Off My Mind: Why Don't Heroes Leave Behind Revealing Evidence?
This idea thought came up again after reading Black Cat #1. (To the right) you can see Spider-Man touching some stolen rings without his glove and he mentions returning them. Sure they may be small but what about the possibility of leaving behind a partial fingerprint?
What about hair? Most female characters and male characters not wearing masks would be likely to leave behind at least one strand of hair. With all their fighting and jumping around, you would think they'd leave some hair behind for investigators to find (although the one time I tried watching CSI: New York, I laughed that the "investigator" was examining evidence while her full head of hair was just flowing freely around the lab).
== TEASER ==
Hair (or bits of her costume) is something that also pops up in the issue of Black Cat when she's framed for a crime. Crime Scene Investigators do exist in the Marvel Universe. That's what Peter's friend Carlie Cooper does. Are they just trained to ignore this evidence? Can they not do anything with it if the hero's fingerprints or DNA aren't in the system and won't bring up a match? It must be pretty annoying investigating a scene and finding a bunch of extra evidence that will just take up police time and resources. Maybe heroes need to start wearing hairnets when fighting crime.
Speaking of wearing hairnets, perhaps that's something Superman should do as well. (Believe it or not) I haven't seen Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. It's my understanding that in the movie, Lex creates a clone of Superman using the DNA from a strand of his hair. I seem to recall this happening in an actual comic issue as well except the strand of hair was donated to a charity by Superman and later stolen by Lex.
What is the answer? How come we haven't seen any heroes' identity revealed due to trace evidence? Do heroes go around cleaning up after themselves off panel? Is there a big cover up going on within the police departments? Would it be best for all superheroes to wear masks or hairnets when fighting crime? Let's hope it doesn't ever come to that.
If there is no data on the secret identity say Peter Parker on file then all the evidence you collect on Spiderman is useless as there is nothing to compare it to. I am sure there are terabytes of info on all superheroes but without the ability to compare it to something its all pretty useless.
Now in some instances someone like Oracle may have a worm program running that deletes all computer references to certain superheros as soon as it is entered. Deleteing the actual physical evidence would be harder but how many people today look beyond the computer to see if somethng is there.
Ugh. You mentioned possibly the worst Superman movie ever. The hair was cut by scissors, for crying out loud LOL. I do find this an interesting idea though. I think that the investigators have a good understanding of the benefits of having superheroes and may tend to look the other way. Besides, though, even with all that evidence, would there necessarily be a database to compare against if the heroes had no criminal records ? I can feel the paranoia rising up here
I've always wondered about this myself. I mean in most superhero comics after a particularly violent battle (spider-man for example) the heroes usually left bloody with their costume in shreds. Surely a half CSI would have no problem finding blood or whatever at the scene and figuring it out.
I know Icemizer mentioned they may not have data on the hero's secret identity but that would just mean one small slip up with the law and their whole identity is compromised, and lets face it Marvel heroes secret identities have a knack of getting framed for things...
@G-Man: As a forensic scientist i can tell you that i agree they would have millions of potentially tell tale evidence laying around from all there heroic exploits, but much of it would be made useless by the fact they cant tie the evidence to the person since a very high percentage of superheroes dont have criminal records. For the people who have ex military history and criminal records they could be indetified easy if evidence is weatheed or contaminated before testing thou.
Always suprises me that batman hasnt been id'd since he often leaves blood samples from various cuts and wounds he has. I'am sure Bruce would have had medical files from when he was injured as kid ,not to even mention if blood was tested would show simularties to the his parents blood which is probably saved on file as evidence somewhere from their shooting.
Also in terms of removing potential evidence by altering costume you would need to consider so many aspects since can even gather some pyschical aspects of a suspect from a simple shoe print , hair uniform fibres skin flakes etc are all again very hard to 100% nulify thats why people say there is no perfect crime its near impossible to remove 100% of trace evidence.
Finally CSI is so floored in term os actual practise its brilliant , my first year of uni we had a lecture titled (why csi is wrong about nearly everything)
They're just lucky they don't live around here... Imagine trying to keep your secret identity a secret, when there's a CCTV camera on every street corner, following you around, watching you change costumes & then trailing you back home...
"They're just lucky they don't live around here... Imagine trying to keep your secret identity a secret, when there's a CCTV camera on every street corner, following you around, watching you change costumes & then trailing you back home... "
where do you live
" They're just lucky they don't live around here... Imagine trying to keep your secret identity a secret, when there's a CCTV camera on every street corner, following you around, watching you change costumes & then trailing you back home... "lol england the original big brother nation lol
A topic I thought about a long time ago but dimissed because heck, this is the world of comics, and things in "our" world don't necessarily apply.
However, you'd think a villain would be the one scouring for some type of "CSI' material in an effort to discover their respective adversary's identity.
Methinks you think too much about this G. Yet I did the same thing, so Ha!
Maybe its like Gaticca (spelling?) we just don't see the hours that the heroes spend cleaning up any traces of their hair, skin cells, and fingerprints. We also don't see them use the restroom either.
I think that to connect someone with the hero identity you need to have both DNA samples. If the character has a record I think they already have the sample. But then I think you have to think of that person too. (I am not a CSI or a scientist of any sort so I could be completely wrong).
But I think if no one thinks of the other person, they wont get the DNA to match the hero's DNA to. They can't run it through a computer and have it pop up, "This is Peter Parker's DNA." (I don't think). They have to compare it to another DNA sample to see if its a match, and maybe there isn't enough of a match to make a case or something. (again, still not a CSI person).
Also some comics have brought up the fact that the hero has sometimes gotten in the way of the investigation.
Some criminals get out on technicalities because the hero beat them up, and I am sure because other evidence left by the hero tampered with the evidence that would have lead to the bad guy being convicted.
Also, maybe sometimes the cops look the other way or throw out the evidence the hero has left or something.
Actually on the converse of this, it's always amusing that there's a multitude of clues villains leave behind that police investigators miss, but even after massive brawls there's rarely anything left behind that police or villains find of the heroes.
Probably because comics have been around since the 30s and CSI (the genetics aspects at least) is relatively new. No writer would muddy up a perfectly good comic story by bringing SO much realism into the mix.
I prefer it that way too - add too much reality and you destroy the beauty of comics. I guess it's a Zen thing.
yea not only that....But even if they did have Info on the people to expose them they would probably just become criminals for technically being Vigilante's b/c they are not Certified Police Officers and I don't think they would arrest a the only group of People able to stop the overwhelming Group of Supervillans that Come out of nowhere for ex. They see proffesor X take down a Bad Guy....But they aren't gonna Arrest him and Take hold of his property B/c he is the only guy who can handle the evil mutants and not too mention then they would have to find some where to place the School full of mutants
A lot of what is on CSI is bull sugar Finger prints from people not in the system would be useless and finger prints are very much exaggerated in Hollywood they rarely get a good print unless it's on glass or something and that's if they even bother. DNA from a super hero would just mean that a super hero had been there. They'd have no idea which one or where they were.
Superman's hair is too strong to just fall off. That's not ad hoc, I am basing that on his wind speeds and how dense the rest of his body is. It won't even burn from fire. It would also be hard to tell it was superman's hair unless you pulled on ever hair you happened to find. Superman 4 had a strand of his hair (freely given by superman) in a museum holding up a 1,000 lbs weight or something. Luther went there and stole it. It never made sense to me how he cut it with scissors I guess they had kryptonite on them.
I wonder why more bad guys don't just follow them home. That's how the Green Goblin figured out Spider-man's identity and how Ana K. deduced it to either Parker or his roommate.
You'd figure a guy like Bataman who is 6'4 and must be or be connected to a billionaire who lives in the Gotham area couldn't be that hard to deduce but they never get him.
Superman, good grief is Clark even much of a disguise anyway? A pair of glasses. And he works with investigative journalist at least three of whom talk to both he and the Clark version up close pretty regularly enough to know what they look like. Same height same face, both muscular as hell. How hard can that be to deduce?
Understandably someone like Thor or Captain Marvel who completely change would be harder to deduce But there are tons that would be easy to just follow home. Or figure out because they work with them.
Ok in situations like this I honestly think places like SHIELD come into play, that and the fact that I believe that some law enforcements places look after the hero community in this aspect. I mean honestly when Galactus comes down to earth do you think the cops want to rush out to fight him, nope they call out the heroes to do it, so why not help them out and lose some paperwork or drop some evidence here and there.
"Mr. Kent's DNA should raise a few eyebrows if it's ever tested. Mr. Parker's wouldn't exactly be text book either with all the arachnid in there. "
There was this old Spidey cartoon episode where Peter Parker was afraid to give blood because it might blow his secret ID. Do you guys remember it?
I actually think in Superman 4 the hair was connected to wires itself and that's what Lex cut. To be honest its been so long since I've seen it, but for some reason when I think about it I see two thicker pieces at the ends of the strand of hair. I could be wrong though and he just cut the hair.
I think you guys talked about this in a podcast. G-man, you mentioned that perhaps commisioner Gordon may suspect Batman's identity, but does not follow that trail to its logical conclusion, perhaps to let sleeping dogs lie and allow dark vigilantes to fight crime in that special way that they do. Perhaps there is a file, or even an investigative unit, that is responsible for collecting evidence regarding the secret identities of super-heroes. Maybe the CIA or FBI has said division in their organizations, and should any super-hero go rogue, then this unit is dispatched to hunt down the super-hero, using the information gathered, and chase the suspected alter-ego. Or maybe the cops are that dumb and that's why you can have costumed super-heroes flying around and swinging from rooftops taking the law into their own hands.
i've always wondered how Clark(on Smallville) never got caught on camera by Lex. He is shown as having a bunch of cameras in his house for sequirity reasons and Clark seems to have this odd habit of super-speeding all the way to Lex's office door. So even if Clark is running to fast to be recorded, him suddenly apperaing outside Lex's door without appearing on any camera leading up to that should be suspect.
This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.
Comment and Save
Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.