Poll Position: Is your secret safe?

At first I was going to ask "Let's say Clark Kent has to die, what secret identity would you want to see Superman take on?" but then I ended up going more general instead:


I think the whole concept of a "secret identity" has become somewhat passe in this era of the government-funded or public-id character, but it's still a staple of the Big Names at DC and Marvel. You see a lot of reporter gigs, probably due to Superman's success, but it makes sense -- reporters get to set their own hours mostly, they have access to high-level sources of information in the government and police forces, and they can get into places most people can't. I never quite understood how Superman managed to keep the on-air job he held for a while, since if you have to dash off in the middle of a broadcast to fight a giant robot, that's pretty hard to miss.

Police officer comes to mind probably because I'm reading some of the classic original Blue Beetle stories, and he's a cop in them. But back in the Forties, being a policeman was a much different gig than it is now. I don't think it'd be as easy to just drop your uniform and run off in tights to fight crime; the first thing your boss would want to know is where the hell "you" were during the whole thing, you know? Being there and visible is sort of part of the job.

A P.I. has lots of interesting possibilities, depending on your power set. You get a lot of the perks of being a cop without a lot of the red tape. And you have a good "in" for cases to take on.

Politicians apparently have scads of free time where they can run off to various locations, but the media is always going to be all up in your bidness, so keeping your alternative lifestyle would be a real chore.

I threw "scientist" in there as a nod to Barry Allen, the original Flash, but come on -- burying yourself in a lab all day is not exactly the way to stay current on the reigning underworld boss, you know?

Finally, I think my favorite one is "janitor". No one ever notices the janitor, and if you worked in the right place and had the right power set, you could get a lot of fantastic information without anyone being the wiser.

Which job would you choose?

13 Responses to Poll Position: Is your secret safe?

  1. Tristan says:

    I’d go private investigator because you would end up the best by using your powers and youd be snooping around findind out about stuff your counterpart could act on.

  2. Tristan says:

    depending on your power set you could do any job you wanted for example: super speed- any thing from janiter to politician would be no prob.

  3. Hakoon1 says:

    It’s easier to be a janitor because there aren’t any MAJOR jobs that will require you to be there.

  4. Hammerknight says:

    P.I. because that would be the only job on the list that no one would ask you where you been. You could be gone for days and no one would know.

  5. thejay says:

    It all depends what is your major undertaking – career running around in tights or career that pays. Janitor is a dead end job with no security no matter how well it serves the alter-ego. since I’d need a job that would forgive those little mishaps and screwups which happen when you “go to the bathroom (or possibly telephone booth) for a moment” and disapperar for hours, i’d go with a job i’m likely not to get fired on the spot (like janitor) or responsible for peoples’ lives (like cop) or followed after by the media (politician). In reporting, your editor would likely let you dash wherever you want so long as you give him the front-page scoops. Oh and P.Is also has a tight schedule. you can’t run after a bank robber if you’re waiting to take photos of a cheating husband or something.

  6. thejay says:

    So yeah, reporter – for a newspaper (or online press).

  7. Mr.Vampire says:

    I voted janitor. So long as your work is done no one cares what your’re doing or when. Most cleaning staff work after standard office hours and frequently have clearance to enter secure areas as part of thieir job.

    Teh best secret identity is not on the list: Billionaire, (Bruce Wayne style). You can be away on bisuness or just touring, controling interests in media etc will provide lots of leads. Yeah, Batman’s got the right idea.

  8. Jeff Hebert says:

    Yeah, billionaire playboy/industrial tycoon was such a clear winner I left it off deliberately.

  9. Jose Inoa says:

    private investigators have less surveillance on them

  10. Bael says:

    The way I see it, most secret identity problems come down to the rude irregular hours kept by super villains. I think art, web design, or fabrication/craftsmanship jobs are the way to go. Something with no set hours or time clocks to punch, so you can do the actual work whenever you can fit it in. And deadlines or inspiration striking give you an excuse to lock yourself into your studio/home office/shop for hours at a time at the drop of a hat.

  11. Xstacy says:

    I’d go with PI because it’s not something you really have to do–that is, so long as you don’t mind stealing some money from the criminals you fight. You get your license, you fake some records and pay taxes as if you were actually getting paid, and you never have to deal with a real client, a real deadline, or real duties.

    Sure, being the janitor might have some advantages, info-wise, but it still involves cleaning toilets, emptying trash cans, and scraping gum off the floor.

    Cops have regular duties they simply can’t walk away from, and often partners who would quickly get frustrated at their disappearing acts.

    Although it seems like politicians can jet off to the mistress’s place at the drop of a hat, the ones that don’t want to get caught and exposed actually have to put a lot of planning into when and where they go. If a politician routinely misses his own scheduled conferences, somebody will call him out on it eventually. Plus they have to spend considerable time campaigning for reelection. And, finally, when they do go to work, they are surrounded by staff and fellow politicos who will notice if they go to the bathroom and don’t come back for four days.

    Scientists–if they aren’t mad scientists–don’t work alone, and have to schedule lab time far in advance. Science geeks might be flaky, but they are seldom unreliable as secret identies usually are. And they could have a hard time completing any actual work, since they couldn’t use powers to fudge experiments without ruining their scientific value.

    Reporting might be okay, but if every “scoop” involves the alter ego kicking somebody’s butt, it will not only get suspicious, it will get a little boring. In a world where you can’t throw a rock without hitting a super, how fascinated would people really be to read the blow by blow on yet another fight in tights?

  12. Whit says:

    I’d go the Dazzler route. I wouldn’t hide my superpowers–I’d flaunt them–just in a different guise.

  13. Zorbas the Awesome says:

    i chose a federal police officer cuz u could be saying ur off on an undercover operation even though ur slipping into ur tights.