Secret Identities

I have always liked the secret identities. I love the theatrical aspect of it and it makes sense logically; you want to protect your loved ones and even yourself. I also think the whole villain knows so and so’s secret identity is really overplayed.

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i believe so, it just depends on the character :grinning: :slightly_smiling_face: :ok_hand: :+1:

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I think it was explained well in Hush why Riddler wouldn’t expose Bruce, some respect it, and for someone like Joker he wants personal attacks, but given the list of people who know it seems impossible that one of them wouldn’t just announce it.


Kind of the opposite of that Batman thing happened in Gotham Central with someone killing kids and dressing them up in robin costumes.

Btw I don’t disagree with you and I’m not trying to undermine your points, I just think it’s funny that some of your examples have actually happened.


Then again it makes the Joker War much more exciting. Because you don’t know what he’ll do with that knowledge.


I personally don’t like it because Joker vs Bruce doesn’t interest me the way Joker vs Batman does. They’re larger than life and mythological that way. It makes sense in my head.

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I generally like secret identities. They can create additional story opportunities, allow different supporting cast circles/interactions, and make sense with some of the crazy level of personal-vendetta-type super villains running around. However, I do think the individual hero’s situation matters. Most of Green Lantern’s villains are cosmic (nowadays) and are more likely to target Earth than a single person on Earth. A secret identity in GL’s case is less likely to protect friends and family, than say the Flash. Wally’s run actually explored this question quite thoroughly IMO, although a bit in reverse.

I also think secret identities can be used poorly/as a crutch, as others have pointed out. In the case of significant others (not just someone a character went on a few dates with or whatever, but has an actual relationship with), I think the sig other should know. The argument about the sig other not knowing somehow keeping them safe never made sense to me. If the baddie knows, then the sig other isn’t safe, period. However, if the sig other knows the secret, then they can know the risk and that the baddie could be/is targeting them… and then they can take precautions and potentially be safer than they otherwise would be.


Conversely, I’m not all that interested in Joker War, but I see your point.


Oh, I definitely picked the impersonation because it’s happened enough that the characters themselves should be openly questioning their commitment to secrecy, less so with the testifying, though I’m sure I’ve seen it in some form. (Going along with the different kinds of impersonation is the secret, fortified base of operations, where it’s hard to go a year without someone breaking in and using the stockpile of weapons against the hero. After a certain point, they really should be wondering if maybe it’s more of a liability than an asset.)

Meanwhile green arrows beard should’ve been a dead giveaway.


Batman just needs one of the flashy whatchamacallits from Men in Black to add to his utility belt!

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Identity Crisis kind of hinted that discovering secret identities may be more common and not quite as problematic as we may have been led to believe. I mean, when you have magicians, martians, magic lassos, T-spheres, super kisses, and/or other deus ex machina that can alter memories, there are workarounds.

As a side note, I’ve always thought people were a bit quick to judge the glasses or domino mask as a disguise bit. We’ve all seen people who look completely different with and without their glasses on. And when you consider a public hero in a city of millions, you wouldn’t necessarily think to associate them with a particular person, even if they do look a bit alike. When the two personas start sharing a little too many common associations – that’s when pulling it off feels lie more of a stretch. And as it’s been mentioned, ubiquitous cameras ans facial recognition software can throw a wrench in things.

Secret identities matter for the “human” heroes. Or heroes with powers that still allow them to be vulnerable. I.E. everyone knew who Donna Troy was even despite her attempts at secret identities.