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William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

How come superheros who have military ranks as part of their name are usually Captains? Captain America, Captain Marvel, Captain Mar-Vel, the other Captain Marvel, Captain Planet, Captain Britian, Captain Action.... Are they Naval captains, or Army/Air Force captains?

| Comments:
Because Sergeant and below are non-commissioned, Lieutenant is an also-ran, so other than Captain you've got Major, Colonel, and General, and the combinations with those don't work as well: look, up in the sky, it's Major Incident . . . Colonel Mustard . . . General Principle. See? Captain just works better.
 
That's why my supervillain name is Chairman Pain.
 
Supervillain's are lucky-- name-wise at least. First of all, since they are usually surrounded by evil henchmen, they can pick names that suggest a command structure. Sidekicks notwithstanding, superheros are typically lone wolves, or members of teams of equals without the sort of hierarchy that military ranks imply.

(I suppose I should research how many characters are "Doctors", and how that breaks down. Doctor Doom, of course, and Doctor Strange. Doctor Fate. Doctor Octopus.)
 

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