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Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

I apologize if this has been discussed before. I did a search and did not find a previous thread but I may have used the wrong words. Anyway...

I've been thinking about the possibilities of a well known super hero actually maintaining a secret identity. Is it possible? If so, how difficult would it be to maintain?

I've always just accepted the Man of Steel's ability to disguise himself with a pair of reading glasses and a good acting job... But since that horrid One More Day event in which Peter Parker sold his soul to save his aunt who is old enough to have live next door to Moses, I've been thinking about how easily it would be for one to discover the true identity of Spider-Man. And that got me thinking about all super heroes.

Super Man, in the DC universe, is basically the most well known super hero, is he not? And does he not have thousands upon thousands of photographs of him floating around? Facial Recognition applications are no longer things of science fiction; they exist. The internet also exist. It would absolutely be possible to run a program that searched every database on the internet to find a match for Super Man. So, one image of Clark Kent on the net, with a little information, would be enough to connect the two. Surely, Lex Luthor could accomplish this... Almost any computer savvy person with access to a facial recognition pattern could accomplish this.

But, even without a photograph of a hero's face, there are still ways to figure out who a hero might be. Let's consider Spider-Man: So, supposedly everyone's memory of his secret identity has been erased and only those he has told since O.M.D. know who he really is... Although, there have been hints that SOME people still retain SOME sort of memory of his past. (i.e. Spider-Woman thinking Spider-Man was married... Hawkeye remembering that Jessica Drew had a crush on Spider-Man in high school)

But, let's assume an intelligent villain wanted to figure out Spider-Man's true identity. He could use a little common sense and a good search application. So, other heroes and villains would see or discern certain things about Spidey, such as:

  1. Sex - Male
  2. Race - Caucasian. His skin often shows through his torn costume.
  3. Hair and Eye color - Brown. Again, seen through the torn costume.
  4. Physical dimensions - easily calculated from images of him. Height, weight, etc...
  5. U.S. citizenship - obvious
  6. Residence - He's ALWAYS in New York City and has on a number of times stated that he is a new yorker.

So, just with that little information there, one could search for all male Caucasians who are residents of New York City that match the physical dimensions of Spider-Man... So, hack into the database of the New York City DMV, or hospitals, or police databases, or anything containing physical information on residences of New York City...

Sure the list would be long, but it can be narrowed further with a little insight or super villain gadgetry...

  1. Age - His age can easily be guesstimated to be between 14 and 45. He 'appears' to be an adult, but the images of his hair would show no grey.
  2. Educated - Heroes and Villains who have been around him enough would see that he's obviously educated beyond the high school level. In particular they might notice he has a keen understanding of science.
  3. DNA - Obviously there are a number of villains and heroes have his DNA. How difficult would it be for Dr. Doom or Otto Octavius or even the Wizard to punch Spidey and get a blood sample...

So, now the "searcher" narrows his database to white male residences of New York City who have a college degree, in particular a degree in one of the Sciences.

Based on this alone, the list should narrow significantly... But it would be easy to narrow the possibilities even further. You simply eliminate those still on the list who could not possibly be Spider-Man

  1. Eliminate those who were simply not in New York when Spider-Man was. For example, anyone who has done a tour of duty overseas while in the military. Spider-Man could not have been in Iraq for a year or two while he was also fighting crime in New York.
  2. Eliminate from the list anyone who has not been a resident consistently for the past ten years. (approximately how long Spider-Man has been Spider-Man)
  3. Eliminate those physically unable. i.e. quadriplegics, paraplegics, etc...

By this point the list should be manageable. At this point, our searcher could really use a sample of DNA, but even without it... Wouldn't they be very close? So then with a little research and perhaps:

  1. Facial Recognition Applications
  2. Voice Recognition Applications
  3. DNA analysis
  4. Good old fashioned footwork

This really would be possible, don't you think? How many super heroes with secret identities really could keep their secrets in today's comic book universe? What do you all think?

#1 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio

It's funny how Secret Identities used to really bug me when I was getting into super hero comics. After all, taking your glasses off doesn't make someone completely unidentifiable ;)

Strangely, this doesn't bother me so much any more (even though I now wear glasses... Or do I?? ;)

#2 Posted by truespark (42 posts) - - Show Bio

You bring up some good points, and I think this would actually make for a good story in any superhero series. The hero might have to use some of the more "concrete" evidence to his or her own advantage. Surely the more social heroes could pull some strings and get their secret identity's DNA on record replaced with somebody else's, or draw up some records which claim they were in fact overseas while their heroic identity was punching some bad guys at home.

Of course with all the memory erasing and timestream altering that happens in these places they might just be able to insert some incorrect facts into the minds of their enemies. While at the end of the day we sort of just have to accept the idea that secret identities are possible to maintain, part of the fun is seeing how the heroes do this. In a world where pretty much anything can happen, they really do have a large assortment of tools at their disposal to throw a wrench into any bothersome investigations which may come their way.

#3 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@truespark: That's an excellent point... Telepaths altering the mind of others... Altering records and data bases. Planting false information..

#4 Posted by cattlebattle (13411 posts) - - Show Bio
@Timandm: Yes!! .......I was just discussing similar topics with my friend the other day, the internet does indeed not only complicate super hero stories, but also makes a lot of them less believable and makes some characters irrelevant
 
Daredevil for instance is a favorite character of mine....and he is also blind, now, his enhanced senses allow him to "see"...kind of. Back in the seventies and eighties...even nineties you didn't have to suspend your disbelief that much as when he needed to do detective work he could use his sense of touch to read files or a paper, almost all these thing are done on the computer now of days...he can sense heat off of a screen, but as far as I remember.....he can;t see a screen, so when Daredevil breaks into a place to find where the police have hidden a witness (just an example I'm making up)....what the hell does he do??? wait for the information to print??....he just hangs out, and maybe gets a snack from the vending machine?? Dareveil is pretty irrelevant now of days since everything is basically kept in a computer, until he develops the power to read a computer screen.
 
Also, Isn't Cerebro quite irrelevant these days, the X-Men are always have to advanced technology anyway, so wouldn't it be probable they have an enhanced version of Google Earth, you can find anyone with internet as it is....They don't need a telepath....."your fired Professor, we can hack facebook"
 
So yeah, I know I was a bit off topic, but yeah, with the advantages of technology it wouldn't be hard to find out Batmans secret identity, I mean any idiot could figure out he's rich as he has his own freakin jet, you would just have to cross reference "millionaires in Gotham" and I'm pretty sure Bruce Waynes the only one....the rest falls into place through body figure and facial recognition and the fact he was always living with a young kid and at the same time Batman has a sidekick that looks suspiciously like Bruce Waynes ward
#5 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@cattlebattle: he can;t see a screen, so when Daredevil breaks into a place to find where the police have hidden a witness (just an example I'm making up)....what the hell does he do??? wait for the information to print??....he just hangs out, and maybe gets a snack from the vending machine??

Hmmm. Okay, so here's how marvel will retcon/upgrade... First of all, consider how they upgraded his 'sonar sense' to 'radar sense.' The sonar made sense to me since it's sound waves that his ears are perceiving and that is what ears do. To my knowledge, we humans don't have organs that detect radio waves (which is what radar uses.) Soooo.. In the near future, Daredevil's radar sense will 'adapt' and be able to detect the changes in the energy levels emitted by the letters on the screen... LOL! I actually managed to type that out without laughing until I was done...

Also, Isn't Cerebro quite irrelevant these days, the X-Men are always have to advanced technology anyway, so wouldn't it be probable they have an enhanced version of Google Earth, you can find anyone with internet as it is....They don't need a telepath....."your fired Professor, we can hack facebook"

True, but you don't need a mouse to operate Professor X... or DO YOU? HMMMM...

So yeah, I know I was a bit off topic, but yeah, with the advantages of technology it wouldn't be hard to find out Batmans secret identity, I mean any idiot could figure out he's rich as he has his own freakin jet, you would just have to cross reference "millionaires in Gotham" and I'm pretty sure Bruce Waynes the only one.

Well there is Helena Bertinelli, Huntress, but Batman's taller than her so..

#6 Posted by cattlebattle (13411 posts) - - Show Bio
@Timandm said:


So yeah, I know I was a bit off topic, but yeah, with the advantages of technology it wouldn't be hard to find out Batmans secret identity, I mean any idiot could figure out he's rich as he has his own freakin jet, you would just have to cross reference "millionaires in Gotham" and I'm pretty sure Bruce Waynes the only one.

Well there is Helena Bertinelli, Huntress, but Batman's taller than her so..

*without starting another "sexist" war  hopefully*     It would be harder to identify women as superheores, even using a computer, as they all have the same body type pretty much.....and by the same I mean,....you know....perfect...especially if you percieve it by the way Land or Dodson draws women, except Power Girl, I'm sure some pervert could pick that chest out of a line up...
#7 Posted by Larkin1388 (1733 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree/ It would be easy to find out someones secret identity. But i think it's still cool to have one. And even then keeping the secret of your identity to the general public could be useful.

#8 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@Larkin1388 said:

I agree/ It would be easy to find out someones secret identity. But i think it's still cool to have one. And even then keeping the secret of your identity to the general public could be useful.

Absolutely. I'm thinking that they'll have to start having more clever ways to maintain their secret identities... Image inducers... tech that blurs light bouncing off their bodies? false faces (somehow)... Maybe masks made of unstable molecules that mimic real faces...

@cattlebattle said:

@Timandm said:

So yeah, I know I was a bit off topic, but yeah, with the advantages of technology it wouldn't be hard to find out Batmans secret identity, I mean any idiot could figure out he's rich as he has his own freakin jet, you would just have to cross reference "millionaires in Gotham" and I'm pretty sure Bruce Waynes the only one.

Well there is Helena Bertinelli, Huntress, but Batman's taller than her so..

*without starting another "sexist" war hopefully* It would be harder to identify women as superheores, even using a computer, as they all have the same body type pretty much.....and by the same I mean,....you know....perfect...especially if you percieve it by the way Land or Dodson draws women, except Power Girl, I'm sure some pervert could pick that chest out of a line up...

Yeah, with the female super hero you'd have to go by hair and eye color... However, you could eliminate from the list of possibilities all women who are not tall and slim with huge breasts... That might actually make it easier...

#9 Posted by SC (13413 posts) - - Show Bio

Great blog! Nice points. I often like to think of such things when writing fan fiction. (in my imagination where no ones harsh words can wound my ego lol) then the fun part is also trying to fix the error and come up with problems that also might make sense in helping characters identities staying hidden... like first hand witnesses are notorious with details and so even with ways to identify certain characteristics, there would be a lot of fuzzy info out there that may eventually be known as fact? Its like media and how they report on science, and with trying to make the story more interesting rather than more accurate lol So I'd image there would be a lot of raw data that would have to be sifted though as well as well as known which sources to trust. Add in a bunch of conspiracy theorists and people looking to make money off super heroes (pretending to be them, claiming that they are carrying the child of Spider-man... having info about him, that they will reveal.. if paid...) could get pretty interesting playing off all these angles. i otherwise of course agree with your break down. 

Moderator
#10 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC: That makes me think... (again... MAN!)

The fuzzy info. could be something one would use to keep their secret identity a secret... It's like in politics... When trying to hide a certain fact, one can leak mis-information.. And then there's the clever leaking of real information through non-reliable source... Give this source the truth. Let them leak it, and then PROVE they are an unreliable source thus their info. cannot be trusted. THEN when a reliable person finds the truth, it STILL will not be trusted... THAT could be fun. I can imagine Daredevil doing something like that. And Bruce Wayne...

#11 Posted by AlexDM (20 posts) - - Show Bio

Has Superman's ability to keep his identity secret never been explained? I always assumed he had some alien technology/innate ability that made him unrecognisable.

Spidey's got to rely on the Venn diagram of people with a malicious reason to find him (e.g. wanting to hurt him indirectly through his loved ones, but not wanting to fight him directly) and having the means to do so (having all of the information you mentioned and making the same assumptions) being small. Anyone who meets those criteria then has to have the resources to do something with Spidey's identity. They've also

So you need a villain or group who:

  1. Is a good detective/lucky enough to have the information fall into their lap
  2. Has a good motivation for hurting him
  3. Can't/won't fight him directly
  4. Has the means to hurt him indirectly without him finding out first
  5. Isn't scared of him or the law retaliating

And as someone who's had grey hairs since 15, thanks for assuming I must be at least 45. :p

#12 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@AlexDM: Well, first and most importantly, the only reason I EVER assumed you to be 45 was because your obvious wisdom and... um... maturity.. and knowledge.. and stuff.. you know, like YODA... Mind if I call you Yoda? :-)

I think you're smak dab on with your list... So, who can we think of that might fit that list...

1: Norman Osbourne (who, at the moment, doesn't know Spider-Man's secret identity)

2: Dr. Octopus

3: The Wizard

4: Wilson Fisk (and whatever he doesn't have he can buy or hire)

5: um.. what's his name. The guy who built the Spider Slayers. Alistaire Smythe?

6: The Fixer (or is it the tinkerer? The goto guy for villains who need high tech work done)a

7: Organizations like A.I.M or HYDRA might want his DNA..

The list of possibilities could be rather long.i

Regarding Superman's identity, I've not heard of an explanation of how he manages to keep his secret identity....

#13 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (12637 posts) - - Show Bio

DC used to say they used magic to do the brainwashing thing.

#14 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@DeathpooltheT1000 said:

DC used to say they used magic to do the brainwashing thing.

You mean to hide Super Man's identity?

#15 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (12637 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm said:

@DeathpooltheT1000 said:

DC used to say they used magic to do the brainwashing thing.

You mean to hide Super Man's identity?

All i mean, i am the only one that remember that the JLA brainwashed Batman too?

#16 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@DeathpooltheT1000 said:

@Timandm said:

@DeathpooltheT1000 said:

DC used to say they used magic to do the brainwashing thing.

You mean to hide Super Man's identity?

All i mean, i am the only one that remember that the JLA brainwashed Batman too?

You might be... Maybe the rest of us got caught up in the brain washing thing...

#17 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (12637 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm said:

@DeathpooltheT1000 said:

@Timandm said:

@DeathpooltheT1000 said:

DC used to say they used magic to do the brainwashing thing.

You mean to hide Super Man's identity?

All i mean, i am the only one that remember that the JLA brainwashed Batman too?

You might be... Maybe the rest of us got caught up in the brain washing thing...

I am the only human that remembers Indetity Crisis?

#18 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@DeathpooltheT1000 said:

@Timandm said:

@DeathpooltheT1000 said:

@Timandm said:

@DeathpooltheT1000 said:

DC used to say they used magic to do the brainwashing thing.

You mean to hide Super Man's identity?

All i mean, i am the only one that remember that the JLA brainwashed Batman too?

You might be... Maybe the rest of us got caught up in the brain washing thing...

I am the only human that remembers Indetity Crisis?

I never read it... So... why don't you tell us what happened?

#19 Posted by TheOptimist (681 posts) - - Show Bio

Haha, I was about to point out Identity Crisis...

In explanation of it, the idea was that the villains had many opportunities to discover secret identities and did in fact manage to obtain several of them, but at the conclusion of those events, Zatanna used her powers to wipe their minds of what they had learned, thus explaining why no one ever figured it out.

Also, there have been plenty of stories that have dealt with it on a hero-by-hero basis, for instance using shapeshifters to have the secret identity appear with the hero, having more than one copy, etc.

#20 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (12637 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm: ue Dibny, the wife of superhero Elongated Man, is murdered in their apartment, apparently dying of burns (the Elongated Man was at the time on a stakeout, during which a minor character called Bolt is shot and wounded by criminals). The DC superhero community rallies to find the murderer, with villain Doctor Light being the prime suspect. Green Arrowreveals to the Flash (Wally West) and Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) that Light once rapedSue Dibny in the JLA satellite headquarters. To ensure this could not happen again, League members at that time — Atom (Ray Palmer), Black Canary, Hawkman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), and a very reluctant Flash (Barry Allen) — allowed the sorceress Zatanna to mind-wipe the villain and alter his personality.

Further discussion reveals that a mind wipe was also done on another occasion: When theSecret Society of Super Villains (the Wizard, Floronic Man, Star Sapphire, Reverse-Flash, and Blockbuster) captures JLA members Superman, Batman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Zatanna and Wonder Woman, and switched bodies with the heroes, allowing the villains to learn their secret identities. Although the heroes defeat the villains, Zatanna once again erases the villains' memories of the incident and their knowledge of the secret identities.

The heroes locate Light, who has hired the mercenary Deathstroke to protect him. During the battle, Light regains his memory and, enraged by the violation, uses his formerly lost powers to escape. Although questioned by Superman, Wally West continues to protect the heroes and their secret. Jean Loring, ex-wife of the Atom, is found by the hero hanging from a door and he revives her just in time. A death threat is then sent to Superman's wife, Lois Lane. Flash Rogues gallery villain Captain Boomerang (Digger Harkness) is hired by third-rate villain the Calculator (on behalf of the real killer) to assassinate Jack Drake, father of the then current Robin, Tim Drake. Drake, however, receives a gun and a note warning him of the impending attempt on his life. The character fatally shoots Boomerang, but not before the villain throws a razor boomerang into Drake's chest, killing him. Tim Drake discovers the body and is comforted by partner Batman, who confiscates the note before the authorities or the media can learn of its existence.

During the questioning of several villains by the heroes, former League member Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) is stabbed through the chest with the sword of the Shining Knight by the villain the Shadow Thief. Firestorm's nuclear powers reach critical mass and he detonates in theatmosphere.

Wally West questions Green Arrow again when he accidentally saw a snapshot of the battle on the Satellite in Light's mind, which reveals that Batman was also present. Green Arrow confesses that Batman disapproved of the attempted mind-wipe and also had his memory of the incident removed. Batman uses his detective skills to find the hideout of the Calculator, but discovers the villain anticipated this and abandoned it.

The autopsy of Sue Dibny's body by Doctor Mid-Nite and Mister Terrific, members of the Justice Society, reveals Dibny was killed by aninfarction in her brain. A microscopic scan of Dibny's brain reveals tiny footprints as a clue to the cause of the infarction.

Doctor Mid-Nite and Mister Terrific realize, as does Batman in the course of his own investigation, that Dibny was murdered by an assassin with access to the shrinking technology of the Atom (the technology allows the ability to shrink to subatomic size). Almost simultaneously Palmer learns that his estranged wife, Jean Loring, is aware of the note sent to Jack Drake (which had been kept secret) and deduces she is the killer. Loring claims she did not mean to kill Sue, and it was not her intention for Jack Drake to be killed, arguing that she sent the note and gun so he can protect himself. Loring states that she undertook the plan (including faking the attempt on her own life) in order to bring Ray back into her life. Palmer says that she is insane, and Loring is committed to Arkham Asylum and kept under heavy medication. In the final scene with the Justice League, Wally West is awkward in the presence of Batman, who is suspicious of his behavior.

#21 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheOptimist said:

Haha, I was about to point out Identity Crisis...

In explanation of it, the idea was that the villains had many opportunities to discover secret identities and did in fact manage to obtain several of them, but at the conclusion of those events, Zatanna used her powers to wipe their minds of what they had learned, thus explaining why no one ever figured it out.

Also, there have been plenty of stories that have dealt with it on a hero-by-hero basis, for instance using shapeshifters to have the secret identity appear with the hero, having more than one copy, etc.

Ah... That makes perfect sense..

First using magic (and I guess telepaths could do the same) to wipe memories...

Second, using shapeshifters to appear with the superhero.. I seem to recall, Tony Stark appearing with Iron Man, thus dispelling the rumors that he was actually Iron Man. In this case, it was rhodey in the Iron Man suit, but the same idea applies with shapeshifters... Martian Manhunter could morph into the likeness of Clark Kent and make an appearance with Super Man...

#22 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@DeathpooltheT1000: Wow... Thank you for all that information... Should I read the story? I mean, is it a good read?

It's hard to imagine Batman didn't ... um.. react badly when he learned his mind was wiped...

Again, thanks. I really do appreciate this kind of detail...

#23 Posted by difficlus (10632 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm: Very good points.

Ultimate spider man actually speaks of this. How many times have we seen spider-man suddenly crawl into his apartment with his costume on and swings out with it on? A lot. in USM a guy just followed spider man home using a helicopter and figured out where he goes to school. of course even if they have a mask, unless its made of some metal or something its possible to use advanced facial recognition than simply takes an almost echolocation of the face (i.e. all facial features) without regard to the surface material (such technology exists).

Also i mean Osborne actually figured out his identity in new ways to die arc. Idk what happened to that...

#24 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@difficlus said:

@Timandm: Very good points.

Ultimate spider man actually speaks of this. How many times have we seen spider-man suddenly crawl into his apartment with his costume on and swings out with it on? A lot. in USM a guy just followed spider man home using a helicopter and figured out where he goes to school. of course even if they have a mask, unless its made of some metal or something its possible to use advanced facial recognition than simply takes an almost echolocation of the face (i.e. all facial features) without regard to the surface material (such technology exists).

Also i mean Osborne actually figured out his identity in new ways to die arc. Idk what happened to that...

Yes! That! a mask that is basically just a stocking won't prevent someone with the right tech from getting an image of the heroes face...

I have to admit, I didn't really read USM until the last five issues or so. I have no idea how Osborn figured it out... Course, in the new USM we learn that Osborn actually 'created' Spider-Man so I guess that has something to do with it...

Although, I'm wondering, why Osborn isn't in jail after he was seen by the entire world killing Spider-Man... Or, is the green goblin someone other than Norman Osborn..

#25 Posted by difficlus (10632 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm said:

@difficlus said:

@Timandm: Very good points.

Ultimate spider man actually speaks of this. How many times have we seen spider-man suddenly crawl into his apartment with his costume on and swings out with it on? A lot. in USM a guy just followed spider man home using a helicopter and figured out where he goes to school. of course even if they have a mask, unless its made of some metal or something its possible to use advanced facial recognition than simply takes an almost echolocation of the face (i.e. all facial features) without regard to the surface material (such technology exists).

Also i mean Osborne actually figured out his identity in new ways to die arc. Idk what happened to that...

Yes! That! a mask that is basically just a stocking won't prevent someone with the right tech from getting an image of the heroes face...

I have to admit, I didn't really read USM until the last five issues or so. I have no idea how Osborn figured it out... Course, in the new USM we learn that Osborn actually 'created' Spider-Man so I guess that has something to do with it...

Although, I'm wondering, why Osborn isn't in jail after he was seen by the entire world killing Spider-Man... Or, is the green goblin someone other than Norman Osborn..

No its two different things.

Osborne figured out his identity in new ways to die arc which is in 616 amazing spider man (and after brand new day)

IN USM, Osborne knew from day 1 who he was. Of course he would know since it was his spider that bit peter parker. He actually confronted peter about killing aunt may and MK from early on in the series (like issue 10). Another guy followed him to his school.

#26 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@difficlus: DOH! got it... Was Osborne the one who destroyed Aunt May's house just before Stark invited the Parkers to live in Stark Tower?

#27 Posted by BloodTalon (443 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm: Yes I think IC was a great read

#28 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (12637 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm said:

@DeathpooltheT1000: Wow... Thank you for all that information... Should I read the story? I mean, is it a good read?

It's hard to imagine Batman didn't ... um.. react badly when he learned his mind was wiped...

Again, thanks. I really do appreciate this kind of detail...

I liked IC, i thinked it was smart, saddly Dc screwed IC later with another story that try to fix things.

#29 Posted by Paracelsus (1280 posts) - - Show Bio

Erm, how can an outside observer know that Peter Parker is really white- OK, he is demonstratably not African American, but he could be light skinned Asian or Hispanic. True, you narrow down the field somewhat but even so as any experienced detective will tell you-a description can still fit thousands of men(or women)in the greater New York area.True also,if Peter Parker's DNA is not in the system( esp if he has never been "busted" or been in the service like say, Steve Rogers-aka Captain America_), then how will thye know to compare it against?

Since the SHRA has been repealed(presumably) nobody knows who the "capes" are as before(One criticism of the SHRA was the lack of security- I mean if in real life, the Mafia can infiltrate the Witness Protection Programme and the KGB(pace Aldrich Ames and Robert Hansen) can penetrate the CIA and FBI respectively, then just imagine what Dr.Doom , Magneto, the Mandarin or the Red Skull could do, with all the money and computer expertise at their disposal).

Terry

#30 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@Paracelsus said:

Erm, how can an outside observer know that Peter Parker is really white- OK, he is demonstratably not African American, but he could be light skinned Asian or Hispanic. True, you narrow down the field somewhat but even so as any experienced detective will tell you-a description can still fit thousands of men(or women)in the greater New York area.True also,if Peter Parker's DNA is not in the system( esp if he has never been "busted" or been in the service like say, Steve Rogers-aka Captain America_), then how will thye know to compare it against?

Since the SHRA has been repealed(presumably) nobody knows who the "capes" are as before(One criticism of the SHRA was the lack of security- I mean if in real life, the Mafia can infiltrate the Witness Protection Programme and the KGB(pace Aldrich Ames and Robert Hansen) can penetrate the CIA and FBI respectively, then just imagine what Dr.Doom , Magneto, the Mandarin or the Red Skull could do, with all the money and computer expertise at their disposal).

Terry

Well, pictures of him with his uniform torn will show different parts of his body so skin color and hair color are easy...

Yes, it's true the list could be very long, that's why you use a number of things to narrow it down...

1: Male

2: caucasian

3: Resident of New York City for the past ten years

4: matching physical dimensions such as height, weight (calculated), hand size, head size, bone structure... These things can be used in an image analysis/recognition application.

5: College education (this would be a guess on the part of those who were familiar with him.)

Regarding the DNA matching... It would be helpful if Peter Parker's DNA were on file, but not likely... But if you're a criminal mastermind, getting a sample of Peter Parker's blood is completely possible. Even if you have to kill him to do so... But it is something you would not go after until you've narrowed the list significantly...

I haven't looked but... Consider how many names would be left on a list of...

1: White Males

2: Age 25 to 55

3: Brown hair and Brown eyes (as seen in photographs taken while his uniform is torn)

4: College education

5: Resident of New York continuously for the past ten years.

Going by census information from the year 2000 there were approximately 1.5 million white male residents of New York City above the age of 18...

That SEEMS large, but it's really not... Remove from that list anyone who has not been a resident of New York for ten years.... Spider Man has been around, in the marvel timeline for about ten years and always in New York City... He has SAID he's a resident of New York City to the people... sooooo... How many of those 1.5 million have been residents for 10 consecutive years???

Again from what's left, remove anyone not physically matching the description.. i.e brown hair, brown eyes, 5'10... Now THIS will remove MANY of them... It removes anyone with blonde hair, red hair, black hair, blue eyes, and green eyes....

NOW how many are left? The list is MUCH MUCH smaller.

Now, remove people who are significantly physically handicapped...

Now, remove everyone who does not have a college degree... This would be guess work but Spider-Man does appear to be very educated...

White men with brown hair and brown eyes, who have had a legal residence in New York City for the past 10 consecutive years, with a college a degree likely in the sciences, who are not physically handicapped........

I wouldn't be surprised if the list were down to a few thousand...

Regarding the SHRA, I hadn't even taken that into account... Sure it's been repealed, but all the information they had went into a goverment database somewhere... And the government does NOT destroy such data... It's still kept somewhere... So, yes, someone like Dr. Doom probably already has that information...

#31 Posted by KRYPTON (1868 posts) - - Show Bio

Congrats on getting featured

#32 Posted by Eet Mor Puppee (102 posts) - - Show Bio

The majority of heroes don't really have secret identities in the conventional sense anymore. This is especially true of team-based superheroes like the X-Men or the Avengers, but it's starting to get phased out for the solo types as well. Comic writers will have to get a bit more creative to think up ways to keep their characters insulated from the consequences of the superhero lifestyle.

#33 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@Eet Mor Puppee said:

The majority of heroes don't really have secret identities in the conventional sense anymore. This is especially true of team-based superheroes like the X-Men or the Avengers, but it's starting to get phased out for the solo types as well. Comic writers will have to get a bit more creative to think up ways to keep their characters insulated from the consequences of the superhero lifestyle.

Yep.. I guess I've been thinking/ 'feeling like' secret identities are becoming a thing of the past...

Sure, it'll be POSSIBLE to have a secret identity, but just a mask won't do it anymore...

#34 Posted by Neuron (109 posts) - - Show Bio

The lax separation of the hero and their true identity can really be attributed to the simplistic (yet awesome) "fantasy" aspect of superheroes and a desire to show regular people doing their regular things, but then busting out into awesomeness in a split second. If you add any reality at all to that (like you have), you're going to have real problems maintaining two completely different lives. Maintaining privacy is hard enough as a "regular" person. A public person (entertainer, politician) has a much harder time, and they almost always have to settle for a serious lack of privacy. I think a hero's secret life would have to be radically different from their public one; for example, if Peter Parker pretended to be a quadriplegic in his secret life, he would slip the search algorithm mentioned. You would almost certainly want to have your face covered, all the time. You wouldn't want to take the chance of bleeding in public, lest someone do many nasty things with the blood; any DNA traces at all would be game over, including hair or saliva. You would want your speech completely changed, if you were going to talk in public. You really wouldn't want to give away anything personal, and a completely different psych profile from your secret identity would be a very good thing.

It seems like Iron Man (who is completely obscured and contained) and Captain Marvel (who is magical and utterly changes) would have the best secret identities, given all of these real world detection methods. Or else a real super hero would just not ever have a real secret identity.

#35 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@Neuron said:

The lax separation of the hero and their true identity can really be attributed to the simplistic (yet awesome) "fantasy" aspect of superheroes and a desire to show regular people doing their regular things, but then busting out into awesomeness in a split second. If you add any reality at all to that (like you have), you're going to have real problems maintaining two completely different lives. Maintaining privacy is hard enough as a "regular" person. A public person (entertainer, politician) has a much harder time, and they almost always have to settle for a serious lack of privacy. I think a hero's secret life would have to be radically different from their public one; for example, if Peter Parker pretended to be a quadriplegic in his secret life, he would slip the search algorithm mentioned. You would almost certainly want to have your face covered, all the time. You wouldn't want to take the chance of bleeding in public, lest someone do many nasty things with the blood; any DNA traces at all would be game over, including hair or saliva. You would want your speech completely changed, if you were going to talk in public. You really wouldn't want to give away anything personal, and a completely different psych profile from your secret identity would be a very good thing.

It seems like Iron Man (who is completely obscured and contained) and Captain Marvel (who is magical and utterly changes) would have the best secret identities, given all of these real world detection methods. Or else a real super hero would just not ever have a real secret identity.

Excellent!!!

Maybe, there should be a thread for creative ways for a super hero to maintain a secret identity... Live what you've just shared...

you said they wouldn't want to take a chance of bleeding in public... Perhaps they could actually USE that... Leave the blood of someone else at various scenes to throw people off...

Peter Parker pretending to be a quadriplegic. Excellent one. Yep, he'd be right off the list, as would.. um.. Captain Marvel jr? the blue one? Who, in his human form, is crippled? Perhaps 'pretending' to have a lame leg and walking with a cane, much like Dr. Donald Blake long ago...

Never showing their faces - How about, masks made of unstable molecules that present FALSE faces... In fact, the false face could BE the mask... With unstable molecules, could not a white male appear to be a black female?

There are ways... They'd just have to be creative.

#36 Edited by RedOwl_1 (1664 posts) - - Show Bio

Not much... no I think that anybody can saves of a guy like it and I think I have seen it a few times I remember

  • The Batman - In the last episode of 3 season Hugo Strange (yes the one of Arkham City) makes a robot and it becomes the ultimate criminal (u have to see it to know what I'm talking about) and discovers Batman's identity the same way as you propose it Don't ask it here is the link http://www.watchcartoononline.com/the-batman-season-3-episode-13-gothams-ultimate-criminal-mastermind and

  • Superman/Batman #85 - A reporter do the same with Batman and almost publish it .... but somebody kills he (yeah read it is cool ;D)
  • The Batman Strikes #17 - That proves (or almost) the theory of the face recognition, yep the riddler was close... but not enough

And that shows that ALL (in my opinion) are crumble in this aspect (or unless Batman) but everybody underestimate people like "Oh come on really", yep seen it in the spectacular spider man the cartoon, poor Peter they really think that he's a BIG LOSER, here's link http://www.watchcartoononline.com/the-spectacular-spider-man-episode-20-identity-crisis

Main lesson here - Stereotypes and underestimate help a lot with the secret identity thing but without this... everybody can deduce their secret identity

#37 Posted by Timandm (3316 posts) - - Show Bio

@RedOwl_1:I see what you're saying. Kind of like in the movie, "Superman Returns" there is a scene where Lois's husband (who was Cyclops by the way) whispers to her, "Do you think Clark could be Superman?" ... They both look and then bust out laughing.. Kind of an, "AS IF" type of thing... So, if a super heroes civilian friends see him as a loser, or geek, or less than average type of person, they simply would never suspect... That makes sense...

Of course, that doesn't throw off the villains who are actively trying to find out who the super hero is in civilian life...

#38 Posted by 0zymandias (7 posts) - - Show Bio

It always seemed to me the police could and would piece together a super hero's identity in that way. It's in the way they operate(the police) they'd want to know just because it's part of there job to know the actions of people who would take criminal action even if it's altruistic vigilantism.

#39 Posted by Paracelsus (1280 posts) - - Show Bio

Firstly, I doubt very much if Bruce Wayne is the ONLY millionaire in Gotham City( the only BILLIONAIRE maybe) so that by itself is not proof positive of his identity. You try visualizing the society blade or mindless party animal as the grim masked avenger of the night( in the old "Wonder Woman" TV series, it was a running gag that nobody including Steve Trevor seriously thought that the frumpy/dowdy Diana Prince could possibly be the self same Amazon Princess)! Secondly as to DNA tests via blood as to our hero/heroine's identity, in X_MEN #159, after Storm is hospitalized after being attacked by Dracula, Wolverine notes that a mutant's blood contains factors not found in normal humans, so our hero (esp if a mutant) would be well advised NEVER to be a blood donor or have to seek medical attention(or if they MUST seek medical attention, find a doctor who can be relied upon to be discreet, preferably one struck off the State medical register) - my advice is as with Seraph in the novel I'm writing, she claims in her "secret identity" to suffer from an unnamed disease/illness that not only requires frequent travel for "health reasons", but means that she can not donate blood on medical grounds

(two birds with one stone- few want to be seen as bullying a woman who may be terminally ill but has an ironclad refusal to controibute to any Red Cross blood drives). Unfortunately, she inadvertently cuts herself whilst opening a tin and Sue Richards saves the blood stained tissue and brings it to hubby Reed for analysis, and her secret is blown!

Terry

#40 Posted by They Killed Cap! (2235 posts) - - Show Bio

I always wonder how Batman dosen't get found out simply by traveling to from the same 5 or 10 bunkers and caves...satellite and all should eventually put a handle on him.

#41 Posted by Maki_P (275 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm: Em... Donald Blake was real, he really had a lame leg, it was part of Odin's lesson. And I think Neuron meant all the Marvels, they use magic to transform which probably has the effect of making them unrecognizable between their identities. (The fact that Captain Marvel is an adult and Billy Batson a kid surely helps too).

About Superman, I think part of it is the fact that Nobody knows he has a Secret Identity, so no one's looking. And sure Lex Luthor could figure it out Superman's secret identity, in fact he did right after Crisis (Superman #2); he fired the scientist responsible for her incompetence, because someone with Superman's power would never lower himself to pretend to be a pathetic mortal like Clark Kent, obviously.

#42 Posted by SexualLobster (995 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Batman and Superman would be the easiest to identify.

Oh that multibillionaire guy who ha suffered a tragic loss of his parents at a young age and inherited a company that has branches in multiple forms of technologies? Nah, he couldn't be Batman. Also his costume reveals his ethnicity, his size, his gender, voice, and the fact that he's a genius and martial artist still never tipped anyone off?

And Superman? Don't even get me started..

At least Spiderman has a costume that while he's CRIME FIGHTING (that's what he used to do occasionally) keeps most of his details secret.

#43 Posted by LP (653 posts) - - Show Bio

.... well then it's a good thing for them that people in comics don't actively try to uncover their identity! =P

#44 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (12637 posts) - - Show Bio

Coversations that are evidence, that a secret identity creates crazy ideas that are the best cover for who they are.

Billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is the Batman!

Just think about it, fellow Gotham residents! Have you ever seen Batman and Bruce Wayne together in the same room? And yet all other high-ranking people in the community are either confirmed or rumored to have associated with The Bat, including Commissioner Gordon himself. The strange bruises and cuts we see on Mr. Wayne's face and hands sometimes. The evidence points to only one conclusion!

  • Dude, that's retarded. For one thing, Bruce Wayne's an idiot who's into extreme sports. Seriously, my sister, who works for the Gotham Globe, has a friend who dated him this one time and she described him as, and I quote: "Like Michelangelo's David - body chiseled perfection, head solid rock."
    • Batman is a ninja. Do you really think a scrawny billionaire like Bruce Wayne just climbed up a mountain and found the dojo of an ancient secret society of ninja?
      • Batman a ninja? What kind of weaponized hallucinogenic flowers are you smoking?
  • Batman is a robot.
    • No human could do those sorts of things, take and receive that level of punishment, Batman can't be human. Batman is a highly advanced experimental combat android able to withstand bullets, jump across buildings, and punch through walls.
    • Once again, the animated series apparently supports this.
  • Next, you'll be saying that Clark Kent is Superman! What audacity!
  • You must all be being deliberately stupid - HARVEY DENT ADMITTED HE WAS BATMAN! What more do you want?!
    • Harvey Dent is dead. The Batman is not. Proof enough for me.
      • But have you actually seen the body?
      • There was supposedly a body, but it's impossible to tell if was him - half his face was burned off. Beside, I was at party once where the Joker burst in and started threatening Dent's girlfriend, Rachel Dawes. Batman showed up and acted very concerned about her - because he's really Dent!
  • I heard they're doing some kind of biopic about Batman, and guess who's playing him? CHRISTIAN BALE! Isn't that, like, the perfect casting choice?
    • I read the cast listing, and he plays both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Maybe the producers know something we don't?
  • You people are completely on the wrong track. The question is have you ever see Clark Kent and Batman together? Think about it.
    • Hey! I haven't seen Clark Kent in the same room as Ambush Bug either...
      • Ambush Bug is Batman!
      • Ambush Bug is the Moon Princess!
    • Everyone, I have proof! So would Robin be his cousin Kara in a wig?
  • The Batmobile is a scrapped Wayne Enterprises military project: the Tumbler. The Tumbler was an experimental bridging vehicle abandoned by the military and only a handful of prototypes exist, and Batman somehow managed to get a hold of one? Chasing a tank down the freeway you would think the GPD would think to look through a few back issues of Jane's, given the current state of things Wayne is probably bribing the police.
    • Which leads to a question: why is Bruce Wayne covering for Dent's extracurricular activities and giving him so much free crime busting gear?
    • Oh, come on. How many people work for Wayne Enterprises? Okay, now how many of those hundreds (if not thousands) of people are notdrunken idiots?
      • But how many of them have access to scraped military projects?
      • Lucius Fox is Batman! He could have worked for Ford when the Futura was designed, he can easily reroute the prototypes and materials from Wayne Enterprises, and it can't be Harvey Dent, because Batman's been around for half a century, and Dent can't be over 40. Unless Dent is Lucius' apprentice...
  • Don't be ridiculous. Bruce Wayne's not Batman - Bruce Wayne's gay. All those supermodels are just a long line of beards. But he seems to spend a lot of time with his dark haired blue eyed wards, not to mention Clark Kent, and he was even seen with Lex Luthor, and everybody knows the rumors about him.
    • And Batman isn't? Anyone going around dressing like that is a bit off. I don't want to kill you. What would I do without you? You Complete Me. Anyone who has the transcript of Batman's interrogation of the Joker is thinking Foe Yay of the whole Joker-Batman thing.
      • You're joking. Batman can't be gay, he's obviously some sort of ultra-right-wing lunatic! Why else would he go around beating criminals to a pulp?
    • Clark Kent isn't gay. He's married to Lois Lane. Not that she's faithful. Hey, who could blame a gal for fooling around with a super powered muscle bound man in tights when her husband is so mild-mannered? And the worst of it? She uses this to get all the scoop on Superman and beat out her honest husband for a by-line! The nerve of some people.
  • Are you kidding me? This was disproven by the animated series.
  • I can't BELIEVE you guys are going so far with this tourist trap thing. Helloooo? Batman's not real! You ever seen Batman? Hell no! All we have is the word of the news, the police, and the Council that there's ACTUALLY some kind of, I don't know, Uber-Hero running around, taking out the mafia with his amazing skills and stopping purse-snatchings on the subway, de-shitholing Gotham one alley at a time. Yeah, right! He's about as real as the Loch Ness Monster - you think anybody would visit Lake Ness if there wasn't a "monster?" Batman has more to do with the fact that only 29% of Gotham college graduates go on to get jobs here than some super-resourceful, super-athletic guy wanting to clean up crime all of a sudden.
  • You're all wrong! Batman really is a girl! I mean, no self-respecting baddie would admit that he has been beaten by the girl, would he? So, this means that Bruce Wayne is not Batman, neither is Clark Kent. Lois Lane, on the other hand...
    • Yeah! You're right! I saw her back in No Man's Land. Spraying bat-tags and everything.
  • Batman is Peter Parker, who is Spider Man, who is that dreamy Toby MacGuire. Unnaturally strong? Check. Can't fly? Also check. Doesn'tLikeGuns? Spot-on. If you cut him, does he bleed? Yep. Lastly, does he use grappling wire to get around the city? Totally, unquestionably the same guy.
  • I always thought Batman was L. Biggest detective in the world, many aliases, creepy looks... So, that would make Joker... Kira?
    • The Joker can't be Kira. That Japanese actress Misa something-or-other is Kira; the news even said so and the Joker is definitely not a Japanese actress.
      • What better disguise, then?
    • The biggest detective in the world is Giant Boy Detective.
  • I know who Batman really is. Has access to very expensive, custom made equipment, so he's clearly got wealth. Needs some kind of support crew— but kept to a minimum, possibly even just one, to avoid endangering his Secret Identity. But that one would have to be very competent as well as fully dedicated— a Battle Butler, if you will. And Batman would certainly need a cover identity which could explain away any injuries or criminal entanglements— but he'd also need to be extremely well-trained and well-educated to do what Batman does, perhaps a great deal of travel or combat experience... Ah-HAH! It can only be one man! Batman is... Roger Smith!
    • Roger Smith?
    • We of the Union would like to add that Roger Smith is the Batman, and as such must be arrested and detained with extreme prejudice for daring to operate outside your... the law. We will hold his possessions until such time as he can retrieve them, particularly the giant mecha and the human-shaped robot girl he's keeping in his house. Our pinstripe-wearing, demonic-jester associate who is ''NOT'' the Joker will pick them up.
  • You're all morons! Harvey Bullock is Batman! Think about it: Bullock always says he hates Batman, he's much fatter than Batman, he sounds nothing like Batman, he has a reputation of taking bribes and being a crooked cop, and he uses guns. It's the perfect disguise! Who would suspect him?
    • No, Harvey Bullock is just one of Batman's disguises. The fatness is just padding, and the corruption is just a smokescreen so he can earn criminals' trust. Batman has to have an undercover identity in order to scope out criminals, and it's not like he can stick on a fake mustache and chew on a match. That would be the worst disguise ever!
  • Oh, come on everyone. It's obvious that Batman is Don Draper. Think about it: He's so mysterious, I don't think I've ever heard him talk about his past. Why does he disappear so often? He just leaves the office sometimes with no explanation. He disappeared for a whole two weeks just recently. And why does he live in a regular house? As head creative director, he should make more than that. I'll tell you why, all those gadgets are expensive. Even Harry Crane, head of the Television Department, guessed this once.
  • Don't you mean Dan Dreiberg? Vigilantes got outlawed in one universe, so he just got Dr. M. to give him a lift to an alternate one where he could continue to fight crime. But Owlman was already a villain to the denizens of The DCU, so he needed a new theme to avoid confusion...
  • Oh, whatever. You're all sheeple. It's obvious Christian Bale is Batman - he's got the voice, he clearly knows his stuff and what better cover would there be for him than actually playing Batman in the movies? None. Exactly.
  • Okay, I've lost you all, here. I just want to say that it's obvious that Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred - the one you occasionally see in pictures with Wayne - is totally Batman. I mean, you never see him, and you'd have to be a superhero to keep all of the Wayne mansion tidy! That logically means Bruce Wayne was the first Robin.
  • People, people, do the math! What do we know about Batman?
    • He's very, very rich—to get all those wonderful toys
    • He's very narcissistic—a man with unlimited resources and ability whose only hindrance is that he believes justice must be meted out by man dressed as bat
    • He's very sullen—all that black! Probably one of those emo teens when he was younger
    • He's very, veeeeeery ugly—hence the mask
    • And he can't get rid of a bomb! Look at the Adam West series; Batman is the only superhero who can go for nuns or school children and choose neither!
      • Put it together! Who is very very rich, who loves himself terribly, who is very mean and ugly, and who keeps sinking money into Miss USA despite it losing money every year? He is... DONALD TRUMP!
  • You're all wrong...Adam West is Batman! And Christian Bale is actually...the first Robin.
    • What are you talking about? Christian Bale couldn't be Robin (of which I suspect there have been at least two or three, possibly as many as five), he's Nightwing. Some paparazzo for the Gotham Hype Machine got pictures of him recently wearing a battle suit without a mask (some time after the whole deal with the evac ferries, with all the political stuff that was going down), and it's way too functional to be Batman. Batman can't even turn his head in that cowl! He doesn't even have a bright yellow "Batman" logo on, and Nightwing's chevron is almost invisible in the dark. I could easily see TV's Adam West as Batman, though. Playing him on TV is the perfect cover, especially since he also plays Catman, and everyone knows Catman is as much of an urban legend as Spider-Man.
  • This troper is going to make a wild mass guess and say all of the above is the most epic string of comments ever. 'Nuff said.
  • This troper thinks that you're all crazy! I'm Batman! * Is beaten up*
  • And Batman's not a robot... although he might be a small alien wearing an android body. Wait, this means... ... [pause for drama]... Batman is aDalek!
  • My theory was always that Kermit the Frog was Batman, and that Bruce Wayne was Cthulhu.
  • Please. How can none of you see the signs. Bruce Wayne may have the money, but is too much of a drunken idiot to do anything like be a vigilante. The person who's actually Batman would need to be vastly intelligent to fill the role as World's Greatest Detective, fabulously wealthy to put up with the cost of equipment, really buff and muscular so he can fulfill the physical side of it, we know he has a good relationship with Superman, and I've heard rumors he's got no powers and is only a mortal. .... None of you guys get it? Batman is actually LEX LUTHOR!
    • But I've seen Batman and Lex Luthor together before, usually accompanied by Superman and The Joker.
      • That was a robot duplicate, used to fool The Joker
  • You are all fools. Batman is obviously Tony Stark. Think about it:
    • He has access to lots of high-tech weapons and gadgets.
    • Have you ever seen both of them at the same time?
    • Who would suspect that batman is also iron man?
  • You're all barking up the wrong tree. Batman has all these super martial artist skills, surrounded by hot-babes that have their own super martial arts skills, total Jerk Ass, keeps meeting up with super martial arts costumed foes with daft gimmicks, Batman is Ranma Saotome. The bat suit is obviously some sort of attempt to keep the water off, obviously it doesn't work all the time because y'know, Bat-Girl.
  • You idiots. Batman is clearly Dom Cobb. How else can he pull off all those Batman Gambits if not for the fact that he can break into your head and steal and plant the ideas he wants?
    • I was under the impression that his friend Arthur was Batman. I mean, he's an anti-gravity ninja, dresses in suits, and is really, really stoic. Although I guess that could make Arthur Robin. And if that's the case, I don't EVEN wanna know about that Eames dude.
  • Come on. We all know Batman is REALLY Christopher Nolan. Wanna know why the gadgets in his Batman movies are so well-described? It's all really his stuff. Plus, dude's an expert in messing with people's heads without even NEEDING to break into them. He's got the skills for a Batman Gambit or three.
  • You've all got it wrong. The Batman is obviously a disguise for that Matches Malone crook. Think about it- every crime he's in on gets busted! Every single one!
  • Professor Hugo Strange is clearly the Batman. Look at him! He has the physique, the intellect, not to mention the fact that he's a criminal psychiatrist! Such a high-paying job no doubt allows him to finance his operations, and it explains Batman's detailed knowledge of the criminal mind!
  • OK, I hate to be the party-pooper here, but... why does this belong on Tv Tropes? I know the superhero genre is exciting and all, but Batman is a real person (or an urban legend, I'll give you that). He's not a fictional character, and speculating about who he really is seems kinda... silly. Not to mention distasteful - I'm sure a number of tropers are from Gotham and it is not unlikely their friend or loved one died to one of Batman's enemies. And I'm pretty sure real-life persons should not have their own pages on Tv Tropes. For the record, as conspiracy theory-ish as it sounds, I like the original theory about Batman being Bruce Wayne, it sounds almost crazy enough to be true. And some of the other WM Gsgave me a chuckle. But seriously, no speculation about real-life superheroes. Go write about the Gray Ghost or something.

Batman is Patrick Bateman.

Come on! Just drop the "E" and that's "Batman!" Could he make it any more obvious? Bateman's wealth would allow him develop all kinds of devices. And why else would Bateman work out so much? Or wander the streets late at night? How else can we explain the mysterious bloodstains on his clothing and person, except that he is fighting criminals? The Batsuit is as exquisitely tailored as any of Bateman's Armani. And the Batmobile - sheer style. Bateman is regularly mistaken for other Wall Street men - useful if one has an identity to conceal.

Batman is a Time Lord.

Think about it. How else can he be so Crazy Prepared? Its because he comes back from the future, knowing exactly what is going to happen, and is able to determine exactly what he needs to counter it. The Batcave is his TARDIS, and Alfred and the Bat Family are his companions.

Batman is really a bat.

When the bat during the famed "cowardly and superstitious lot" scene flew in the window, Bruce had a heart attack and died of fright. Guilt-stricken, the Bat hastily built a man suit and took the dead man's place. Not even Alfred knows, although he has his suspicions about how that guano keeps getting into Bruce's bedroom...

The Joker, Rorshach, Nite-Owl, The Riddler, Alfred, V, Tony Stark, Doc Samson, and Batman are all the same person.

And he's very, very busy.Batman is Malkavian.

Despite looking relatively young, he's been around since the thirties and he is never seen during the day, so chances are good he is a vampire. Now the Malkavian part...

  • He has a well documented series of obsessions bordering on outright mania.
  • He dresses in a silly outfit.
  • His personality changed radically over the years multiple times.
  • He's always prepared for everything. Most people just attribute it to his intelligence, but given his success rate, it seems to be far more likely that he is capable of outright precognition.
  • He can deliberatly infect other people with his madness. He has chosen multiple people over the years to do this to, and thus created the Bat Family.
  • And for the most convincing argument: He dresses in a silly outfit.

Mr. Rogers is Batman.

He has the training, after all.

Batman was Bruce Wayne all along!

Think about it, who else could afford the training and gadgets? We also know that he traveled the world much of his early adulthood in which he could have been training in esoteric martial arts and skills. His parents being killed in front of him would have given him the perfect motivation to become a crime fighter as well as causing him to constantly seek out new sidekicks to create a sense of family for himself. The millionaire playboy act is all an elaborate ruse worthy of the DCU's greatest detective himself!

Adam West is not only Batman...

But every masked super hero ever. He has the power to clone himself much like Multiple Man, and tends to send his clones out into the world in hopes that they'll gain super powers. Some of them actually succeed at gaining powers; while others work as regular costumed vigilantes. Bruce Wayne actually died years ago, and was replaced by one of West's clones that got cosmetic surgery and brainwashed himself into thinking he was Wayne. All the others have undergone similar brainwashing. Also, the main west, or "West Prime" is actually... Commisioner Gordon.

Martha Wayne and Martha Kent are the same person.

Thomas Wayne did die (so Batman's angst is valid), but Martha escaped and went into witness protection, moving out to Kansas and marrying Jonathan Kent. Martha doesn't know Batman's identity (as seen in Identity Crisis) and even Superman may not even realize it.

Daily Planet's reporter Clark Kent is Superman.

Think about it; he and Superman look suspiciously alike, have never seen together and a number of Superman's civilian friends are also friends of Clark Kent. Kent's nerdiness might be a case of Obfuscating Stupidity

  • Impossible. Clark Kent wears glasses. If Clark Kent took off his glasses, he couldn't see. Superman doesn't wear glasses. Superman can see. Therefore, Clark Kent is not Superman.
    • Maybe he wears contacts
      • Or maybe they just happen to look alike. Clark maybe a bumbling oaf, but he is an investigative journalist. Superman is an alien from a hyper-advanced world. Give Them some credit. The guies of WEARING GLASSES won't fool anyone, least of all these two.
      • If he wore contacts then he wouldn't be able to use his heat vision.
      • Unless he had some sort of heat-vision-proof glass/plastic. Maybe something leftover from Krypton?
  • Also, Superman never lies. If he was pretending to be a mild-mannered reporter, he would all but have to lie. The guy was brutally honest enough to tell a fully clothed Lois Lane that he was using his x-ray vision to look at her underwear!
    • How do you know he's not lying about never lying? For all we know everything could be an intricate web of lies created by this possibly dangerous alien trying to made us trust him, and then destroy the world, or something.
      • ... That you Lex?
      • ...... no
      • Lois Lane has prosopagnosia.
        This explains why she is unable to realize that Superman is Clark Kent.
  • Next you'll all be saying that Bruce Wayne is the Batman...
  • Now that you mention it...
    • No no no, see the Batman WMG page. Batman is everyone but Bruce Wayne.
  • Jossed. A few minutes ago, Stephen Colbert took off his glasses and gave himself a coif, and he looked exactly like Superman. (No, seriously, he does. It's uncanny. Seen at 1:45.)
  • This is insane. Why would Superman, who is nearly a god, spend 40 hours a week playing reporter when he could spend all that time catching bad guys, deposing evil dictators, etc.? The very idea that Superman has a secret identity is just ridiculous.
  • Superman and Clark Kent have too been seen in the same place at the same time. Now Clark Kent and Batman...
  • And Bruce Wayne is Superman. I mean, if you had Superman's powers, and were making a secret identity for yourself, wouldn't you make yourself rich and powerful and live in a mansion and date tons of beautiful women?

Clark Kent is Superman.

  • Jossed. I mean, look at those glasses! Superman doesn't wear glasses!
  • A mild-mannered reporter who keeps losing interviews to that Lane girl... is Superman? He doesn't even have a coiff! My money's on Stephen Colbert. I have heard that Clark's been seen sneaking out at night in blue and red pajamas, but there hasn't been any picture evidence, and it's only hearsay that he caught a steel girder once with his bare hands. With that evidence, he sounds a lot like Spider-Man. Maybe he and Stephen just switch off patrol areas to have an alibi.

Lex Luthor and Superman's rivalry is a direct creation of Batman.

Sure, they started it on their own, but it would have died off. Batman exacerbated it, and why? To set it so they can never follow their true desires. We've seen that Superman has a tendency to be a dick, and in at least one alternative universe (Red Son), Clark has shown a tendency to take over the world. Bruce is a prudent man, he can't keep his eye on Clark all the time. So he decides that Superman needs a "distraction." Enter Lex, who could easily take over the world, so Superman's interest and desire to remove Lex as a threat for his own control of the world means he's wrecking Lex's plans as a matter of self-interest. Lex and Clark counter each other in a twisted checks and balances system created by Bruce.Lex Luthor is Superman.

At some point in Kal-El's childhood, he manifested a power he's still unaware of— the ability to produce a non-powered avatar of his dark side, manifesting and expelling all his worst traits in bodily form. That's why Lex is so obsessed with Superman; he's unconsciously trying to get back home. Lex is literally Superman's evil.

During the Silver Age, Superman had a one night-stand with Optimus Prime.

We all know that the Silver Age was an age when anything could happen. This was an age where Super-ventriloquism could work in space. As such, one night, Superman got stupidly drunk and flew all the way to Cybertron where he hooked up with Optimus Prime for a one-night stand. They had kinky sex and then Superman flew back to Earth, waking up in the morning with a horrible headache and no memory of what happened. However, thanks to Superman's Super-Fertility, Optimus Prime became pregnant and gave birth to Superboy-Prime. The real reason Superboy-Prime is raging so much is all the missed alimony payments on Superman's behalf.

Superman is attracted to Lex Luthor.

I am basing this solely on the fact that most if not all of Superman's love interests have the initials L.L. Lois Lane, Lana Lang, uh, that mermaid. But what are Lex Luthor's initals? (I'll let you figure that one out yourself) I don't really want to entertain the idea but come on. There has to be some explaination. And aside from extraodinarilly creative lazyness on behalf of the writers the only one I can think of is that Superman and Lex Luthor are or at least have been more than 'just enemies'.

  • Ah, but you seem to be forgetting that "Lex" is short for "Alexander"! Thus making his initials AL and not LL!

Superman is a giant chicken.

A giant CHICKEN, I tell ya!

Red X is...

Jason Todd

  • "Jason Todd" was one of the theories on Beast Boy's chart in the episode of Red X's return. This was the name of one of the Robins from the comics, who recently came Back from the Dead and assumed an Anti-Villain identity with a very similar name — the "Red Hood". The new Red X is the current Titans' Robin's Evil Counterpart; his skill level and fighting style mirror Robin's. Jason was a bit of an angsty Bad Ass, whose personality is in sync with the new Red X's, and who would be just the type to do something like this. The usual argument is that Jason Todd has not yet existed in the DCAU (assuming Titans does), and Red X seems much more subdued than his comic book counterpart, just like Terra.
    • So Beast Boy was right?
    • And, unbeknownst to the Titans, he covertly fights crime alongside the thievery, but in a more violent and ruthless way than the Titans.

Damian Wayne

  • The son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, a "violent and self-important" kid. Posing as Red X and taking on the Titans single-handedly is a twisted way to try and earn Batman's approval.

An inter-dimensional imp

  • An Evil Counterpart to Larry from the 4-and-9/8th-dimension (Ddot Nosaj?) popped in and took the suit
  • Larry himself did as part of some whacky game of cops-and-robbers he wants to play with Robin
  • Larry's magic accidentally made the suit itself alive.

Stephanie Brown

  • Red X being the animated equivalent of her Spoiler identity, following more closely in her dad's footsteps.
    • Making the Starfire thing flaming Les Yay.
      • Actually it's a gender-reversed Dropped a Bridget on Him, since she doesn't know about "him".
      • Or a cover-up. She might be masquerading as a guy intentionally.

Morally Ambiguous Batclone

  • Well, I really have no logical reason for this besides for the fact he's smart enough to get past all of the Tower's defences and steal the suit with nobody noticing.
    • Twice. He had to get the belt back somehow. Unless, of course, he just made another one himself — which actually makes this theory moreplausible.

A Time Traveling Younger Terry

  • It had been said he was in juvie when he was younger, so perhaps he got sent back in time before he became Batman and stole the suit.

Robin's brother

  • "Lost Lost Brother" was one of the possible theories on Beast Boy's chart in the episode of Red X's return, and both Robin and the new Red X have similar voices (unless there's a built-in voice changer in the mask). Robin does have an older brother in Batman Forever, his named is Mitchell and got killed along with their parents by Two-Face. A similar scenario may have happened in the Teen Titans universe, and was brought back to life or never truly died at all (a la Jason Todd in the original comics). But since he is labeled "Long Lost Brother", Robin's brother may have been kidnapped, missing, or sent to live with relatives at a younger age when Robin was either a baby or in her mother's womb, since Robin doesn't even acknowledge having a brother or any other sibling. He found out his little brother is Robin (and by extension, Bruce Wayne is Batman) and has been stalking him since. That would sort of explain how Red X seems to know a lot about Robin. His hostility towards Robin is because Red X was jealous their parents give him more attention. Or he blames him for their parents' death because Robin knew Boss Zucco sabotaged the circus act but never said anything before its too late (like in several reinterpretations of the incident).

Red Herring

  • Share the same voice and he could be bitter enough a bully that after years of being blamed for crimes he'd actually become a criminal himself.
    • "I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING JONES!"

Lloyd Irving

  • Same voice. As for how he got there, the Teen Titans universe is part of a Tales of the World plot and the disguises and thievery are part of one of the game's bizarre fetch quests.

No one in particular

  • Just a Badass Normal thief who managed to sneak into the tower (probably during one of the points where the security system was down, or during Slade's attack on the city in "Aftershock"), found the suit, and decided to take it for a joyride. He is, of course, immensely amused by everyone's wild speculation as to his true identity, and may even have planted some of it himself. (Red X is a troper!)

Speedy

  • Left with no other way to feed his heroin addiction, Speedy sometimes moonlights as a supervillain.

The suit itself having developed a sentient personality

  • Yes, there are people who subscribe to this. And hey, with about as much sense as the show makes at times, why count it out? Maybe Robin'sBadass Normal (or God Mode Sue depending on the episode and how you feel) DNA made it long for a wild life of its own.
    • Possible, given the uncertain and unstable properties of the xynothium element that powered the suit.

Grant Wilson Slade's older kid in the comics that no-one remembers. Cause he kind of died in his first appearance. Or did he...?

  • Maybe in TT continuity, he hadn't appeared and/or died yet.

An AU/DC version of Deadpool

  • ...Because that would be totally awesome.

An Assassin

  • Like Desmond, he could have escaped from a Farm, except he did it after learning some badass skills, but still before being told that it's totally okay to kill people.* The basis for this theory? He took a leap of faith off of a cliff. With no hesitation whatsoever. I am willing to concede that it may just have been because Red X is a Crowning Character of Awesome. Of course, being an escaped Assassin who still hasn't been hunted down by the Templars would just add to that Awesome.

Jinx

  • After growing bored of her idiotic comrades in crime, she steals the suit herself. Due to her very slim physique it would be easy to simply pad up to look like a boy. (She even hit on starfire to keep up the charade) After fighting along side Robin, she realizes that it actually feels pretty good to be good. Her evilness fades away, and a certain red-haired Speedster picks up where Robin's actions left off.

Jericho

  • In the original comics, Jericho is Slade's son. Perhaps in the animated TT universe, he's still his son and decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, but couldn't quite bring himself to turn completely evil (hence Red X's moral ambiguity). He joined the Brotherhood of Evil, but quit soon after Ding Dong Daddy's race. Somewhere between then and Calling All Titans! he was attacked and someone tried to slit his throat, which didn't kill him, but rendered him mute; he quickly realised what he could have become - like the people who attacked him - discarded the suit and turned to pacifism (only fighting when the Titans needed help).
    • So Red X is like a combination of Grant and Jericho?
  • His only power is his ability to possess people through eye contact. He couldn't use this power when dressed up as Red X because the mask stopped him from making proper eye-contact - he decided that it was worth it to not be able to use this power to have the Xenothium-powered perks the suit gave him.
    • He also used this power to steal the suit in the first place. He possessed Robin to steal the suit.

Robin's Enemy Without

  • The Xenothium in the suit affected Robin's mind and gave him a Split Personality that was Red X - so after Robin locked it away, Red-X-Robin stole it again, and Robin doesn't remember. Perhaps he even committed a few more thefts in the suit that Robin doesn't remember, during the Titan's breaks between criminals...who knows? Later, at some point, the Xenothium caused this split personality to break away from Robin (in his sleep, perhaps) and leave with the suit. They then met the second Red X in the episode X, though it isn't a different Red X, it's the same one.

Miss Martian is secretly Martian Manhunter in drag

Back in JLA #27, Bruce Wayne is meeting with Clark Kent in Japan, and Clark introduces him to a young Japanese woman named Hino Rei. Bruce immediately recognizes "her" as the Martian Manhunter. Apparently J'onn J'onzz likes to cosplay as Sailor Mars. Skip ahead some years later, where a new Martian character, Miss Martian, shows up out of nowhere to join the Teen Titans. Miss Martian likes to dress like a Sailor Senshi. Hmmm...

  • Miss Martian and Martian Manhunter have been seen together. Clearly, these were telepathic illusions.
  • According to The Other Wiki, J'onn J'onzz's notable aliases include Mrs. Klingman, Betty Nehring, and Joan Jones.
  • There was a JLA annual (#4) in which it's noted MM keeps multiple superhero identities around the globe. In particular, Batman suspected the Turkish superheroine Janissary to be J'onn J'onzz in disguise (she wasn't, though he was actually another Turkish superhero).

There is no Doctor Doom.

Doombots are all there is. They keep building each other and perpetuating the myth that somewhere there is a human. It's all a trick to get everyone else to waste their time hunting a being who does not exist.

  • Can robots use magic?
    • "Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke
    • There have been several MU robots and machines that use magic. The New Salemites used them, for example.

Tony Stark is really Iron Man.

I've got it! Iron Man is supposedly an employee of Stark Enterprises but no evidence of this has ever been really seen - he's never seen following Stark even though he's supposed to be Stark's bodyguard, and on the rare occasions they are seen in the same room, Iron Man never speaks, so it could easily be anyone wearing the same armour. Stark has numerous times supposedly fired Iron Man but it doesn't stop Iron Man from appearing even though he should be out of funding and Stark always welcomes him back with open arms in the end. What more evidence do you need?

  • Dude, where have you been? He claimed so in that one meet the press thing the military did about Iron Man.
  • No, that press thing was just a stint to throw us off it was just like that time Harvey Dent said he was the Batman but he wasn't! But maybe you're on to something with the jerkass billionaire playboy idea... Hmm. Have we ever seen Bruce Wayne and Iron Man together?
    • And Peter Parker can never get photos of Superman! It's all so clear.
      • Yes, of course... BRUCE WAYNE IS TONY STARK!
      • Obviously, they agreed to a corporate merger. It was cemented by Stark and Wayne by using the Dragon Ball Z fusion earrings. Ladies and Gentlemen: Toby Stayne!
      • Would that make the actual Fusion Dance version of them be Brony Wark?

Tony Stark is a clone of Nikola Tesla.

Minus the madness, of course.

  • The man builds an arc reactor (in a cave with a box of scraps no less), plugs it into his chest, builds the iron man suit and hunts down the people who got access to his weapons without him knowing about it and you're trying to tell me he's not crazy?
    • He's crazy in very different ways than Tesla. Certainly he doesn't have the phobias about touching or sex. And he's way too impulsive to have OCD.
      • Too impulsive? OCD manifests in different ways for different, or even the same people. Being compelled to stick screws up your nose is not the opposite of being compelled to arrange them all in the proper drawers. It's just a different, more socially-acceptable target.
      • Completely Missing the Point that that's not the kind of OCD Tesla had. And compulsive behavior of any kind is not impulsive, by definition, whether sloppy or neat.
      • It's not impulsive, but it does look that way from the outside.
      • And again, Tesla's compulsions were not of that sort. They were repetitive and precise.
      • In Iron Man 2, a film of Howard Stark calls Tony 'His greatest creation'.

Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony Stark

  • Because honestly, have you ever seen a more perfect choice/portrayal of any role, ever? When the IM movie was greenlit, an experiment was conducted (make up your own theories as to what) to literally bring the character of Anthony Edward Stark off the pages of a comic book and into a living, breathing, flesh-based organism. The real Downey sadly died of an OD around the time he was reported in the news as "going to prison," and they chose a form impeccably similar to his to pass off for Tony's "actor.

Howard Stark is Captain America

Howard was one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s founding members, and Captain America's shield has been seen in both films (albeit way more explicitly in Iron Man 2). He would have had the knowledge and technology to develop the super-soldier serum and create his signature shield.

  • Biggest problem with this: Captain America is a World War II veteran. Howard Stark probably wasn't even born by that point.
    • ...except Tony EXPLICITLY mentions that his father worked on the Manhattan Project. I would say there's potential in this theory!
      • Alright, I was mistaken about that bit. But that would still disqualify him as Captain America, for two reasons: A. It's sorta hard to be both fighting on the front lines in Europe and working full-time in a laboratory in the southwest United States at the same time, and B. Captain America was lost, frozen in a block of ice, right after the war, so he, you know, couldn't have created a multi-million dollar company, had a family, and then died publicly.
      • That's what they want you to think. See "Pre-Civil War Cap is already dead" below.
      • Clearly, 'working on the Manahattan Project' was Howard's cover to his family for being Captain America so they could be normal civvie genius millionaires; conversely, 'lost in a block of ice' was the government/public cover for what happened to cap when he demanded to have his happily ever after family retirement.
  • No. But he did work alongside him and designed a lot of the tech that made him who he is.

You know it makes sense.

Daily Bugle photographer and science student Peter Parker is Spider-Man!

I think I've finally solved the mystery! This would explain why Peter Parker is always so flaky, it is because he is always so busy fighting crime as his web-slinging persona! And the reason he is the only photographer able to photograph Spider-Man is because he arranges the photos himself!

  • Well duh, he is! He announced it at a press conference and everything! What? What's with the funny looks? What, you think I'm crazy too! I remember it, dammit! Why can't anyone else remember? Why can't anyone else remember?
    • Layla Miller can remember.
      • Yes, but rumor has it she knows what the hell Deadpool's talking about with all that "panels" and "issues" stuff. Girl's loco.
  • Wasn't it Ben something?
  • Parker being Spider-Man was just a rumour that started when Parker dressed up as Spider-Man for Halloween and was later spread around by that Venom creep. I mean, would the real Spider-Man honestly show his face in public?
  • Wait, so if the photographer for the Bugle is Spider-Man, then the photographer for the Planet must be Superman. Jimmy Olsen must be Superman!
    • No wait, I just remembered about Peter Parker winning a Pulitzer Prize for taking a picture of the Sentry. This means The Sentry is Spider-Man! Also have you ever seen the Sentry and Superman together?
  • Guys, stop being ridiculous. That Parker guy's just a kid. And he's already said he and Spider-Man have an exclusive deal and they've appeared in the same place before. Besides, Spider-Man's black.
    • Wait a second. Those eyes don't have pupils. And his face just looks so, well, artificial. Does this mean... Spider-Man is an Auton!
  • Guys, knock it off with the crazy. Next you'll be telling me that Bruce Wayne is Batman, or that Clark Kent is Superman!
    • Bruce Wayne can't be Batman! His voice isn't scruffy enough and his chin is too small! Next thing you know you'll be saying Oliver Queen is Green Arrow (anyone with eyes could see the GR's beard is 5.3 millimeters shorter than queen's).
  • Okay, tiger, since you're so smart, answer this for me: If Peter Parker is Spider-man, who's holding the camera in all those Bugle pictures of the web-head that credit "photo by Peter Parker"?
    • Any decent camera has a time delay feature, and the type used by professional photographers will have a feature that lets them automatically take photos at regular intervals. Peter just has to set up the camera in an inconspicuous spot and make sure he's in frame at the right time.
    • That's all bullshit. Spider-Man is really a giant media whore who takes pictures of himself in heroic poses and gives them to Peter Parker. Parker gets paid for the photos by the Bugle, and has a nice rep for his skill at getting excellent shots, so he has no reason to rat out Spidey's grandstanding.

Spider-Man is not a man with spider powers, he's a spider with human powers.

The radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker picked up and integrated his DNA as well as his memories, and the real Parker died while the spider assumed his form while still having abilities approximating a spider. What happened to the body? The spider ate it, thus gaining enough body mass to be man-sized.

  • The spider ATE PETER DUDE THAT IS FUCKED UP. but creative and does make sense.

Rorschach is Rick Astley's half brother

It makes perfect sense when you think about it: They're both gingers, they both wear trench-coats, they're both legendary for their refusal to give up...

In a sequel, we'll learn that Rick Astley's father once paid for a fling with Mrs. Kovacs while vacationing in America, and he later returned to reclaim his illegitimate son and raise him. The sequel will take place years after the faked attack on New York, in a future where Adrian Veidt has been elected the leader of the new unified world government and controls it with a complex computer system. Rick will take up his fallen brother's mantle and use his deadly viral video to bring down Veidt's computer network and avenge his brother.

Rorschach was turned into a fetus, had his DNA altered, and his memories (but not his skills) wiped and was then teleported into the DCU.

To be exact, he was Bruce Wayne. Dr. Manhattan tried to give him the opposite of what he had as Rorschach, but he wasn't in control of the DCU, and Joe just had to go Off the Rails. Manhattan also placed in him that no killing rule, so he wouldn't be able to go down the same path. So, yes, Rorschach is Batman. Rorschach was intended to show what would happen to someone like Batman 'in the real world'. It makes sense. However, Rorschach is seen in the background of a metahuman bar in Kingdom Come.

V is Valerie.

  • Does this make sense or not?
    • No. Delia Surridge's diary consistently refers to V as the *man* in Room 5.
      • Well, Valerie was a lesbian. It's possible that she got a sex change. Not sure if that medical procedure had been invented at the time of V For Vendetta, but after all, this is an alternate history we're talking about.
      • You are assuming that Lesbian = Transsexual. It doesn't. It's actually more likely that Delia might have referred to her as a "man" because someone like her would consider lesbians unfeminine.
      • V's wearing a mask at all times. It is possible that V is actually several people amongst whom the man from room 5, Valerie from room 4, and maybe others. It would explain how he is able to do so much.
    • If you've read all the notes about it, it becomes obvious that V is some sort of transsexual. Why? It was based on a different short story, by the same two people, that was meant to be this graphic novel. The main character was a Transsexual. This character is also black. Considering how easily Evey disguises her feminine figure, it's pretty easy to guess that V is probably not male.
    • This troper is a little perplexed by this whole debate. V could be Valerie and the man in Room 5, in the sense that Valerie is actually a transgender man, but it's hard enough to get well-intentioned medical professionals not to call trans* people by the wrong pronouns and gender, let alone their malevolent captors. The notion that V is several different people is an appealing one, but I think having V be Valerie robs at least that particular V's devotion to Rita (if there ever was a Rita, and thus a Valerie) of its poignance.
    • Delia Surridge's diary states that the man in room five was the only one who survived the treatment. Meaning, Valerie died sometime before V's escape.

V is Ozymandias/Adrian Veidt

  • Both are charismatic, have superhuman reflexes, are very intelligent. Adrian even signs his letters with a "V—" in Watchmen.
  • After the events of Watchmen, Veidt leaves his Antarctic base and goes to England. He abandons his role as Ozy and takes on the role of V in order to take action again. V never actually was in a concentration camp, he was Adrian Veidt. He is hiding his identity behind the mask, not physical scars.
    • my theory: the world which Veidt created comes apart at the seams when Rorshach's book makes headlines and he is forced to go into hiding. Relations between the countries deteriorate even farther than they were before the massacre. Nuclear war erupts and a fascist government takes control of England. Veidt, who was hiding out there under an assumed name, was imprisoned due to his implied homosexuality. While there, he is driven insane but at the same time, his genius intellect and powerful body enable him to escape. He then spends his life trying to save the world he helped destroy.
  • V also created a story about a fictonal prisoner to give to Evie, who believed it. This makes it plausible that he could have been able to fabricate his own history as well.
    • I'm pretty sure that story about Valerie was real.
  • This is oddly supported in V's dialogue as well... "I killed you ten minutes ago" ring any bells?

V was born Alex, and was the main character in A Clockwork Orange.

  • A Clockwork Orange was England of the 70's, imagined from the 60's. V for Vendetta was 1990's England imagined from the 80's. The latter is simply the future of the former. By the time Alex is an adult, Norsefire has arisen, replacing the British government of Alex's youth (the 1970's, as imagined from 1962). Alex develops a political conscience. After being sent to the Larkhill Resettlement Camp by the Party, Alex's old files from the Staja are discovered, his captors learn of his treatment by the old government, and decide to subject him to Delia Surridge's experiments. After Larkhill, Alex dons a Guy Fawkes mask and becomes the professional anarchist with his reservoir of horrorshow ultraviolence. Like Alex, the V persona is extremely violent, with a penchant for sophisticated tastes in music and culture. He loses the nadsat, but compensates by taking up the mannerisms of a literature professor while fighting corruption.

V is the Gene Wilder version of Willy Wonka

Nearly every line from both characters is a quote, and they're both insane and manipulative.

  • And both live in eccentric places surrounded by odd items and allow very few visitors

V is the reincarnation of Guy Fawkes

Yes, and Norsefire was actually advanced enough to bring dead souls to living subjects. One of the prisoners in Larkhill had a past life as Guy Fawkes, and the experiments awakened the monster.....V was deliberately created by Diana Stanton

At some point, Stanton fully realized what they were doing at Larkhill, and decided to strike back at the government. However, to openly resist would simply get her killed. Instead, she pulled a Mad Scientist and made V into a Super Soldier.

V was a Time Lord...

Since we need one of these. And that's why he was a prisoner, Norsefire didn't want Time Lords and all their superior knowledge messing with the government. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that V was the Master — driven insane by his own people, incredibly charismatic, and fairly destructive. And he holds grudges. If V was indeed the Master, then he was already quite insane when he went in to Larkhill — he just made up the driven insane by testing so Evey wouldn't get suspicious of him and his Time Lord-y nature. Yeah.

V is several people

It is quite possible, since we never see his face, that several people assume this identity.

  • Jossed since the film doesn't explore this seriously. In the sense that there's not even evidence to support it. Even in the comics.

Thor really was just a delusional Norweigan nurse with stolen technology...

...Until Scarlet Witch altered reality to make Loki, Asgard and Valhalla real. That's why his speech changed from contemporary to pseudo-Elizabethan, and why he suddenly acquired an arsenal of alternate hammers. Wanda probably was responsible for Valkyrie getting powers, too.

The creepy Spider-Man-Who-Is-Not-Spider-Man from Ultimate Avengers...

  • ...is an Eldritch Abomination unrelated to anything we know about.
  • ...is the currently unrevealed Ultimate Enemy of that miniseries and its sequels. Does not conflict with the above.
  • ...is a lost clone.
  • ...is a man/is a woman/is a robot.
  • ...is a TimeLord, and the Ultimate Spider-Car is his TARDIS.
  • ...is Haruhi. Not as implausible as this theory is most of the time.
  • ...is Ultimate Doppelganger, and Mark Millar is on fucking crack.
  • ...is Ultimate Jackal, whose obsession has manifested in "being" Spidey instead of cloning him.
  • ...is Ultimate Bullseye, who is dressed in an off-color Spider-Man suit because he's crazy.
  • ...is Peter Parker from an evil mirror universe, hence the costume difference.
  • ...is something Millar just made the hell up.
  • ...is Ultimate Deadpool.
  • ...is Marvel Zombies Spider-Man. That's why he's kept in an isolation tube.
  • ...will never be seen or heard from again, because a new writer will take over and crap all over continuity again.
  • Official answer? He's a clone of Peter Parker and an alternate Charles Xavier from the future.
    • No, that was just Gregory Stark and Nick Fury screwing with Carol Danvers. We have no idea what the real story is.

Kong wasn't being metaphorical about the Ghostbusters thing.

This is evidence that people is nut and for the same would never find out, who the Super heroes actually are, even if they told them, people would never belive it.

#45 Posted by karrob (4264 posts) - - Show Bio

In regards to the SHRA didnt Tony Stark have the only copy in his mind. And wasnt the whole Most Wanted Storyline about the purposeful destruction of his mind so that data never feel into the wrong hands....Despite that this brings good points. In real life I dont think it would that challenging to find the identity of one.

#46 Posted by jaredbright (204 posts) - - Show Bio

The sad thing is they could really done a story about everyone finding out who Spider-man was and instead they lied to the readers and were never going to do that story, thus sales dropped and potential new readers were lost because a TV writer and Joe Quesada wanted him to be single... which had nothing to do with that idea.

That was the end of the book to many of us.

#47 Posted by difficlus (10632 posts) - - Show Bio

I think a few times bruce wayne has gone to a country under his civilian attire and batman mysteriously shows up in the same country. I think its stupid to do. Either go as Bruce or Batman, both is wayyy too suspicious.

#48 Posted by 0xymoron (173 posts) - - Show Bio

I think secret identities are a joke. I mean seriously Clark, who can't decipher that your Superman just because you put on a pair of glasses. I think it's absurd the people of metropolis aren't questioning the resemblance.

#49 Posted by sky-pirate (111 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm: And let's not forget prints. Peter Parker's prints are on file (as seen in the Clone Saga) and there have been numerous times, that SM's gloves have been damaged or destroyed (revealing his fingers). Cops would likely dust the scene for prints, which would lead them to Peter Parker. And then there's Superman, who doesn't wear gloves (only Power Girl wears gloves of the Kryptonian superheroes (not counting the Eradicator), Superboy started out with gloves, but later abandoned them) at all. If anyone would wanna know if Supes and Clark are the same guy, all they'd need to do is compair their prints. Never got why Lois always made it so difficult for herself, to prove they're the same guy. You frequently meet both men, just take something Superman's touched and something Clark's touched, dust them for prints and compair them.

Then there's the costumes. Most superheroes make them themselves. Several spares would be required due the fact, that the costume can be damaged or even destroyed during battle (and let's face it, when you run around in these things for a while, you'd probably start to sweat and it would start to smell real bad. Forcing you to clean it). So, you'd have to purchase a lot of fabric in specific colors (probably some special fabric), without drawing attention to yourself. And anyone who'd wanna find out who you are, would just need check with various stores, who's frequently ordering large amounts of that specific fabric, in those specific colors. And then there's the washing of the costume. You can't simply drop it off at a dry cleaning. If you live in a city, you're probably living in an appartment and most such buildings tends to have a shared laundry room. And best of all: You wouldn't be able to just throw it in, with the rest of your clothes, as your regular clothes might get miscolored by it.

#50 Posted by victoriancuckoo (228 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it can be an enjoyable convention of the genre; the way you know in the second act of a romantic comedy there’s bound to be a hick up in the leads getting together. I do think superhero stories that aim to take a darker tone ought to address the problem.