Comic books are the source of many odd and memorable names, from Peter Parker to Negasonic Teenage Warhead. But no one has more obvious names than comic book villains. Some of the best supervillains in history have memorable and fitting names, such as Magneto and The Joker. These names define who they are as villains and give fans a little hint at what they can expect.
Every now and then, supervillains make poor choices, especially when it comes to naming themselves. Perhaps they had to come up with a name on really short notice, or being evil and being creative don’t always go hand in hand. Whatever the case may be, whether a supervillain's name is super obvious or rather weak it becomes what fans know them by. Either way, it’s fun to poke fun at our favorite villains every once in awhile, so without further ado, here are the 15 Supervillains Who Very Obviously Named Themselves.
With the release of Logan right around the corner, let's kick off this list with one of his long-time enemies: Sabretooth. Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, this character first appeared in the 1977 comic Iron Fist #14. However, before becoming Logan’s enemy, Sabretooth was fighting Iron Fist and Spider-Man. The Marvel villain's real name is Victor Creed, and he is believed to have been a part of the Weapon X program alongside his arch-nemesis, Wolverine. This character is actually quite similar to Logan, but he embraces his savage qualities and really taps into his killer instinct. Sabretooth has an unbreakable skeleton, superhuman strength, elongated canine teeth, and claws on his fingers and toes.
By fully embracing his animalistic instincts, Sabretooth is an obviously good pick for a name. In appearance, this bad guy resembles an actual Saber-toothed tiger especially with his extra sharp claws and teeth. It’s fitting that Wolverine’s archenemy is also named after an animal. Mostly, we can just image this guy looking in a mirror at his scruffy, sharp appearance and saying, “Yeah, Sabretooth will work.”
14 Captain Cold
First appearing in Showcase #8, this DC villain was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. Captain Cold, whose real name is Leonard Snart, is a long time enemy of Flash, and if we’re being honest, his supervillain name is pretty lame; it’s certainly not the most creative alias in the world. Perhaps Snart picked it because Mr. Freeze, Ice Man, and Killer Frost were all taken. Snart himself doesn’t have any special superpowers, but he does have a cold gun and knows how to use it. He does prove to be a somewhat suitable match for the Flash, slowing him down with his cold gun and forcing the speedster to freeze on the spot.
Cold is currently played by Wentworth Miller. Originally a villain on CW’s The Flash, he has recently moved to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. You can catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on the CW at 9|8c Tuesday.
13 Ocean Master
This evil half-brother of Aquaman first appeared in the 1966 comic Aquaman #29, created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy. Orm Marius thirst for power and control leads him to team up often with Black Manta to fight his arch nemesis Aquaman and the Justice League. Since his brother got the good name, perhaps Orm Marius was just being spiteful by calling himself Ocean Master. But seriously, he has extremely similar powers as Aquaman and even carries a trident. Having the “more powerful” sounding name is just scratching the surface of this sibling rivalry. This character is obsessed by gaining more power and overthrowing Aquaman for the throne of Atlantis.
Watchmen actor Patrick Wilson has recently been cast as the character for the anticipated 2018 DC Expanded Universe film Aquaman. Aquaman himself will make his debut in Justice League, due in November this year.
12 Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 in 1963 created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The nuclear physicist turned mad scientist is most commonly known as being a one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies. Doc Ock’s real name Otto Octavius isn’t even that far off from the characters alias. Maybe after adding on the robotic arms someone came up to him and ask: “What are you, doc? Some sorta octopus?” Boom. Epiphany moment. Doctor Octopus name created.
In fact in an interview with Alter Ego Magazine Stan Lee even said that he, “want[ed] to call somebody Octopus. And want[ed] him to have a couple of extra arms just for fun” in regards to the creation process of Doc Ock. With the upcoming release of Spider-Man: Homecoming fans are wondering if there’s a possibility of Doc Ock making an appearance. Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released July, 7 2017.
Often seen with a bullseye on his mask, this bad guy was created by Marv Wolfman and John Romita, Sr. Daredevil’s enemy first appeared in Daredevil #131. His original origin and backstory actually remain unknown. However, his personal vendetta and twisted behavior is no laughing matter. With the ability to turn pretty much any object into a weapon, it’s no surprise this villain is named Bullseye. The difference between Bullseye and the others on this list is that his name is actually fantastic, and very fitting. However, he definitely deserves the spot he’s in because his name is so gosh darn obvious.
There’s been some buzz about whether or not Bullseye will appear in the Netflix original series The Defenders or even Daredevil season 3. Fingers crossed it’s nothing like Colin Farrell’s appearance in the 2003 Daredevil film. Only time will tell if the psychopathic bad guy will show up to terrorize Matt Murdock and the gang .
This genius level bad guy was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino. He first appeared in DC’s Action Comics #242 in 1958, originating from the planet of Colu. Sometimes know as Vril Dox or Milton Fine, he is best known as one of Superman’s most intelligent and earliest enemies, but he has also appeared against Supergirl and the Justice League. Brainiac was originally an alien from Colu, but was later retconned as a robotic machine in Superman #167.
Wow, brag much? With a name like Brainiac he better be the smartest bad guy around - and apparently he is! This genius supervillain is accredited with “12th level intelligence” and always possesses some sort of massively advanced alien technology. On top of this, he has telekinetic abilities and superhuman strength. In fact he’s so intelligent that he agreed to team another accredited genius in the DC Universe: Lex Luthor. Let’s just say this cyber conqueror earns the name Brainiac, and goes down as one of Superman's most high tech and daunting villains.
9 Abra Kadabra
The “magic” villain was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino and first appeared in The Flash #128 in 1962. Kadabra is most often seen as a villain of the Flash, who is obsessed with vengeance against the speedster for taking away his “adoring” audience.
This guy is a bit full of himself. Coming from the 64th century with super advanced technology, he seems to be a master sorcerer. However, he is just using this technology from the future to appear to be magic. Abra Kadabra is fitting for a real magician, but one that doesn’t possess any real fantastical power surely doesn’t deserve that title. It also kind of sounds like the name of a freelance magician who makes balloon animals at children’s parties. Maybe the CW will use this villain in a future episode of the Flash so fans can see Barry Allen face off against the non-magic magician.
8 Mr. Freeze
The cold man was created by Bob Kane, David Wood, and Sheldon Moldoff. This DC supervillain, who most commonly faces off against Batman, first appeared in Batman #121 in 1959 as Mister Zero, and eventually became known as Mr. Freeze in Detective Comics #373.
Freeze got his abilities after lab explosion occurred while he was trying to save the life of his dying wife Nora. After the accident and Nora’s death, Fries body temperature is so low that he must wear a cryogenic suit to stay alive. Mr. Freeze is an actual doctor and his surname is pronounced like the word freeze, so wouldn’t Dr. Freeze be more fitting? Perhaps Victor Fries thought Doctor Freeze would be dorky, and maybe being called Mr. Zero (his original name) wasn’t necessarily the moral boost he needed. Either way, it seems like it didn’t take him too long to come up with his alias. Freeze currently appears in the Fox TV show Gotham played by Nathan Darrow. Gotham returns to Fox on April 24, 2017, so be sure to tune in to see your favorite ice man.
Electro, a.k.a. Maxwell “Max” Dillon, was created by comic legends Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #9 in 1964. He controls lighting, so he calls himself Electro. Why not just throw out the tiny bit of creativity it took to make the name and just call him Electric Man. Wait, he can’t because there’s actually a DC character already named Electric Man. Blue Lightening Man could have also worked for Dillon.
It’s hard to pick on Electro too much, because aside from his name he’s actually a very interesting character. After he gained his powers from being struck by lightning and falling from a power line, he decided to use them to fulfill any selfish desires he had. Many of those desires come into to direct conflict with Spider-Man and Daredevil. He’s duked it out with the two over the years, and Electro even started the Emissaries of Evil to take Daredevil down. Max Dillon’s powers were so magnificent that Magneto actually offered for him to join the Brotherhood of Mutants, even though he wasn’t even a mutant. And Electro is so badass that he turned him down. With yet another Spider-Man cinematic reboot, fans hope Electro comes back on the big screen.
6 Doctor Doom
Doctor Victor Von Doom was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The character made his first appearance in the 1963 The Fantastic Four #5. Doom is the archenemy of Mister Fantastic, Reed Richards, and he is most commonly seen fighting The Fantastic Four. However, he has also been up against the Avengers and Iron Man. In fact, he acquired his powers after a horrible lab accident that he primarily blamed on Reed Richards.
It really doesn’t help that this guy's real name is Doctor Victor Von Doom, so the chances of him having a happy, simple life are pretty much out the window. Maybe he always wanted to go to medical school, where they would inevitably address him by the same alias. Or perhaps he knew he was Doomed to be in a lab accident turning him into a supervillain from the start. Either way Doctor Doom is a fitting name for this genius sorcerer, but a very dreadful name.
5 Professor Zoom
The DC supervillain speedster was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino and first appeared in The Flash (vol. 1) #139. With abilities extremely similar to the Flash, it’s no question why he is Barry Allen’s archenemy. Not only can Thawn run faster than the speed of light, but he is also a scientific genius and skilled in hand to hand combat making him a suitable match for the Flash.
This superhuman genius is known by many names: Eobard Thawne, Professor Zoom, Reverse- Flash and even Black Flash. So why so many names? Wanting to change his name from Eobard Thawne is definitely understandable. Maybe he realized that Reverse Flash isn’t original enough, thus adding the alias Professor Zoom. Professor Zoom appears in The CW’s Arrowverse with recurring appearances on The Flash and regular appearances in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Catch Thawne in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays at 9|8c on The CW.
4 Cyborg Superman
Hank “Henry” Henshaw, created by Dan Jurgens, and Zor- El, created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, are two different takes on Cyborg Superman. Henshaw, a NASA astronaut first appeared as Cyborg Superman in Adventures of Superman #500 in 1993. Zor- El, a Kryptonian rescued by Brainiac first appeared as Cyborg Superman in Supergirl (vol. 60) #21 in 2013. Cyborg Superman is most often seen as a villain of Superman's, but has also taken on Green Lantern and other heros.
Both versions of the supervillain have abilities rather similar to Superman like flight, super strength, super speed, and invulnerability. And both versions of the character have robotic bodies made with advanced technology. Putting two and two together, as they have Superman’s powers and massive hunks of technology connected to their body (and not an ounce of creativity in their somewhat mechanical bodies), the name Cyborg Superman wins over Robot Flying Super Strong Man.
3 Judge Death
The terrifying Judge Death was created back in 1980 by John Wagner and Brian Bolland, and made his debut in 2000 AD #149, and he is literally a corpse. Decomposing body and all, Sidney Death has to be the most disturbing entry on this list. To make it short and not at all sweet, his whole character can be summed up by his philosophy: Living is the biggest crime of all, and “the sentence is death!” During a ritual, he gave up his own living body and traded it for an undead body, just so he couldn’t consider himself a hypocrite.
But did he name himself? Absolutely. He’s a judge (if only to make his love of killing legal) so that explains the first part of his name. As for “Death”, what else but the opposite of the thing he hates most could possibly be more fitting. It’s obvious, and laughable at first, but a run in with this villain could be more terrifying than death itself.
2 Red Skull
Johann Schmidt, better known as Red Skull, was created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. He was one of Captain America’s first arch enemies, making his debut back in 1941 in Captain America Comics #7. Cap has faced off with Red Skull many times over the years, but has no one questioned how simple his name is? Honestly, he might as well named himself Captain Obvious. Schmidt rose up the ranks of the Third Reich, was trained by the heinous dictator himself, Adolf Hitler, and has even gained control over criminal organizations like the Watchdogs and the Scourge of the Underworld, so it’s safe to say he didn’t have the time to come up with a creative name. He’s been too busy being the embodiment of everything evil.
Perhaps Red Skull is a pretty fitting name for the most blood curdling, evil villain in Captain America’s rogues gallery. There’s a chance Hugo Weaving will be back to reprise his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, hopefully in Avengers: Infinity War in 2018.
1 The Purple Man
Created by Stan Lee and Joe Orlando, this Marvel villain first appeared in the 1964 Daredevil #4. Starting as a villain for Daredevil and later becoming the archenemy of Jessica Jones, Kilgrave is a twisted, intelligent, master manipulator. Oh, and he can control minds. Using his powers for pure evil, he is easily one of the most immoral and self serving supervillains around.
After his skin and eyes turn purple, naming himself The Purple Man is fitting, if not the most lazy name on the list. Fully embracing the alias and new look, Kilgrave is often seen wearing expensive, purple luxury suits. With purple being a common color of royalty, it’s easy to assume this villains ego might be just a tiny, little bit inflated. The name Zebediah Kilgrave itself is also pretty bad. There’s even a joke about the character's name choice in the Netflix Original Series Jessica Jones where Jones questions “Was ‘Murdercorpse' already taken?”