Thursday, July 26, 2012

¡Viva los Superhéroes!: Yes, they have different names in Spanish

I was recently asked about my nickname (no, Rafa Rivas is not my real name). It comes from "Rafael Rivas", the real name the Elongated Man or El Hombre Elástico gets in Spanish translations.
Clark Kent is still Clark Kent, no Spanish name for him. However, most superheroes, villains and supporting characters have Spanish names like that.

So, just because, here is a list of the most notorious ones. I'll write in gray the most accurate they could have used instead (but didn't).

Superman / Clark Kent: Supermán / Clark Kent. 
Batman / Bruce Wayne: Batman / Bruno Díaz.
Robin / Dick Grayson: Robin / Ricardo Tapia.
Wonder Woman / Diana Prince: Mujer Maravilla (o Marvila) / Diana Pérez. Diana Príncipe.
Wonder Girl / Donna Troy: Chica Maravilla / Dina Rosas. Dona Troya 
Elongated Man / Ralph Dibny: Hombre Elástico / Rafael Rivas. 
Sue Dibny: Susana Rivas.
Supergirl / Linda Lee: Superchica / Linda Lara.
Aquaman: Aquamán (can't recall if there was any translation for Arthur Curry, but it's likely Arturo something). Arturo Curi (although it would make him a Latin Lebanese). 
Green Lantern / Hal Jordan: Linterna Verde / Raúl Jordán. Hal (Haroldo) Jordán.
Flash / Barry Allen: Flash / Bruno Alba. "Flushman" in Argentina (for some reason).
Kid Flash / Wally West: Flashito / Carlos Vela. Gualter Oeste.
Martian Manhunter / John Jones: Detective Marciano / Julio Jordán. Juán Juanez.
Hawkman / Carter Hall: Hombre Halcón / Carlos Lara. Carlos Salón. 
Hawkwoman / Shiera Hall: Mujer Halcón / Mirna Lara.
Green Arrow / Oliver Queen: Flecha Verde / Oliverio Reyna. 
Black Canary / Dinah Lance: Canario Negro / Diana Ríos. Dina Lanza.
Atom / Ray Palmer: Átomo / Ray Palmer. Raymundo "Ray" Palmera.
Adam Strange: Adán Luna. Adán Extraño.
Zatanna: Zitana. That one seems to makes no sense, as zitana is meaningless. Zatanna.
Batgirl / Barbara Gordon: Batichica / Bárbara Fierro.
Red Tornado / John Smith: Tornado Rojo / Juan Pérez. 
Flash I / Jay Garrick: Flash / Jorge Forcada.
Firestorm / Ronnie Raymond: Antorcha / Ronnie Raymond. Ronaldo Raymundo.
Captain Marvel / Billy Batson: Capitán Maravilla / Memo Batson. Beto Basto.
Guy Gardner: Gil Garza. Gil Jardinero. (G and J sound alike in Spanish).
Mr. Miracle / Scott Free: Sr. Milagro / Oscar Liberal.
Starman: Astro.
Hourman: Horario.
Wildcat: Gato Montés.
Johnny Thunder: Juan Trueno.
Sandman: Arenero.
Starfire: Nova.
Changeling: Mutante.
Raven: Corvina.
Darkseid: Oscuranto, Morbus or Penumbra.

With Superman characters they tend to keep both names or at least the last one in English:
Lex Luthor: Lex Luthor.
Lois Lane: Luisa Lane.
Jimmy Olsen: Jaime Olsen. Jaime Olmos.
Perry White: Pedro White. Pedro Blanco.
Lana Lang: Lina Luna.
Pete Ross: Pedro Ross or Fernando Suárez.
Brainiac: Cerebro ("Brain"). Cerebrático.
Metallo: Metálico ("Metallic"). Metalo.
Parasite: Parásito.
Mr. Mxyzptlk: Senor Mxyzptlk (pronounced misleplik).
Bizarro: Bizarro (And "bizarro" is Spanish for "bizarre").
Krypto: Krypto.

Batman characters:
Commissioner Gordon: Comisionado Fierro.
Catwoman: Gatúbela (close to "Catarella", like Vampirella or Barbarella).
Joker: Guasón or Arlequín.
Penguin: Pingüino.
Mr. Freeze: Capitán Frio (Somehow they gave him the name that should be used for the enemy of the Flash —sometimes they use "Señor Gélido", a better translation).
The Riddler: El Acertijo.
Egghead: Cascarón (meaning "Eggshell"). Cabeza de Huevo.
King Tut: Rey Tut.
Gotham City: Ciudad Gótica.
Poison Ivy: Hiedra Venenosa, or Hortiga.
Two-Face: Dos Caras or Doble Cara ("Double Face").
The Ventriloquist / Scarface: Ventrílocuo / Cara Marcada.
Clayface: Cara de Barro.
Harley Quinn: Arlequín (sometimes Arly Quin).

Justice League of America: La Liga de la Justicia de América ("de América" is rarely said).
Justice Society of America: Los Defensores de la Justicia ("de América" is rarely said).
Doom Patrol: La Patrulla Salvadora o El Escuadron Suicida (that last one is "Suicide Squad", lol).
Teen Titans: Los Héroes Juveniles o Los Jóvenes Titanes. Los Adolescentes Titanes.
Wonder Twins: Gemelos Fantásticos.

Cities, places, and stuff
Gotham City: Ciudad Gótica ("Gothic City").
Metropolis: Metrópolis.
Krypton: Krytón or Kriptón.
Smallville: Villa Chica.
Coast City: Ciudad Costera.
The Watchtwer: La Atalaya.
The Batcave: La Baticueva (a made-up word).
Batmobile: Batimovil (another made-up word —since "bat" is "murciégalo", and that's too long, anything Batman-related is translated with the meaningless prefix "bati-", as in Batichica, Batibúmerang, Bati).
The Daily Planet: El Planeta ("The Planet").

Spider-man / Peter Parker: El Hombre Araña / Pedro Márquez.
Dr. Octopus: Dr. Pulpo.
Green Goblin: E Duende Verde. El Orco Verde.
Sandman: El Arenero.
Fatastic Four: Los Cuatro Fantásticos.
Mr. Fantastic / Reed Richards: Sr. Fantástico / Enrique Ricardo.
Invisible Woman / Sue Storm: La Mujer Invisible / Susana Sánchez.
Human Torch / Johnny Storm: La Antorcha Humana / Juan Sánchez.
The Thing / Ben Grimm: La Mole / Benito Gris. La Cosa.
Dr. Doom: Dr. Muerte. Dr. Perdición.
Galactus: Alberto el Hambriento (Hilarious! That means "Hungry Albert").
X-Men: La Patrulla-X, Los Hombres X ("X" or "equis" is a bit funny, because the word modern slang for "generic", "indifferent", or "it's ok").
Wolverine / Logan:  Guepardo / Leonardo (keep in mind that "guepardo" is Spanish for cheetah). Also: Emilio Garra, Lobezno, Carcayú, Glotón, Aguja Dinámica ("Dynamic Needle") and Aullador ("howler"). Carcayu. Carcayú or glotón are the right way to call a wolverine (gulo gulo), and "lobezno" is only ok for a wolf pup).
Morpho: Morfo.
Professor X / Charles Xavier: Profesor X (the X is pronounced "equis") / Carlos Xavier (prounounced "ha•vee•er"). He is often called "Profesor Xavier" instead of Profesor X.
Magneto: Magneto (although "a magnet" is "un magneto" in Spanish).
Rogue / Titania. Pilla.
Daredevil: Dan Defensor ("Dan Defender"), or Diabólico (Diabolic). Tough one. Dan Defender is pretty bad, but the translation would be "Temerario", which has no D or anything to do with "devil".
Dr. Strange: Dr. Centella. Dr. Extraño.


  1. Awesome! My favorite is how Galactus somehow becomes "Albert the Hungry."

  2. I still gotta go with "Guepardo".

  3. I wonder what Supergirl would be in Spanish.

    1. She is called Superchica, and her name was changed to Linda Lara. I just added her.

  4. That's exactly why I hate to watch do movies or shows in spanish... One thing is their nicknames but Proper names??? really that shouldn't even translate THEY'RE PROPER NAMES

    1. It was a mistake, but they are a fun tradition, now. And it even gets more interesting as the name makes less sense. Hungry effing Albert!

  5. What? Some of them are right, but, for example,Peter Parker was never called Pedro Márquez

    1. Pedro Márquez comes from Ediciones Vértice.
      The list is references from different sources, including TV. All are right, but few are used by almost every medium in every country, like "Bruno Díaz".

  6. You are forgetting how the mexican books traslated the fourth World characters. My favorites being Maxisol for Mr. Miracle and Morus for Darkseid.

    1. Oh, Man! That was before my time. I used to read translated comics during the Editorial Vid era. They were done by the brilliant J. G. Holguín, who always got the names right. Under his watch, the popular names remained in English and others got spot on translations (Comodín, Pingüino, Dos-Caras) with few exceptions like Catwoman, who was already too popular as Gatúbela.
      I had to research most of these names.

  7. I really enjoy reading your blog, please continue to write. Best of luck with your studies. you can also check out Names that Mean Justice.

  8. What about the Batman villain "Hush"?

  9. Is Mr. Freeze being called Captain Cold a thing in the comic translations, or just Heart of Ice? Also, do they translate Victor Fries to Víctor Frío in the comics, or is that just in Cold Comfort?

    1. They called him Victor Frio in the Schwarzenegger Batman & Robin movie.