Come Play The Comics Alliteration Game!

Alliteration runs rampant found throughout the comics artform. From the names of creators, like Sid Smith of The Gumps fame, to the monikers of individual characters, teams of characters, or series titles (I know you can think of examples as easily as I can!), alliteration has been woven into the fabric of comics from the medium’s birth to the present day.

Sid Smith showing off good ol’ Andy Gump

So we thought: why not make a game out of it? And you’re invited to use the Leave a Reply box below to play along! Here’s how it works:

  1. List the letters A through Z.
  2. Find an alliterative string from anywhere in comics history for each letter. It can come from comic strips, comic books, underground comics, graphic novels — as long as it originates from comics, it’s fair game!
  3. Each two-word alliterative string you find counts two points toward your total.
  4. But there are bonus points you can earn along the way!
    • Find three-or-more-word alliterative string and earn an extra point for each word in the string. A three-word string equals three points, a four-word string equals four points, and so on.
    • Source your list from one specific subsection of the comics medium (an all-from-comic-strips list, an all-from-manga list, an all-from-DC-Comics list, an all-from-King-Features-Syndicate list, etc.) and earn ten (10) bonus points.
    • Find an alliterative string for every letter in the alphabet and earn twenty-five (25) bonus points!
  5. And yes, there’s a two-point-per-letter penalty for any letter in your list that doesn’t have an alliterative string connected to it.

As an example, I took a few minutes and generated a list using only alliterative strings taken from Marvel Comics (I figured that would be both a tribute to my halcyon youthful days and a way to illustrate the concept without “stealing” a batch of perhaps-more-obvious matches away from you).

Here’s the list I came up with. I’ve tossed in a bit of art here and there to spruce up the presentation; feel free to just type your lists when you give this a try!

A = Adam Austin (early nom de plume for artist Gene Colan)

B = Black Bolt

C = Crimson Cowl

D = Doctor Doom

E = <unused>

Doctor Doom, rendered by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott, from issue # 84 of the Marvel title billed as, “The Worlds Greatest Comic Magazine”

F = Frightful Four

G = Glory Grant

H = Hypno Hustler (no fooling! Check out our lead-off image, from the cover of Spectacular Spider-Man # 24!)

I = <unused>

J = J. Jonah Jameson (3-word alliterative string counts as 3 points)

Though it wasn’t revealed when I was devouring The Amazing Spider-Man each month, the “J.” in “J. Jonah Jameson” is reported to stand for “John” (though Spidey usually claim it stand for “Jolly!”).

K = <unused>

L = Living Lightning

M = Molten Man

N = Night Nurse

O = Otto Octavius (a.k.a. Dr. Octopus)

P = Princess Python

Q = <unused>

R – Richard Ryder (“The Man Called Nova,” from the 1970s)

Just so it’s not a total “boys club,” here’s Steve Ditko’s rendering of Marvel’s resident snake charmer who’s a bit shy in the “charm” department, herself.

S = Super Skrull

T = Texas Twister

U = <unused>

V = <unused>

W = Wyatt Wingfoot

X = <unused>

Y = <unused>

Z = <unused>

Johnny Storm’s former college pal, Wyatt Wingfoot, rendered by John Byrne.

So, how’d I do? Here’s the tally:

32 points (16 letters with two-word alliterative strings), plus 3 points (1 letter with a 3-word alliterative string). Subtotal: 35 points.

10 bonus points for having an all-Marvel Comics list. 35 + 10 = 45 points.

But, I failed to use 9 letters, so I incurred an 18-point penalty (9 letters x 2 penalty points per letter = 18 penalty points). 45 – 18 = 27 points, final score.

I’m sure you can do better! This is all for fun, so no one’s going to referee results too closely, but note that an alliterative string has to really be a string — so I couldn’t use “Unus the Untouchable” as an entry for “U” in my list, since “the” comes between “Unus” and “Untouchable” and breaks the alliteration.

Put on those thinking caps, pull some comics off your shelves or out of your long white boxes to refresh your memory, see what alliterative comics lists you can come up with, and show ’em off by using Leave a Reply, below. Or, as it says on the back of our own Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip reprints:

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