On one of the latest episodes of Supergirl, we get an interesting problem from one of the characters. Cat Grant (played by Calista Flockhart) is Kara’s boss. During one of the episodes she figures out that Kara is Supergirl. At first it is a bit of a joke, she asks Kara questions and keeps trying to get her to admit that she is Supergirl.
However, after some consideration, Cat gives Kara an ultimatum. She says that she was watching footage of Supergirl save people from car accidents and realized that if Kara is actually Supergirl then she is spending half her time being Cat Grant’s assistant and that means there are people who are not being saved. So either Kara needs to find a way to prove that she is not Supergirl or she is fired. By the end, Kara convinces Cat she is not Supergirl (with a little help from a certain shape-shifting Martian), but it does raise some interesting questions. Mainly about Superman and Batman.
Why does Superman work for the Daily Planet? Back in the 1930s it was so he could get a scoop on crime and probably torment Lois Lane. However, once they updated Superman after Crisis, you would think the whole journalist thing would have been dropped. I mean, it is not like Superman needs money. I feel like at one point they even noted that he does not really have to eat. Or maybe he does, but seriously, I am sure Metropolis would give him a stipend for food or something. Hell, would any restaurant charge Superman for a meal? Probably not.
I understand that Superman needs the Clark Kent identity. In fact, I have always thought of it this way. Clark Kent is Superman. He could give up being a superhero, but could not give up being Clark. I think the comics have even shown how he needs his downtime. On the other hand, Batman does not need Bruce Wayne. Bruce is the fake identity of Batman. If he has to, Batman would fake Bruce’s death and create a new identity. As long as he has his money to fight his war on crime.
Speaking of Batman and his money…let us focus on Wayne Enterprises for a second. Wayne Enterprises is one of the largest companies in the world. They have their hands in just about everything. Wayne Enterprises is a publicly traded company with Bruce Wayne owning 51% of the shares. Anytime Batman is injured, Alfred has to tell Lucius Fox that Bruce was injured in some accident that happens to a rich playboy. I think in one instance (during the Hush story) they said Bruce was in a car accident while racing. Do stockholders think it is weird that the Chairman of Wayne Enterprises gets hurt all the time? Or is out making the company look bad by being an eccentric playboy affect the companies value? Do stock prices drop when they hear about him being in a coma?
Think about this for a second. Wayne Enterprises is basically around to help fund Batman. Look at all the cool toys he has and he always says he has to stay one step ahead of the criminals. Does that make him a bit of a dick for not fully helping to improve humanity? Okay, to be fair, Wayne Enterprises does try to make Gotham (and the world) better. I think they created a free public transportation system. When we see the Batplane or Batmobile though, you have to wonder what sort of technology he has hidden away for himself that could also help our world.
Speaking of dick moves, time to go back to Clark Kent. Early in his reporting career, he made a name for himself by writing about Superman (same as how Peter Parker makes money by taking pictures of Spider-Man). What a good journalist he must be, writing about himself. Also, remember how does it in a dickish way to Lois Lane? He gives her an interview then Clark turns in an interview before her.
The secret identity is what makes the characters interesting. It allows for supporting characters and to help us build a connection to these superheroes. However, when you think about it, these identities are a bit silly. And that is saying something when we are talking about aliens who look like us and have superpowers.
And just for fun, here is a new image from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.