Hero name or civilian name?

when you think about your comics, the stories you’ve read the situations the characters are in, maybe even the games you play (DC Universe online) Do you think about the characters you read in terms of their hero names or their civilian names?

For instance, seeing a Flash comic on the shelf, Do you look at the cover and say “How’s Flash doing these days or do you think, What’s Barry gotten himself into now?” (or Wally, or Jay)

I mean, Just before Nightwing was shot, I looked at the cover of Batman and thought, It’s nice to see Bruce and Dick working together again!

I hardly ever think Flash this or Superman that or Batman the other thing anymore,
When I was a kid I always thought of the characters by their hero names but now, they’re just the titles of the magazines and the Heroes are Bruce Clark, Diana, J’onn, Ted, Tora, Bea, Wally, Rex, Buddy, Kyle, Arthur, etc etc…
(I think the only exception is Booster Gold who I call Booster instead of Michael…

anyone else?

1 Like

I guess I would consider a mix of the 2. For example Batman, not Bruce Wayne; Dick Grayson, not Nightwing/Robin. Probably the majority by their Hero names, though.

Certainly most of the heroes who have been several individuals would be by name. To continue with the examples above Robin would always be Dick, Todd, Cassandra, etc to differentiate which Robin is in question. But Batman would always just be Batman because of the hard identification to Bruce. That, even though Dick, Azrael, and others have filled the role on occasion.

Interesting question. I’ll have to pay closer attention. :+1:


I usually tend more to the real names, but not always. Batman’s usually Bruce, Robin’s usually Dick, or Jay, or Tim, or Damian, or whoever.

Superman is sometimes Superman, but usually Kal. If I’m talking about Dean Cain, it’s almost always “Clark,” but almost every other version of the character usually only gets “Clark” if he’s in specs and civvies.

Let’s see, I think Wonder Woman is kind of clunky, and I try to use it more, but “Diana” just kind of seems more natural, doesn’t it?

One example of a character I almost never use the super-name for: Scott Free. And one I almost never use the real name for: Cyborg. There’s other examples like that all over the map.


I usually go by civilian names unless its a character like Bruce that thinks of himself as Batman.

Though I also do call characters from Team books like Titans, doom patrol, outsiders etc. by their hero names as well.

Depends on what I’m thinking or talking about. If it’s, say, a fight with Doomsday, I’ll probably be using “Superman”. If it’s a moment with Lois, probably “Clark”.


Depends a lot on the situation. Or what the person they may have been interacting with called them. With typing it’s usually the shorter one (or what’s in my suggested when typing).

For me personally I tend to think of their name if someone else has held the same role (for a significant amount of time), like Robin or GL, but for hero’s like Batman or Superman I usually just think of their hero name.


Not quite what the topic is about but does anyone else think it’s weird how Artemis in YJ just goes by Artemis :joy: Is she the only hero to just use her real name as her what does dick call it nom de plume?

1 Like

I’ve always thought that was weird… and not particularly helpful in hiding one’s identity. A similarly dumb choice would be to go by, let’s say, your last name (cough Drake cough). I’d think that, when choosing to “hide” your identity, you should start by not use your actual name… but perhaps she’s going for the reverse psychology route :joy: