Comic Vine News

90 Comments

Off My Mind: Is A Secret Identity Necessary?

Would you have one or just use your superpowers all the time?

Most people, at some point in their lives, have thought of having superpowers. Who wouldn't want to have the ability to do amazing things? Being able to fly, have super strength or even just x-ray vision would change a person's life. 
 
If you had superpowers, would you ever hold back using them? Lots of heroes have secret identities and try to live a normal life. If you gained superpowers, would you want to go back and pretend you didn't have them? Lex Luthor believed that there was no way Superman could have a secret identity. He couldn't understand why someone with godly powers would want to pose a 'mere mortal.' There are heroes like the Fantastic Four that don't have secret identities. What would you choose to do? 
  

90 Comments
  • 90 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by ComicMan24

I would prefer to have a secret identity.

Posted by Danial79

I'd be super all the time. It would be too much effort for me to keep up a secret identity :)

Posted by ckal

I wouldn't have a secret identity. Too much work and I'd rather have people know me. The only drawback I can think of is that the people you know and your property are more at risk of being in danger from villains than if you had a secret identity.
 
Idk how I would make money though...sure I could think of something easy enough.

Posted by countvontrey

I'd keep a secret identity. Even if it wasn't my "true' identity. That way one day I could retire into seclusion....

Posted by Planewalker

The prob with me having powers is a would pull a Authority stunt and control the government... no secrets  

Posted by Bandito

Do super heroes get health insurance?  

Posted by Chaos Burn

Just spakrin up the whole registration debate here....
 I'm pro btw....

Posted by Jayso4201

That's a hard decision to make, I would try to keep it a secret but if someone needed my help and it wasn't possible then the cat would be out of the bag.  Unless I could do it so fast that no one would see like  Superman or Flash.  
 
But lets get to the real point here G-man just wanted to show us he could ride a bike and film at the same time right, I mean was the studio taken that day, is he on vacation and didn't wanna interupt it by stopping to film? 
 
Bravo G-man, Bravo  
Not douchebagy at all!!!
Posted by Decoy Elite

I'd have a secret identity. Never know when one might come in handy.

Posted by sanjica

Secret identity looks like so much fun... I think I'd have several.

Posted by ShirEPanjshir

Well if you look at how paparazzi bother actors etc., imagine what the press would do to someone with super powers. Let aside the possibility if super villains would exist too, they would go after your loved ones. So a secret identity would kind of be necisary.
 
But keeping one in the current time we're in would be virtually impossible. But if all possible I would rather have a secret identity.

Edited by countvontrey

G-Man: 
 
"It's day 5 and all I've had to eat is a few peanuts. I hope to get a fire going today to scare off the pumas. "

Posted by Theodore

I'd stay super all the time, chicks would dig it.

Posted by Dracade102

I Wouldn't need an Alter Ego... 
If I had Superpowers; I'd Use them to Enslave Humanity!!!

Posted by ironshadow

 I would have multiple secret identities, different names, different costumes, some identities would be those of hardcore vigilanties that kill and break the law in order to stop bad guys, take the bad guy's money, torture and all that kinda Punisher stuff and some identities would be that of the clasic superhero just go help people and catch bad guys but no killing or breaking the law.

Posted by xscarletkittie

I would have a secret identity. I wouldn't be able to live a normal life - now or later in life - if I didn't.

Posted by Tainted-Cell

Going after loved ones? If I were someone as powerful as Superman without the moral limitations... then it would be the supervillains who would have to worry about coming into contact with them. Like, oh dang, the Prankster just came within a block of my sister.... time for an a$$-whoppin'. 
I think it would be much akin to a child-molester or the like who has to introduce himself as such to the neighborhood as part of his/her probation. 
And I don't think it would stop with my identity being known to the world... pretty much everyone associated with me... I mean the media and paparazzi would do the job for me a million times over. 

Posted by N7_Normandy

I wouldn't even bother with a secret identity.  Being a hero means self-sacrifice-giving up what you want so that others can live in peace. 

Posted by HometownHero

It comes down to individual basis. Trust. Let's say you're the only person in the world who can do what you do. Do you have a family? There's a good chance that certain people may want to use you for their own benefit, and may be willing to use your loved ones as leverage. There may or may not be supervillians, but there will always be people who want to take advantage of you, and are willing to cross about any line to get what they want. You just have to decide if you want to take the risk.

Posted by Aspenite

I´d have a secret identity.

Posted by Rocket Avenger/Dark Avenger

Some superheros need there secret identity because they want to have some form of a normal live.  I know I'd have one.  And they need a secret id to get a job. 
 
But I'm sure Superman whould have excellent credentials.  :)
Posted by crusader8463

Of course you would want one. Not only for the protecting the people you care about thing, but because it covers your ass if you screw up, not to mention being a hero is technically illegal. Vigilantism is not legal in most places last time I checked, and unless you get a government sanctioned badge saying other wise that's what heroes are. While yes they are doing "good", and any sane person would agree that we are better off having them there then not, but that doesn't change the fact that you are still technically breaking the law and should you ever piss someone in the government off they can make you look like a bad guy awful fast.
 
The real problem though is that in this day and age it would be next to impossible to keep it. With all the cameras and microphones that could be placed anywhere you would have the entire paparazzi community hunting you down for that one photo that would make the guy/girl a millionaire if they got it. You would become the White Whale of every half baked paparazzi wanna-be with a camera. Whether your mask gets ripped off during a fight when one of them is hiding in the bushes, if they get a snap shot of you getting out of the shitter or changing into your outfit to save someone in an alley way, eventually someone would get it and ten you would be screwed.

Posted by crusader8463
@Tainted-Cell said:

" Going after loved ones? If I were someone as powerful as Superman without the moral limitations... then it would be the supervillains who would have to worry about coming into contact with them. Like, oh dang, the Prankster just came within a block of my sister.... time for an a$$-whoppin'.  I think it would be much akin to a child-molester or the like who has to introduce himself as such to the neighborhood as part of his/her probation.  And I don't think it would stop with my identity being known to the world... pretty much everyone associated with me... I mean the media and paparazzi would do the job for me a million times over.  "

That's very short sighted. It wouldn't be difficult for someone to assassinate someone you care for. They could slip poison into there food. Wait for you to be on the other side of the world and simply walk up to them and knife/shoot them. They could attack more then one person at a time etc.
 
There are tons of people out there who would take the job to do it, even knowing that they would die, if they hated you enough, or if they wanted to die themselves and agreed to do this if the person who wants all this done to you agrees to pay off some living family of theirs in exchange for there life. It would only be a matter of time until everyone you cared for was dead, and you would be too afraid to make new friends or to care for anyone because you know they would eventually be attacked, or be forced to live there lives in constant fear never knowing when and where they may be attacked. Every time they walk around a corner they would have to guess if the person walking down the block was a person sent to kill them or just some guy walking down the street. The stress alone would kill them, if not make there lives a living hell.
Posted by LassieOfDoom

I'd probably choose some kind of secret identity. Not to make friends or a family or something like that, but just so i can go shopping and relax from time to time without someone saying "Awesome-Man (My super-anti-hero identity), bad guys are robbing the bank!" because in my spare time I had to reply "F*** off, I'm sleeping/shopping!" Oh, also, I'd try to have only super-friends. That way, threatening the people I love would be useless.

Posted by X

Part of me would want to be a hero all the time and another part would want to be normal and chill with friends so that is a very interesting question 

Posted by dondasch

I would have a secret identity and prefer to keep it secret.  Let's face it, once it's out in the open it's just a world of hassle from people you know to people you don't know always asking for favors.

Posted by Krak0

Yea look at famous celebs they cant even go get  burger without a mob of people chasing them. Imagine if you where a god like person it would be nuts 0 privacy. 

Edited by xybernauts

  In this day in age it'd be impossible to have a secret civilian identity if you have a superheroic identity drawing attention to yourself. Realistically the superhero identity would have to be the secret identity. 
 
I'd want to keep my identity secret out of fear the government would capture me and lock me up in some lab for testing or god knows what other reason.  I think the movie Jumper is the best example of this. Here's this kid ho find out he has the power to teleport. Only later he find out that there is clan destine government task force (headed by Samuel L Jackson) systematically executing teleporters.   And if it's not governments then it's any number of corporations or terrorist organizations, etc. who would have you on their target.  Just another reason why keeping a low profile, both superheroic and secret works to your benefit.
 
Of course, being a public figure works somewhat too because they can't execute you if your in the public eye. They'd just discredit you first and then do it. The only way it wouldn't be an issue is if you're like Dr. Manhattan, in the Watchmen, and are virtually all powerful in that universe. You'd have to be in a league of power all of your own.  

Posted by RiotBananas

I'd keep it a secret but tell a select few. You know the score, your enemies find out who you are, kidnap your friends and make your life hell.

Posted by SupremoMaximo

Secret Identity... How else would I get away from all the chicks that want to make out with a super hero?

Posted by DEGRAAF

yes a secret ID is necessary. Just look at Spiderman, they play out exactly why you shouldnt reveal your secret identity
Posted by KRYPTON

I would want a Secret ID. 

Edited by Jordanstine

Superheroes want to get away from the crazy people.  Especially if someone like Spider-Man had a Lady GaGa's type of fan singing "Paparazzi" who knows his secret identity. 
 
"Promise I'll be kind, but I won't stop until that boy is mine. I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me... Peter-Peter-Parker." 
 
This is all Tony's fault...
Posted by Son_of_Magnus

I'd choose to have a secret Identity I would want an average life and family Superman and Wally West proved you can have both (as long as your secret does not get out)

Posted by blaakmawf

I would have a secret identity, but I would not risk getting too close to people even with that secret identity. At best, it would serve as a defensive mechanism if I got hurt or needed to go into hiding.

Edited by DMC

Being a superhero all the time? To have the whole world know who I am?   Heeeellll NO! 
Not in this 24-hour news cycle, TMZ, Twitter, Tabloid,  Paparazzi infested world we live in. Not if there are other people's lives to consider.  Hancock didn't have to worry about that since he had no family. 
 
@N7_Normandy said:

" I wouldn't even bother with a secret identity.  Being a hero means self-sacrifice-giving up what you want so that others can live in peace.  "

You think you could handle that 24/7, 365? No life of your own whatsoever?
Posted by SamJaz

I wouldn't, but I wouldn't draw attention to myself. I'd be the kind to go, oh, hey, rape happening. Drop in, kick ass, leave. 
 
Basically, I wouldn't have a super identity or a secret one. I'd just be that guy with powers.That sounds stupid, until you realise that the easiest way to draw attention to yourself is a mask. Being just another face has its advantages too, like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable.

Posted by leokearon

I would have a secret idenity, look at the way the media go after movie stars and the like, you would have no privacy at all. 
 
Also if you have a secret identity you can wear cool masks like Spidey
Posted by karrob
@sanjica said:
" Secret identity looks like so much fun... I think I'd have several. "
Posted by Lvenger

Secret identity is a must when you're a superhero. I mean by exposing your identity you're opening your loved ones to danger from your enemies meaning they could get hurt. Besides you wouldn't be able to hold down a job when supervillains attack your workplace and they could recognise you whilst you're out and attack you then endangering innocent bystanders. However, you can't get buy without telling a select few people. I'd tell my family and close friends because I know they can be trusted. In realistic terms though, the government is watching your every move so you wouldn't be able to duck into an alleyway to change costume and your identity would become public. You'd have to strike a deal with the government to make sure they don't reveal ur identity.

Posted by Aceofcard

I would have a secret identity    
Posted by darkwolverineUSMC

Depends. If it was just me, naw. I'd make shure my name was known. But if I had a family and all that jazz, I keep it hidden for their protection. Spider-man's a great example of how letting out a secret Identitiy can mess things up. Oh, and cudos on the bike riding G-man! Good way to stay in shape!

Posted by spiderguylll

It depends on my level of power...

Edited by BattleHeiz

 SI is improtant not because it helps to keep your family safe but to see the reaction of people when they actually discover it XD 
Oh and i could make money by selling supervillians equipments

Posted by xerox_kitty

Some of the X-Men had to disclose their identities back in the 80's.  Cyclops & the other members of X-Factor signed up to the Mutant Registration Act as a sign of co-operation & faith to the citizens of New York.  So Scott Summers & co are all well known. 
 
Personally, even right now I like to keep my private life private.  You never know who's watching...

Moderator
Edited by ArtisticNeedham

I was wondering about that myself.
Because lately it seems like a lot of superheroes do not have one.  Steve Rogers revealed he is Captain America, Tony Stark revealed that he is Iron Man,  the X-Men don't seem to be keeping theirs secret.  Everyone now knows Bruce Banner is the Hulk.  And it seems like, if you are a hero, chances are you know everyone's secret identity anyway.  How many people know who Hawkeye really is?  (Oh wait, he revealed it on TV right?) OK, how about how many people know Daredevil's real identity?
Then there are heroes who do not really have a need for one, the Tick or Madman.  They are who they are all the time.
But then there are heroes like Spider-Man, who not only has part of their appeal coming from the real need for the conflicts his secret identity causes, but he has loved ones who could be hurt if his identity was known. 
I guess it depends on the writers, but with Spider-man he has his loved ones to worry about.  Even when he was part of the Avengers (with the security you would imagine being really good) Aunt May was shot while they were aiming for MJ.  The idea that Peter's life got more complicated and dangerous once he became Spider-man, and now he has so many enemies and now that times have changed to were the bad guys will kill his loved ones, even kids, Peter can never really reveal his identity.

Maybe its because Steve is sort of Captain America all the time anyway, its more like a job and a uniform.  All his friends are superheroes and soldiers and secret agents.  So there is no real need, perhaps, for a secret identity.
Tony Stark, I am not sure why that works.  But I think it works better than the secret identity.  Maybe its because of his personality.  You would not imagine him hiding something like that.  I do not know.
but Spider-Man needs his secret identity.
The Fantastic Four are more like super scientists and adventurers.  They are sort of paid for being heroes and saving the day and the public knowing who they are isn't part of their story.  They are more like the old Adventurer comics where the hero was known to the public and went on crazy adventures using science and stuff.  They also have their family unity right there all working in the same place in a tight group.  They don't have to worry about their safety because they are right there, and at first they didn't have kids to worry about.  Like the X-men they were all in the hero game so no worrying.
Superman?  Does he need one anymore?  I mean Lois knows, if his enemies knew he would have to constantly save Lois or Jimmy.  Something already does constantly.  the downside would be losing Clark Kent, and loosing his time at the Daily Planet.  His interaction with people there.  So I guess Clark needs one too, like Peter.  Because Superman is a character who would have to, with his powers, never stop saving the day.  Plus the readers would never get the Clark Kent stuff, Superman would become this unstoppable super being that would not have any real personality.  right?  Superman was the first superhero and sort of set up the duel identity idea.
What about Batman?  Does Bruce really need both identities?  What if everyone knew Bruce was Batman?  Or what if Bruce went away and he was Batman all the time?
What if everyone thought Bruce had died, and his mansion was sold to another rich guy while Bruce and Alfred lived in the Batcave?  Maybe Ollie could buy it.  Would Bruce be missed like Clark or would the readers loose the dynamic of Bruce being Batman and needing it kept secret like Peter?
 
I guess I would be like Peter, sure it would be nice not to hide my identity, but my loved one's safety is more important than me going public with my identity.
Posted by Doctor!!!!!

I would have both, a public identity were I'm fully loved and Famous
and a second identity were I have an awsome mask and super InFamous. 
(Thats actually a great idea for a comic or game.)
Posted by iloverobots

Man I wish those glasses in the still image of the video were available for real. That's a sweet case.

Edited by speedarrow

I'd personally have a secret identity as well. It really comes down to several things when you have a question like this: do you have supervillians who are constantly looking for you, and may harm the family and friends just to defeat (if they even can) you? And who wouldn't want a break from all the glamour and celebrity to retire on the beach?

Edited by Undeadpool

It depends on how close to the streets you are as street-level villains seem like they'd be more petty and go after your family or friends to get to you. Dr. Doom is never going to attack Franklin or Valeria direectly, he'd consider it beneath him to attack children, but baddies like Green Goblin and Bullseye have shown that they're more than happy to hurt someone else to get to a hero. In the end, I don't think Supes needs one. Luthor doesn't seem like the type to target friends and family, again for the same reason as Dr. Doom, it'd be a matter of pride, and I doubt a galactic super villain like Darkseid would even care.
There is no absolute yes or no, like most things, it's all about context.

Staff
  • 90 results
  • 1
  • 2