Monday, February 22, 2016

Action #305: Superman's Secret Identity Is Blown!

This tale from October 1963 riffs on the necessities of our hero's Secret Identity.  The springboard is a visit by Clark and Jimmy to Perry White in the hospital, where he's in Isolation for measles.  However, at this same time, Benny the Blaster has decided to stick up the hospital for its radium supply.

Is there any way that Clark (Superman) Kent can save his friends and still save his secret persona?  Here's one answer:

Oh, great! [sarcasm]  The day is saved, by the nitro blowing the lid off of Superman's secret.  But Perry White's suggestion, while forthright, seems too simplistic to be true:  Just get another identity!

So, our hero figures that he can try fighting crime in both identities,  and applies as "Mark Trent" to the Metropolis PD.

While I understand the dramatic reason for this sequence of events, it doesn't make sense that a candidate would perform all the physical tests before filling out the basic application paperwork.  Also, you can tell that Superman doesn't really care if people get a taste of his superhuman capabilities.

BTW, the right-hand panel in the top row is not all that improbable.  When a couple of months ago, my son went under the knife for "a minor procedure," the anesthesiologist broke the first needle trying to hook up my son's tranks.  I knew I had a super kid, but really!!

If you take the final panel and multiply it by about fifty gajillion, you can get an idea of how hard this kind of story point would be hard to live out in today's real life.  Considering the amount of documentation accumulated nowadays by transactions from smartphones to frequent-buyer clubs, somebody with no backstory would be exiled to the fringes of employability pretty fast.

Besides, The Donald would impugn his citizenship!

Please check back on Wednesday for the end of this great "What-If?" story.


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