Only True Nerds Know These Superheroes' Real Names

A superhero's real name is just as important as their costumed good guy alter ego. It's their true name. Spider-Man isn't really Spider-Man. Batman isn't really Batman. In their private lives, they have completely different names that they go by. When they put on a mask, they're putting on an act for all the thugs they bust. When they go by their real names, they're themselves.

As Raj pointed out in an episode of The Big Bang Theory, a lot of Marvel Comics characters have alliterative alter egos: Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange etc. But of course, there are exceptions to that, too. They're rare exceptions, but there are exceptions: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, Thor Odinson (that last one is sort of cheating, since it's from Norse mythology and not from Stan Lee's imagination).

Only a real nerd, who actually reads comic books and doesn't just make a tri-annual visit to the movies to watch the latest installments in the MCU, will know the alter ego of all these superheroes. True nerds know the DC universe and the Marvel universe, inside and out, and only they will ace this. So, give this quiz a go before Thanos snaps his fingers again!

Question 1


The first teaser trailer has recently been released for Spider-Man: Far From Home, which will be Tom Holland's second solo outing in the role of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe following 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming. He has also appeared in the role in Captain America: Civil War, which was his MCU debut, and Avengers: Infinity War from last year. The recent animated adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduced a bunch of alternative versions of Spider-Man to moviegoers, including the pig version, Spider-Ham, but this alter ego is used most commonly. What is the alter ego of Spider-Man (the main one)?

Question 2


Batman sometimes goes by the nicknames "the Dark Knight," "the Caped Crusader," and less commonly, "the World's Greatest Detective." He has faced such iconic foes as the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin, and Bane. According to IMDb, the Batman cowl has been donned by such actors as Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck, who currently plays the character in the DC Extended Universe. Affleck's stint began with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and he still has yet to get his own solo movie in that franchise. What is the alter ego of Batman?

Question 3

The Hulk

In a cameo appearance in Kevin Smith's ensemble comedy movie Mallrats, Stan Lee explains that he created the Hulk to deal with his own anger issues, because whenever he is angry, he wants to turn into a big, green ball of rage. Whether or not this is actually true, it does touch on some interesting ideas. Unfortunately, we don't see much of him in the movies. According to Wikipedia, the only reason why Marvel Studios haven't made a new solo Hulk movie is because of rights issues. That's why he was shoehorned into Thor: Ragnarok. What is his alter ego?

Question 4


In the same way that Batman has the nickname "the Dark Knight," Daredevil has been given the nickname "the Man Without Fear" by the residents of Hell's Kitchen. Due to the dark nature of the character, Daredevil could be seen as the Marvel universe's answer to DC's Batman. Netflix had a Daredevil TV series that ran for three seasons. However, according to Variety, the show was canceled by the streaming service a couple of weeks ago after the third season of the show was released, because Disney is working on its own streaming platform. What is the alter ego of Daredevil?

Question 5


Superman has been known alternatively as "the Man of Steel" and "the Last Son of Krypton" based on the fact that he is one of the only survivors of the loss of his planet. The Superman character has been portrayed on the big screen by a bunch of different actors: Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh etc. The role is currently filled by Henry Cavill, who starred in Zack Snyder's 2013 reboot of the Superman film franchise, Man of Steel, and has played the role in the wider DC Extended Universe ever since. What is the alter ego of the Man of Steel?

Question 6

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman had not ever appeared in a theatrical movie before she made her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. In that movie, she was played by Gal Gadot, who has played her in the DC Extended Universe shared film franchise ever since. Now, she is one of the most superheroes in the world. She has since appeared in her own solo movie, Wonder Woman, as well as the ensemble team up Justice League. She will also be reappearing in her second solo movie, Wonder Woman 1984, in 2020. What is Wonder Woman's assumed alter ego?

Question 7

Black Widow

A solo movie has eluded Black Widow for almost an entire decade. Scarlett Johansson's portrayal of the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe began in the franchise's third movie, Iron Man 2. She has since starred in all three Avengers movies and appeared in a couple of Captain America movies. However, according to Cinema Blend, development on a Black Widow solo movie is slowly moving forward, as both a writer and director have been hired for it. According to the article, Marvel is even considering making the movie the MCU's first R rated outing. What is Black Widow's real name?

Question 8

Mr. Fantastic

According to IMDb, Mr. Fantastic has been played on the big screen by Ioan Grufford in the first two movies and Miles Teller in the darker 2015 reboot. If he joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he will be played by yet another actor. According to Wikipedia, the Council of Ricks in the Adult Swim sci fi cartoon comedy Rick and Morty is a parody of the Council of Reeds from the Fantastic Four comics, which is made up of all the Mr. Fantastics from the various different dimensions. What is the real name of Fantastic Four front man Mr. Fantastic?

Question 9


According to Box Office Mojo, Aquaman swooped in at the last minute in December 2018 to become one of the highest grossing movies of the year. Its worldwide haul has been over $1 billion, topping Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Wonder Woman to become the highest grossing movie in the DC Extended Universe so far. Plus, Aquaman's box office total just continues to climb as the movie remains in theaters into the early days of 2019. Jason Momoa has played the character in the DCEU for over two years now. What is the alter ego of DC's Aquaman?

Question 10


In the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, whenever this character tries to tell people that he goes by the intergalactic superhero name "Star-Lord," they just laugh in his face. However, he has stuck to it, and now, after he has appeared in two Guardians of the Galaxy movies and played a major role in the ensemble movie Avengers: Infinity War, that is how he is known to the MCU fan base. The role transformed Chris Pratt from a sitcom star to an action hero of cinema. What is the alter ego of Star-Lord from the Guardians of the Galaxy?

Question 11

Black Panther

According to IndieWire, Black Panther is tipped to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, or at least a nomination. It was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2018 with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97% and a worldwide box office gross of over $1.3 billion (Box Office Mojo). If Black Panther does go on to win the Best Picture award at the 2019 ceremony, which currently has no host, it will be the first ever superhero movie to win one (unless the existential Michael Keaton dramedy Birdman counts as a superhero movie). What is Black Panther's real name?

Question 12

Captain America

Captain America has starred in three solo movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (although one of those, the third one Captain America: Civil War, has been termed Avengers 2.5 by many fans and critics, due to its use of all the Avengers characters in an ensemble story). He is supposed to be the leader of the Avengers, and in many ways, he is. However, due to the immense popularity of Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man, that character is the primary focus of the movies. Still, Cap is the leader. What name did Captain America have before he took on the super soldier serum?

Question 13

The Flash

There are currently two on screen portrayals of the Flash that have been praised by critics. In the DC Extended Universe, Ezra Miller has been praised for his portrayal of a manic, geeky, excitable Flash. According to IMDb, he will be getting his own solo movie in a couple of years, although director changes have stalled it. Meanwhile, Grant Gustin has been praised for his turn as the Flash in his own CW show and in the CW network's shared universe of TV shows based on DC Comics characters. What is the alter ego of the Flash, aka "the Scarlet Speedster"?

Question 14

Green Lantern

There have been a bunch of different Green Lanterns over the years, but this guy is the main one from Earth. An alien crash landed on Earth and this guy found him. He was then given his Power Ring, which made him a new member of the Green Lantern Corps (an intergalactic police force). According to Wikipedia, there will be a new Green Lantern movie in the DC Extended Universe in 2020 that focuses on the extended Green Lantern Corps. It will apparently be a buddy cop movie in the style of something like Lethal Weapon. What is Green Lantern's real name?

Question 15

Iron Man

Iron Man is the character who kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was a comeback for Robert Downey, Jr. as well as a comeback for Marvel, who finally decided to make their own movies in a shared universe. Iron Man needed to be a hit for the MCU to take off, and as hard as it is to believe, he was a relatively obscure character back then. He has since, according to IMDb, played major roles in three solo Iron Man movies, three Avengers movies, Captain America: Civil War, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. The trailer for Avengers: Endgame teases a big role for Iron Man, too. What is the alter ego of Iron Man, who is arguably more famous in his personal life than the superhero?

Question 16

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, was one of the lesser known Marvel Comics characters before Benedict Cumberbatch came along to play him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least in the mainstream. But now, thanks to the Sherlock star playing him in a 2016 solo movie, 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, and 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, he is one of the best known and most popular superhero characters in the world. According to Wikipedia, Doctor Strange was one of the few characters on which Stan Lee was not the sole creator; artist Steve Ditko helped. What is the alter ego of Doctor Strange?

Question 17


There is a debate over whether or not Catwoman can even be considered a hero. In most of the Batman stories that she is depicted in, she is a villain, or at least starts off as a villain and later joins forces with the Bat. At the very least, she is an antihero, but then that term could also apply to Batman himself. According to IMDb, Catwoman has been portrayed on the big screen by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, Halle Berry in a solo Catwoman movie, and Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises. What is the alter ego of Catwoman?

Question 18


The Merc with a Mouth was not faithfully adapted for the big screen until 2016, but he did previously appear in the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine alongside Hugh Jackman's Logan back in 2009. However, a character known for cracking wise and breaking the fourth wall had his mouth sewed up and was trapped within all four walls in that movie. After fans campaigned and Ryan Reynolds worked hard to convince them, Fox executives finally allowed a truly faithful adaptation of the character to be made. It was rated R and became a huge box office hit. What is Deadpool's alter ego?

Question 19


Batgirl's alter ego is the daughter of the police commissioner who works in Gotham City and often helps out Batman by cutting him a little slack. He's the one who implemented the Bat Signal that alerts the Caped Crusader to any trouble in the city. His daughter taking on the Batgirl mantle ensured her a place in the Batman family forever, fighting crime alongside Batman and Robin and even the Justice League. According to Wikipedia, Joss Whedon was hired by Warner Bros. recently to direct a Batgirl movie for the DC Extended Universe. What is the alter ego of Batgirl?

Question 20

The Human Torch

The casting of Chris Evans as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was confusing to some at first, because he had already played a Marvel Comics character in the Fantastic Four movies. But now, eight years into his stint as Cap in the MCU, it is hard to remember that he was ever seen as a different superhero character by the general public. According to IMDb, the character has since been played by Michael B. Jordan of Creed and Fruitvale Station in the 2015 reboot, and even he has gone on to join the MCU as the villain in Black Panther. What is the Human Torch's alter ego?

Question 21

Green Arrow

Among Green Arrow's nicknames are "The Emerald Archer" and "The Battling Bowman," according to Wikipedia. He had been a relatively obscure character in the DC Comics universe until the grounded TV adaptation Arrow came along on the CW network. Thanks to the success of Arrow, the network has been able to craft its own little shared universe of TV shows based on DC Comics characters. They have The Flash, Supergirl (which had originally aired on CBS before being snatched up by the CW), Legends of Tomorrow, and the universe keeps expanding with each new success. What is Green Arrow's alter ego?

Question 22


Halle Berry was one of the huge movie stars in the early X-Men movies who have since been replaced by younger actors for the prequels and time travel stories. According to IMDb, the other movie stars in the cast include Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, and Famke Janssen. Storm is an icon in the comics, as her ability to control the weather has come in handy a bunch of times over the years. Storm is also heavily involved in Professor X's mutant school as a teacher. What is the alter ego of the weather controlling mutant Storm?

Question 23

The Punisher

Thomas Jane played the Punisher on the big screen before Jon Bernthal's rendition came along in the Netflix adaptation of the Daredevil character. He was introduced as a supporting character in the second season of that show, but he proved to be so popular that he was soon given his own spin off series. The Punisher is one of the darker Marvel characters whose stories tend to be more mature, so some critics have said that he works better in a gritty small screen crime drama than a big budget theatrically released movie. What is the alter ego of the Punisher?

Question 24


This guy is often made fun of for being perceived as the most useless of all the Avengers. While Thor is a god and Iron Man has all kinds of gadgets in his rocket powered science suit, this guy just has a bow and arrow. Some of the arrowheads have bombs on them, but that's no match for the Hulk or Vision. Still, Jeremy Renner's performance as the character has been praised by critics and it has made him a star, winning him starring roles in movies like The Bourne Legacy. What is the alter ego of the archer Hawkeye?

Question 25


Cyborg is by far one of the most obscure characters in the DC Comics universe, especially when compared to the iconic likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash. However, that should all be changing pretty soon. According to IMDb, Cyborg is getting his own solo movie in the DC Extended Universe in 2020, following his debut in a cameo role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and then a larger role in the ensemble movie Justice League. Ray Fisher has been playing the character in the movies. What is the alter ego of the Justice League member Cyborg?

Question 26


2018's Deadpool 2 introduced moviegoers to the Cable character from the Marvel Comics universe for the first time. According to IMDb, he was played by Josh Brolin, who made his name as a teen actor playing the role of Brand in the adventure comedy classic The Goonies. In that movie, Cable travels back in time to prevent an apocalyptic event that put his family in jeopardy. The Merc with a Mouth gets in his way, and so a heroic character is framed as a villain. What is the real name of the time traveling mercenary Cable from the X-Men comics?

Question 27

Iron Fist

According to BBC News, Iron Fist was the first of the Netflix shows based on Marvel Comics characters to be canceled. The show managed to make it to two seasons. In the months since then, both Luke Cage and Daredevil have been canceled, too. At least Daredevil made it to season 3. Luke Cage also only had two seasons. And not only that, according to The Independent, actress Deborah Ann Woll (who plays Karen Page in Netflix's Marvel shows) expects the new second season of The Punisher to be its last. What is the alter ego of Marvel's Immortal Iron Fist character?

Question 28

Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a part of a pair. She and her brother Quicksilver were shown to have been involved in experiments being conducted by HYDRA and that's where they got their powers from. While Quicksilver didn't make it past his first feature length appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scarlet Witch has gone on being a major player in the Avengers movies and in films like Captain America: Civil War in the years since. Elizabeth Olsen, the sister of the Olsen twins, plays her, according to IMDb. What is Scarlet Witch's alter ego?

Question 29

Professor X

According to IMDb, Professor X has been played simultaneously by two actors in the same series of movies, thanks to the prequel stories and time travel elements in the movies. Those actors are James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart. This character has named himself Professor X as a telekinetic and telepathic superhero and named the team of mutant superheroes that he leads the X-Men, purely by virtue of his last name starting with the letter "X." What is the real name of the character who goes by Professor X when he is busy saving the world with his team of mutants?

Question 30

The Invisible Woman

It was perhaps the star power of Jessica Alba and her performance as the Invisible Woman in the original Fantastic Four movie that made it a big enough hit to warrant a sequel. She took a larger role in the sequel, too. The sequel was called The Rise of the Silver Surfer, and it was her character who developed the closest relationship with the misunderstood Silver Surfer character. The role was taken on by The Martian's Kate Mara for the 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four movies, according to IMDb. What is the alter ego of the Human Torch's sister, the Invisible Woman?

Question 31


Venom has been portrayed as a villain in Spider-Man comics, but he has also been portrayed as a hero, or at least an antihero, in certain stories. The blockbuster hit solo movie about the character became one of the highest grossing movies of 2018, according to IMDb, with a worldwide gross of over $800 million. Tom Hardy played the character in that movie, but the character had previously been played by Topher Grace back in 2007 when he was a villain in the movie Spider-Man 3. What is the alter ego of the antihero and part time Spider-Man villain Venom?

Question 32


The Supergirl origin story involves Superman's cousin being put into the pod that took him to Earth. She is actually stronger and more powerful than he is, which is surprising to some passive superhero fans. Those passive fans might assume Superman to be the most powerful superhero in the DC Comics universe. Supergirl has her own popular TV series on the CW network alongside Arrow. Supergirl's alter ego is not actually her real name. Her real name is Kryptonian, but her human name was given to her by the human couple who adopted her. What is the assumed name of Supergirl?

Question 33


The Ant-Man suit has been taken on by a few characters in Marvel Comics' history. The first one was Hank Pym, who first created the shrinking technology for the super suit using his Pym Particles. However, when he became too old to be a superhero, he hung up the suit and gave it to a younger guy. This is the character that Paul Rudd plays in Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the upcoming Avengers: Endgame? What is the alter ego of Ant-Man as Paul Rudd plays him in the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Question 34


Chloe Grace Moretz played this character in two movies alongside Aaron Taylor Johnson, Christopher Mintz Plasse, and in the first one, Nicolas Cage. One controversial scene in the first movie is part of what helped to make her a big star, since that scene (and particularly the word she says in it) was all over the press. According to Wikipedia, a spin-off movie is in development that will focus on Hit-Girl and her father, Big Daddy, with Nicolas Cage reprising his role from the first Kick-Ass movie. What is the alter ego of Hit-Girl in her second life as a high school student?

Question 35

Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd is a little like Deadpool in that he was unfaithfully adapted for the big screen, which was then rectified by another producer. The first Judge Dredd movie in the '90s toned down the material for a PG-13 rating. Then the 2012 reboot, to fix this, went all out with an R rating. Judge Dredd, the ruthless defender of the dystopian future city of Mega City One in the 2000 AD comic books, has been played by Sylvester Stallone and Karl Urban in separate movies. What is the real name of Judge Dredd when he's not going by his "Judge" title?

Question 36

Mr. Incredible

In 2018, Brad Bird finally gave the world the sequel to The Incredibles that Pixar fans had eagerly awaited for over a decade. It became one of the highest grossing movies of the year, according to Box Office Mojo, with a worldwide box office total of over $1 billion. Critics praised both movies for their blending of superhero characters and motifs and iconography and the more relatable family situations. The success of the movies is that this is a real family, just like any of ours, except they all have super powers. What is the alter ego of Mr. Incredible?

Question 37


According to IGN, Christian Bale has always been a vocal critic of Robin and once said that if Robin had popped up in any of The Dark Knight movies, he would have refused to come to work. Despite this, there was that Easter egg with Joseph Gordon Levitt's character John Blake who turned out to be called Robin at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. He also finds the Batcave in Batman's absence, suggesting that maybe Robin was going to take over his duties. What is the alter ego of Robin (or at least the first incarnation of Robin)?

Question 38

War Machine

As a name, War Machine has been used by a few different projects and groups. It is the name of a song by the hard rock band AC/DC and it is also the title of a satirical movie on Netflix starring Brad Pitt. But thanks to Don Cheadle and his turn in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the best known use of the name is the Marvel Comics character. He is Iron Man's sidekick who also uses one of his suits. Iron Man is also the name of a song by a heavy metal band (Black Sabbath), so both of these guys share their names with metal songs, which is fitting since they're the metal suit wearing Avengers. What is the alter ego of Iron Man's buddy War Machine?

Question 39

Ghost Rider

Along with Daredevil and the Punisher, Ghost Rider makes up a part of the small corner of the Marvel Comics universe that is populated by darker characters. However, Ghost Rider was not given his own Netflix show along with all the other dark Marvel characters to get them into the MCU leading up to the miniseries The Defenders. Instead, he was introduced into the ABC series Agents of SHIELD. He was the star of two movies in which he was played by Nicolas Cage: Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. What is the stuntman alter ego of Ghost Rider?

Question 40

The Thing

The Thing arguably gets the most from the cosmic storm that gives the Fantastic Four their powers. While Mr. Fantastic becomes stretchy, the Human Torch can safely set himself on fire at will, and the Invisible Woman gains the ability to turn invisible and create force fields, they can go back to their usual selves without using those powers. But the Thing is stuck being the Thing, an orange rock monster, for the rest of his life. Still, he has found a way to make it work. What is the alter ego of the Fantastic Four's rocky cohort, the Thing?

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