13 Great STAN LEE Marvel Character Names

A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: Stan the Man was born 100 years ago on Dec. 28, 1922…


What’s in a name?

(If that’s not a cliched way to start an article about names, I don’t know what is.)

As a fiction writer, the naming of characters is very near and dear to me. I like to put some thought into the event, choosing names that mean something more than just how the characters introduce themselves to each other. I like to come up with memorable names that resonate beyond a superficial label to distinguish “Joe” from “Bob.”

In this I take some inspiration from the late, great Stan Lee. Names aren’t something Stan is often recognized for, but he definitely created more than a few that resoundingly resonate and impart a deeper meaning. I like to think names were as important to him as a writer as they are to me.

Today, I’m honored to present a list of 13 Stan Lee Marvel character names on the Man’s 100th birthday.

So, by Doom, the Destroyer, and the Dread Dormammu, let’s get started…

(NOTE: I’m well aware of the ad nauseum debates over attribution of creation when it comes to Stan but suffice to say these are all names he’s at the very least the co-creator of, and besides, there are much better venues for such arguments than here. This is, after all, a birthday celebration for one of the most important figures in the history of comic books. Excelsior!)

The Storm Siblings. When you’re searching for a name for a hot-headed teenager with a zest for action and a penchant for destruction, “Johnny Storm” is just about the most perfect moniker ever. Add to that the punchy alliteration of “Sue Storm” and you have one of the best brother-sister adventure duos in comics.

Jack Kirby and George Klein

Ben Grimm. The Thing’s my most favorite Marvel character, and part of that stems from his name. It says “stony” as much as it says, well, “grim,” and borrowing the surname of a famous set of fable-telling brothers don’t hurt none, either. You might say it’s a clobberin’ name…

Kirby and Chic Stone

Skrulls. Short, sweet, and memorable, kind of like the alien race themselves. Plus, it sounds like “skull” and brings along all the baggage associated with that word.

Kirby and Klein

Ronan the Accuser. Stan always had a knack for adding a title to a name for a double-header of a game. This is one of the very best of those in my estimation. You get out of this guy’s way by only hearing his name.

Kirby and Joe Sinnott

Peter Parker. Stan and his alliteration… but this one is genius. There’s something about it that puts across Pete’s naivete, but also his inner strength. Pretty amazing when you think about it.

Kirby and Steve Ditko

Gwen Stacy. Much like “Peter Parker,” I think Gwen’s name says everything about her that’s necessary to know. You might not think that two girl’s names would indicate strength, but somehow it works. One of the greatest of Stan’s.


J. Jonah Jameson. Stan’s civilian names might stand head and shoulders above his superhero and villain names. Jolly Jonah’s indicates a note of foolishness, a man who wants respect, but will forever be a source of mockery.


Pepper Potts. Sorry, but we’re still on the civilian names. This one confused me when I was younger, because I would never have thought of saying freckles were like pepper. Regardless, I just recently discovered a “pepperpot” is a spicy stew. Stan’s Pepper certainly went on to spice up Tony Stark’s life.

Kirby, Don Heck and poss. Ditko

Black Widow. This one was a revival from the earlier Timely Comics, but I think Stan was pretty shrewd to repurpose it for a Russian femme fatale who, without powers, gave Iron Man a run for his money.

Kirby and Paul Reinman

Unicorn. Kind of brave and bold of Stan to attach the name of a fairy tale creature to a master villain. Must have something to do with the horn…

Kirby and Dick Ayers

Crimson Dynamo. Gonna go out on a limb here and state that this one is the epitome of everything that was fun and funky about the early Marvel Universe. What a great name.

Kirby and Ayers

The Abomination. Pretty sure a Marvel comic was the first place I ever came across the word, and I owe that to Stan, I guess. Such a great name, full of punch and power.

Gil Kane

Dormammu. Need I say more? ‘Nuff said, True Believers!



— The TOP 13 MARVEL CHARACTERS Co-Created by LARRY LIEBER. Click here.

— 13 GROOVY THINGS About Jim Starlin’s CAPTAIN MARVEL #32. Click here.

JIM BEARD has pounded out adventure fiction since he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. He’s gone on to write official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comics stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history. His prose work includes his own creations, but also licensed properties such as Planet of the Apes, X-Files, Spider-Man, Kolchak the Night Stalker and Captain Action. In addition, Jim provided regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, for 17 years.

Check out his latest releases: Rising Sun Reruns, about classic Japanese shows on American TV; a Green Hornet novella How Sweet the Sting; his first epic fantasy novel The Nine Nations Book One: The Sliding World; and the most recent Batman ’66 books of essays he’s edited: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season OneBiff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Two and Oooff! Boff! Splatt! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season Three.

He’s also published novels about a character very much like G.I. Joe (and Big Jim and Action Jackson): DC Jones – Adventure Command International.


Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Great column Jim. May I suggest a column of oaths and curses. Dr Strange and Thor might have the lead in that race. Lee was a master of alliteration for nearly each hero and villain. He definitely expanded my vocabulary.

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  2. Yo, dude —

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    • Galactus is a great name! Could definitely have made the list.

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