A Superman Character By Any Other Name Would Something Something

There’s a lot of mistakes on the Internet, and nobody ought to be surprised by that. I am not smart, so I don’t always catch the mistakes. Sure, I’ll notice if a lyrics page has the wrong words to a song I like or whatever, but most of the time I just innocently wander the Internet and assume that somebody knows what they’re talking about. I’ve probably taken in all sorts of incorrect information from such mistakes.

But not all incorrect information on the Internet is a mistake. Some of it has been put there on purpose. Yup. Sometimes, people on the Internet lie. (It’s okay, take some time to deal with the shock you are feeling to learn that.) And some of those lies relate to Superman.

For example, the DC Fandom page for Bash Bashford, a minor Superboy supporting cast member, insists that he is named Bradley. There’s no basis for that in the comics. But someone who edited that page decided to claim he is named Bradley.

Similarly, several sources on the Internet think that the minor Superman villain called the Archer was named Fenton Quigley. The surname is correct, he was called Quigley in the comics, but given name Fenton comes from someone claiming it once, and it propagating from there. (In fairness the the DC Fandom page, they correctly do not call him Fenton.)

Even the mighty Wikipedia, which has mostly overcome its former reputation for being inaccurate, has such errors, one example being on the “List of Superman enemies” page, where the one-appearance villain Mr. Sinister (who predates the Marvel villain of that name by decades) is given the real name “Lylo”. Again, this is the invention of someone outside the source material.

I have my suspicions about why people make such “mistakes” on the sites: I think they are hoping the inaccuracies will become real. I think that they think that some writer who wants to use an obscure supervillain or reference an obscure Superboy cast member might search the ol’ Superhighway for easy information, see the lies about character names, and use them in official books unknowingly. On some level I can respect that. I don’t particularly like that the Superman franchise is entirely controlled by corporate interests, so I can almost root for these people to add a dash of the common folk into the lore. But it’s also dishonest. The Internet doesn’t need more inaccurate information.

I don’t think I’ll ever call Bash Bashford “Bradley” (Smallville is already home to Brad Wilson and that’s Brad enough for me), but I admit the name “Fenton Quigley” has kind of grown on me over the years. If that or Lylo were mistakenly added to official canon in some way, I’d be conflicted. It would be a victory for some regular fan person who wanted to get their fingerprints on a part of Superman’s world, no matter how small that part is. But it would also be a victory for a jerk. That’s not as good.

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