Created By: Tekrelious on April 9, 2012

No Secret Identity

This super hero has no secret identity whatsoever

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Trope
This is when a super hero does their super hero business without seeing the need or perhaps just not caring to have a secret identity.

Examples are the Powerpuff Girls and Goku and the Z fighters. Not the same as Secret Public Identiy where the super hero has a secret identity but everyone knows who they are regardless. These heroes just don't have one in the first place.
Community Feedback Replies: 39
  • April 9, 2012
    Koveras
  • April 17, 2016
    Arivne
    Comic Books
    • During the Civil War series Spider-Man (Peter Parker) announced his civilian identity to the world, resulting in him having this status. However, the events of the One More Day series negated it.

    Tabletop RPG
    • In Champions this is the disadvantage Public Identity. Having it means that everyone who wants to obtain information about the character (such as their personal data) can easily do so.
    • Mayfair Games' DC Heroes TPG. The Drawback of Public Identity has a number of possible consequences, including crowds of people gathering outside the hero's home, villains attacking the hero's friends and family, or being sued over damage caused during the hero's battles with supervillains.
  • April 9, 2012
    ScanVisor
    Captain America's "Secret Idenitity" was very well known to the public some time at least after the end of WWII, they literally teach kids about him in history textbooks, which means that since his ressurection in The Avengers #4, everyone knows that Captain America is Steve Rogers.
  • April 9, 2012
    Edokage
  • April 9, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Captain Hammer from Doctor Horrible's Musical Blog Thing doesn't seem to have a secret identity, to the extent that he goes to the laundrette, to visit his therapist and on dates with girls in costume and in character.

  • April 9, 2012
    NESBoy
    The Fantastic Four may have costumes and Code Names, but the public still knows them as Dr. Reed Richards, Susan and Johnny Storm, and Benjamin Grimm.
  • April 9, 2012
    nitrokitty
    • Barnaby Brooks Jr. of Tiger And Bunny is the only superhero who fights using his real name.
  • April 9, 2012
    henke37
    • Kim Possible didn't have a secret identity when she started out with safe tasks and never got one afterwards.
  • April 9, 2012
    uncannybeetle
    Almost no one in Bleach has a secret identity.
  • April 9, 2012
    Tekrelious
    The Fantastic Four have a secret identity but they never use it, Reed Richards is Mr Fantastic, Susan Richards is The Invisible Woman, Ben Grimm is The Thing, and Johnny Storm is The Human Torch. That goes in Public Secret Identity.

    I'm more referring to having no secret identity at all. The Powerpuff Girls, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup become Liberty Bell, Harmony Bunny, and Mange in an episode which calls attention to the fact that they have no secret identity at all.

    Captain America is public knowledge but you could perhaps consider Captain America to be Steve Rogers secret identity even though everyone knows who he is.

    Bleach is another great example, like with Goku and the Z fighters, nobody would argue they're not super heroes but they certainly have no code name or anything.

    It's perhaps splitting hairs but I wanted it kept separate from Public Secret Identity. I'm mostly curious what examples exist of super heroes (or villains) that just don't care to use a name other than their own.
  • April 9, 2012
    RandomChaos
    I think they have this
  • April 9, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^^The Fantastic Four's code names aren't secret identities though. They're just code names. It'd be like saying, I don't know, Barack Obama has a secret identity because sometimes he's called "POTUS" or "Renegade" (his code name used by the Secret Service) rather than calling him by name.

    Luke Cage has no secret identity. And since he changed his name that's his real name.
  • April 10, 2012
    MorganWick
    The word you're looking for is "alter ego" or "Code Name".
  • April 10, 2012
    StevenT
    In El Tigre, none of the superheroes have a secret identity (except for Frida as La Tigresa that one time), while every supervillain except Granpapi/Puma Loco and Satana of the Dead keeps their identity a secret.
  • April 10, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    The Bleach example is debatable though. The Soul Society isn't a group of superheroes. They're a superhuman military police organization who deal with equally superhuman criminals. Well, I suppose it'd come down to what you'd define as a "superhero," but they don't use secret identities because it's their job. Perhaps codenames sometimes (as is the case with Kenpachi), though their numbers are so great that there isn't really any need to keep secret identities. Police officers don't need aliases (the FBI and CIA do sometimes, though they're always changing them to keep the criminals guessing).

    Superheroes who work alone or in small groups and do crimefighting on the side are the ones who might need one, since if a loved one is in danger, they might not necessarily be able to save them (as is what happens all the time in American comic books). When the organization is sufficiently large or the heroes have extremely good publicity, the bad guys should be smart enough not to invoke the wrath of the heroes' colleagues and/or the public at large. If the heroes' adversaries are all polite enough to respect the heroes' real identities, they can go by using their real names too.

    I suppose it really comes down to the nature of the bad guys in the series, whether or not they need one. Superman needs a secret identity and a hero identity even though the whole world adores him because he usually works by himself and his Rogues Gallery is powerful enough to wipe out humanity, so they can be bold enough to pick off loved ones. The Z Fighters don't need more than one name to go by despite being largely unknown in their own continuity because they're a close-knit group; if anyone is in any danger or a villain tries something nasty, someone else will be around to cover them. Sonic The Hedgehog doesn't need one either because Dr. Eggman, whom Sonic nearly always goes up against, is Affably Evil and will not harm even civilians (in the video games, at least). The Mario Bros. don't need a second identity because they are just that good at what they do that even when bad guys go after bystanders, they will still get there on time and save everybody (so much so that when they fail to do so is a Wham Episode).
  • April 10, 2012
    Jhimmibhob
    The Tick, alias ... The Tick.
  • April 10, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Is this about superheroes (etc.) who are in their superhero guise (if not role) on a 24-7 basis?
  • April 12, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Ironically enough, the main character in the TV series My Secret Identity doesn't have a secret identity. Which is not to say his superheroing is public knowledge - it isn't.
  • April 12, 2012
    Edokage
    • Iron Man.
    • Does jedies count as superheroes?
  • April 12, 2012
    Kossmeister
    Doc Savage was one of the few pulp fiction heroes not to have any kind of secret identity.
  • April 12, 2012
    henke37
    Iron Man had a secret identity, but he totally blew it at the end of the first movie.
  • April 15, 2012
    Tekrelious
    How do we separate this from Secret Public Identity then if it's just people who have well known code names? If we include people like Tony Stark and Peter Parker during the registration arc.

    I suppose if we just create No Secret Identity and compare Secret Public Identity where people have a secret identity, but everyone knows who they are it's splitting hairs but obviously some superheroes, and Power Puff Girls being perhaps my favorite, never had a secret identity to begin with and putting it in Secret Public Identity just doesn't work and we need somewhere to place them.

    Stratadrake, I don't see it that way, more like people who use their given names in their work being superheros. You could say Goku is always "ON" 24/7 but he's not exactly going out fighting crime all the time. He has a family life, he just doesn't bother becoming The Great Saiyaman or something equally stupid like that. He's just "Goku".

    If the superhero personality has overwhelmed the normal dude such that he's no longer the normal dude, well ok, you could argue that Batman is always Batman but that's a bit of a stretch.
  • April 15, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The more you explain it the more it sounds to me like it's just Secret Public Identity.
    A Super Hero who does not actually have a hero name, despite maintaining a generally low-profile Secret Identity. These heroes are simply called by their "real" names in the heat of battle.
    And the Laconic:
    Superhero uses their real name.
  • April 21, 2012
    Tekrelious
    Then I will simply drop it as seperate. Thanks for the input everyone!
  • April 21, 2012
    MicoolTNT
    Hancock.

    Also I think it is quite separate, as Secret Public Identity clearly says they have, or try to have, a separate identity.
  • April 22, 2012
    rosebud64
  • April 22, 2012
    dalek955
    • Universal Man from The Incredibles does this. He complains that whenever he dates they always ask him to remove his mask, when they would be horrified if he asked them to take off their face.
  • February 24, 2013
    dsneybuf
    I thought this would apply to all but two or three of the leads of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but they all still have superhero identities.
  • March 16, 2013
    dsneybuf
    I thought about it some more, and I remembered that the EMH version of Thor goes by no other name or identity.
  • May 28, 2013
    Arivne
    Comic Books
    • DC Universe. Ralph Dibney, the Elongated Man, was one of the earliest Silver Age heroes to reveal his true identity to the public.
  • February 12, 2014
    TheKman
    I dunno people...Secret Public Identity is, A Super Hero who does not actually have a hero name.

    Yet...John Stewart and Guy Gardner are both Green Lantern. Steve Rogers is Captain America. Jay Garrick is The Flash. One could easily fill a page with examples.

    Also, some public heroes also have trouble fitting the maintaining a generally low-profile Secret Identity part of Secret Public Identity.
  • February 13, 2014
    DAN004
    In short... SPI needs fixing?
  • February 22, 2014
    TheKman
    Yeah. The more I think about it, *maybe* a better description for the two different situations would be: Public Identity: One who does heroic/superheroic deeds, sans "code name" or costume - someone like Kim Possible, Buffy Summers, or from Smallville - Zan and Jayna, Zatanna, and apparently Jay Garrick (who's kept the lightning-bolt shirt but ditched the helmet and has been referred to as "Flash" at most 1 or 2 times in both the show AND the comics IIRC).

    Secret Public Identity: An otherwise stereotypical superhero (codename, costume etc), but who's identity is public knowledge. A great example would be Green Arrow after partway through Smallville Season 10, who keeps the name and costume even after the public reveal of their real name. Also - 99% of ALL costumed criminals, who wind up defeated and unmasked, yet when they return they keep the costume and name - IE, Deadshot from the DC Universe.
  • February 22, 2014
    MorganWick
    Is it relevant that this YKTTW has been going on off-and-on for nearly two years?
  • February 22, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    • Alias: The former Jewel, is now publicly known as Jessica Jones and even worked as both an investigator and Daily Bugle writer under that name. She's dropped the code name and costume for the most part and while still active on-and-off with the Avengers, has all but entirely stopped being Jewel in favor of operating as just Jessica.
  • February 26, 2014
    TheKman
    Morgan - "Rome wasn't built in a day," etc?

    Costumed adventurers/heroes who don't hide their identity are as old as the Fantastic Four at least, but seem to be growing more and more prevalent. I've even seen an article speculating that one day having a secret identity may become the exception rather than the norm.

    Maybe better to just expand SPI to two types rather than go for a whole new Trope, though? Add a type for costumed and codenamed heroes and villains with publicly-known IDS?
  • February 26, 2014
    dalek955
    • In Spinnerette, the League of Canadian Superheroes are heroes full-time, since they're government-funded (hence no need for a civilian day job) and some of them would have a hard time blending in if they tried.
  • April 16, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    • In DC Superhero Girls "everybody's free to be whoever/whatever they are, so there's no need for secret identities and everyone can just let their flags fly". Most characters don't have secret identities or refer to each other as their secret identities.
  • April 17, 2016
    DAN004
    Well I can understand the difference of SPI and this, but the examples of SPI and its description plain don't match each other.

    I don't think it's good to continue this for now; not until that issue is solved.
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