How Marvel movies killed the secret identity

Speculation (as always) is rife within the Marvel cinematic universe. But clearly interesting to take note of is Civil War being chosen as the title for Captain America 3.
We knew there would be an infinity war storyline as it has been set up from so far off we could see it looming in the distance. But Civil War was a surprise, as it concerns many Marvel characters all coming into ideological conflict with one another.

Comic-book spoilers ahead:

The Civil War storyline is a pointed “ends justify the means” deconstruction of superheroes and the place they have in the post 9/11 world. This topic has come up before within the DC comics universe story Kingdom Come (and in Watchmen to a degree). Marvel and DC in their never-ending cycle of plagiarism have fed so much off each other its hard to tell where the ideas originated first or if it indeed matters.


“Don’t make Cap cap your ass.”

The basics are thus. Superhero induced cataclysm calls for emergency measures, the happy-go-lucky nature of crime fighting suddenly gets all serious business causing all superheros to have to register their identities with SHIELD now being run by Tony Stark. Spider-Man under some hardcore peer pressure from Tony, unmasks like a little bitch.
Captain America says “fuck that.” and beats up a bunch of SHIELD agents on the way out.

A lot like that elevator scene in Winter Soldier actually.

Cap starts a superhero underground resistance movement.
It of course causes huge conflict and Tony Stark uses Thor clones to beat the snot out of the rebels and kill Goliath.
Meanwhile a prisonbreak of the interdimensional prison that is holding the heroes that didn’t want to unmask takes place.
It culminates with a huge Hero vs Hero battle, until Cap realises the people hate them and it’s just causing more shit, so he surrenders and is promptly assassinated by the Red Skull on the Courthouse steps.
Tony realises what a massive cock he has been to everyone and calls it a day.

So that is the Civil War storyline and despite what some fans are hoping for Spider-Man maybe, sorta, one day being back with Marvel this Civil War storyline from the comics as is not gonna happen.

Secret identities.
Not for one moment in any of the Marvel movies have they even lingered on anything to do with secret identities. Ironman blew that right the fuck out of the water. Havent been back since and not gonna either.
So Tony Stark clearly has yet to invent a machine that creates a supply of fucks for him to give, so what about the rest?


This always happened when it was Thor’s turn to buy the beer



All Thor, All Thor time

Thor, is Thor, he had a Clark Kent secret identity in the comic, which they dropped because it’s just confusing as to why a god would feel the need to fuck around with one, nope.

Captain America, considering he has a museum installation dedicated to who he is and his identity, safe to say anyone with a History Channel subscription has put the word out. Also almost everyone that could have been used as leverage is most likely dead of old age already. Apart from Bucky…


No one will ever recognise Commando Yank!


Hulk, Bruce Banner is just something that happens in-between Hulk. So not really a secret identity and with all the Hulk movies its hard to know what exactly is cannon, but lets assume the Norton one was, well the military sure as hell know who the fuck he is. Again for the general population unless for them to know who not to piss off in the shopping mall car park, no impact, unless it’s from Hulk smash.


“Where did the Hulk go, he was just right here a second ago!”


Black Widow and Hawkeye (other than not wearing masks other than when they need a disguise) are spies already. If they don’t want to be found they wont be and if they were they would probably kill the fool and make it look like an accident.


“Oh thanks Natasha Romanov, I mean Black Widow, just tell the world while you are at it.”


Falcon, He just got here, he’s got goggles I suppose. But really a brother in a condorman cosplay isn’t really trying to keep a low profile. Just be thankful he didn’t paint it gold and call himself the Golden Eagle or something LOL.


Oh DC, why…


The Guardians of the Galaxy, unlike the movie going public I don’t think Earth is ready for an Ent and Raccoon with a machine-gun just yet.

So loose speculation as to what Civil War will be about.
Tony Vs Steve. The essence of conflict within the avengers story.

Cap and Iron Man in their core belief systems have a fundamental difference of opinion, philosophy and moral center, it was made a point of in the Avengers. Tony will just go do whatever he thinks is the right without considering the human cost and it comes back to bite him.


Now Kiss! Wait, I better check for rule 34 on this…


This is obvious in Age of Ultron’s story (so far) too, its Tony’s hubris that creates the whole mess and from what it looks like, it forces the Avengers to be Thanos bitch in return for help.

It wont take much more for Cap to step in and say “We are getting real tired of your shit Tony..” and for Tony to fire back “I’m right because I’m better, smarter and I can see the big picture, you are just a faded trading card, you don’t understand the world you woke up in and that world doesn’t want to understand you, grandpa.”

Think of the current climate of “necessary” evils we live in currently. Tony backing a high-tech solution. Nations being turned into surveillance states and advocating torture because something might happen. Steve loudly reminding “at what cost?” These themes ran deep within Winter Soldier, and establish just how willing Steve is to go rogue if its something he doesn’t believe is in the public good.

So through conflict Tony and Steve need to resolve their conflicting ideologies, finding a deeper level of understanding because of it.


Adam and Eve not Tony Vs Steve!


So what does the direction Marvel have taken with their movies say about the erosion of the mythos of the superhero and need for secret identities.
In the comics secret identities were a layer of security, to keep the heroes friends and loved ones safe and imbued the reader with knowledge very few possessed.
But the underlying psychology is also about empowerment of the unknown masses, that there are superheroes amongst us every day. The superhero without their costume on could be anyone, it could even be you!

Marvel has sarcastically supplanted that with, “you take away the suit what are you?”
“Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist…”



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: