This is a fun topic for me. What I want to examine is the contrasts of how the issue of secret identities are handled between Marvel Characters and the DC Characters. At first this was going to be a criticism of how Marvel handles the issue of secret identities in their comics and films but after growing more familiar with these characters I see them as being just different and my criticism is more toward the DC characters.
In the Marvel Universe the keeping dual identity of the superhero a secret doesn’t seem to be a significant issue. In the film Iron Man Tony Stark reveals himself to be Iron Man and in the next few movies everyone knows he is Iron Man and it doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Contrast this to a similar character, Batman. Both Batman and Iron Man are Billionaire playboys who wear a costume to fight crime. With Batman these are only a few souls that know Bruce Wayne is the caped crusader. In both Marvel and DC the secret identity is supposed to protect those who are close to the superhero so a villain will not harm their friends and loved ones. But since there friends and loved ones are the ones constantly in trouble and in need of rescue the point is moot.
Spider-Man seems to be the only super-hero who tried to keep his identity secret in a similar manner to the DC Characters. He wore a mask that completely covered his face and very few people knew that Peter Parker was Spider-Man. I have actually come to appreciate the way Marvel approaches the secret identity issue. Both methods are fun and enjoyable. On the plus side of it Marvel is more realistic in its approach. I think it would be truly implausible for a person to actually be able to hide their superhero identity.
A good example of this is in the new Green Lantern movie. Carol Farris recognizes Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern despite Hal wearing the mask. I laughed at that part and was pleased to see it. The older I get the more difficult it seems for me to suspend my disbelief about secret identities. I am sure if I showed up at a friends house wearing Batman’s Cowl I am 100% sure I would be recognized and laughed at. I think that is why I like Iron Man and Spider-Man’s masks the best. They cover the entire face leaving no features of the real person exposed.
Don’t get me wrong I still like the idea of a secret identity. It is enjoyable knowing that people do not know who these superheroes are..even though at times it is implausible.
I want to close with a little rant. The Secret Identity that I struggle with the most is that of Clark Kent/Superman. It is just so implausible! I think Christopher Reeve was excellent in pulling off the dual role. In Superman II when Clark Kent reveals to Lois he is Superman and Christopher Reeve takes of his glasses and stand up straight you can see the physical changes! Now that is subtle but excellent acting! But it is still implausible. I am 100% sure if I showed up at my friends house in a Superman Costume while not wearing my glasses I would be recognized and laughed at. Superman is my favorite Superhero by far. But I wouldn’t mind if they redesigned the costume to include a mask similar to Spider-Man’s.
See you on Friday everyone and to those readers in the US…HAPPY THANKSGIVING tomorrow!!
Posted on November 21, 2012, in Captain's Log... and tagged Christopher Reeve, Clark Kent, DC Comics, Dual Identity, Green Lantern, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Robert Downey Jr., Secret Identity, Stan Lee, Superheros, Superman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.