The interesting, perhaps even innovative, thing about Danny's secret identity is that he doesn't have one to protect his loved ones, but to protect himself.
The whole point of Danny Fenton and Danny Phantom being "separate" people is so Danny doesn't risk being ostracized by his peers and dissected by his parents (all valid reasons), which contrasts greatly with how the Secret Identity trope is usually used.
Normally, a hero would have an alter ego to protect the people he knows and cares about from becoming targets.
In Danny's case, his secret identity doesn't do him any favours when it comes to that. It doesn't protect anyone but himself, he does the saving and protecting.
Literally every single enemy/adversary he has except Valerie knows who he is. They know him as Danny Phantom and they know him as Danny Fenton.
Hell, his whole dynamic with Vlad is built around the two of them knowing each other's secret identities!
Moreover, his enemies have exploited his secret identity and his weaknesses against him many times already, targeting people close to him in the process:
Ember used his closeness to Sam to cast a spell on him and make him care about nothing but her.
Technus used his feelings for Valerie to distract him while he was busy decoding.
Spectra humiliated him at Casper High to feed off of his misery.
Kitty possessed Paulina to make Johnny jealous, and she originally was after Sam...
Do I need to go on?
Danny's secret identity does nothing to protect the people he cares about because every single person it should protect them from (again, sans Valerie) knows who he is. What his secret identity does for him is allow him to live a, relatively, normal life, saving him from having to live his greatest fears. Fears which are all part of his civilian identity, not his superhero persona.
So basically everything is the same except Phantom is a demon, and has Danny’s violent alternate personality and acts completely on his own (so not Danny, just sharing his body)
Technically Phantom’s form can be controlled by Danny (wicked cool superpowers yeah) but that is immensely difficult because Phantom is powerful and wild
Danny DIED in the portal accident. He was only brought back to life because Sam and Tucker signed a deal with a literal demon (Phantom) because they were terrified out of their minds about what would happen if the Fentons found out
...Except that didn’t really work out as well as they hoped and sure, Danny was brought back, just that Phantom moved in permanent residence inside Danny’s mind.
Phantom CANNOT hurt Danny or his friends, because contract stuff, and he is frustrated/amused about this
Technically Phantom is KEEPING DANNY ALIVE. Which means in alternate version of UE Vlad KILLED Danny by ripping Phantom out, and Phantom, now gone absolutely crazy, killed Vlad and devoured Plasmius
Phantom despises Danny’s bad habits (not getting enough sleep, not eating enough, not standing up to Dash) and sometimes takes control just to do those and scream at Danny
This is not a PitchPearl AU. I’m fine with PitchPearl just not in this AU.
Phantom enjoys flirting with people just to piss off/embarrass Danny.
Ghosts still exist, just Demons now exist too
Danny is aware of EVERYTHING Phantom does, he just can’t control Phantom until Phantom lets him have control
Phantom loves scratches behind his ears and raw steak
Danny's refusal to tell his family about his secret hits differently when you remember the life he's lived so far before the accident.
Don't get me wrong, not telling your ghost-hunting parents in fear of being dissected by them is a VERY good reason not to tell them you're half-ghost.
But what I mean is that Danny's always been an outcast.
In school he's treated as if he were the geek plague or something, even when he's the more "normal" one of the trio. Sam is an outspoken Goth who follows a diet no one quite gets. And Tucker is a kid who loves technology to a... let's say, worrying extent and who tries, and fails miserably, to be cool and a ladies' man.
Danny... Danny's a sweet if a little awkward kid—who's unfortunate enough to have ghost-hunting parents in a setting where people don't believe in ghosts (yet).
In other words, before the accident, Danny didn't have many places he belonged to. People didn't genuinely appreciate him.
The only characters who genuinely love Danny from the beginning are his family (crazy as it may be) and his friends. His other allies would come much later in the series.
So telling his secret to his family, under the very possible circumstances of being hunted and disowned by his loved ones, could have meant losing some of the very few people who accept him for who he is.
In fact, this also makes me think that the only reason Sam and Tucker know Danny's secret is precisely because they were there when it happened. Had Danny been alone during the accident, I wholeheartedly believe he wouldn't have told Sam and Tucker either in fear of losing their friendship too.
That's why Jazz's role is so important in the show. Because she was the first person Danny loves to know about his secret and she still loved him back despite of it. Even after finding the truth, Jazz's company was still Danny's safe, albeit nosy, haven. The accident didn't change that.
Because that's Danny's journey: finding who he is and a place to belong now that he has ghost powers.
so unfortunately, we decided to shut down the Danny Phantom reboot project I was in charge of. For a myriad of reasons, the biggest being lack of people and too big a scale. :( It’s bittersweet and I won’t go into it here
What I WILL go into are some of the concepts I made for the trio, Jazz, and Vlad (also Dan)! Please ignore that I’m not that good at the DP style lmao
For Danny we didn’t wanna change anything too drastically on him, so we were mostly just playing around with giving him slightly more variety in his outfits. Same for Jazz
For Sam we wanted to make her more of a punk rather than a goth, and give her more practical clothing than a skirt and crop top lol
For Tucker we basically just wanted to keep him like... more updated/less of a ‘geek’ caricature? but still keeping that nerdy undercurrent (some of the other concepts for him pulled this off beautifully, whereas mine were a bit weak imo)
Vlad was given a lot more complexity in his character, backstory, and involvement with the Fentons, and something we thought might be interesting would be to give him a cane; he would actually need it to walk, as he would have sustained an injury during the Proto Portal accident in college, but it also added to the silhouette and the Rich Country Gentleman look lol (we also talked about a running gag where he’d just throw his cane off-screen for every fight and then he’d mysteriously have a new one next appearance, I’m very sad I’ll never see that gag actually done)
Also added a little doodle I did VERY early of a concept for Dan, where he’s like a nasty amalgamation of different timeline Dannys and such, and in my fantasies he would move akin to Aggie from Paranorman, where it’d be like his physical being is trying to separate into its disparate parts but can’t quite make it there
It was a SUPER early idea we were throwing around lol and kinda.... got changed as things developed but yea, I still like him. He was dubbed Eldritch Dan
i was reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley when I was jotting down notes for the Kindred Spirits part of my diddly darn rewrite, which helped me a lot because it had a lot to do about creators taking responsibility over their creations, and what were the ramifications for something like Dani to exist in society
You know, it’s actually hilarious that if Vlad hadn’t hosted the reunion that he and Danny might have remained blissfully unaware of each other for a good while. Plasmius will be out there continually sending ghosts to kill Jack, not understanding how the man manages to survive (40% Danny fighting them off, 60% Jack Fenton is just That Bitch). Meanwhile there’s this goodie goodie ghost out there in Jack’s town that just annoys Vlad on principle. Maybe he goes to bully the strangely powerful newly formed ghost not knowing it’s his enemy’s son.
Then for Danny’s perspective you have this smarmy asshole ghost who is scarily powerful and keeps whooping Danny’s butt. Dan is genuinely scared of this ghost so actually makes an effort for him not to find out he’s human and where he lives. So Danny always disappears mid-fight before he passes out. (Vlad thinks he’s gone hiding in the Zone, Danny meanwhile is bleeding out in a nearby alley). Also apparently the ghost has a massive grudge against his dad so he’s like subtly asking his folks if any of their good friends died horrifically also were assholes who beat up kids.
The ghosts, meanwhile, are looking back and forth at the two halfas like “I’m not gonna tell them, why would I tell them? You tell them! No way I’m not getting involved in their stupid human squabbles, you tell them!”
To make things even more hilariously complicated, Vlad gets so fed up he takes a long vacation to Amity Park to “reconnect” to his old college friends. He’ll kill Jack with his own two hands and figure out why that white haired ghost boy confuses him so. Vlad Masters and Danny Fenton meet face to face for the first time and their is instant animosity neither can explain. You know the Love Square for Miraculous Ladybug? Get ready for the Hate Square. Vlad Masters/Plasmius and Danny Fenton/Phantom hate each other in all their forms. Danny is trying to be polite but wondering why mom and dad’s creepy friend is setting off his fight or flight and Vlad is just rubbed the wrong way by Jack and Maddie’s creepy, sullen son. They enter a room and both their ghost senses go off and they just swivel their heads around like absolute idiots.
Let’s make this even funnier and say all this goes down during Reign Storm. Vlad awakens the ghost king who promptly drags the whole town into hell. The annoying little hero wannabe Phantom ghost is fighting him for causing trouble also stopping him killing Jack p l u s Jack’s equally annoying son will not stop bothering him. Danny is at his wits end fighting this Wisconsin Ghost and then going home to the smug billionaire in the guest room. Of course there comes a point where they both de-power in front of each other and it’s just the Spider-Man pointing meme. Both Danny and Vlad are standing there like “are you saying we’ve been going around and around each other for months and not realizing we’re both the same freaky species??”
The ghosts are watching all this drama unfold with ghost popcorn, this is better than cable.