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Off THEIR Minds: What is the Best Secret Identity?

Comic book creators give their answers to the big question.

It's time for some more Off THEIR Minds. This is were we ask comic book writers and artists the big (and not so big) questions. For a superhero, having a great secret identity can be crucial. Their personal lives and the safety of friends and family could depend on it. This was also a topic I addressed back in April of this year. I touched on the topics of wearing glasses, having a day job and not letting your mask mess up your hair. Now we turn the camera onto the comic book professionals to hear what they think on this matter.

It always comes back to the glasses. And to be fair, Superman isn't the only one that has used glasses. Wonder Woman, Superboy, Power Girl and others have given it a try as well.

While we're on the subject of glasses, Last year, I brought up the idea of glasses and those little masks. Are they really enough to protect a secret identity. Check out this older video in case you missed it the first time around.

What do you think makes the best secret identity? You have to admit that Billy Batson and Big Bertha have some pretty good ones.

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Posted by Doctorchimp

Fishbowl with plastic bags lining it to obscure your face. Clearly the right answer.

Posted by GraveSp

Being rich apparently seems to be a good secret identity.

Posted by ninjacommando

I liked that some of the dc guys said glasses were terrible! But sometimes all it really does take are a pair of glasses. I've had friends who switched to contacts or had laser eye done and the look completely different without the glasses. lol @ Ryan.

Posted by Fleonix

Being a student with a part time Job is pretty cool. No one has found out that I'm Fleonix.

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

Great "Off My Mind" G-Man!

Classic Red and Blue

I think Spider-Man has the best secret identity. Full body suit, no skin showing at all! He also acts different too in his Spider-costume, lets himself go and say and act how he wants. (Not intentional I think, just happens.) So No one would ever think of him because there is nothing to make you suspect who he really is, no hair showing, no skin showing, no chin showing. Closest you get is he is a male, clearly not a woman unless its a woman dressing to look like a man. I think that happened once right? A woman dressed as Spider-man recently, drawn by Mike McKone right?

The Big reveal

Or Captain Marvel, a 13 year old boy who magically becomes a 30 something year old superhero. No one would suspect it! No costume rips like the Hulk, no need to wear glasses like Clark Kent, or a mask like many other heroes. No one would begin to think that this super powerful hero is really a young 13 year old boy.

Posted by Kairan1979

Using shapeshifting powers to look differently as superhero and as civilian. That's the best secret identity.

Posted by ravisher

martian manhunter

Posted by Grim

The vibrating-blurry face that Superman used to do was the coolest idea. But pompous billionaire playboy works well too.

Posted by Daveyo520

@ArtisticNeedham: I agree with you Spidey does have the best costume type to keep yourself secret. I am surprised Batman hasn't gone that route with how smart he is supposed to be (I know it is a design choice), like Batgirl did.

Posted by NightFang

@GraveSp said:

Being rich apparently seems to be a good secret identity.

Posted by perry_411

Thor had the best disguise.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Realistically masks like Batmans and even spider-man's still wouldn't work if you where speaking to some one that knows you. What you really need is something like Iron Man or Blue Beetle, you cant make out there skin colour hight or body type through the armour and also the tech can change there voices.

Posted by Eyz

Ha! Your videos always crack me up, G-Man! XD

Posted by Psycorvus

I think the trick is to create a different persona. Clark Kent's disguise is bad but I read onwe of the stories where he wears baggy clothing and slouches a lot and doesn't even project his voice that well to try and cover his identity. Spider-Man used to be similar when he was in high school. No one would guess the scrawny kid that has to wear thick rim glasses, sucks at gym class and is to shy to speak to anyone would be such an extrovert with amazing agility and strength. I think the characters that tranfsorm are the best. Ghost Rider and Were Wolf by Night completely transform their physical form. Then again you could always do it X-Man style and just mind wipe those that witnissed your heroic deed LOL. 
Posted by GothamRed

I'm with the unattractive thing, if a hero could possibly alter themselves that way, also if they are a different size in super-mode, then all the better. But I am tempted to say domino mask, I mean who do you know who can completely recognize your face without access to you check bones, come one your friends and family are mind-readers.

Posted by cattlebattle

Matt Murdock hands down
 
No one is suspecting a blind guy who is an attorney
 
Its just to bad that a lot of people know he's Daredevil

Posted by doordoor123

@ravisher said:

martian manhunter

yep. Unless someone comes around with fire.

Posted by Mega_spidey01

black panther or spider-man full body suit can't tell  who it is behind the masks, besides didn't captain america pretend to be black panther in the ultimate universe?   
or you could have a symbiote suit like brock or toxin.

Posted by Hit_Monkey

Denny Colt faking his own death as the The Spirit is a good one.

Posted by fodigg

@Hit_Monkey said:

Denny Colt faking his own death as the The Spirit is a good one.

I think, barring super-powered secret identities like Billy Batson's or Martian Manhunter's, this is the most effective ruse.

Posted by 9th Wonder

You would think it would be Matt Murdock\Daredevil but some how he always seems to be the one whose identity get outted.

Posted by Out_of_Space

Mine......... who knows who am i ? NO ONE !!!!

Posted by untammed

@9th Wonder: @9th Wonder said:

You would think it would be Matt Murdock\Daredevil but some how he always seems to be the one whose identity get outted.

lol probably because he's blind and gets dressed in front of someone

Posted by untammed

@Mega_spidey01 said:

black panther or spider-man full body suit can't tell who it is behind the masks, besides didn't captain america pretend to be black panther in the ultimate universe? or you could have a symbiote suit like brock or toxin.

i agree

Posted by pspin

It doesn't really matter, there isn't a superhero that has a totally secret identity anymore, Spider-man comes the closest, then Batman. Most marvel heroes have public identities and in dc every superhero knows every other ones civilian identity. Personally I think it is cooler when it is more of a mystery, as opposed to everyone knowing.

Posted by Doctor!!!!!

The Best Identity is to not know that your superhero persona actually exist in the first place.. or no identity, whatever works.

Posted by zombietag

christos gage: totally misunderstanding the question

Posted by Red Rum

The Scourge of the Underworld:

Every time he's captured, he's then killed by his successor to to keep him from blabbing.

Posted by Outside_85

In the army, I wasnt allowed to buy dinner in the cantina if i hadn't washed the camo-paint off. But otherwise, something that wont let facial recognition gadgets ping you.

Posted by Prime-Man

I completely agree on Captain Marvel. However, I think Ghost Rider's identity is pretty fool-proof. Think about it; Johnny Blaze doesn't need a mask, his whole freakin' head is set on fire!

Posted by Neuron

Anything that alters every physical aspect of you, maybe down to the DNA level, while also being completely unlikely and unguessable. Iron Man has a good one, but Tony Stark would be a fair guess as to the man actually in the suit. I don't think you would want anyone able to guess, which means you wouldn't want to be even semi-famous. An everyman. Billy Batson almost nails it.

Posted by super_psycho

Alex mercer

Posted by Mbecks14

People always hate on the Glasses but what they don't get is that nobody expects Superman to even have a secret identity. The people of the DCU assume Superman is Superman all the time, so they're not looking for him. Also, Clark does a lot more than put glasses on. He acts different and is almost an entirely new person.

So i think Superman's disguise is just fine.

Posted by CATPANEXE

1. I'm going there I know, but make a Faustian deal, magic identity, ect. Also any type of mind alteration. That way everyone who knows your identity still doesn't know your identity. One really can't do any better than that. I mean think about this, for some time even Wolverine didn't even know his own secret identity. Now that's a well kept secret!
2. Shapeshifter. Obviously they have it made. Unlike a person like the Hulk who could be caught changing into Bruce Banner, and has, and is stuck with the two identities, shapeshifters have an infinite amount to choose from.
3. The power of deniability...
 
@9th Wonder said:

You would think it would be Matt Murdock\Daredevil but some how he always seems to be the one whose identity get outted.
Yet he still does work on the other hand, and it's the power of deniability that drives this. Many people are aware of the rumor that Matt Murdock is Daredevil, and talk
about it in a paparazzi kind of way, yet it isn't fully believed that he actually is Daredevil either, because most people can't except that a blind attorney could pull it off.
Backed by the bonus that he's a legal and more importantly a PR expert, he's managed to keep it denied while having it out in the open at the same time. This as
other posters have writ is how characters like Superman pull it off for example, and many others. It's not hard even for characters to actually rescind their secret identity's
attachment to their super one after the fact has come out can just create some evidence where it could be skewed to seem as if it isn't true, and the public's deniability 
will take care of the rest. A popular one being saying they were standing in as the superhero. Deniability may well not be the best, but could seem to be the most used and most realistic way of having a secret identity.
Posted by Wolverine0628

Bruce Wayne will ALWAYS be the best!

Posted by frozenedge

The second Wingman . Nobody except Bruce Wayne knows who he is. I don't even think the writers know who he is lol

Posted by sinful

I would assume the best secret identity would be the one that no one has yet to know the true identity.

Technically Quite a few superheroes and super villains know who Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and many others are.

Maybe I'm being too deep in this.

Posted by MetropolisKid41
@Mbecks14 said:

People always hate on the Glasses but what they don't get is that nobody expects Superman to even have a secret identity. The people of the DCU assume Superman is Superman all the time, so they're not looking for him. Also, Clark does a lot more than put glasses on. He acts different and is almost an entirely new person.

So i think Superman's disguise is just fine.


Exactly this, Lex Lutho finds out early on in Superman volume 2, but thinks this is absurd, that no Super-powered being like Superman would lower himself to a "spine-less geek" on the social ladder. His transformation from a mild, quiet and slouchy un-physical looking Clark Kent to the most powerful man on Earth would seem absurb to anyone in the DCU, it seems obvious to us because we've always known it and can't figure out why no one else gets it.  
 
Also you have to take into account what Byrne did with Superman after Crisis on Infinite Earths, where he made Superman move his molecules and vibrate super fast so that no one ever got a clear shot at his face, in all of the photographs his face was always blurry.
Posted by CATPANEXE

Oh, and the way I hide mine, while I'm not sure if it's the best way, I will leave that call up to you, is I shrink down hide inside other peoples stomachs while wrapped in a condom. My preferred method of getting there is to shrink down inside of any basic filled pastry, naked of course, as I haven't figured out the ancient secret of clothes shrinking nor would I want to endanger anyone with a polyester allergy for that matter, and I jump out of the center of the delicious treat and down the persons throat as they take the first bite and swallow. I then proceed to hide in their belly, then sneak out while their sleeping, enlarge myself, steal their wardrobe, grab a bite to eat from the fridge if need be and if I already didn't do that inside of their digestive system, then run off to battle the forces of evil in that persons identity (as I'm wearing there clothes and have their identification, bank card, ect on my person. This is the way I reproduce, as you are all already aware.

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

@Daveyo520: Stan Lee mentioned how he liked that costume because he could be anyone under there, any ethnicity, any gender really i guess, anyone. They also mention in Blackest Night (Name?) where Barry tells Hal that Kyle Rayner's mask is great because it obscures his face more than a tiny mask like Hal has. I wanted to find the image where Hobie Brown was dressed as Spider-Man too, but I couldn't find it here.

Amazing Spider-Man #5
Posted by daredevil21134

It was a blind lawyer,until Bendis ruined it

Posted by christopherwalken

Best secret identity is probably no secret identity at all. Like Preacher.

Posted by Dynamo8

Batman's . . . it's so secretive that not even he knows it himself!!

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Spider-man has the best secret identity because his whole face is covered it would be very hard to figure out his identity.

Posted by 04nbod

Thor or Captain Marvel surely. Its the same type of thing. MAGIC! I especially like Thor's because when writers get it right it tells us a lot about him. Thor as the mortal Blake, no powers at all but he's still a hero. He's a hero 24/7 in different ways. Thor saves lives. Sometimes he hurts others to do it, sometimes he heals others.

Posted by Trylks

Mystique, why having one single secret identity when you can have them all?

Or, Guy Fawkes' mask, which is the opposite approach, have a single secret identity, then make everyone share your identity.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I think the best secret identity for the superhero is the one that puts said hero in plain sight before anyone else in public or elsewhere and yet nobody catches on. That's why I've loved Clark Kent's ability to hide in plain sight with nobody being able to put two and two together. Not that it would help much since he tends to make vibrations on camera and other media to muddle any efforts to make a positive identification possible. Not that all other superheroes present have the luxury of such things as Clark does, but still, in my opinion it makes Superman's alter-ego the most practical, and amazing.

Posted by Mr.Hulk_Smashin'!

@spiderbat87 said:

Realistically masks like Batmans and even spider-man's still wouldn't work if you where speaking to some one that knows you. What you really need is something like Iron Man or Blue Beetle, you cant make out there skin colour hight or body type through the armour and also the tech can change there voices.

What you have to keep in mind is that the fabric over Spidey's mouth muffles his voice and if necessary, he can alter his voice slightly around those that know him.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Mr.Hulk_Smashin'! said:

@spiderbat87 said:

Realistically masks like Batmans and even spider-man's still wouldn't work if you where speaking to some one that knows you. What you really need is something like Iron Man or Blue Beetle, you cant make out there skin colour hight or body type through the armour and also the tech can change there voices.

What you have to keep in mind is that the fabric over Spidey's mouth muffles his voice and if necessary, he can alter his voice slightly around those that know him.

I still dont see it, if your girl friend came walking up to you in a body suit talking in a funny voice would you not still know it was him? 
Edited by PhoenixoftheTides

I agree with Judd Winnick. I think super sentai have the best "secret identities" because they wear full body armor.

You're not going to figure out who these people are unless they want you to know. Not as titillating as some superheroes' outfits but a heck of a lot more practical.

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