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#Superman
Batman: [glares suspiciously at Nightwing]
Superman: Hi Bruce
Batman: [glares suspiciously at Red Robin walking by]
Superman: So what's with the distrustful brooding? Did your kids do something again?
Batman: [glares suspiciously at Robin when he enters the room] they're always doing something. I might not have noticed them doing anything but they HAVE done something and if I do this they think I'm onto them and then they start slipping up.
Superman: ...that's just a whole new level of paranoia, Bruce. I'm sure they haven't done anything.
Batman: [eyes narrowing as Batgirl leans back in her chair]
Dick: He's definitely on to us
Tim: just chill
Steph: I think he's just constipated
Damian: what is he supposed to be "on to" anyway?
Dick: I broke his office chair last week
Dick: Accidently
Steph: Did you have sex in it? Because I heard you had sex in it
Dick: *accidentally
Steph: How does one have sex accidentally?
Tim: He might have noticed that I changed all his official W.E. avatars to that one picture of him spraying tea out of his nose
Damian: You are all imbeciles.
Steph: Didn't you crash one of his cars on a joyride with Jon last week?
Damian: Father doesn't know about that. Nor will he.
Steph: Are you seriously trying to intimidate me through IM?
Dick: Shit he's back to glaring at ME. He definitely knows about the chair
Tim: He doesn't know ANYTHING he's just freaking us out so we'll slip
Jason: I blew up a League of Shadows hideout yesterday
Jason: but, like, accidentally.
Damian: What?
Jason: chill, no one important was inside
Tim: but then why would he be glaring at US? you're not even here
Jason: oh, I just thought we were sharing
Dick: What do you mean "accidentally"??
Jason: Idk Dickie how do you accidentally have sex?
Superman: I think you're just overreacting. They're good kids.
Nightwing: [loudly and suddenly on the other side of the room] OH MY GOD. I DIDN'T BREAK HIS CHAIR HAVING SEX OKAY?
Batman: [looks at Superman, unimpressed] clearly.
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Can we give up on the whole “I kept my identity a secret to keep you safe!” cliché? I mean yeah, it can make sense, but we never actually see why until no-one cares about it anymore. At this point it’s like probes and aliens; if the reference isn’t made then is it even about aliens anymore? Superheroes equal a secret identity that keeps their loved ones safe.

Now let’s think about this, how does keeping secrets from someone protect them? Well Superman and The Flash frequently have characters putting themselves at risk knowing “he” will save them, but they also do that before the secret is out. Maybe Lois Lane or Iris West will head into dangerous situations, worried about their loved one, something that is more likely to happen when you know them as a vulnerable person and not an invulnerable paragon.

  These all make sense and are worth exploring, but other than a passing mention it is never expanded on. Pretty sure “If you knew then my enemies would come after you” is a standard, recurring line in any superhero story, and it’s true. If Luthor knew that this total stranger possessed Superman’s secret. If not, then it’s irrelevant.

  Given how these heroes can’t leave their friends alone for long even in costume, it’s kinda irrelevant if the loved one knows or not. Lois and Superman have been seen together. A lot.

  If this isn’t going to be explored, then do something new. Do something fun.

Like what? Well “I was protecting myself”; people slip up, it’s true. The only person you can trust not to slip up is you, and even then there’s still a chance. Or “I was scared”, which is admittedly one that is done fairly often, but not usually the main focus. Batwoman is doing it with her dad, but I’d like to see it being the main reason for once and expanded on.

  How about “It’s fun!” Seriously, if you are going to be a superhero then why not play the part? A secret identity is part of the starter pack, as is destiny somehow roping everyone the hero has ever known into the story (seriously, the f*ck is with that?).

  There are more: “it was only meant to be temporary”, where the hero only meant to solve one crime, catch one criminal, save one person, but were unable to stop. This adds an interesting dynamic for when they inevitably continue: what do they do now? Fess up? Keep it quiet? Maybe go the Eyeshield 21 route where they’re pressured into keeping it quiet. Or they are aware that once they tell someone the truth it can’t be undone, and so want to deliberate first.

There are so many possible reasons to keep one’s alter ego quiet that I can’t think of them all by myself in the fifteen minutes it took to draft this, so why isn’t this explored more often? Well obviously it’s because we can’t have superheroes without the “protecting you” schtick, so we include it.

  Obviously.

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Fearless Facade
Clark Kent/OFC

Masterlist

Susan Jansen is the bank manager where Clark Kent does his banking. Superman saves the day when she’s taken hostage during a bank robbery, and she finds herself drawn to the man who has secretly admired her for a year. Only she doesn’t know he’s the same man.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 coming soon

cavillanche
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