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The Original Reasons Superman Needed a Secret Identity

What's weird about 1963's Action Comics #305 (by Leo Dorfman, Curt Swan and George Klein) is that it says that it is an imaginary story but then it very clearly is a regular story with imaginary story elements WITHIN it. So they didn't even really need to say that it was an imaginary story. The story opens when Perry White contracts the measles (darn anti-vaxxers!) and Clark and Jimmy go to visit him and suddenly, Clark is in a situation where he might have to reveal his secret identity to save his friends and we then get to see why his hidden identity is so important...

In the first scenario, his identity comes out when he is living in Smallville. His parents are then murdered as revenge on him...

When he moves to Metropolis as Superman, villains target him since they know where he lives and Metropolis asks him to leave, since he will only draw more danger to his home...

He now lives at the Fortress of Solitude, but he is so sad because he is so lonely...

(Superman should have said, "I know I didn't program you to sass me back, robot!")

We then get a scenario where Jimmy Olsen only has a HINT that Superman works at the Daily Planet and that's enough for the criminal world to discover his identity and wipe out his powers (through more handily available kryptonite)...

There's a third story about how difficult it would be to establish a new identity if he ever dropped the Clark Kent name, but I'm skipping that one as it really isn't applicable to the overall story.

So there ya go, a whole bunch of "official" reasons why Superman needs a secret identity!

If anyone has a suggestion for a long-resolved comic book plot, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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