Alliteration has been common in literature for a long time. It was used by Chaucer and so on, and apparently back to the Greeks. I'm aware of it at least since Shakespeare led me up the "primrose path".
Alliterative character names were used, for instance by Dickens
- Nicholas Nickleby
- Clara Copperfield
- Flora Finching
Alliteration is one way to make a name or a passage of text more memorable. For that reason it is often used in advertising, e.g., "Chuckee Cheese".
Many authors have learnt its use deliberately or accidentally. It seems to be used more in comics, but that might be misleading because we remember the alliterative names better. For instance the analysis at
suggests that alliterative names in comics are only a little more common that in real names.
Stan Lee's quote implied that he used it just for his own memory. But I think he was being a little self-deprecating. I think he knew what he was doing. I was reading some old stuff a little while ago and came across the following:
Okay Tiger... we've introduced our capricious characters... defined our halcyon hero's sinister mission on Earth... and set the scene for one of the most senses-shattering melees that even Gentleman Gene Golan ever drew! So, don't miss the pulse-pounding pay-off in Marvel Super-Heroes #14...
Stan Lee, Marvel Super-Heroes #14
I think Stan understood the advantage of alliteration all-too accurately.
I don't think he was just copying -- I think he (like many authors) was exposed to many sources where it was used, and unconsciously absorbed it as a tool, rather than stealing the idea from one source.
And the results have been very memorable.