L’Uomo Pipistrello (Italian-Language Thoughts)

A quick update: you’ve probably been on the edge of your seat the last week or so, wondering if I’d find out if there’s an Italian equivalent of calling Batman The Bat or The Batman.

Well, I’ve been slowly making my through Batman: Anno Uno, and finally, close to the end, I’ve discovered the answer. Continue reading

What Makes a Superhero Super?

As I alluded to yesterday, I recently saw Spider-man Homecoming with my nephews. It made me think again about superhero names. I touched on them briefly before, thinking about how straightforward they are. The majority of the most popular ones are simple compound nouns, featuring an adjective or noun that defines the character, followed by man or woman (or girl). Spider-man. Batman. Superman. Wonder Woman, etc. The practical, pragmatic explanation for this is to make the characters easily recognisable, and not confused for a rival publisher’s characters. That’s why, after all, Spider-man has his hyphen.

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“Look out, he’s got a hyphen!”

Why does Spider-man have a hyphen in his name? You might not have noticed it before, perhaps because most superheroes don’t have hyphenated names, and you assume the same is true of Spider-man. Bat-man. Iron-man. The-Incredible-Hulk. Doesn’t really work, does it? And yet you’ve probably never noticed Spider-man’s hyphen. Until now. Now, you can’t help but notice it and the name looks weird now, doesn’t it (Spiderman, or Spider Man not being weird at all, of course)? Continue reading