I think one of the (many) takes on the "Why don't people notice Clark Kent is Superman?" question is that most people in Metropolis assume that, being an alien, Superman doesn't have
a secret identity, so they don't both looking for one. While it's not the most reasonable justification, I like it because it gives the people of Metropolis some credit— they're thinking, they're just not thinking in the right way.
I like plays on the secret identity thing— some of my favs are when the core elements are changed to throw the searchers for a loop. Like Captain Marvel's Transformation Sequence
, which ages 11-year-old Billy Batson up about twenty years. Or the Golden Age Red Tornado— everyone thinks it's a man in a costume, but it's actually a stout mother of two (I particularly like that one, because it's an assumption that other characters make— Ma Hunkle never pretends to be a man, they all just figure a superhero has to be). Similarly, there's Cybersix, whose secret identity is a man. I love those little extreme twists.
One last interesting take on secret identities: The Penguin. Not the Batman villain, the 1940s Canadian superhero
. He wasn't a great character, but the neat thing about him is the audience never sees his secret identity
. Villains frequently got the upper hand and unmasked him, but we never see his face— just the mooks' reactions. I can see why the character fell out of print, since a lot of story and personality potential is lost when you never seen your hero during his off-hours, but I maintain that this is a neat concept that would be cool for a series of shorts or a mini-series.
edited 9th Oct '11 7:06:31 PM by Ronka87