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Off My Mind: Should Heroes Be Allowed To Change Names?

How about create an identity and stick with it?


A superhero's name can say a lot about them. Prior to launching a new career as a crimefighter, you really need to give thought to what you're going to call yourself. I believe that once you have chosen a name and have started your career, you should stick with that name. There are some heroes that obviously don't agree with this.
 
Take someone like Hank Pym. How many different names has this guy gone by? He started out as Ant-Man and has also gone by Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, "Doctor Pym" and is currently calling himself the Wasp.
 
Hank's not the only one constantly changing his name. Others that have include Clint Barton, Dick Grayson and Roy Harper. Is changing your superhero name show a sign of failure?
 == TEASER ==
In some cases, a name change could make sense. Like with Dick and Roy, they outgrew their sidekick personas. It wouldn't make sense for a twenty-something Wally West to still call himself "Kid Flash," but then perhaps more thought should have gone into that name to begin with (like when Bart Allen went by "Impulse," even though that didn't last either).
 
Does this mean there should be some exceptions? Obviously with Hank, when he stopped playing with ants and decided to make himself grow, calling himself "Ant-Man" wouldn't make sense. Then again, this is a guy whose superhero name was actually "Doctor Pym" when he was in the West Coast Avengers (and his costume was actually a lab coat with lots of pockets so he could carry shrunken items around).
 
Someone like Iron Man has had several upgrades but still kept the same name (you have to admit that "Iron Man" isn't the cleverest name but it's what he went with and has stuck with it). Creating an identity and sticking with it establishes who you are. Unless you're an incompetent hero, you should build on that reputation. With an established "career," the villains will know that they will be defeated. Civilians can also be relieved when they see a familiar hero coming instead of fearing over yet another masked person showing up. 
 
I say if you're going to create a superhero persona, you need to put some thought into your name (just like you should here on Comic Vine when you create an account). Unless they're undergoing a major overhaul and their "cool" name doesn't match their superpowers any longer, a hero should choose a name and stick with it. (Especially since it causes headaches in our database here as well). Does it matter to you if a hero changes his/her name?
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Posted by Fire-brand
@bingbangboom:  well, ronin makes sense. clint barton had died and come back. he was confused and wasn't sure if he could be hawkeye anymore. Maya had just died fighting Elektra as ronin, and clints first mission with the secret avengers was to go rescue her. after she was resurrected, Maya gave clint the go ahead to stay as ronin for a while. Now that Clint has come to terms with what happened, he is back to being hawkeye.
Posted by gui22
@Cosmic Sentinel: Hey!
Posted by xerox_kitty

I don't have a problem with heroes changing names.  When Vance Astrovic ditched Marvel Boy in favour of Justice, it made sense... and had a better ring to it. 
 
However, I hate it when they pick one that's already been used.   I understand that Gotham needs a Batman, but what's Dick going to go by when Bruce inevtiably returns?  It's unlikely he'll take the step back into Nightwing.  Bart Allen was GREAT as the Impulse.  I hate the fact that some editorial decision was made to turn him into Kid Flash... the Impulse identity was his & his alone & avoided any pointless confusion.  Although I do like how Theresa Cassidy is now going by Banshee in honour of her father, it can still be confusing & sure does seem to be the topic of debate.
 
On the other hand, at least they do pick a name.  Unlike Jean Grey in the 1990's.  The post X-Factor era where she ditched Marvel Girl (again) but didn't want to be identified with the Phoenix.  Was it SO hard to think up a new name for her?! 
 
But I think we have something similar here.  Members can ditch accounts & create new identities for themselves.  We have these internet identities with which we can either hide our true selves, or condense & concentrate our personalities.  But these names & avatars are how people identify us...    

Moderator
Posted by Scarlett Swashbuckler
@whirlwind6 said:
"

I changed my name in real life... It's just hard to make friends when your name is Evil von Hitler....

"
HAHAHA! I was just thinking about that. How many people changed their names from Adolf back post WW2
Posted by Cherry Bomb

I'm not happy with Siryn changing her name too Banshee  !!!!!!!!
 and Jean Grey should have a codename, Marvel Girl was OK, but I didn't like it too much. Phoenix is just a references to how over-powered and terrible she was.

Posted by ComicStooge

Unless it's like a transition from Robin to Nightwing (What Dick Grayson did) I think it's OK.

Posted by Harlekin

Bart should still be name Impulse, there was no reason to turn him into Kid Flash.

Posted by Eyz

I like changes, and evolutions in my characters^^
 
But I gotta admit...
Doctor Pym...
ROCKED! XD

Edited by DEADPOOL

Honestly, I think "Ant-Man" would had still worked when he started to become a giant. I am reminded of the 1950's movie "Them!" where a giant mutated ants attacks humanity.

Posted by rnb

actually dick grayson changed his name because he wanted to be his own man and while he is robin he can't be his own man people will think of him as batman side kick thats why he became nightwing. he became batman because tim didn't want to do it and bruce was lost in time and the world need a batman.