Thursday, July 23, 2009

Super Hero Secret IDs & Their Friends

I've always felt Clark Kent has had one of the poorest disguises of all time for a secret Identity. All he does is straight up his "S" curl so it isn't visible and put on some glasses. Well, also depending on the era, Clark is either goes out of his way to be a bumbling idiot so people don't suspect he's an alien from another world, or here's the non-clumsy modern version. Personally, I like both, but if Lois is indeed a star reporter then she'd have to see through that disguise. Let's be realistic here. No one is that clumsy unless they are trying to be.

I actually read a post on a message board that Lois finding out that Clark was Superman takes away from the whole dynamic. Seriously? The dynamic of making Lois look like a complete idiot who is unable to see what is right in front of her? I didn't miss that one bit. In fact, one of the few problems I had with Superman The Animated Series is that Warner Brothers didn't allow the creators to let Lois find out Clark's secret (In Superman: Doomsday, Lois had already found out and just wanted Clark to tell her himself).

Yes, these are fictional stories but they also contain some realism and realistically, if you're jumping off rooftops in long johns, there's a good chance a buddy or two is gonna get clued in on your extra curricular activities. People that really know you will find out. To think that they won't or for writers have them not be able to deduce this simply paints the hero's friends as morons. Now I'm not saying every friend of a hero should know, but a few of them should. It makes things more interesting.

Mary Jane isn't a detective like the late George Stacy and she was able to find out that Peter Parker was the very man he took pictures of. Really, Peter doesn't go to great lengths to keep people from finding out he's Spider-Man. Bruce Wayne has the whole playboy facade. Batman is the true persona. Peter is Spider-Man. Spider-Man is Peter. There really isn't much difference when Peter has on the mask and that's one of my favorite things about him. He doesn't have this fake image even though he leads a double life. That isn't a diss to the Dark Knight, I'm just saying is all.

In the Static Shock cartoon series, Virgil told Richie that he had super powers from the get go. I thought it was a great idea on the writer's part. Why would you keep something like that from your best friend? Later on, Virgil's dad figured out that his son was Static because he was captured by a villain who found out Static's ID (and subsequently found out Richie was Gear). The result? Virgil and his father were all the closer after that scenario. In Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter told his best friend, MJ, he was the web-head pretty early on. Again, brilliant.

Some will probably bring up the argument that the reason the hero doesn't tell his friends his secret is because they'd be at risk. Well, here's the counter argument. Shouldn't they have the right to know their lives are at risk? And if this person is their best friend, something like that, shouldn't be kept in the closet. Of course not everyone can keep a secret, so not everyone should be told, but everyone should be in the dark either.


Sol (Frederick) Badguy said...

A clumsy way to keep his identity a secret indeed, in Superman II Lois figured who he is.

You should wonder how can a clumsy doofus win Pulitzers

You saw Superman: Doomsday, you know she actually knew Clark won't return because Superman died, but I wonder how come they didn't show her confess that to "Mrs. Kent" and she got surprised to hear Supe went to Smallville elementary

Spider-Man does act different when he's in the mask, you don't see him in his Spider-Suit shy around girls, the mask helps him overcome his natural shyness

You know who Spider-Man's best friend is, right?

The one who really is out of context having a secret identity is "Iron Man", they fixed that fault at least, I mean c'mon; a man doesn't want his friends endangered by his enemies knowing who he is and Iron Man is publicly his body gurad, even as "Anthony Stark" he's wanted pegged down, where's the sense in this one?

Reggie White Jr. said...

No, Peter really doesn't act all that different in costume, I'm not talking about the earlier stories, I meant later on to the modern day tales.

Harry really should have figured out his friend is Spidey. I don't even know if they bothered to go into why Harry hates Spidey now and I really don't even care. Just sayin' is all.