supernames. See also The Fantastic Trope of Wonderous Titles.

Not to be confused with The Adjectival Man, where the adjective is the main part of the character's "name". In this trope, the adjective is just thrown in for the heck of it.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In general, when a franchise has multiple books, some of them will have adjectives in their titles and one won't. This was mostly seen in the 90s, with the Spider-Man series joining The Amazing Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man, and Web of Spider-Man, and X-Men Vol. 2 joining The Uncanny X-Men (originally X-Men Vol. 1).
  • The Amazing/Spectacular/Sensational Spider-Man, although Spidey himself prefers to use "Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" (which was eventually used as a book title itself). He may well have been the Trope Codifier for this, as his first appearance was in Amazing Fantasy, which was soon after canceled, and replaced on the newsstands with Amazing Spider-Man.
  • The X-Men have Uncanny, Astonishing, X-Treme, and Extraordinary.
    • Special notice goes to the All-New X-Men, who are actually the team's founding members in their teenage years, flung forward in time into the present. It's an ironic thing, obviously.
    • The Immortal X-Men came during The Krakoan Age when the X-Men had unlocked the secret to Resurrective Immortality — and the book features that political time bomb starting to explode in their faces.
    • Though a villain, and he hasn't carried a solo book, Cain Marko is often proclaimed to be the UNSTOPPABLE Juggernaut.
  • The Invincible Iron Man. It briefly ran alongside an International Iron Man book in 2015.
    • He briefly became the Superior Iron Man shortly after Spider-Man ended its own Superior run. There was no direct connection between the two, but both books involved their protagonists dropping their usual principles - Spidey due to a body-swap, Tony due to having his morals magically inverted.
    • The Infamous Iron Man is Doctor Doom trying to lay claim to the name while Tony Stark is taking a break from heroics. (Lucky for everyone, Ironheart picked up the slack and acted as an actual heroic Iron (Wo)Man in the Invincible book.)
  • The Incredible Hulk. This one has been used as the title of three television shows and a movie.
    • Lampshaded by Peter David (who else?) in a story where the Hulk meets Rick Jones' mother-in-law. When she exclaims "Green skin! Amazing!" he replies "No, Spider-Man is amazing. I'm incredible!"
    • The most well known incarnation of the Hulk, the green, childlike one who (typically) speaks Hulk Speak, is known as the Savage Hulk, which has been used as a title for a series at least once.
    • The Hulk has flirted with a few other descriptors, Rampaging and Indestructible, but neither lasted very long.
    • There's also the Totally Awesome Hulk, who is Amadeus Cho, not Bruce Banner; and the descriptor reflects how Amadeus is an immature teenager who enjoys his powers rather than angsting about them as Bruce does.
    • The Immortal Hulk, referring to a tweak to Banner's powerset and a genre shift towards horror.
  • The Savage/Sensational She-Hulk
    • At one point, at least, the titles were used to differentiate between multiple She-Hulks: The "Sensational" She-Hulk is Banner's cousin Jennifer Walters; while the "Savage" She-Hulk is Lyra, the Hulk's daughter from an alternate future.
  • The Mighty Thor
    • During The New '10s, Comic Book/Jane Foster took over as the new Thor, along with the "Mighty" title, after the original lost his faith in the gods and could no longer lift his hammer. When the original Thor got a series of his own again to complement Jane's, it was titled The Unworthy Thor.
  • The Immortal Iron Fist. (Ironically, unlike Immortal Hulk and Immortal X-Men that came later, Iron Fist does not involve literal immortality.)
  • The Astonishing Ant-Man. This adjective serves as a reference to the fact the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, made his first appearance in the anthology comic Tales To Astonish.
    • One Ant-Man, Eric O'Grady, was a complete Jerkass, so his series was titled The Irredeemable Ant-Man. "Irredeemable" is still used to differentiate him from both other Ant-Men, Pym and Scott Lang.
    • There's also his partner, "The Wondrous Wasp". "The Winsome Wasp" has also been used once or twice. Her successor is The Unstoppable Wasp.
  • There's a D- or E-list joke hero called the Fabulous Frog-Man.
    • Who eventually gained a sidekick in the Tenacious Tadpole.
  • The Craptacular B-Sides, a lesser-known Marvel team.
  • The Fantastic Four (itself a Notable Numeral) has the Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing.
    • This one is almost exclusively used by the Editor/Narrator, or by Ben himself in a self-deprecating way. It may be worth pointing out that "Ever-Lovin'" is a euphemism/bowdlerization of another, vaguely similar sounding phrase that begins "mother".
    • Though not as prevalent as most examples, the team itself has occasionally been called "the Fabled Fantastic Four".
  • The Mighty Avengers. (There have been other "_____ Avengers" teams, but all their titles ("New", "Secret", "Young", "Dark", "Pet") are pretty matter-of-fact and don't quite fit the trope.)
    • The All-New, All-Different Avengers. Running at the same time as New Avengers, no less. And when that New Avengers got split from A.I.M. (long story) they named themself the All-New New Avengers for some issues.
  • Ghost Rider villain the Orb insists on being known as the All-New Orb.
  • Averted with Doctor Strange, who uses Superhero Sobriquets instead, but his enemies often fit this trope (the Dread Dormammu, the Unrelenting Umar).
  • Marvel even made fun of themselves for this trope back in the '60s with Not Brand Echh. For example, their muscular green guy in ripped pants was the Inedible Bulk. You whippersnappers might have seen him in Nextwave.
  • The Awesome Slapstick.
  • Any character's counterpart from the Ultimate Marvel universe is invariably referred to as "the Ultimate [X]" when put beside their normal-universe counterparts; though the books themselves have technically dropped this kind of title system for a while in favor of Ultimate Comics: [X].
  • Marvel's also been known to play with the system, giving one hero another's descriptor for crossover projects:
    • Spider-Man has been the Fantastic Spider-Man when working with the Fantastic Four, and a book called the Avenging Spider-Man features him teaming up with various Avengers.
    • When Hercules took over Hulk's book, it was retitled from The Incredible Hulk to The Incredible Herc.
    • For a team made up of both Avengers and X-Men members, they titled it Uncanny Avengers ("Uncanny" being associated with the X-Men).
  • The Savage Wolverine (a reference to the story's setting, the Savage Land).
  • The Fearless Defenders, a short-lived Amazon Brigade team. The name comes from a Fear Itself spinoff, The Fearless; and is likely doomed to be shorthand for "not that Defenders team, the all-girl one".
  • This was spoofed in the humorous Marvel Now What?! one-shot, where a supercomputer powered by nuclear fission created adjectives for team names. How's "Avenging Avengers" sound?
  • During her time on The Avengers, Monica Rambeau was referred to as the Astounding Captain Marvel.
  • The Legendary Star-Lord
  • The Savage Sub-Mariner, though this name didn't really stick.
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
  • The Unbelievable Gwenpool
  • The Mighty Captain Marvel
  • The Happy-Go-Lucky Hellcat.
  • The Despicable Deadpool, christened as such when he decides to give up on trying to be a hero.
  • The Magnificent Ms. Marvel.
  • Of course, Marvel is also responsible for the ultimate defied version of this trope. After Stan Lee made a bet with his publisher that he could get a book with the absolute worst title to sell well because of the "Marvel style", Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos was born!

Other Comics

  • Thanks to All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder and Memetic Mutation, DC finally has one: "the Goddamn Batman". And Barbara Gordon is "the Fucking Batgirl".
  • The Savage Dragon. Yes, contrary to popular belief, Officer Dragon lacks a first name and does not go by "Savage" in-story.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures spinoff The Mighty Mutanimals.
  • As a superhero parody, normalman has been called the Unconvinceable normalman and the Excruciatingly Average normalman.
  • Back in 2006, DC busted out The All-New Atom! Sadly, they brought back the original Atom not long after, and the all-new one got left by the roadside.
  • Robin Series: Tim introduced himself as "The Spectacular Sunbird" when he needed to distance himself from Robin for secret identity purposes and was dressed in most but not all of the Robin costume. He evidently came up with it on the spot, or had been reading Astro City where the local Robin expy is called Sunbird.
  • The original, pre-Crisis Huntress (Helena Wayne) was often billed as "The Hard-Hitting Huntress".
  • The Incredible Popeman. Not as serious as the other examples, obviously.
  • The Terrific Whatzit, DC's first Funny Animal superhero (named "Whatzit" since he was a turtle who didn't wear his shell in his superhero identity, making it harder to tell what species he was), a turtle with the powers/costume of the Golden Age Flash (and Johnny Quick's flying abilities).
  • DC's New 52 reboot includes The Savage Hawkman.
  • Parodied in Skullkickers, which had "Uncanny Skullkickers #1", "Savage Skullkickers #1", and "Mighty Skullkickers #1", and so forth, as individual entries in an ongoing story. Yes, instead of one title and sequential numbers.
  • Project Superpowers' version of the Golden Age, public domain Daredevil had a comic called "The Death-Defying 'Devil".
  • Parodied in Static, where the local Girl Posse all had My Nayme Is names (Bryttyni, Tyffyni, and Krystyn) and were therefore dubbed "The Insufferable Y-Wymyn" (with "Y-Women" additionally being a play on "X-Men").
  • The Atomic Thunderbolt
  • Golden Age hero Hyper the Phenomenal plays with the format, being "Name the Adjective" instead of "The Adjective Name."
  • The Masked Marvel
  • A one-shot comic parodied the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers as the Mightily Murdered Power Ringers ("Teenagers with ineptitude!"). When the entire team dies, the Zordon Captain Ersatz keeps sending in replacement groups. First comes the "Mighty Methane Power Ranges" ("Giving the villains a raw deal! Heroes that really cook!"), then the "Mighty Morphine-Powered Addicts" ("Taking a shot at evil! They aren't just hyped, they're hypo!"), then the "Naughty Nighty Powder Puffers" ("In the ready and in their teddies! It's Victoria's Secret Squadron!"), and finally, the non-specific "Something Something Something Somethings" ("The greatest whatevers there ever was! There's nothing like them!").
  • In The Multiversity, Earth-8's Spider-Man expy is the Battlin' Bug.
  • The Pitiful Human Lizard

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • The Magical Monarch of Mo
  • In-universe in Captain Underpants. The title character's full name is "The Amazing Captain Underpants". George and Harold also created another hero called "The Amazing Cow Lady".
  • Moongobble and Me: Less a hero, but the titular character of book 2 is "The Weeping Werewolf"... so named because he cries a lot. It turns out he cries a lot because he's been separated from his family and misses them terribly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Since other Power Rangers teams have shown up, it's become their proper title.
  • The Big Bad Beetleborgs. (For the record, they're not that kind of Big Bad.)
  • Discussed in the episode of The Big Bang Theory "The Hofstadter Isotope" since Penny knows that her nephew wants a Spider-Man comic book for his birthday but is unfamiliar with the adjectival system.
  • On The Colbert Report, whenever Colbert does his "Better Know A (Congressional) District" segment the district is called "The Fighting Xth".
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

  • An S Club 7 song refers to the band as "The One and Only Wonderful S Club"
  • The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Their earliest compilation appearances credited them as just The Bosstones (which is still something fans call them for short), but it turned out there had already been a group called The Bosstones in the 50's.
  • James Brown's back-up band was once called "The Famous Flames".
  • The Fabulous Thunderbirds

    Pro Wrestling 
  • When Hulk Hogan became WWF World Champion in 1984, he was called "The Incredible Hulk Hogan" - until Marvel Comics sued them. Later, in 1991, he was called "The Immortal Hulk Hogan".
    • His heel persona was "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, but it never really "took"; this may have been at least partly because a substantial portion of his fanbase was too young to really understand the concept of a Face–Heel Turn and continued to assume Hogan was "the good guy" regardless of what he was actually doing.
  • The Hurricane had a couple of sidekicks who had this: Molly Holly (Mighty Molly) and Stacy Keibler (Super Stacy).
  • The Outlandish Rich Swann.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Sentinels of the Multiverse a few of the heroes or their variants have epithets, such as the Indestructible Bunker, the Savage Haka, and the Super-Scientific Tachyon.

  • The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

    Video Games 
  • In City of Heroes, starting at level 15, you can choose an adjective title for your character. At 25, you can add a second adjective (or just choose from a separate list). The complete list of titles is here.
  • The Wonderful 101
  • NOBY NOBY BOY in Japanese. "Nobinobi" is an adjective that means "to grow quickly", something the extremely elastic BOY does very well.
  • Spider-Man games
    • The Amazing Spider-Man (Amiga, MS-DOS, C-64, Atari ST)
    • The Amazing Spider-Man (Game Boy game)
    • The Amazing Spider-Man (Movie tie-in game)
    • The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom's Revenge!
    • The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes
    • The Amazing Spider-Man: Web of Fire
    • The Amazing Spider-Man: Countdown to Doom!
    • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Game Boy Game)
    • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (movie tie-in game)
    • The Amazing Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers

    Web Comics 
  • From Girl Genius: The Unstoppable Airman Higgs. He may not be Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but so far he's pretty much Made of Iron and seems to be fully capable of going toe-to-toe with jaegermonsters, the elite soldiers and barbarian pillagers altered by mad scientists to form the armies of the Heterodynes. It is later revealed that he is in fact the Jaeger Spymaster, whose human appearance allows him to infiltrate various other factions.
  • Parodied with "The Mundane Spider-Man" in this Savage Chickens.
  • Heroes Unite/Heroes Alliance: The Impractical Mr Imp.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Alternative Title(s): The Egregious Trope Man