Friday, June 5, 2009

Better lock it in your pocket, Taking this one to the grave.

One of the biggest side-effects of reality “snapping-back” after the Borrowed Time dimension closes off? Everyone in The Arrow Family who had a secret identity is now publicly known and recognized as an honest to goodness superhero.

Why am I making this change? Two reasons.

1. The main reason for keeping a secret identity is to keep your enemies from finding out who you are and coming after you and your loved ones.

Since everyone in The Arrow Family is either a card-carrying superhero or a superhero in training, the "Aunt May could be taken hostage or have a heart attack" excuse is a non-starter. And most of their major enemies and/or the people who have the most reason to go after The Arrows for one reason or another already know who they are.

Merlyn? Definitely knows who Ollie And Dinah are. And who knows how many people in the League of Assassins he told when he was setting up the attempt to kidnap Sin?

Cheshire? Knows who Roy Harper is and is smart enough to trace the rest of the family tree from there.

Lady Shiva? Definitely knows who Dinah and Connor are and would definitely go after them if she thought her standing in the Martial Arts community were to be challenged.

Ra’s Al Ghul? Almost certainly knows who Dinah is assuming he didn’t heard about it through the League of Assassins grapevine during the faction wars between his side, Merlyn’s side, Talia’s side and Cassandra Cain’s side.

Count Vertigo? If he doesn’t know (and I’m pretty sure he does) he certainly has the means to find out with his Checkmate connections.

Drakkon? Much as I hate him as a character, I don’t think he’s so stupid as to be able to set up a bomb in Ollie’s house and NOT know.

2. It doesn’t make sense for ANYONE in the family to have managed to keep their identity secret this long...

OLLIE: Even if you ignore all the stories which showed Ollie operating openly in Seattle without a secret identity for a number of years, the fact that his secret identity was outed to the press when he was put on trial for high treason and that the story detailing his death on the front page of The Daily Planet said Oliver Queen was the Green Arrow… even the biggest of Arrowheads will admit that Ollie has done a piss poor job of keeping his secret identity secret. And even if you buy the idea put forth by Grant Morrison that Star City has a higher-than-average number of mouthy blond guys with Sorry. Not buying it. Especially given that somebody was bound to ask questions when Oliver Queen showed up post-Quiver after being legally dead for several years and that he would have to deal with all the legalese that comes with proving you are alive.

DINAH: You honestly don’t think that in the aftermath of Ollie being arrested on high treason there wouldn’t be ONE reporter who would look at his live in girlfriend and think “Hmm… blue eyes and about the right height...” Even if such accusations only made the tabloids, there’s probably a ton of villains who would have gotten the idea to go after Green Arrow’s girlfriend. Besides, just how long has Dinah been going blonde without using a wig now?

ROY: I’m fairly sure that Roy’s identity was made public when he was an agent for Checkmate/ the DEA. Even if it wasn’t, he was about as careless with the secret ID as Ollie, having gone through a string of baby-sitters for Lian when he was on missions– most of whom left his employ under strained circumstances. I’m picturing at least one of them writing a Nanny Diaries style expose…

CONNOR: Connor’s made even less of an effort at maintaining a secret identity than Ollie, if that’s even possible. He’s well known enough that numerous minor-league Martial artists have managed to find him to challenge him to a duel. And he was well-known enough as a superhero to be denied insurance during his brief stint as a landlord for one of his mother’s apartment buildings.

MIA: Guilt by association with everyone else will drag her into the open. Considering how easily she was able to figure out the connection between Green Arrow and the blonde bearded guy who runs the Youth Center, there’s bound to be a few people who could draw the same connection between the girl who does the peer counseling at the Youth Center (and organizes the dodgeball league) and the new blonde Speedy.

CISSIE: This one is a bit tricky because while Arrowette has never been all that famous, Cissie King is. Gold Medal Winner. Ex-Stuntwoman. And yet nobody has ever made the connection between the minor heroine who just disappeared and the blonde girl who is the same height, weight, general physical description and - oh yes - insanely good with a bow?

And you thought the blonde loudmouth with the goatee was obvious. No wonder everyone thinks she's Ollie's daughter...


  1. That's a good idea, it makes a firm decision one way or another. Ollie has kind of been waffling, mostly because of the mayor thing, but I don't see any reason why Dinah or Roy would want to keep up the charade when so many people either know already or could figure it out.
    I think it may've been implied once Cissie went to compete that she wouldn't have a secret identity anymore, but at that point, she had already given up the costume adventuring. You'd bring her back to that?

  2. I don't have to bring her back to that. The last Wonder Girl mini-series did it.

  3. I knew Cissie was in that mini, but I didn't realize she suited up. Was there a valid reason for her coming out of retirement?

  4. I don't know. I know she was in costume at the end helping Cassie with something, but I don't know why.

  5. I think we might be better off not knowing

  6. - I'm back-reading all these entries in no order.
    Honestly, I'm fairly convinced that Ollie and Dinah don't have secret identities - the only writers who think they should are ones I don't pay attention to. Dinah's been officially 'out' since the first Birds of Prey one shot, and Ollie since Seattle.
    And y'know what? I like it that way. It makes sense for all the reasons you cite.
    (BTW, I'm surprised by how much my impressions of the characters mesh with yours.)

  7. Honestly, I'm fairly convinced that Ollie and Dinah don't have secret identities - the only writers who think they should are ones I don't pay attention to.
    That seems a good policy since that does allow you to ignore Winick and Kreisberg completely...