[Word Cloud] Comic book superhero names

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It’s been a while since I had this idea, but I struggled to find a good corpus of names to work with. Comicvine has a nice list of characters in comics, but it would have taken a lot of manual processing to make sure the end result was not full of “McDuck”.

I stumbled across superheronames.net, a fan-curated list of favorite superhero names, and this seemed a decent compromise. I extracted all the names that fans had given four or five stars, separated them into morphemes (so Batman becomes “bat” and “man”), compiled a frequency list, made a shaped word cloud with a comic-style font at tagxedo, did a little phosohopping, and voila.

No surprises that Man, Captain and Girl are most highly represented (and you can draw your own conclusions about Girl being more common than Woman). A co-worker I showed this to pointed out there are some interestingly serendipitous names that can be made from the way the algorithm put the morphemes together on this graphic: “Super fire she lad”, “America devil ice”, “Princess cat bird hawk”. I would totally buy those comics.

I’ve posted the names I used in this Google doc. It’s rather imperfect; if anyone has any better suggestions for a corpus, I would be very interested to hear them.

Word cloud created using Tagxedo.

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