Secret identities predate the term superhero, going as far back as pulp heroes like Zorro or the Shadow. There is a debate among superhero fans about whether or not to have a secret identity. Some say it would cool to tell everyone and others point out the downsides. I recently found a YouTube channel called NerdSync Productions and their comic show, Comic Misconceptions, that goes over the lesser known history of comic characters. They posted a video defending secret identities and in the video they link to a counterpoint. I thought I’d post them both up here and let you guys decide…before posting my own opinion.
First the pro side by Comic Misconceptions and host Scott Niswander.
And the counterpoint by Ricky of Stewdippin.
So what do I think? If I had superpowers I’d probably follow Scott’s advice and go the secret identity route. It would be easier to go shopping without the paparazzi, have my deed do all the speaking, except when I did some public speaking somewhere which is where I tell the kids anyone can do it, the symbol can be more powerful (depending how I “brand” myself), and keepin my family safer from criminals or rouge government agents is a good thing. Plus it would be kind of fun keeping it a secret, except for a select few because you know I support a support network of non super friends to keep me human instead of pseudo-god.
That’s me, however. Circumstances are different for everyone and some superheroes might find it better to be openly fighting crime. I don’t think there’s any one answer but secret identities are more fun to write so I’ll use them in my superhero tales. 😀 Check out more from NerdSync Production and Stewdippin on YouTube.
Re-watching Ricky’s video got me to realize, his two examples are comedies. Why not discuss what Iron Man was doing in the comics at the time? Maybe because someone would mention Aunt May being shot to get back as Spider-Man when his identity was exposed. Powerpuff Girls is a parody, like Inspector Gadget (who was a cop) or Blue Falcon and Dynomutt (one of my favorite shows). Plus, Kim Possible isn’t a superhero, she’s a cheeerleader whose babysitting service somehow led to crimefighting and rescues because someone misunderstood the tagline on her website and she happens to have incredible skills and a good support team behind her. In both cases, it’s not the same thing.
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