|Well, I better introduce myself first. The name's Mark "the Shark"
Gillins. Some of you may remember me from that Bob Rozakis interview I
did a few months ago. As you may know, "Gillin' With The Homeboys" was
originally going to be an interview column, but plans have changed. "Baker's
Dozen" has long been on hiatus, and after realizing this I asked for permission
to take the reigns of this fantastic column. So here I am! I will be trying,
as I have this month, to correspond the subject of the column with the
theme of the issue, but that's not always possible, so every once in a
while you'll see something that doesn't really have anything to do with
the rest of Fanzing. So let's get started with the Top 12 Secret Identities
of the DCU
Robin/Tim Drake - Tim Drake is one of the few teenage
heroes who can manage to keep his secret from the ever-curious public.
In fact, it's GOOD he's this way, because with two identities he can be
quite the lady's man. While Tim has a civilian girlfriend, Robin's
girlfriend is the Spoiler! Go Robin!
Nightwing/Dick Grayson - Yes, another Gothamite.
What cracks me up about Dick Grayson is found in a recent issue of The
Flash where Wally gets married to Linda. Dick is the best man, and
he's so worried about staying undercover that he's keeps his civilian identity
a secret! So his secret identity has a secret identity. Confusing?
Just a little!
Flash/Wally West- Wally's a really neat guy
with an awesome wife. The reason he didn't make the Top 12, however,
is because his identity is known to the entire world. But that's
not all - unlike Jade (or many other heroes whose identities are publicly
known), Wally's public knowledge of his identity has brought him and his
friends a lot of trouble and grief, such as the time Mirror Master attacked
Linda, making her go back through time until eventually she would turn
into an infant and then disappear (the plan was foiled).
Green Lantern/Hal Jordan- Hal, prior to becoming
Parallax, was so good at keeping his identity secret that when Kyle took
over people assumed he was the same guy. Well, there were a few people
who stumbled onto Hal's secret.
Jesse Quick- If anything, this girl's life
is ALWAYS more of a personal life than a super one. She's managed
to take care of her father's business she inherited after he became one
with the speed force, and now she keeps it running while literally running
alongside the Titans and other speedsters.
Green Arrow/Connor Hawke- His secret identity
is great because he's a monk! He was raised a monk, and once he became
a super hero he was able to establish a new life AND establish a name for
himself among heroes. While this isn't particularly easy to do, it's
also convenient. Now that he's back to being a monk again, he really
has no worries about others discovering who he is because the people he's
surrounded by have been isolated from the rest of the world for the longest
Bloodwynd- This mysterious, mystic, currently-
in-limbo hero has baffled the Justice League ever since he became a member.
He's left them totally clueless as to who his alter-ego is, except during
the Death of Superman story, where apparently Blue Beetle realizes Bloodwynd's
secret identity but is smashed by Doomsday before he has the chance to
utter the name. D'oh!
Max Mercury - Not only does the Zen Guru of Speed have to keep his
OWN secret identity under wraps, but he also has to keep Impulse's alter-ego
(Bart Allen) a secret as well! Without Max, Bart would be long revealed
to the world. But this isn't the only thing that makes Max such a
cool guy. Max has lived in several periods of time, and has lived
several different lives. Long ago, when he first gained his super
speed, Max used it to almost terminal velocity and sent himself shooting
through time to the future. He's done this many times and has had
to regain a lifestyle after each escapade.
Wonder Woman/Queen Hippolyta - This ol' lady is the current Wonder
Woman's mother, which is reason enough to be on this list! If you
think about it, how many super-powered characters in the DCU have birth
parents that are still alive, have super-powers themselves, and would fill
in for their children while they're dead and trying to get out of being
a goddess? Not very many! While Diana's all back and healthy
again, Hippolyta filled in for Wonder Woman for a short time until Diana
returned. She's been a pretty cool mother, having attempted to help
give Diana her rightful place among the Amazons then later fighting Neron
for Diana's sake.
Flash/Barry Allen - This war-hero has kept his secret from the entire
world, having nobody to share his secret with until he decided his wife
was trustworthy enough to bear the truth on their wedding night!
Not even his fiancé could tell the Flash was truly Barry Allen,
despite her interest in him as a reporter. And even though Wally
West (then Kid Flash) fought alongside Barry, he had no clue who his identity
was until Barry revealed it to him! It's simply amazing to see that
Barry was one of few heroes who could actually KEEP his identity a secret
while maintaining a somewhat normal life.
Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (pre-Crisis) - Although post-Crisis Wonder
Woman is now much different than her former self, who can forget Diana
Prince of the pre-Crisis world(s)? Diana Prince did an excellent
job as Wonder Woman. Even when she lost her powers at some point
in the 60's for a couple of years, she showed her determination and devotion
to fight for mankind by taking up martial arts (too bad not many people
appreciated this change).
Flash/Jay Garrick - While you could walk down the street and recognize
this oldie while he's in civilian attire, his life is still a pretty neat
one. The first of the Flashes is in semi-hero- retirement, only coming
out of it in emergencies or when replacing Wally while he's out of town.
He lives a perfectly happy life with his wife, and enjoys watching Wally
grow up and change from a Kid Flash to more of the Flash.
Green Lantern/Jade Scott - Although her identity isn't that secret
at all (some people DO still freak out when they see her green skin), her
personal life away from super hero life is pretty interesting. As
a little girl she was an orphan in a place where the janitor took advantage
of her peers. On Christmas Eve one year, the drunken janitor appeared
at her bedside, and that's when Jade showed her first signs of superpowers:
she managed to shoot something green at the schmuck and none of the girls
were bothered by him again. Now an adult, Jade has gone through a
short period of time without any powers at all but proved valuable as a
comforter/good friend to Kyle Rayner, the "main" Green Lantern. Now
she is his girlfriend, and because she's missed the super-life so much
she has become the first of a new corps of Green Lanterns.
Supergirl/Linda Danvers - At first Supergirl existed with pretty
much no secret identity at all, but I guess getting her own on-going title
convinced her to fall upon a dying teen aged girl and meld her shape-shifting
body with hers to create one body with two different personalities.
Now Supergirl has two different lives, a grown super-woman's and a teenager's.
Her shape-shifting/voice-changing ability keeps her in hiding and allows
her to continue living the way she is.
Oracle/Barbara Gordon - Even as Batgirl she baffled everyone --
even her own FATHER, Commissioner Gordon! Since the Joker got to
her, though, she's been bound to a wheel chair in front of several computer
screens and one big keyboard. She operates as a hacker/info source
for several heroes and, get this, is a member of the JLA -- while only
Batman knows her true identity! She has a computer-produced image
that appears at meetings and on screen whenever she is talking with the
JLA, and several safety measures have been taken to ensure that nobody
discovers who she is.
Captain Marvel/Billy Batson - Captain Marvel: a super-powered adult.
Billy Batson: a short little kid. What's that again? That's
right, Marvel and Billy are two different people
IS just a kid, but whenever he utters the word "shazam" he turns into the
adult Captain Marvel. Billy acts like a kid, talks like a kid, and
even smiles like a kid. Marvel doesn't. Marvel's a grown-up.
Weird, huh? The neat part of it is, Billy has never met his father,
and Captain Marvel is supposed to look the same way Billy envisions him
Batman/Bruce Wayne - If you don't realize why Bruce Wayne is even
MENTIONED in this article, you seriously need to a) pick up pretty much
any Batman comic book or b) watch any Batman movie (other than the poorly-made
Batman and Robin). Batman and Wayne are seriously two completely
separate beings. While they share the same body, mind, etc., their
personalities are in no way similar and they think in totally different
ways. While Batman is a dark, brooding, technical detective, Wayne
is an economic, somewhat up-beat, suavy, rich lady's man. Sometimes
it seems that Wayne exists merely to pay for Batman's highly expensive
toys he uses to fight crime!
Superman/Clark Kent - Of COURSE we had to include Superman!
But what makes Clark Kent so special? All he does is put a pair of
glasses on and combs his hair different than Supes, right? Wrong!
While the differences between the two egos aren't always properly portrayed
on TV and in the movies, Clark Kent is actually quite different from Superman.
Aside from glasses and hair, Clark Kent speaks in not such a deep tone
as Supes, he has a different posture, way of walking, facial expressions,
personality, mannerisms, and vocabulary. It's actually quite difficult
to keep this kind of thing up, so don't go around saying that the Daily
Planet is full of blind idiots!
Martian Manhunter/John Jones, etc. - The thing that makes this guy
the number one secret identity is that he isn't the ONLY current secret
life that Martian Manhunter lives. How many heroes can YOU count
that have lives in every part of the world? J'onn has so many identities
that his WRITERS don't even know them all! John Jones is J'onn's
main secret identity, which he adopted after years of observing humans
in secrecy. The real Detective John Jones was killed in front of
J'onn's eyes, so our good ol' Martian buddy stepped in and is living the
rest of the life that Jones didn't get to live while he fights alongside
the JLA, keeps the entire Southern Hemisphere secure, and maintains lives
in various other parts of our planet.
Plastic Man/Eel O'brien - The trouble here is that
Plastic Man really HAS no personal life. Plas is Eel and Eel is Plas.
If it weren't for his strange personality, however, Plas could pull it
off rather well. We've seen his disguise ability in the "Rock of
Ages" storyline in JLA, and he managed to trick the entire Injustice Gang
into thinking he was the Joker (hyper personality? No problem here!).
Green Lantern/Kyle Rayner - While Kyle DOES have
a secret identity, he's not the best at keeping it secret. Pretty
much the entire JLA knows who he is, as well as many other people on the
planet. To tell the truth, I wonder how he keeps his identity secret
at all. There isn't really a difference, it seems, between his regular
life and his super-life, except that his regular identity is a regularly
unemployed freelance artist.
Elongated Man/Ralph Dibny- Good ol' Ralph at
least is married, so he goes home to a wife and probably lives a somewhat
normal life away from super-biz. However, his identity is publicly
known and he's probably not that hard to spot on the street ("Hey!
That guy can walk across the street in one big step!").
Impulse/Bart Allen - "Hey, aren't you Impulse?"
Uncle Max! Come over here for a second, will ya?"
It's kind of sad when you need your guardian to make sure you don't give
your secret away. But at least there are differences between Bart
and Impulse: Bart is extremely popular at school and has a ton of friends,
while Impulse isn't that well-known and his only friends include Superboy,
Robin, Arrowette, Wonder Girl, and the Secret.