Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Not being a comics expert, I can't be sure, but I think this applies mostly to Marvel comics.

Why do so many characters have double initials? There's Pepper Potts, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Peter Parker and I think at some times there was Bruce Banner (when it wasn't David Banner).

Is this an inside joke or is there some reasoning for this?

share|improve this question
1  
And if I'm right and this is just Marvel, let me know so I can add the marvel-comics tag. –  Tango Jan 20 '12 at 1:38
6  
Lex Luthor, Lana Lang, Lois Lane, Clark Kent (yeah there's a C, but it sounds like a K!). –  Keen Jan 20 '12 at 2:03
10  
You just saw that Big Bang Theory episode didn't ya? –  cambraca Jan 20 '12 at 3:23
3  
It's called alliteration –  apoorv020 Jan 20 '12 at 5:02
8  
The search query that led me here "Does stan lee name ubuntu releases ?" (I use ddg.gg) –  JaDogg Dec 3 '13 at 4:16

4 Answers 4

up vote 29 down vote accepted

Given the fact that Stan Lee was the writer and co-creator across so many of the titles and characters at the formative years of Marvel Comics, it was a way for him to make it easier to remember them when writing and fleshing out the scripts.

Here's a snippet of a Q&A with Stan Lee around the premier of Spider-Man 2 that explains it all:

And we can chalk up all the alliterative names in the Marvel universe to Stan Lee's one failing. "It would be hard for you to believe this, because I seem so perfect: I have the worst memory in the world," Stan said. "So I finally figured out, if I could give somebody a name, where the last name and the first name begin with the same letter, like Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Matt Murdock, then if I could remember one name, it gave me a clue what the other one was, I knew it would begin with the same letter."

If you want to look at DC Comics, and in particular Superman, it may have been due to a personal romantic connection of Joe Shuster, one of Superman's co-creators:

What is the L. L. connection for Superman?
A remarkably large number of characters in the comics have the initials L. L. Most notable are Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Lana Lang, and Lori Lemaris. A rumor says that these names were chosen because Joe Shuster's first girlfriend had the initials L. L.

share|improve this answer
6  
I will never, ever, be mature enough to not giggle at Lex Luthor being on that list. –  Zibbobz Oct 16 '14 at 14:30
1  
@Zibbobz Your comment made me giggle! –  Mooz Oct 16 '14 at 20:55
    
@Zibbobz add in the fact Lex and Clark are both Superboy's biological parents ;) –  Brouellette Mar 9 at 4:36

WARNING: TVTROPES ALERT!!!

From "AlliterativeName" article on TVTropes (having a name with the same first and last letter is called "Alliterative Name"):

In comic books, this is especially true of the names of superheroes or their close hangers-on. It was a favorite tool of Stan Lee's, since, swarmed with projects, he often had trouble remembering the characters' names, and the alliteration worked as a mnemonic device. (Though it didn't always work perfectly — Lee occasionally referred to "Peter Palmer" and "Bob Banner".)

In comic books, the Alliterative Name is often also "Two First Names". In cartoons, it goes hand-in-hand with "Species Surname".

share|improve this answer
    
I expected to see a particular reference about names with the same initials in TVTropes, but was sadly disappointed. Don't make me elaborate. Anyway, your warning was too late. Now I must spend the next hour trapped inside TVTropes. –  Andres F. Jan 20 '12 at 2:17
    
Accio Andres... –  DVK Jan 20 '12 at 2:27
2  
+1 for TVTropes Alert! :-) –  PhilPursglove Jan 20 '12 at 13:07

I think he just did that to remember easier and its cool Bruce banner, sue storm, reed Richards , peter parker , pepper Potts, and the one no body thought of THE THING

share|improve this answer
2  
ok, ok... +1 for "THE THING" –  yrodro Oct 16 '14 at 14:28

Because Alliteration is fun! Also when you're working in a larger comic book universe with a complex plot and multiple important major and minor characters I would imagine alliterated names assist the reader in remembering who's who (especially when characters come and go all the time).As a writer myself, I often use Alteration in names as a way to assist readers (and myself occasionally) in remembering those characters- especially if they are relatively minor characters as these catchy names are unique and act as a kind of mnemonic:)

share|improve this answer
    
Welcome to the site, @Anna W.! The purpose of the site is to provide clear, and if possible, definitive answers to questions. While we have chat rooms, the site is not intended as a discussion site or for speculation on possible reasons for an answer. –  Tango Mar 9 at 4:57
    
You may be 100% correct that this is the reason why. Do you have any quotes you can cite from any Marvel comics creators backing up this idea? –  phantom42 Mar 9 at 5:03

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.