Created By: Roxor on August 23, 2009
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Inverse Superman Identity

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Superman is well known for being one person with multiple identities. Sometimes, however, this is flipped around and there are multiple people with one identity.


Examples:

  • Used in one episode of Jonathan Creek where the mention of a character being "not Superman" leads Creek to realise that there are two men with one identity, the logical inverse of Superman's identity tactic.
  • The Shadow first takes on the identity of Lamont Cranston when he is out of the country, but when the real Lamont turns up, he and the Shadow both use his identity, allowing the Shadow to be seen in one place and Lamont in another.
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • August 22, 2009
    Micah
    • The Opera Ghost in Maskerade is multiple people. ("You recognize him because he's wearing a mask? Think about what you're saying!")
  • August 22, 2009
    Amazingly Enough
    I think I've heard this called something before, but I can't remember what.

    Anyway, the killer in Scream is actually more than one person, at least in the first movie, if I remember correctly.

    Related to Legacy Character, where the identity is passed on from person to person.
  • August 22, 2009
    OrangeAipom
  • August 22, 2009
    random surfer
  • August 22, 2009
    Medinoc
    related to Legacy Immortality, only it can be broader than that.
  • August 23, 2009
    random surfer
  • August 23, 2009
    Seikai
    Zero from Code Geass?
  • August 23, 2009
    Chabal 2
    Is this related to I Have Many Names?
  • August 23, 2009
    Arivne
    Film

    Some examples from Secret Identity:
    • Marvel Universe
      • Trident, an opponent of the New Teen Titans, was actually three separate individuals masquerading as a single villain.
      • Similarly, the Crimson Fox of Justice League Europe was actually a pair of twin sisters sharing both a single heroic and civilian identity (after having faked the death of one sister).
      • The Scourge of the Underworld was an entire conspiracy collectively posing as a single vigilante killer.
  • August 23, 2009
    Idler 2.0
    This probably counts as a spoiler trope.
  • August 23, 2009
    random surfer
    Professional Wrestling: the Bella twins started in the WWE as just Brie Bella, who would be losing a match, then duck under the ring where her twin sister Nicole would be waiting to beatdown the heel and take the victory as Brie. Strangely enough (or maybe not because...it's Professional Wrestling) they were treated as a Face not a Heel even though they were obviously cheating. Once they were "outed" as being really two people they became Tag Team Twins.
  • August 23, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    • In the 60's Batman, Bruce Wayne is suspected of being Batman, so to forestall this, he arranges for both Batman and Bruce Wayne to be present simultaneously. Later, the audience catches a brief glimse of Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred removing the Batman costume.
    • In an old Buggs Bunny cartoon, Tortoise Beats Hare, Bugs is wondering how it could be possible for the Tortoise to beat the Hare in Aesop's fables. As The Other Wiki puts it, 'Bugs is left wondering if he's been tricked; then all ten turtles approach and reply, "Hmmm...eh, it's a possibility!"'
  • August 23, 2009
    Bisected8
    Batman has had other members of the Bat Family (as well as Superman) act as a decoy when he needs to appear as Bruce Wayne and detract suspicion. Does that count?
  • August 23, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Real Life:
    • Shakespeare, possibly, due to the fact that little is known about him.
    • The respective authors of Hardy Boys (Franklin W. Dixon) and Nancy Drew (Carolyn Keene) are not a single person. The series are "ghostwritten," with different authors using the same pen name.
  • August 23, 2009
    nurfle!
    loosely related to Dead Person Impersonation. Well, at least the first person I thought of was Donald Draper. I may just be loony.
  • August 23, 2009
    Unknown Troper
  • August 23, 2009
    invinible
    Actually, I believe it was 4 women that were Batwoman; 1 of which knew the other 3 and got them together when they wouldn't have otherwise.
  • August 24, 2009
    Arivne
    @invinible: I was going by The Other Wiki's description of the plot, which said it was three women sharing the identity (i.e. actually dressing in the costume): Kathy Duquesne, Roxanne Ballantine, and Sonya Alcana.
  • August 24, 2009
    henke37
    Is this separate from twins trying to fool people by pulling this stunt?
  • August 24, 2009
    Roxor
    @Idler 2.0: Yes. This is most certainly a spoiler trope.

    @Unknown Troper 208.185.17.3: Collective Identity sounds like a good name to me.

    @henke37: The twin switcheroo would be a sub-trope of this, given it requires the special condition of identical appearance.
  • August 16, 2014
    HeWhoMustNotBeUsernamed
    For those who know the Shadow- Lamont Cranston arrangement?

    Although the whole world has forgotten it, Diana Prince started as a separate person from Wonder Woman. I don't know for certain whether this situation came up for them, but it seems likely.
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