Evil Superheros

Why don’t evil superheros have secret Identies? Spiderman has Peter Parker, Superman has Clark Kent, but what about the bad guts how do they make money with no day jobs.

I’m sure you mean evil super-villans but i’ll forgive you. That would be odd having an evil hero. Well, there’s Spawn and his countless rip-offs, but I digress.

The main deal was how do they make money with no day jobs? If I recall most bad guys are sponsored by a large institution or are usually caught in the middle of a heist of somekind, hence no need for a day job when your day job is being a bad guy. Since bad guys are so prevalent good guys need the secret i.d. because everytime a normal person sees someone in spandex they think “Crap! I’m about to get rolled!”

This, of course, is a huge generalization.

Welcome to the Boards :smiley:

Cartoon Network did a short, commercial-length piece about this. They showed clips from Batman and Superman episodes while the narrator said:

There was a bit more that I don’t remember. I thought it was pretty cool.

I think that if you check you’ll see that most villians do have day jobs and secret identities. Mr. Freeze’s real name wasn’t revealed until quite recently, and nobody knows who the Joker really was. The jobs of super villians seem to fall into three catagories. There’s villains like Dr. Doom whose “job” is despot of a small country. Then there’s mad scientists like Mr. Freeze who you assume make money off of patents. Then there are villians like the Trickster who you assume are makeing there money off of bank heists or whatever. Although I suppose since most if not all villians are masked there is no reason why the Trickster couldn’t have continued to do his “Day job” of being a special effects adviser for hollywood movies.

furryman, where do you get your crack? because that’s some high quality stuff man…

Victor Freeze was a normal person with a day job UNTIL he became a supervillan, and what’s this crap about nobody knowing who “the Joker really was” Do you mean the people in the comics or the readers of the comics?

Dr. Doom’s day job is to be a badguy, and so is the Trickster’s.

Most super-heroes keep their true identities secret because they are afraid that their enemies will try to take revenge on them by attacking their families.

Super-villains, whose enemies are the quite ethical super-heroes, do not fear this sort of revenge.

In addition, super-heroes are seldom taken into police custody and fingerprinted, because they don’t commit crimes. The villains, once the hero hands them over to the police, usually are fingerprinted, so even if t hey were trying to keep their identities secret, it wouldn’t last very long.

I know this is tough to learn, but super-villians are mostly fictional. They do not have secret identities because their authors don’t write them for the poor bastards.

Hope that helps.

There was the lizard guy in Spiderman who was a scientist when he wasn’t green and scaly. The kingpin was a respected industrialist. Most of the people in the Hellfire club were big business people.

If you’re not working for the government the first six months out of the year, you don’t need as much to get by. Low-budget villains could easily support themselves by knocking over small businesses, and the police would be powerless to stop them.

Bigger-budget types tended to make a few huge scores, or have day jobs.

And when you’re Galactus, you don’t need money.

Manny, people here are addressing internal consistancy problems in works of fiction. This is accepted practice in literary criticism. Now, there may be some debate as to whether you can use these tools whilst dealing with “popular culture”, but I don’t think that the whole discussion can be dismissed in the cavalier manner you seem to be employing today.

Or is it just the wrong forum?

My information may be a bit old, but the last time I looked, the Joker’s real name had never been revealed. Even in “The Killing Joke,” that brilliant story about his origin, his actual name was never given. He’s used false names (“Joe Kerr”) and even had a second identity as a villain (The Red Mask), but no real name.

In the movie, he was given a name.

For many years, no one knew the secrect identity of the Green Goblin, one of Spider-man’s foes. It turned out to be Harry Osborne, father of one of Peter Parker’s friends.

Another Spider-man villian, the Lizard, didn’t have secret identity per se, but only Spider-man knew that he was actually Doctor Connors, transformed into a lizard by a secret serum.

In the current Superman storyline, almost none of the public realizes that Lex Luthor is, in fact, evil. They just think he’s some powerful multi-billionaire, who doesn’t care for Superman.

RealityChuck–you’re right, no one has ever revealed the Joker’s real identity.

Man-bat (who was kind of a villian) had a secret identity.
So does the Pied Piper (who isn’t a bad guy these days…), and Satanus has a secret identity that no one suspects (Morgan Edge), and he’s a big bad guy, at that. (sorry, I just know DC…)

The Joker’s secret identity is Jack Nicholson.

Don’t you guys watch the end credits?


Lizard’s a rather different situation than most supervillains. He’s more of a werewolf type of thing - Under normal circumstances, he’s a nice, respected scientist. But sometimes he turns into a ravening monster.

It’s safe to assume most super villains live much the same way as lower level criminals like car thieves and burglars do.

They deal with everything on a cash basis, no ID required, or else they have a vague cover story. Maybe they have a garage where they pretend to do car repair or they claim to be a writer or artist when the neighbors get nosy.

Not much time is spent on the private lives of villains because comic book narratives are severely restricted by a small page count and the main focus is on the heroes. Still, CATWOMAN has her own comic and there have been stories over the years about borderline villains trying to go straight.

What really vexes me is why a crook like The Red Fink will get caught and do some time, but try a heist as soon as he gets out as the Red Fink instead of creating a new identity. Heck, these guys should come up with new names and costumes all the time just to confuse the super-heroes trying to catch them.

Marvel started publishing ThunderBolts about two years
ago. At the end of the first issue, it was revealed that the ThunderBolts is a front. Its members are super villians who have created new masked and civillian identities. Captain America drops his guard much easier if he thinks you’re a fellow crime fighter.
Regarding the Joker, since the magnificent Killing Joke the Clown Prince Of Crime has remembered his origin a few different ways. As he says “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another. If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice.” Even he may not know his true identity.

  Often the villian does have a secret identity. It is only when the heroe catches him that we know who is under the mask. In Long Halloween, Batman and the readers only discover the identity of Holiday in the final issue. It was quite a while before Spider-Man discovered that Thorn was Richard Fisk. Or uncovered the identity of the Sin-Eater. Etc.

Worst thread ever!

Does the Joker even have a “real identity” anymore? After taking the chemical bath isn’t he just “The Joker”? It’s not like he takes off a green wig and washes off the white makeup when he’s done maiming and killing.
Same deal for the Red Skull.

Has the Taskmaster’s identity ever been revealed?
Just a minor nitpick but there have been several stories where they keep pointing out that Galactus isn’t evil. He’s a “force of nature”…bla bla bla.

It’s the “mostly” that worries me… :eek:

My friend is a really big Batman comic fan. Before The Joker was The Joker, he was another super-villain: The Red Hood.
I’m not sure of the cite (my friend has a huge Batman comic collection, and is like an encyclopedia). I’ll check, though, and see if he knows more.

I can think of quite a few super-villains that have had secret identities. It’s just that they’re not as high-profile as say Bruce Wayne the billionaire or Clark Kent the journalist for a major newspaper.
From what I can remember (I tend to read the less-traditional comics like Preacher now…at least, when it was still in being made) a lot of the secret identities were scientists and shady businessmen. Like others have said, after they’re found out you can’t really have a secret identity anymore. Whereas nobody’s trying to lock-up super-heroes, and their secret identities remain secret.
It’s kind of hard to have a secret identity once you have a mug shot.