When the main topic arises about superheroes, the main question which people try to answer is who is a hero? In the most modest way, a hero is an individual who goes beyond his/her fears and limitation to do the unthinkable act which in a normal environment with normal people no one can dare do the act. This is therefore thought extraordinary by the normal people. Since immemorial superheroes, the main habit which has been noted is the use of secret personality. Reserved life is very important in the life of superheroes as they go out to fight villains. Although not all of them have this hidden identity they may not have had the options as their identity is known due to one or two reasons but there are positive sides of ensuring that one secret identity is kept that way. The heroes by far are not champions of laws and regulation and neither are they enforcers of law as a state-employed agent as they do things their own way. The way of American, justice, and truth brought about by superman code is the set objectives which these superheroes tend to defend.
Maintaining a secret identity is one of the significant tasks of superheroes. With all the threats they face they still avail themselves to fight crime and live a dual life that of being a superhero and that of being like any other normal folks.
In the absence of a secret personality in superhero life, it is the same as that of a star in reality. They won't have the freedom to go anywhere as they would have photographers to think of not forgetting villains who have personal vengeance vendetta. Super villains always attack when a superhero is at his feeblest moment. Heroes with no secret life won't have any friends or family as they will always be in the line of danger.
As a fanatic of superheroes, one indispensable fact with extraordinary powers and unique gears one thing they need to isolate their secretive life away from their superhero life. What lies underneath the cover should be very confidential and no one should ever know the mannerly individual living amongst everybody with all that powers within him. Costumes and specific names are important to superheroes even if they are not aware of the meaning, for example, Wolverine is the code name for Logan even though he isn't aware of himself but the main point it's a superhero thing "keeping your identity concealed".
Disguises, secret personality, altered ego are all connected to superheroes. The main foundation of superheroes is a belief that they should always conceal their identity. Gotham patron Bruce Wayne works during the night as a batman. During the day prince, Diana works a day job but she is a Wonder woman who apprehends her villains with her truth lasso. While others, where mask other superheroes change the state of the physic like Bruce Banner who changes to hulk hence their ability, is their identity.
The main theory behind superhero hidden identity reminds people of their daily life struggle and many fanatics of comics can ascertain that the best part in superhero comics is where they try to ensure their secret identity is concealed as champions of truth fairness in the world while trying to balance their other life. This habit never gets old because it illustrates how a human being with all incredible powers struggles in his/her daily life to balance with the rest of the world as they try to be just themselves. Clark Kent as Superman is one best illustration of hidden identity. There have been different views on Superman hidden identity in many ways. Others think that Superman is real and the mannerly Clark Kent in glasses is the created persona to put Superman close to The Daily Planet. While others resonate that Clark Kent is the real identity and that he answered a call of heroism to be Superman as he reached adulthood. Others thoughts are that none of these are realistic and that the real identity is one which the personality was born into as that of KryptonianKal-el.
To unwrap things first what is identity. According to Goffman identity is can be elaborated through theater lens. In his explanation peoples manage their one on one interaction with others in a similar way an actor manages himself/herself on the stage with a bit of modification in speech, clothing, mannerisms, and individuality.
In a normal person life, it can be ascertained that they have a public persona and a private persona keeping some things hidden. To answer the question as to whether Superman is a back or front stage one has to deviate to Clark Kent's origin. Clark was born in Krypton but wasn't raised there, he was neither raised by his biological parents he was raised by the Kent's and was given his name Clark. Clark was an alien on earth but he was brought up by human parents in a human way until he adopted his other identity as Superman. It can then be deliberated that the front page is Clark Kent while backstage is Superman. It is correct to say that the superman qualities are as a result of Clark's human past. His courage, mindfulness, care all these he learned from his human parents the Kent's. It can also be considered that Superman is both his human qualities and his super strengths.
Characters such as Spiderman secret identity for him is very important as Spiderman has people who cannot defend themselves all around him from his villain's enemies, Mary Jane and his aunt, therefore, he has to protect them from them. Just like Clark Kent, Spiderman has to have a private life. Unlike Spiderman and Superman people fail to understand clearly why Batman has to have a secret personality. Well, it's quite obvious that Batman has a poorly kept secret on his identity as all of his superhero friends know who he is and nearly a quarter of Gotham know that he is Bruce Wayne. Looking to Bruce circle he really does not have people to protect. Alfred can take care of himself. His superheroes friend are capable of handling any situation so the question as to whether vengeance will hurt Bruce it is a no. his aunt Harriet not being part of the main actors the notion of secrecy tends not to exist as she isn't there.
The batman notion of secret identity is to put fear in the heart of villains. Batman has clearly illustrated what men can realize if they put their mind into it. He stands with no powers only but a man who is trained. Bruce Wayne is a man same as you that can be shattered but Batman is a contemporary symbol, a symbol that is principled, enduring a terrifying figure meant to strike fear. Batman does not have any extraordinary abilities this quality makes him easier to relate to an individual and be loved by all. Batman is a contradiction between death and life that finds its apparent expression in the world social problem. As he demonstrates it is trauma position he vows to himself that any order that people make from the world is only momentary and conditional and their own effort products because underneath it is the bedrock of trauma.
According to Reynolds superhero secret identity is the inherent symbol which represent continuously the ever-shifting values whichever the humanity makes. Generally, the main objective of these identities is allowing personalities to have a life the same as any other individuals. Main secret identities motivation range from urge for characters to lead a free and average life, protecting loved one from vengeful enemies, getting an advantage over adversaries by instilling fear at their heart (Batman using his secret identity to create fear), access to information (Clark Kent works a newscaster where he is able to get timely information),access of information about ongoing investigation( Gordon providing Batman with up to date information) and to ensure that they completely avoid legal action against them as superheroes do not follow law of the land.
The realization of individual well-being cannot be threatened unless the identity is known well. Secret identities have to be concealed such that it would be impossible for a superhero to be recognized in a public area. Identities are always concealed in many ways such as using costume components, adopting a different way of doing things and even voice.
Identity is an occurrence in which individuals manage daily in differing circumstance insinuating that there is no importance in terms such as real or secret. Superheroes narratives created by humans and humans themselves are dynamic beings which have to make daily choices on what to be revealed and what not to. How people lead their lives daily and the decision they come up with in doing so explains that identity isn't what people are about as it is a bold mission and a long life decision.
"To protect the loved ones" this still remains to be the classic reason for a secret identity. This is the main reason for dual life for all superhero. A superhero like Superman has a more personal reason he really wants to fit it like a normal person, and this is because being a normal human one can remove the stress that comes with being a superhero.
Some people tend to ignore the struggle of the superhero. They fail to find anything they do compelling. Most of them believe anything a superhero does is illegal. True they do well and protect the society but in the eyes of the law, there is no immunity allowing these vigilantisms. They find concealing one identity is a way of evading lawful ramification and attacks by their enemies. Although some tend to view these secret identities as an emblem of hope. This part of secret identity is universal and it not only applies to superheroes but people who stand for change in the modern day world. People always want to associate themselves with superheroes for a number of reasons but not that they want to be heroic too. Heroes are depicted as figures which stand for what most people would love to stand for but are unable to because generally, they don't have the ability to.
People are always motivated to struggle more when they identify themselves with their favorite superheroes. They always want to experience the pursuit and development it brings. Superheroes figures enable people to react in another way in strange situations. Superheroes bring out the best version of their fans.
The society today has been infested with the craziness of superheroes. It gives people the opportunity to come out of their own fantasies about being someone else. Superheroes are not logical in their extraordinary abilities but they embody the desire for right thing is to be done and they symbolize the good in us.
The question which superheroes have forced out for the people to answer is what's the function of a superhero in society is. This question tends to ask the function of heroes in society. This creates the basis of ideological reflection of superheroes and their hidden identities in comics. Superheroes try to prove themselves in the society and this rationalization is an argument for people in the superheroes social functions. Batman and superman was the main reason for theses question to be asked result being irresolvable. By putting superhero in a more realistic way them being put within social context an anxiety is provoked which raises the narrative to contend with in the superheroes theme of secret identity and mask.
Miller, Frank, et al. Batman: year one. New York, NY: DC Comics, 2005.
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