Superhero names come in all shapes, sizes, forms, and descriptions. Some heroes use animals to describe themselves while others describe themselves with awe-inspiring adjectives. Spider, super, bat, wonder, power, and more! Traditionally, however, there’s one way that superheroes define themselves that’s more common than animals and adjectives combined…colors.
Superheroes have been naming themselves using colors for as long as there have been superheroes. Some of the most influential heroes of all time make use of color to describe themselves. Some of them, arguably the greatest of them all, can be found on this list. Let’s take a look at our list of the 10 best superheroes with color in their name!
10. Blue Beetle
For the purpose of this list, I will focus on Jamie Reyes. Blue Beetle would easily rank higher on this list if not for Jamie’s unwillingness to give up control to the Scarab. Even at a percentage of his power, Blue Beetle is a force to be reckoned with. The Scarab that gives Jamie his power grafted itself onto his spine. Although it’s always there, it typically surfaces when it senses Jamie is in danger. When this happens, it generates and encases Jamie in a high-tech suit of armor.
With the armor around him, the Scarab is able to mold itself into almost anything. Most commonly, it molds itself into swords, shields, energy cannons, and other weapons capable of mass destruction. The Scarab is also able to discharge magic-neutralizing energy from Jamie’s hands, force extra-dimensional objects to appear, grant flight, and if the situation calls for it, transform itself and Jamie into Infiltrator Mode. When in this mode, the suit grows taller, adds bulk, and fights without any sort of conscious input from Jamie.
9. Booster Gold
Booster Gold…the world’s greatest futuristic superhero…with prior knowledge of everything that’s about to happen. Booster Gold…the superhero who stole most of the devices and gadgets that makes him super. And Booster Gold…one of my comic book characters from the future. Booster Gold is what happens when a down-on-his-luck former college football star takes a job at a museum and learns what it means to do good in the world. With the help of Rip Hunter’s Time Sphere, a Legion Flight Ring, Brainiac 5’s Force Field Belt, and a Power Suit, Booster Gold traveled back to the present day and began thwarting crimes that already happened.
After successfully stopping a few of them, the world took notice and began hailing him as their next savior. Sensing he was destined for more, he embraced his role as a crime fighter and the rest, as they say, is history. While Booster Gold may not have as reputable a beginning as some other heroes, he is one of my superheroes with colors in their name.
8. Red Tornado
Debuting more than 55 years ago, Red Tornado is one of DC’s most recognizable superheroes. In his first appearance, Red Tornado was not the android being that he’s known as today. In fact, the original Red Tornado was a middle-aged housewife who took it upon herself to rid the world of crime in places where the police had failed. Over time, this changed and Red Tornado was transformed into an android capable of controlling and manipulating the wind.
His wind manipulation allows him to create cyclone-type gusts. These gusts permit him to fly, at super speed, and wind storm creation. Because he’s an android, he also possesses superhuman strength, intellect, and durability. Further to these, he also has access to computers thereby making him one of the smartest beings in DC.
Red Tornado joined the Justice League of America in Justice League of America #106. This issue came out in August 1973. He was by Gardner Fox and Dick Dillin and debuted as Red Tornado in August of 1968.
7. Black Canary
Dinah is the daughter of Larry Lance and Dinah Drake. Because her mother was the original Black Canary, Dinah grew up surrounded by various members of the Justice Society of America (J.S.A). Growing up in the presence of J.S.A. members had an effect on Dinah. That is, being around Superheroes made Dinah want to become one. Although her mother strongly disapproved, Dinah persisted. She sought out former members of the J.S.A. to teach and train her. After years of training with the likes of Wildcat, Lady Shiva, and Wonder Woman, Dinah took over the title of Black Canary. From there she took to the streets and began her assault on crime.
No different from her mother, Dinah also possesses the Canary Cry. Different from her mother (Silver Age version), Dinah is able to control it. When used, the Canary Cry is a devastating superpower. Not only can it destroy both organic and inorganic objects, but it can also cause death. More impressively, it can cause ears to bleed from over 600 miles away. The Canary Cry also gives Dinah the ability to fly.
6. Silver Surfer
The Silver Surfer is imbued with the Power Cosmic. With it, he’s given superhuman endurance, and strength, and is able to both absorb and manipulate the Universe’s ambient energy. He’s also able to travel across time and space and knows nearly no limit to the speed by which he can do either. In addition, he does not need sleep and projects energy in whichever way he wants. This means that he can destroy planets, create forcefields, heal those around him, create interdimensional portals, manipulate and phase through solid matter, and can control the astral plane.
If the above isn’t enough, he can also see through time, perceive past and future events, can influence human emotion and thoughts, and possesses telepathy. None of that, however, is why he’s on this list of superheroes with colors in their name. Instead, he’s here because he gave Marvel an avenue to explore something that they really had done too well before him…the cosmos.
5. Scarlet Witch
Of all the superheroes with colors in their name, none are arguably as infamous as the Scarlet Witch. Not only did she nearly destroy the entire mutant population, but she’s also one of a few beings in Marvel known as Nexus beings.
Nexus Beings are extremely rare beings in the Marvel Multiverse. So rare, in fact, that only one exists in, and two cannot take form in the same reality. Each Nexus Being is viewed as the mystical cornerstone of their reality and the entirety of the Multiverse is held together through them. Their power allows them to alter time and space itself. Because they’re so powerful, they’re watched over by some of the most powerful cosmic entities in existence.
When Wanda first appeared she was a mutant capable of changing the probability of events happening. Over time, however, she learned that she could also rewrite worlds and realities however she saw fit. The most famous example of this is the 2005 crossover event House of M. In it, she changed reality so that mutants and not humans were the dominant race.
4. Green Arrow
Both Green Arrow and Aquaman were introduced in More Fun Comic #73. Of the two, Green Arrow became an instant hit. Oliver Queen was an orphan, playboy, and millionaire, who, while traveling the world, fell out of his yacht. Using his smarts, he crafted a bow and arrow from wood, stone, and some nearby vines. He quickly became an expert with the weapon and learned to make trick arrows. Of them, the most impressive was a net arrow to catch fish and a drill arrow, fashioned from stone, vines, wood, and the elastic from his socks.
After months of isolation, he saw a ship that had docked at his island. Upon closer inspection, he saw that a mutiny threatened the lives of the ship’s crew and took it upon himself to save them. He proceeded to smear anchor grease around his eyes (as a mask) and then, using his special arrows, save the crew. As repayment for his efforts, the crew took him back to the mainland where he devoted his life to serving society as the Green Arrow.
Once home, he used his resources to create trick arrows and vehicles to fight crime. Eventually, he found out that his company, Queen Industries, was manufacturing weapons. This discovery caused him to renounce his fortune and take to street life to protect the working class.
3. Jean Grey
Say what you want about the perpetual cycle of life and death she lives in, as one of the many superheroes with red hair, there’s no one like her. Jean Grey’s story begins inside the pages of X-Men #1 in September of 1963. She was created by the legendary duo of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Like all of the other characters introduced in that book, Jean Grey is a mutant.
As a mutant, Jean is one of the most respected and feared characters in the Marvel Universe. Her power set grants her telepathy, mind reading, telekinesis, and the ability to create telekinetic weapons. Jean Grey is also a powerful empath. As an empath, she can feel the pain of others and causes others to feel the pain they’ve inflicted. Jean reached her full potential after bonding with the Phoenix Force. It was after this that she became one of the most feared entities in all comics.
2. Green Lantern
John Stewart isn’t only one of the most important superheroes with colors in their name, but he’s also one of the most important superheroes ever created. John Stewart is arguably one of the greatest tactical minds to ever wear a Green Lantern Ring. As a one-time architect turned U.S. Marine, John was initially given the ring as a way to back up Hal Jordan should Hal not be able to perform his duties.
Whereas most Green Lanterns build hollow constructs with their Rings, because John is architecturally inclined, his constructs are created from the inside out. That is, they are solids blocks built with every last screw, nail, nut, washer, and fastener considered.
John famously became the first member of the Ultraviolet Lantern Corps. Different from the other Lantern Corps, the Ultraviolet Lanterns draw their power from the Invisible Emotional Spectrum. More specifically, they draw it from the heart of the spectrum, Umbrax. This means that their power doesn’t waiver depending on how controlled their emotions are. Because John is one of the greatest Green Lanterns in history, he was able to overcome Umbrax and wield the Ultraviolet Spectrum under his own will.
1. Black Panther
In July of 1966, 28 years after the introduction of Superman, Marvel Comics gave us the first story of Black Panther. Black Panther first appeared in Fantastic Four issue number 52 and set the groundwork for industry-wide change that comic books so desperately needed.
Since their creation, comic books have played integral parts in popular culture. They echo real-world tragedies, and discuss things that matter, all the while giving their readers glimpses into the lives of that which we don’t understand. Comic books have the ability to teach popular culture in a way that history books simply cannot. The X-Men have talked about prejudice, phobias, and discrimination. Green Arrow has spent time discussing drug use and the way it impacts lives. And the story of Black Panther is no different.
He came at a time of civil unrest and gave a population of people the hero that was deserved…and he did it as one of the greatest superheroes with black hair.
Hailing from the fictional African nation of Wakanda, Black Panther has become one of the premiere heroes in all comics. What makes him so important isn’t necessarily that he was an original thought or that he has any sort of special abilities. Instead, what makes him so important is twofold. First, his backstory and abilities were unlike anything that comic books had ever seen. And second, he was Marvel’s first mainstream black hero.