Villains you could trust with your secret identity?

One of the main functions of a superhero’s secret identity, it seems, is the protection of a hero and their family/friends from harassment and reprisal in their civilian life by supervillains.

However, it seems like there are certain classes of villains who wouldn’t actually be that dangerous to let “in the loop.” Maybe they’re extremely professional, or have such a strict sense of personal honor that they wouldn’t strike at innocents and your private life. Others might not have any ethical problems with doing it, but wouldn’t do it because it wouldn’t be a challenge. Maybe they’re just doing their job, and don’t actually care enough about a hero to strike at them when they’re not on the clock. Maybe they just think you’re cute.

So, I’ve been wondering…who are some supervillains you could trust with your secret identity, if they found it out, without having to blackmail, threaten, or mindwipe them for your own protection?

The only one I can think of at the moment is Destro, who’d probably be in the “too honorable” camp. But I’m sure there are others…anyone want to join in?

Ra’s Ah Ghul and Bane in Batman both know his secret. So does Bane. There may be others. Because their crimes are games, they feel it is inappropriate to attack someone other than the opponent except to use them as bait for a battle. Both Ra’s and Bane are under the mistaken impression that if they can use the bait to lure Batman to a fair fight that they can win a fair fight. The mistake, of course, is that Batman knows who it is because of the clues used to lure him and prepares. And once Bats is prepared for his fight with you, even being Superman doesn’t help. You must get the drop on Bats.

Magneto visited Charles Xavier at his home on a regular basis and presumably knows the secret identities of all of the X-Men, though the X-Men seem to live their X-Men personas as their primary personas, so that’s not such a big deal. They only really hang out with other X-Men.

Carmen Sandiego.

None of the X-Men really HAVE secret identities, haven’t for some time. (If they ever did…I’m not overly familiar with the early days of the team.)

A lot of them - Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Nightcrawler, Pixie, Anole, Rockslide, Gentle, Elixir, Mercury, Loa, and numerous other members of the various X-Men teams - it’s not even possible, due to non-human form, wings, or some other visible side-effect of their powers, or something needed to keep their powers in check…the others just don’t bother. Dazzler, for instance, uses her powers in her act (also, recently, Pixie’s, which is just asking for trouble).

The X-Men’s political angle, and the point of the Xavier institute being publicly known, made secret identities not only unworkable, but counterproductive.

Most of Flash’s enemies would be safe - they’re practical enough to realize that going after a heroes loved ones, or making a stab at them when they’re ‘off-duty’ would bring far more heat down on them to be worth it.

The major exception, Hunter Zolomon, AKA Zoom, unfortunately DOES know Flash’s secret ID…and HAS gone after his family, even successfully killing his kids (though temporal screwiness brought them back). But he specifically wants Flash to bring that kind of heat, because that would make him ‘a better hero’.

I don’t if it’s still the case (a couple of more recent issues I’ve seen make it look as if he’s gotten less “noble”), but the Silver age Dr. Doom would probably have considered such personal attacks crass. The FF didn’t have secret identities, though, and I don’t know that he ever learned anyone else’s.

Lex Luthor.

He considers a “secret identity” to be trivial. He has several alternate public personas himself, ready to be taken up whenever they might be convenient. A hero’s “secret identity” would be safe with him, as he lacks the imagination to use the information effectively.

(source: Elliot S! Maggin)

Destro was the one that leapt to mind when I saw the Thread title.

Can’t think of another.

BTW–Luthor can & would whack somebody’s family.
Von Doom, maybe not.

Luthor actually did know Superman’s secret identity for a while in the late 90s. He dialed back the aggression toward the Man of Steel for a time, because he, Luthor, was genuinely in love with Lois, and he both refused to do something that would hurt her and also wanted to win her for himself. Presumably he would have gone back to trying to kill the boy scout if he’d ever made Lois fall out of love with Kal and with him, but the knowledge got wiped before it became an issue.

Doom’s done some horrific stuff to the Richards kids; I’m sure he’d kill them if it were necessary or amusing (and his idea of what is amusing is fairly sick). But he’d never bother killing, say, Spider-Man’s family, because he doesn’t care enough about Spider-Man to take revenge upon him or torture him. If Doom and Spidey were having a disagrement, he’d just whack (or try to whack) the wallcrawler.

I suppose it depends on which writer’s interpretation of Luthor you look at, but I remember one story where Luthor physically tortured Lana Lang because he thought she knew Superman’s secret identity. I don’t doubt he’d strike through Superman’s alter-ego.

What about Bane? and Bane?

I think he knows. Not sure, though. :wink:

Not a supervillain, but when I read the OP, I immediately thought of Hannibal Lecter. He’d consider it…rude.

The Shade comes to mind if you’ve read Archer’s Quest. I’m not 100% sure he still counts as a villain, though.

Did Venom ever go after Spiderman’s family? I know he didn’t ever like it when “innocents” got hurt, even going so far as to save civilians that he accidentally put it harm’s way and letting Spidey get away as a result.

Most of the cosmic villains just wouldn’t care. It doesn’t matter to Galactus what clothes you’re wearing when he eats your planet.

Not exactly mainstream, but in The Maxx, the villain, Mr. Gone, knew Maxx’s identity when The Maxx himself didn’t!

He kidnapped Mary Jane and terrorized her badly, which is the in-story reason for Parker giving up the black costume; MJ was so traumatized by the experience that she couldn’t bear the sight of it.

Eternity help us if the Parker-Watson marriage is un-retconned by Brad Meltzer.

Another one from the Batman Universe- I believe the Riddler has figured out Batman’s Identity in one of the arcs (I want to say it was in one of the Hush Storylines).

However, when Batman went to see the Riddler in Arkham, he pointed out why the Riddler wouldn’t be able to tell anyone: What’s the point of knowing the answer to the world’s greatest riddle if everyone else knows the answer too?

But does Bane know?