A Superhero Name

In order to be a successful superhero, the superhero candidate must have a sexy name. It’s absolutely required. Jimmy Olsen can be named Jimmy Olsen. Lois Lane can be Lois Lane. Alfred can be Alfred. But Superman must be Superman and Batman must be Batman. Otherwise no one would take them seriously.

Unfortunately all the sexy names were taken when Fish Guy was ready to graduate from Superhero U. Sure, he had played on the football team. Sure, he was graduating valedictorian. But Fish Guy just wouldn’t do for a name. Even though he was Big Man on Campus, the alumni and parents just laughed when one of his fellow students said the name “Fish Guy”.

In all the years of Superhero U, not one superhero had graduated without an appropriate name. If the word got out that Fish Guy was the latest, and greatest, of the school’s graduates, the public would laugh themselves into early graves.

The President of the school and the Faculty Council knew the consequences if they didn’t come up with a name that matched Fish Guy’s status as the latest and the greatest. They would be out of business. The new Paladin School for Champions had been recruiting many of the Potentials lately. If Superhero U didn’t face this crisis head on, they would have to close their doors. Parents would be  just too embarrassed to send their child to such a disaster.

After months of racking their brains, the Administration finally decided they needed a crisis management team. They chose the dream team of dream teams, X-cel Plus, Inc. If anybody could solve the dilemma, they could. After all, they had changed Heracles to Hercules. When Brutus came calling, they chose the  Ides of March for assassination day for Julius Caesar. When the Cleopatra team asked, they substituted an asp for arsenic. After all, if you’re a queen, you  want to go out with a bang. And they had made Lucretia Borgia the envy of her colleagues. Stabbing a person just wasn’t done if you were looking for a good rep. Poison it had be, and poison it was.

Originally Bill Shakespeare was known as “Just Plain Bill”. Bill came to X-cel Plus, Inc. They suggested “The Bard of Avon”. They said, “Now no one will ever call you Shakes again and use it derogatorily as in ‘I’ll be there in two Shakes.'” As you can see, the Bard of Avon is so much sexier than Two Shakes. From that point on, his plays were standing room only.

“But have you done anything lately?” President Positron asked.

“Waterloo. Wellington had chosen Brussels. We said no. No one would take the phrase ‘he met his Brussels’ seriously.”

“But anything since?”

“We were responsible for the Fab Four name for the Beatles and the phrase ‘British Invasion’. It’s amazing how much those two terms netted the British government in tourism dollars. You name the term, and we probably invented it.”

“So what did you have in mind?”

“We’ve given it a great deal of thought. At least, two hours. We took several polls. Tried out Merman on the public. People walked away shaking their heads. There was The Atlantaean. They just scratched their heads confused. Then we took The Swimmer out for a ride. It got a 52% approval. Not good enough. And the women didn’t swoon when they heard it.”

“I guess we just can’t let Fish Guy graduate.”

“No,” X-cel Plus shouted. “For heaven’s to Betsy, no. I’m not through”

“Continue then.”

“We tried Water Boy, Sea Weed, Gill Man. Nothing worked. Maybe okay for villains but not a superhero. Then one of our clerical workers piped up with the perfect name. It was so good we’ve made her head of our PR department.”

“What was it?” There was a great deal of impatience in the President’s voice. There was such tension in the air as the President and the Faculty Council were on the edge of their seats.

“Since it was her idea, we’ve asked Iris to do the honors. Iris?”

Iris stepped forward. If ever there was a business suit, it was the dark blue suit she wore. Her face was painted with such seriousness the President and the Faculty knew how serious she was.

“Over the past two weeks,” her soft soprano said. “we tested this up and down America from sea to shining sea and the responses have been 99% in favor. On hearing the name, women have swooned. Men have said that they would want this guy on their team. The name is…drum roll please.”

“Get on with it,” one of the Faculty Council urged.

“The name is Aqua Dude.”

The name hit the President and the Faculty like a ton of bricks. Before they knew what they were doing, they were on their feet applauding.

When the applause had quieted down, Iris continued, “There’s more.”

“More?” President Positron asked, a big grin on his face.

“What’s an AD without a BC. Aqua Dude has sidekicks. They are the Beef Cakes.”

And so that is how Aqua Dude and the Beef Cakes came to rein over the Seven Seas, pursuing Truth and Justice and distributing sea sick  pill to all in distress.

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