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Punny Names in comic books.


The DCU

  • Batman
    • The Joker has been known to use the name Joe Kerr as a pseudonym. Yeesh.
    • Amusingly, one of the main writers on the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series is actually named Joseph Kuhr.
    • Jack Napier as well (off of "jackanape", for a mischief-making kid.)
    • In one story, he used the alias "Longreen", which a citizen innocently pronounced "long grin"...
    • Harley Quinn whose birth name is Harleen Quinzel. In Batman: White Knight, the second Harley has the real name Marian Drew. "Merry-andrew" is an archaic term for a clown or jester.
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    • The Riddler's name is Edward Nigma (Or Nygma), sometimes given as Mr. E. Nigma ("Mystery Enigma"), though it was only in recent years they made this a pseudonym.
    • Writer Chuck Dixon snuck an homage to the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman series into the geography of Gotham City. One of the most important spans in Gotham is the Westward Bridge.
    • Mr. Freeze's real name is Victor Fries (pronounced Frees), and in many incarnations, his nemesis is his former boss Ferris Boyle.
    • Duela Dent, as her surname might suggest, is the daughter of Harvey Dent, better known as Two-Face. Her name is a play on "dual", which means two, or "duel", a fight between two people.
  • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! 's sentient-animal dominated parallel world of Earth-C uses (to us) various animal-themed puns for the names of cities, countries, and counterparts of real-world individuals. For example, the characters lived in the "United Species of America", the president of which was "Mallard Fillmore" (No Relation).
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  • Green Arrow villain Merlyn's real name is Arthur King. While this partially serves as a counterpoint to Green Arrows's real name of Oliver Queen, think about it for a second. Merlyn... King, Arthur...
  • DC's spy character King Faraday ("King for a Day")
  • Earth-8's American CrUSAder from The Multiversity.
  • Mr. Miracle, escape artist extraordinaire and New God, is named Scott Free.
  • Starfire's alien name and civilian name (Koriand'r and Kory Anders) are based on the herb coriander, also known as cilantro. As a color, coriander is a light brown with yellow/gold undertones, which was Koriand'r's skin color in her original appearance.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Diana's candy-loving sidekick is named Etta Candy, in The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) a bully even uses the pun "Eat a candy!" to try and insult the unimpressed Etta's weight.
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    • Etta Candy had a love interest named Oscar Sweetgulper.
    • Mona Menise is a menace.
    • One of the professors as Holliday College is named I.B. Wise.
  • Separately, they don't fit the trope, but when put together, Fite and Maad, Those Two Bad Guys from Young Justice, do. It doesn't go unnoticed.
    DEO Agent: ...and believe me, you want to steer clear of them.
    Robin: How come?
    Agent: Because they're Fite 'n Maad, that's why.
    Impulse: Ooh, I'm so scared.
    • Fite's daughter, Anita Fite, also fits the trope.

Marvel Universe

  • Black Bolt is the king of a race of superhumans. His real name: Blackagar Boltagon. Unsurprisingly, this is rarely mentioned.
  • Iron Man's "Iron Manites" in the Guardians of the Galaxy issue of Marvel 100th Anniversary Special — nanites that look just like micro versions of his suit.
  • Marvel Team-Up had a random joke with Michelinie Tires, alluding to real-life French manufacturer Michelin and fellow writer David Michelinie.
  • Runaways presents us with Klara Prast, a cute little plant controller. Her name sounds like chloroplast, which is the organelle that allows plants to undergo photosynthesis. (She acquired the name via an Arranged Marriage in roughly 1906, in-universe. The word dates back to about 1885.)
  • Silver Surfer: The Surfer's name is Norrin Radd.
  • Spider-Girl: May "Mayday" Parker is Spider-Girl, and "May" is a common diminutive of both "Mary" and "Margaret". She later got a clone-sister (who thinks she is the real May and Mayday is the clone) who eventually took the name April.
  • X-Men
    • Perhaps merely by coincidence, Jean Grey has mutant powers because she possesses the X-gene. Her powers also involve her grey matter.
    • The real name of old villain the Vanisher is Telford Porter. Guess what his mutant superpower is.
    • The villain Cassandra Nova. Given her grotesque appearance and lack of social skills, it was likely meant as an ironic pun on Casanova (Cassie Nova).

Other

By Author:

By Publisher:

  • Alan Moore's America's Best Comics comic books featured a few, notably boy genius Jack B. Quick, suicidal opera singer Gerta Dammerung, and Irma Geddon from Top 10.
  • Malibu Comics had one with the evil N-M-E (Enemy).

By Work:

  • In the 2000 AD comic Kingdom, pretty much all the characters are genetically engineered dog-human warrior hybrids. And every single one of them has a punny name based on A) Hollywood and B) the fact that they're canine killing machines. The main character is Gene Hack-Man, while other characters include Val Kill-More, Will Feral, Dingo Starr, Clara Bow (she's an archer, natch), Holly the Hunter... Justified in that one of the humans who created them explained that he and his fellows thought this naming convention was really funny.
  • Achille Talon is another French-Belgian comic where characters have puny names, as well as streets, companies, and almost everything else.
  • American Born Chinese has a Funny Foreigner who embodies every negative Asian stereotype possible. Fittingly, his name, "Chin-Kee", is a pun on the Chinese ethnic slur "chink".
  • Pick a character from the French comic book series Asterix. Any character (Excluding Historical Domain Characters such as Julius Caesar, Brutus, and Cleopatra). The English translation does very well at turning French punny names into English punny names.
  • Pretty much every recurring character in Cherry Comics: Cherry Poptart, Ellie Dee, Patty Melt, Lola Palooza...
  • Chew has a ton with a food/restaurant theme. The main cast includes Tony Chu (Chew), John Colby (think cheese), Mason Savoy, and an FDA boss named Mike Applebee.
  • Every major character in Dean Motter's Electropolis, including: Anesta Robbins, Menlo Park, Alfred MacGuffin, and Tess Lacoyle.
  • Many in Empowered. Stigmata Hari, Gnümetal, Plutonium Blonde, Valkyrie Eleison, Eye Eye Sir, Gooey Samaritan, Ubiquitease, Blitzcraig…
  • Fallen Angel features crime-fighting duo Juanita "J.J". Sachs and Ernie "Violens" Schultz—, or, as they're more commonly known, Sachs and Violens.
  • The Filth gives us Harlotte Church.
  • Shamelessly featured in Give Me Liberty, such as General Spank, Attorney General Sphincter, and General Crotch, leader of the Aryan Thrust gay white supremacists.
  • Invincible: Roughly half of the characters have a Punny Name. Examples include Dupli-Kate (and her brother Multi-Paul; believe it or not, they're Chinese) and Rex Splode.
  • Iznogoud: René Goscinny was able to let his fondness for puns run more rampant in Iznogoud than in any other comic for which he wrote the scripts (artist Jean Tabary was just as fond of puns as Goscinny), and the names were no exception; the title character's name is even already a pun in English. Then there's his deadpan lackey, Dilat Laraht (a homonym of "dilate la rate", an idiom roughly meaning "burst into laughter"), or Wa'at Alahf as he's known in English. Other punny names in English include the Caliph, Haroun El-Plassid (and a more placid person is hard to imagine), inventor Ahstroh Nautikahl (inventor of the rocket that Iznogoud tries to use to send the Caliph into space), and elixir merchant Likhwid (who sells Iznogoud a foul-tasting likhwid — er, liquid — one drop of which turns the drinker into a woodlouse; a pity the drop in question is the last drop in a three-gallon jug).
  • De Kiekeboes: This is a trademark of the series. Nearly every character has a pun hidden in his name.
  • Laff-A-Lympics: Snooper says Mount Ono is called that "'cause that's what most folks say when find out they've gotta climb it!".
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier references the traditional James Bond puns. Mina Harker meets Bond and, in the guise of an American actress, gives her name as "'Oodles' O'Quim". She later has a good laugh at how he didn't react at all, saying "He must meet women with names like that all the time."
  • White-Dwarf Starlet Danke Schoen in Lori Lovecraft. (Although, given she is an actress, there is good chance this is not her real name.)
  • Many of the villains featured in the Madballs comic book published by Marvel Comics subsidiary Star Comics had names that were puns. Some examples include Colonel Corn, Bermuda Schwartz, and Miss Tic the Mystic.
  • Monster Allergy: There's Lay Mamery. Which could stand for memory or other assets of hers.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón: OK, this is a big one. Bring popcorn. We can wait.
    These names only work in the Spanish version and few more.
    • Mortadelo is called like that because... he is thin and always wrapped in black, like a bar of mortadella.
    • Filemón, aside from a respelling of a (barely known in Spain) real name in Greek, sounds much like "filetón" (big steak). (In Brasil he's called Salaminho and in Portugal, Salamão; both are references to salami.
    • Vicente was a common name in Spain few years ago, and not punny in itself... until you remember a Spanish saying: "¿A dónde va Vicente? Adonde va la gente" (literally: Where does Vincent go? Where people go; in correct and orthodox English: monkey see, monkey do). Which isn't a particularly good name for the boss of most characters in T.I.A.. note 
    • Ofelia (Ophelia)... maybe for her Mad Love for Mortadelo?
      • Rather, because Hamlet's Ophelia is commonly portrayed as a fair, fragile, delicate maiden, and Ofelia is exactly her opposite — fat, strong, aggressive and ill-tempered.
    • Professor Bacterio, because he plays with bacteria
    • Todoquisque (informally "anybody"). because he can disguise as anybody.
    • Bestiájez, an obviously fake surname, meaning Brutesson. (Also Migájez, "Crumbson", and many others).
    • Actually, in every single book there are several new characters that have this trope. The amazing thing is that Ibáñez rarely repeats any of them.
    • Establishments are also given punny names. Notably bars, whose name made by extracting the prefix "Bar" from a Spanish word that begins with it; so we have Bar Baro ("barbarian"), Bar Budo ("guy with a large beard"), Bar Quillo (lit. "biscuit roll", double points as "Quillo" is Andalusian slang for "Guy"), ...
    • Less frequently, banks ("banco") and streets ("calle") are used for punny names, like Banco Jeando ("van cojeando", which translates as "They go limping") or Calle Se ("cállese", which means "shut up") and the neighboring Calle Seusté ("cállese usted", which can be interpreted as "YOU shut up").
    • Overlapping with Theme Naming: one of the Football World Cup themed albums featured the Scotland national football team, with names such as Mac Arron (Macaroni) Mac Abeo (Maccabee) or Mac Anudo (macanudo, Argentinian slang for 'excellent')
    • Sometimes overlaps with Bland-Name Product, like in the "Pescadillac" example above.
    • Foreign characters and/or places tend to fall into this as well. For example, the villain of "Robots bestiajos" was a Japanese Mad Scientist called Mirake Tekasko ("mira que te casco", roughly "be careful or I'll hit you") who eventually was reported to have been arrested in the Japanese town of Higosheko ("higo seco", meaning "dried fig").
  • The Mr. T comic series featured a steroid-using villain named "Stare Roy". There is not enough "wa-wa" music in the world.
  • Paperinik New Adventures is full of characters with pun names. Most are jokes that rely on English names, English pronunciation of letter, Italian transcription of English pronunciation or Italian pronunciation of English words. Some others refer to science fiction works, Italian slang or classical culture. Some examples are Chewingoon (chewing gum), Sputhon ("sputo" meaning "spit" in Italian and the character is portraited as despised by his peers) Anymore Boring (who is depicted as a smart yet boring person), Clint E. Westcock (Clint Eastwood), Sam Plot (who writes screenplots for a TV drama), Stella Nice (a nice girl), John Konnery (Sean Connery), Ray Panta (greek concept of pantha rei), Geena (a gynoid), Tyrrel Duckard (Tyrell co. and Deckard from Blade Runner), colonel Neopard (a leopard-like alien), sergeant Q'Wynkennon (sergeant Quincannon from She Wore a Yellow Ribbon).
    • Sergeant Q'Wynkennon also speaks in an unintelligible language, which is actually a dialect of the Lombard language written with English transcription of the pronunciation.
  • Pinky and the Brain: "Future Stock" features a bank manager named Phil T. Rich.
  • The DC Comics run of The Powerpuff Girls comic book had an unpublished story illustrated by Christopher Cook titled "Powerbuff Girl", which was about Bubbles going through a nudist phase, much to the embarrassment of Blossom and Buttercup. The villains of the comic were a trio of naked criminals called the Mean Streaks (a play on "mean streak" referring to a tendency to be mean as well as the activity of Streaking), individually known as Buffy the Wardrobe Slayer (a pun on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as "buff" being a synonym for naked), her husband Claude Naturale (a play on the phrase "au naturale"), and distant cousin Les Playdoctor (a pun on the statement "Let's play doctor").
  • Ric Hochet: The titular character is Ric Hochet as "ricochet".
  • In the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! adaptation of the episode "Scooby-Doo And A Mummy, Too" (retitled "Somebody's Mummy", issue #7, August 1971), the professor the gang assists is named Art E. Facts.
  • Will Eisner's The Spirit has its share, including Femmes Fatale Sand Serif (after the font style San Serif), Silken Floss, Plaster of Paris and Rice Wilder (aka Wild Rice), and murderous gambler Rollo Dyce.
  • Superlópez:
    • Tontecarlo golf champion Bast Honazo (playing with "bastonazo", Spanish word that describes hitting something with a cane or a stick).
    • And a quite effortless one, a Rich Bitch called Brujha, from "bruja" (Spanish for "witch").
  • Tintin delighted in this, whether in character names or place names. The English translators did nearly as good a job as the Asterix ones in this respect.
  • Twilight Guardian just adores using this trope in the comics-within-the-comic. Highlights include an Ancient Egyptian villain named Brutankhamen, a German-themed bruiser named Oktoberfist, a freeze-ray-wielding monkey named Bananas Froster, and a Norse-themed villain called Slaughterdammerung.
  • Polish comic book series Tytus, Romek i A'tomek gives us Professor T. Alent. Yes, it does mean the same thing in English as in Polish.
  • Plenty of minor characters in Usagi Yojimbo have names that are funny when translated from Japanese, such as Lord Sakana-no-Ashiyubi ("Fish Toes"), or Saiko the assassin.
  • In the German comic Werner: Fräulein Vondeblotz (see Dumb Blonde), a German spoonerism for "blonde c**t"
  • Y: The Last Man:
    • When Agent 355 tells Yorick they're going to meet fellow Culper Ring agent 711, Yorick wants to know if people keep asking her if she's "open all night". 355 promises to rip his balls off with a claw hammer if he makes a joke like that again.
    • There is also Yorick's Cool Big Sis Hero... who ends up running with a psychotic cult and murders at least two women in cold blood.


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