Marvel comic book writers have a hell of a job. They’re tasked with creating balanced story lines that are engaging, suspenseful, and — most importantly — fun. It’s not just a matter of throwing random plot points together and letting super-powered people duke it out, it’s more a matter of throwing the right random plot points together and letting the perfect super-powered people duke it out. Somewhere along the way, heroes get to name calling, and whether it stems from mutual admiration or genuine dislike, there’s no denying that some of these nicknames are pure gold.

With so much action and adventure stuffed between the covers of each issue, little details like who said what get lost along the way. Friendships are forged, alliances crumble, and new super teams spring up more often than Daisy Dukes at a Brad Paisley concert. You’re bound to miss something if you aren’t paying attention, and we know better than most — it ain’t always easy to pay attention. Yes, we’re looking at you, arbitrary X-Men twists.

We’ve combed through thousands of comic book panels and re-watched every single Marvel movie (MCU or otherwise) to bring you the best of the best, the Crème de la Crème, the Extra Large Cheese Pizzas of Nicknames. (Keep in mind – these aren’t fan-created, the only entries on this list appear in some Marvel property or another, from comics to cartoons to live-action shows to movies.)

Here is the Definitive Ranking of Superhero Nicknames in the Entire Marvel Universe.

{Editor’s Note: Two villains appear on this list. Don’t have a cow, man.}

13. Glamor Pants

Captain America Glamour The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


Hawkeye (Clint Barton) has perfected the art of knocking other heroes down a notch. Since his earliest appearances, Barton has been reliably quick with snarky one-liners and even quicker with condescending nicknames. Take, for example, this absolute gem that he bestowed upon Captain America: Glamor Pants (Yea, we know the spelling is weird). Seriously, is there a better nickname in the entire universe for the (former) clean-cut, holier-than-thou Boy Scout, Steve Rogers? We think not.

Stan Lee’s run with the Avengers comic line delivered some fantastic material that really deserves to live on. It’s too bad he couldn’t just keep writing them forever; issues 16-34 were particularly enjoyable, as they were filled with tons of banter between new-found BFF’s Hawkeye and Cap.

Alternatives: Winghead, Curly, Steverino, Cornball, Methuselah, Star-Spangled Avenger, Cap.

12. Web-Head

Spider Man Web Head The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


This one’s a little on the nose for us, but hey,at least it doesn’t leave any room for misinterpretation, you know? Spidey’s got the gift of gab, notorious for doling out sweet nicknames even quicker than Hawkeye, but every once in a while, another hero (or villain) will beat him at his own game. Plenty of people have tried to stick tags to ol’ Peter Parker, but none have seemed to take quite as well as Web-Head.

Although J. Jonah Jameson would rather call him “Menace” or “that costumed freak,” Web-Head just seems to fit Parker’s persona; like the hero, this nickname is goofy, sarcastic, and immature. Web-Head is now so synonymous with Spider-Man that it’s spread to all forms of media – it’s appeared in his comics, cartoons, and live-action movies. Think it about it for a minute. He’s a man-child with spider-like abilities. He swings around the city on spider-like webs. He even wraps up his enemies just like a spider. He literally has webs on his head. 

Alternatives: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Web-Slinger, Wallcrawler, Tiger, Arachnid, Spidey.

11. Merc With a Mouth

Deadpool Leeeerrrooooyyy Jenkins The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


If there’s a more appropriate nickname for Marvel’s most inappropriate comic book character, please let us know. Deadpool (Wade Wilson) never shuts up. Like, ever. Unless someone inexplicably sewed his mouth shut. Whether he’s killing the entire Marvel Universe, feeding pieces of himself to a  recovering Archangel, or bragging about his prolific Dungeons and Dragons skills, he always finds a new (and often offensive) way to break the fourth wall and keep fans laughing. Just look at the picture above. That actually happened in Deadpool #36. 

Deadpool’s yammering does seem to define him; Marvel eventually turned the nickname into a subtitle, leading Victor Gischler to publish Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth Vol. 1 in 2009. His recent box-office success gives us hope that future generations of heroes will pack a sense of humor to go with their super strength.

Alternatives: The Regenerating Degenerate, Wildcard, Any Word You Can Think Of + Pool.

10. Legolas / Hunger Games / The Girl from Brave

Deadpool gives Hawkeye New Nicknames The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


Deadpool may have earned himself one of the most iconic nicknames in the Marvel Universe, but you knew he was bound to show up on this list for giving great ones, too. The Merc with a Mouth isn’t bound by the Laws of Comics, leaving him free to utilize an infinite number of pop-culture references whenever he opens his mouth – which is exactly what he does when paired off with Hawkeye in A+X #8.

It’s oddly fitting that Hawkeye, a character known for his own scathing wit and endless supply of one-liners, should get such a great grouping of nicknames from Deadpool. Consider it a badge of honor; in the midst of battle, Deadpool takes a minute to (kind of) compliment Hawkeye on his superior archery skills. His rapid-fire references fail to impress, however, as Barton claims to have heard them all at one time or another.

One of the monikers even made their way into the first Avengers movie, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it quip from Tony stark.

9. Matchstick

Human Torch Matchstick The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


There are so many dope superpowers in the Marvel Universe. Teleportation. Mind control. Laser beam eyes. Those weapons strike fear into the hearts of bad guys and inspire quality nicknames. But when your calling card is basically transforming into a man-sized candle, you’re bound to catch some heat (pun very much intended). While the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) is the modern Marvel equivalent of a Founding Father, his penchant for self-immolation has earned him one of the least fearsome nicknames in history: Matchstick.

The name first appears in Fantastic Four #22; terribly annoyed by Johnny’s antics, The Thing (Ben Grimm) threatens to douse him with a fire extinguisher, referring to Storm as an “animated matchstick.” It seemed to stick, and villains have been known to refer to the Human Torch as ‘Matchstick’ whenever they spot him on the horizon.

Alternatives: Hothead.

8. Reindeer Games

Loki Reindeer Avengers1 The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


Robert Downey Jr. brings Iron Man to life in ways that no other actor could. Every word that comes out of the man’s mouth is an absolute keeper; whether he’s casually insulting his enemies mid fire-fight or absolutely lambasting the other Avengers, you can take the majority of RDJ’s lines to the bank. His style and delivery is so on-point that we’ve got no choice but to grant Iron Man his own brand of humor: Starkasm. It’s like sarcasm, but for Tony Stark.

Stark’s first meeting with Loki is one of our favorite moments from RDJ’s nine-year tenure as the genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist. After blasting his way into Captain America’s fight with Thor’s evil half-brother, Iron Man trains every weapon he’s got on Loki (and his horned helmet), daring him to, “Make a move, Reindeer Games.”

Reindeer Games! With Bat-Fleck? No? Nothing? C’mon! Seriously people, it’s a classic.

Alternatives: Rock of Ages (Also from Iron Man. Go Figure.)

7. Wheels

Professor X Wheels The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


No one would accuse Wolverine of being the nicest guy in the Marvel Universe. Hell, he’d probably trend towards the bottom of that list. Jean Grey soft-spot aside, he’s been a major grump for the better part of his 40-year history. Film, comics, cartoons, it doesn’t matter; Wolvie’s managed to alienate and/or insult (or kill) just about every person he’s ever encountered, and Professor Charles Xavier is no exception.

When the two finally meet during the franchise’s first X-Men film, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has precisely negative-twelve interests in Professor X’s sales pitch. Showing off that trademark Canadian charm, he takes a shot at Xavier and asks, “What do they call you, Wheels?” Best of all, this little interaction was changed on the fly; the line was originally written, “What do they call you, Baldie?,” but Jackman went with his gut and it worked out quite well.

Was it PC? Definitely not. Did you still laugh at it? Definitely yes. Here’s hoping we get a few more nicknames from the two when they team up in Wolverine 3.

Alternatives: Chuck, Charlie, Baldie.

6. High Pockets / Tic Tac

Giant Man Civil War The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


*POTENTIAL SPOILERS*

It’s a crying shame that Civil War writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely didn’t incorporate ‘High Pockets’ into their latest superhero smack-down. While Rudd’s Ant-Man wasn’t technically operating as Giant-man, he did use the Pym Particles to grow exponentially. Luckily, Ant-Man still got an excellent nickname from Falcon in Civil War, and it just missed getting its own entry for this list: Tic-Tac! 

Research indicates that ‘High-Pockets’ first appears in Giant-Man and the Incredible Hulk: Tales to Astonish #61, but the nickname has actually been tossed around for one of Pym’s other superhero identities, Goliath, on a few occasions as well. Very few entries on this inspired as many genuine laughs as High Pockets; it’s so obvious once you hear it (he’s tall, his pockets are really high), but it’s definitely not one most people would come up with on their own.

5. Ol’ Canucklehead

Wolverine Ol Canucklehead The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


An iconic nickname for an iconic individual. Wolverine is like Marvel’s version of The Most Interesting Man in the World; he’s played every role, broken every rule (and bone), and lived to tell the tale. Besides an endless amount of inner-rage, his most defining traits are those giant metal claws, that sketchy haircut, and a decidedly-Canadian lineage.

In Garth Ennis’ Punisher #16, Wolverine is portrayed as a parody of himself, slinging over-the-top threats more than usual and inventing this glorious nickname. He refers to himself as ‘The Ol’ Canucklehead’ four separate times in the issue, encouraging fans to adopt it forevermore. The satirical manner in which Ennis chose to write Wolverine caused some drama with then-Wolverine writer Frank Tieri, but we’d imagine that even Tieri chuckled a bit when he first laid eyes on Logan’s new nickname.

Alternatives: Doesn’t need one, this is too perfect.

4. Underoos

Spiderman Civil War The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


Another Tony Stark classic, this one is for all you ’80s babies in the audience tonight. There’s been all sorts of confusion around Spidey’s newest nickname from Civil War, but let us be clear: Stark is not saying “On the roof!” when he calls Spider-Man into the fray. He is most definitely saying “Underoos,” and that is just plain awesome.

So what’s the significance of this nickname? Well, back in 1977, Fruit of the Loom introduced the DOPEST superhero onesies of all time. You could get Spider-Man, Super Man, Wonder Woman, Batman, whatever. They were called, as you may have guessed, Underoos. If you were never lucky enough to own a pair of  Underoos, your childhood was wasted and everything you know is a lie.

3. Goldilocks

Thor Goldilocks Lightning The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


Few heroes across the entire Comic Book Multiverse can match the Mighty Thor. Son of Odin, wielder of Mjölnir, Asgardian God of Thunder, Thor is a force to be reckoned with. Whether he’s battling baddies on the big-screen or protecting Earth between the covers of comics, his bulging biceps and flowing locks deserve a fierce nickname that truly represents his iconic status.

Which is why this particular nickname is so darn satisfying. Calling Thor — an ancient Norse God with powers far, far beyond the comprehension of man — Goldilocks is like meeting a living T-Rex and calling it Gecko Guy. Readers won’t be surprised to discover that 1960s Hawkeye delivered this beaut, too; in Avengers #66, Barton dishes out two fantastic nicknames in the span of two panels. Thor gets Goldilocks and Iron Man gets Shell Head, though we didn’t think the latter was clever enough to qualify here.

2. The Vibrator

The Shocker and Spidey The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


At some point, the guys writing these comics are bound to get bored. When they get bored, weird things happen. We can almost virtually guarantee that this nickname, bestowed upon The Shocker by the ever-sassy Spider-Man (Ultimate Spider-Man), was sitting in the pipeline for years. YEARS! How could it not be? This villain’s set of sinister powers include…vibrating things.

The Shocker has been cramping Spidey’s style for decades, making his first appearance in 1967’s The Amazing Spider-Man #46. Illustrator John Romita penciled a V into the Shocker’s belt, leading many fans to speculate that the villain’s original name was The Vibrator. While Romita eventually put that rumor to rest, the name did make its way back into later comics.

Alternatives: Cuddles, The Rockin’ Shocker.

1. Ripley from Alien 3 / Chicken Noodle / Sinead O’Connor

Negasonic Teenage Warhead Sinead Oconnor The Definitive Ranking Of Marvel Superhero Nicknames


Surprise! It’s another entry straight from Marvel’s Mouthiest Merc, Deadpool. Turns out he’s just as funny in real life as he is in the comic books — maybe even funnier, depending on who you ask. Ryan Reynolds’ spectacular on-screen portrayal of Deadpool this past February was ripe with foul language and name calling, but no one caught as much flak as the film’s angsty Millennial, Negasonic Teenage Warhead.

It’s clear from their first scene together that the two aren’t quite BFF’s just yet. When Deadpool heads over to the X-Mansion in search of backup, he gives Negasonic one of the best nicknames in the collective Marvel Universe: Ripley, from Alien 3Actually, Deadpool dishes out another gem about five seconds later, dubbing Colossus ‘Silver Balls.’ It’s unquestionably crass — and unquestionably perfect.

Reynolds delivers yet again at the end of the film, when he (attempts) to give Negasonic a compliment:

“And you, chicken noodle… Nothing compares to you. Sinéad O’Connor, 1990. Sorry.”

WHAM!

What are your favorite Marvel nicknames? Sound off in the comments.