Ok, as most of you are well aware, I like comic characters and their stories. I love stories about the lives of Barbara Gordon, Dick Grayson and Clark Kent. I watch superhero movies regularly and dutifully tune in to “Smallville” once a week. I just really enjoy looking at the lives of people with super powers. I’ve enjoyed it since I was a kid reading old “Wonder Woman” comics at the library and watching “Batman: the Animated Series” on TV.

But I do have one giant pet peeve with nearly every superhero out there right now. I absolutely don’t understand the necessity superheros see of keeping your powers and identity a secret from the people closest to them. I’ve heard over and over the excuse “if he/she knew who I was, villians would use them to hurt me”. Ok, first of all, that doesn’t even make sense! The logic doesn’t connect without a lot of wobbly explaining. Second of all, in all cases I’ve seen, not knowing their superhero friend’s identity has done absolutely NOTHING to protect someone from being targeted by villians! Seriously, how many times was Mary Jane Watson or Jana Lang or Lois Lane or Steve Trevor kidnapped or otherwise hurt by a villian, despite having no idea that they were friends with a superhero! Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that if Lana *knew* she was dating a superhero she would work on better taking precautions to protect herself? Maybe carrying a panic button to call Clark in the event of that inevitable kidnapping? Or how about some self defense classes or something? I mean, seriously, the “I’m protecting them” excuse doesn’t work!

The episode of “Smallville” from last week brought the issue up again when Clark was infected with silver Kryptonite and made paranoid. Not knowing about his powers, Lana tried to help. For her troubles she ended up in the hospital… again. She should have a room with her name laminated to the door given how often she needs to be there! “Smallville” has come up with sort of a new excuse. They planted the fear deep in Clark’s mind that Lana won’t accept his powers and will blame him for her parents’ deaths. Besides the fact that even Lana hasn’t shown herself to be anywhere near this dumb, not knowing who Clark is has created so many problems that it’s starting to seem like Clark not telling her is evident of him not really loving her. If he loved her, he would tell her so that she can act accordingly. Instead, he ignores pointed comments from Cloe (sorry, no idea how to spell her name) and his parents to tell her and instead comes up with so many flimsy excuses that one has to wonder what love spell he has to keep her so unable to see through them! Maybe her own powers and her lies negate his and make her unable to see what is going on.

Even Batman, a hero who usually acts fairly rationally, pulls out the “my enemies will hurt anyone I love” excuse sometimes. In “Justice League Unlimited” he used that excuse to justify not having a relationship with Wonder Woman. Come on, it’s Wonder Woman. Sorry, but she can totally take care of herself against pretty much anyone, especially Joker or Penguin!

I know that superheros are almost required to have lots and lots of drama and angst (that’s how Marvel got so powerful), but seriously, this is just stupid. Notice at the end of Spiderman 2 how learning about Peter’s identity didn’t cause Mary Jane to spontaniously die? My guess is that now, knowing who he is, she will be more aware of dangers, more likely to call for his help when she needs it with no fear of him not showing up, and more willing to fight for herself secure in his back up! Not to mention, it makes all the crappy stuff that has heppened to her over the past few years make a hell of a lot more sense! If I were her (or Lana or Steve or anyone in that position) I’d certainly want to know why every supervillian who blows into town chooses me as a victim! Especially with all of New York or Gotham or Metropolis to choose from!

But maybe I’m just missing the point. I would totally welcome any help in understanding, so if you can explain it to me please do!

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