In a curious incident of life imitating art, it turns out that Marvel character names are becoming popular baby names. And yes, even the Hulk has a place on the list. Marvel has been releasing comics for decades, some of which became household names. But it wasn't until Marvel Studios launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe that characters like Thor and Iron Man had gained mainstream attention.
Within the past 10 years, Marvel has gone from being a brand primarily beloved by comic book fans to a multi-billion dollar enterprise revered by even the most casual movie fan, all thanks to the MCU, which includes a couple of TV shows as well. Now, it appears as that Marvel's popularity has grown to the point where parents are using superhero characters' names as inspiration for their own children's names.
Metro discovered that baby names inspired by Marvel characters are especially popular amongst parents according to data released by the US Social Security Administration in 2017. Although characters like Thanos, Shuri, and Phil Coulson didn't make the list, some of the most famous heroes (and antiheroes) from the Marvel universe now account for a significant portion of baby names from last year alone.
Sure, the top three most popular names inspired by Marvel characters are arguably fairly generic, but the list becomes much more Marvel-specific as it goes on. In the top spot is Parker (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), which accounts for 1,487 female babies and 4,346 male babies. In second place is Wade (Wade Wilson/Deadpool), which accounts for 899 male babies. Then, in the third spot is Natasha (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow).
In descending order, starting with the number four spot is Pepper (Pepper Potts; 121 female, 7 male), Loki (5 female, 91 male), Valkyrie (63 female), Banner (as in Bruce Banner/Hulk; 39 male), Rocket (as in Rocket Raccoon; 9 female, 28 male), Quill (as in Peter Quill/Star-Lord; 5 female, 15 male), and Hawkeye (6 male). What's more is that one name that isn't based off of a specific character but the brand itself is the name Marvel, which accounts for 21 female babies and 29 males babies (expect to see that number grow next year after the release of Captain Marvel, along with Carol).
As odd as it might seem for some parents who prefer names that are more "traditional," names inspired by fictional characters is by no means a new trend. Beginning in the 2000s, Harry Potter inspired parents to name their children after characters from J.K. Rowling's magical series, including names that are more traditional like Harry to names that aren't quite as traditional, like Luna and Draco. Only now, it's Marvel's time to shine on that front.
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