17 Comic-Book Heroes and Villains Who Share Their Name with a Type of Car
It’s gotta be a tough gig writing comic book stories some days, especially the part where you have to come up with exciting new names for your characters. I mean, there are only so many times you can rifle through your desk for inspiration, right? So why not head to your local parking lot for a few ideas?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: identify each comic-book hero or villains in the left-hand column and then — if you’re up for the challenge — match him or her to the vehicle in the right-hand column that shares that character’s codename.
1. (q) Aztek. One’s a goofy-looking hero raised by a secret organization to be the champion of an Aztec god; the other is a goofy-looking crossover vehicle that failed to be the sales champion that Pontiac sorely needed in the early 2000s.
2. (j) Nova. One’s a Marvel superhero who couldn’t have been more of a Green Lantern rip-off if he tried; the other was a Chevy car that, despite urban legends, did not have poor sales in Spanish-speaking countries because people there saw “Nova” and thought no va (doesn’t go).
3. (m) Vibe. The street-smart, breakdancing member of the Justice League has been killed off at least twice and still keeps coming back; no such luck for the marketed-to-street-smart-people Pontiac sub-compact, which last rolled off the assembly line in 2010.
4. (f) Beetle. One is an armored villain who decided being a mechanic wasn’t as much fun as being every Marvel superhero’s punching bag; the other is the best-selling automobile in history. So, slightly better track record.
5. (a) Viper. One’s a demented terrorist who once turned all of Washington, D.C., into crazed lizard-people; the other is a Dodge sports car that inspired a 1990s show about cops in the future fighting crime with really stylin’ rides — and probably featured demented terrorists in at least a couple of episodes.
6. (k) Thunderbird. One was a member of the new X-Men team who only lasted long enough to die in his second appearance; the other is a Ford luxury car first introduced in 1955 and last produced in 2005. So, slightly longer.
7. (l) Prowler. One’s a Spider-Man villain-turned-ally who thought green and purple were fashionable; the other is a late-1990s Chrysler sports car with its own unique sense of style.
8. (n) Gremlin. One’s a funny-looking Hulk villain with genius-level intelligence; the other is funny-looking AMC sub-compact car famous for being the vehicle of choice for the guys in Wayne’s World.
9. (c) Fury. DC’s heroine started out as the daughter of the Golden Age Wonder Woman and saw her story change a lot as the years went by; Plymouth’s full-size sedan went through plenty of design changes of its own between 1956 and 1989.
10. (g) Firefly. One is a Batman villain who loves setting fires; the other is a Canadian sub-compact brought over from Japan by GM in 1985 that didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but at least it had a respectable run.
11. (b) Maxima. One is an alien princess who was outraged that Superman wasn’t honored by her offer to be her baby daddy; the other is a Nissan luxury car that introduced talking cars to North America in its 1981 models.
12. (i) Cavalier. One is an extremely minor-league Batman villain whose biggest claim to fame is being in a gay relationship with another extremely minor-league Batman villain; the other is a Chevrolet compact that was that company’s biggest seller in 1984.
13. (p) Taurus. One is the leader of the Zodiac cartel that went up against the Avengers; the other is a Ford model that is the company’s fifth-best selling nameplate.
14. (e) Corsair. One is the star-faring leader of a motley alien crew who also just happens to be the father of Scott “Cyclops” Summers and his brother Alex (Havok); the other is a Ford midsize car manufactured for the British market in the 1960s.
15. (o) Comet. One was a flying Golden Age hero whose claim to fame was being the first superhero to die in the line of duty (the version shown here is from a short-lived 1990s series that revived the hero for more adventures); the other was a car that made news in 2010 when USA Today told the story of a 91-year-old Florida woman who was still driving her 1964 Comet Caliente daily, racking up a record-breaking 562,000 miles on it.
16. (d) Firebird. She’s Bonita Juarez, a former Avenger who gained the power of flight and fire from being near one of those radioactive meteorites that never seem to land in my general vicinity; the car is a classic American muscle car that Pontiac produced between 1967 and 2002.
17. (h) Tempest. He’s the water-based warrior formerly known as Aquaman’s kid sidekick, Aqualad; the car is yet another Pontiac nameplate, with models produced between 1961 and 1991.