I just bought the World of Archie Double Digerst which apparently reprints the entire Tiny Titans/Lil Archie crossover mini. But that got me thinking about the Titans so.....

  1. When did the Teen Titans learn Robin's secret identity? I know that they knew by the 70s revival where even dubious characters like the Joker's Daughter/Harelequin were in on it. That must have pleased Bats no end! I know in the Silver Age, Kid Flash and Speedy revealed their IDs but did the Teen Wonder?
  2. The people of Star City must be as dense as the people of Metropolis. Oliver Queen and Green Arrow, two tall, blond prominent residents, both grow the same beard/mustache combo at the same time and no one connects the dots? That little mask must really make a difference!
  3. Did the Elongated Man reveal his identity to the world before or after he married Sue?
  4. Outside the pages of Brave & Bold, beyond Superman, the JLA and presumably the Teen Titans, did any other DC hero know Batman's true identity?
  5. I'm pretty sure the answer is no but did Snapper Carr know any of the JLAers' real names?
  6. Who knew Batgirl's secret identity first; Supergirl or Robin?

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That little mask must really make a difference!
Don't be silly. It was the mask AND the hat. :P


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"Doesn't Green Arrow look a lot like Oliver Queen?"

"Don't be ridiculous! Queen's not a hat-guy!"

Dagwan said:

That little mask must really make a difference!
Don't be silly. It was the mask AND the hat. :P


"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Check out the Secret Headquarters (my store) website! Comics and Games for Everyone!

I used to listen to WOXY.com; It was the future of rock-n-roll! RIP WOXY


Philip, I was surprised to find that most of your questions don't have a definitive, yes-here-is-the-spot, answer.  However, from what I did find, after researching my collexion, should get you close enough.

 

 

When did the Teen Titans learn Robin's secret identity?

 

There was never a "big reveal" moment of this.  Robin, Kid Flash, and then-non-Titan-but-guest-star Speedy reveal their unmasked faces to Wonder Girl and Aqualad for the first time in "Monster Bait", from Teen Titans # 11 (Sep.-Oct., 1967) when they go undercover at a boys' summer camp.  But they never refer to each other by anything other than their super-hero names, so presumably, they did not exchange their true identities.

 

Robin next appears unmasked before his teammates in "Requiem for a Titan", from Teen Titans # 14 (Mar.-Apr., 1968), but it happens during the course of that issue's adventure and, again, there is no mention of the Boy Wonder's real name.  So, presumably, the other TTers did not learn it then, either.

 

Incidentally, Bob Haney's script for TT # 14 has Wonder Girl stating that it was the first time they had ever seen Robin's unmasked face.  Typical of Haney, he had forgotten, or just didn't care, that the Titans saw Robin's unconcealed face only three issues previous.  I mention that because your attitude toward whether Haney's stories "count" will affect your opinion of my next paragraph.

 

The first time we know with certainty that the other Titans know the Boy Wonder's secret identity comes in "Punish Not My Evil Son", from The Brave and the Bold # 83 (Apr.-May, 1969), also written by Haney.  While assisting the Batman on a case, there is a scene showing the then-four Titans of Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, and Speedy socialising at a discothèque and referring to each other by their real names, including Dick Grayson.

 

If you prefer not to count any of Bob Haney's B&B tales, then the first time we see that the Titans know that Dick Grayson is Robin is in "Skis of Death", from TT # 24 (Sep.-Oct., 1969).  The quartet is vacationing at a ski resort and the dialogue clearly establishes that they know each others' identities.

 

 

Did the Elongated Man reveal his identity to the world before or after he married Sue?

 

This one is problematic.  I figured the best place to check would be the story which introduced Sue Dearbon by beginning with their honeymoon.  That was "The Elongated Man's Undersea Trap", from The Flash # 119 (Mar., 1961).  But the matter of the Elongated Man's identity being publically known at that point cannot be verified by that story.  The first regular panel, after the splash, displays a newspaper article announcing his marriage to Sue, but the headline reads:  "ELONGATED MAN" MARRIES DEBUTANTE SUE DEARBON

 

Putting the words Elongated Man in quotation marks is an equivocation that could be interpreted in different ways.  And nothing in the story itself discloses that anyone other than Sue and the Flash know that the E Man is Ralph Dibny.

 

Going back from that issue, I never came across any Flash story which carried a footnote or a statement in a caption that the Ductile Detective had publically revealed his identity.

 

I did find something of interest from the E Man's debut, in The Flash # 112 (Apr.-May, 1960).  After the story's case is wrapped up, the Elongated Man freely discloses his real name to the Flash, which may or may not meaning anything, of course, with regard to it being commonly known.  But at the conclusion of the tale, the Flash and the Elongated Man are guests of honour at a publically attended Man-of-the-Year banquet.  Here in front of all the attendees, the Flash addresses the Stretchable Sleuth openly as "Ralph", in front of reporters, no less.

 

This suggested to me a conjecture.  Possibly, some sharp-eyed fans caught this and wrote to editor Julius Schwartz about it, and possibly, instead of writing it off as a mea culpa, Schwartz decided to make hay out it by establishing the Elongated Man as the first super-hero (in the DC universe, anyway) to publically reveal his ID.  Since the time-line from readers' queries to getting that fact inserted into a Flash tale guest-starring the E Man would take a few months, it would explain why no footnote ever mentioned it by the time of "The Elongated Man's Undersea Trap."

 

If I'm anywhere close to right with that surmise, then the answer to your question would be that the Elongated Man revealed his identity to the world before he married Sue.

 

 

Outside the pages of Brave & Bold, beyond Superman, the JLA and presumably the Teen Titans, did any other DC hero know Batman's true identity?

 

Depending on how strictly you define the phrase "DC hero", I can think of only one---besides the cases you exempted.  The Masked Manhunter revealed his and Robin's identities to Jimmy Olsen in World's Finest Comics # 144 (Sep., 1964), as a reward for being such a loyal pal to Superman.

 

 

I'm pretty sure the answer is no but did Snapper Carr know any of the JLAers' real names?

 

I want to go with "No, he didn't."  But there is a possibility that he knew one member's secret identity.

 

In "Operation: Jail the Justice League", from JLA # 61 (Mar., 1968), the Green Arrow, while in his civilian identity of Oliver Queen, sends out the emergency signal from the secret sanctuary.  The entire remaining membership responds, including Snapper Carr.  When they enter the sanctuary and see Queen standing there, on page 15, panel 1, they are puzzled at who he is---until the Atom reveals to them that Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow.

 

I thought of this scene the moment I read your question, Philip.  Snapper Carr also responded to the signal, so one would think he learnt who the Green Arrow was when his fellow members did.  But when I checked that specific panel, all of the Justice Leaguers are shown in the panel---except Snapper. 

 

One can interpret that in either of two ways:  either, Snapper, though answering the emergency call, was not present at that moment (he was parking his jalopy or something) when the Atom told his fellow members that Queen was G.A.  (And Queen switched to his super-hero guise immediately after that.)  Or that Snapper was there to hear it, but he just wasn't in the panel.

 

If you study the panel, there was room to put Snapper in the scene.  Every other JLAer is in it.  Leaving Snapper out may have been deliberate or it may have been an oversight, but either way, I'm going with Snapper not being there to hear that information and no, Snapper didn't know any Justice Leaguer's identity.

 

 

Who knew Batgirl's secret identity first; Supergirl or Robin?

 

I'm not certain that Supergirl ever did know Batgirl's secret identity.  They never considered themselves, at least during the Silver Age, as a formal team, the way Superman and Batman, or Jimmy Olsen and Robin, did.  The Girl of Steel and the Dominoed Daredoll only worked together when circumstances threw them together; they never deliberately teamed-up to initiate an adventure, the way Superman and Batman did.

 

Nevertheless, I can conclusively state that Robin knew Batgirl's identity before Supergirl did.  By a process of elimination.

 

Robin revealed that he knew Batgirl was Barbara Gordon in "Isle of a Thousand Thrills", from Batman Family # 3 (Jan.-Feb., 1976).

 

Backtracking from that, the last time Batgirl teamed up with Supergirl before Batman Family # 3 was in the tale "Cleopatra, Queen of America", from Superman Family # 171 (Jun.-Jul., 1975).  I read this story completely, and it is clear that the two heroines do not know each others' identities.  In fact, it's a minor plot-point.

 

The next occasion when Batgirl paired with the Girl of Steel was in a three-parter from Detective Comics # 508-10 (Nov., 1981 through Jan., 1982).  Now, I don't have these issues (actually, I just discovered I do, but I didn't want to dig out those particular boxes), but I've read synopses of that adventure.  None of them directly stated that Batgirl and Supergirl exchanged knowledge of their identities.  But certain events described suggest they did.

 

Either way, it doesn't matter, because that three-part story came after Batman Family # 3.  So, it's evident that Robin knew first.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Commander for your thorough and entertaining answers!

About Robin, I always thought that he had to protect his secret identity more than the others because of his link with Batman. You could find out that Kid Flash is Wally West but that wouldn't directly lead you to Barry Allen. They did live in two different cities. Roy (Speedy) Harper would lead to his guardian, Oliver Queen but Green Arrow didn't have elaborate safeguards for his alter ego. (See Question #2!) The Titans confided their secrets far earlier than I thought. I believed it was during their "Mister Jupiter" phase but then you could have Robin's true identity being known by Lilith, Mal Duncan and the Hawk and the Dove. I'm not sure if they knew but they did know Wally and Roy's.

My most vivid recollection of protecting Robin's real name (though why he wanted to be called Dick is beyond me :-)) is in The New Teen Titans story arc, The Judas Contract where new member Terra constantly harps that she does not know the team's secret identities. But since Changeling (AKA Beast Boy), Cyborg, Raven and Starfire really don't have secret IDs and Wonder Girl wasn't exactly hiding hers (no mask, no glasses, not even a wig) and Kid Flash had left the group by this time, the only secret worth keeping was Robin's! And again it was his connection to Batman that was the main issue!

I was wondering if Sue knew who she was marrying beforehand. The Elongated Man defied the comic book tradition of marrying a "normal" woman which flew in the face of the whole "Enemies-Will-Strike-At-Me-Through-You" agita that Superman loved to rationalize about. But then Ralph didn't have the foes Supes did, in fact he never had an arch-villain of his own. My theory was that he was under the radar, with his little mysteries in little towns, that he was considered more celebrity than super-hero. Sue's wealth probably helped. After he joined the JLA, that must have gave him more protection, rep-wise since what criminal would attack the Dibnys and get the Justice League hunting them down.

The way Bob Haney wrote B&B, it seemed that every of Batman's co-stars knew his double identity or seen his unmasked face and that included Sgt. Rock, Plastic Man (the depressed one), Mister Miracle, the Creeper and Kamandi!

I didn't think that Snapper could be justified in knowing any of the JLAers' real names. It would be too dangerous for them and for him! I did stumble on a clue if Snapper's role with the JLA was known by re-reading Justice League #19, "The Super-Exiles of Earth!" where the team meets evil, more powerful versions of themselves and get framed for their crimes. The entire team turn themselves in but not Snapper! True there is no "Super Snapper Carr" committing crimes ("That ultra-pseudo-beatnik slang! My ears!"), but the police don't know about him to even question him. So at least in the early days, his involvement must have been a secret. 

Thanks for answering these, Commander! I wasn't going to have time to research them, and I realized quickly they would take substantial research, because none of them were cut and dried. And missing one small scene is all it would take. But I agree with you on your answers.

I think EM is an interesting case, because he came to us fully formed--identity revealed and married--which is usually left to the stories. I'm also surprised we never got those "untold" stories, even in the course of his own back-up series. Now, why EM wore a mask if everyone knew his identity is another subjectKe

Keeping Snapper safe by not letting him know the JLA's identities is problematic, just as it is for Lois and Jimmy. It only matters if villains think they know the secrets for them to be in danger. Unless the villains use mind-reading capabilities or truth serum, these hangers-on were in danger of being tortured for their knowledge whether they actually had it or not. 

Why that never happened is hard to say. They dealt with that plausibly on Smallville, when someone tried to mind-read Lois to learn The Blur's identity, and she decided she didn't want to know it to protect him from that possibility.

I always thought it was ludicrous that Superman's main reason for not marrying Lois was that would put her in danger. As if being her Girl Friend put her in less jeopardy. Plus, the only real jeopardy was that someone would kill her for vengeance. Instead, they always kidnapped her for bait, as if getting Superman ticked off was a good idea or that Supes wouldn't respond to any person being threatened by a villain in the same way.

The problem with many of these questions is that sometimes the plot required heroes to know each other's identities, but we never saw that happen, and later a writer who didn't know that story would make the heroes act like they didn't know it. It's a definite pitfall to having such sprawling, multi-handed characters appearing in so many stories (and creators who really don't care what went before).

-- MSA

If you think about it for a second, everybody on Earth knew one of the JLAer's real names (not counting Superman's, since I think it was fairly well known in the Weisingerian lore that Kal-El was his Kryptonian name): J'onn J'onzz, aka John Jones. That people never connected the dots is probably more a matter of nobody realizing that this big green Martian could make himself look like a regular Earthling anytime he wanted to.

Mr. Age wrote:

 

I always thought it was ludicrous that Superman's main reason for not marrying Lois was that would put her in danger. As if being her Girl Friend put her in less jeopardy. Plus, the only real jeopardy was that someone would kill her for vengeance. Instead, they always kidnapped her for bait, as if getting Superman ticked off was a good idea or that Supes wouldn't respond to any person being threatened by a villain in the same way.

 

If that indeed was the reason, then you're right, it's a pretty ludicrous one. If you weigh the body of evidence, though, the main reason Superman didn't marry Lois in the Silver Age was because he just didn't want to. Clearly, he wasn't ready to settle down, and he had some issues he had to work through before he could commit to marriage (y'know, having his planet of origin explode, losing two sets of parents, having powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man, learning to subsume his personality within the constricting identity of a mild-mannered reporter, etc.).

 

The couple of times when he did seem like he was ready to commit to somebody occurred in flashbacks (Lori Lemaris) or one-offs (Lyla Lerrol), where the writer had the freedom to develop Clark's/Kal-El's personality and motivations beyond the mundane Daily Planet setting. And, tellingly, those stories were produced when SUPERMAN'S GIRLFRIEND LOIS LANE was also appearing on the stands, so nothing was ever going to *really* happen to change the status quo.

Although Superman often said his main reason for not marrying Lois was that it would put her in danger, it always seemed that marrying her would put him in danger!

 

 

Putting aside Identity Crisis, was Sue Dibny ever in jeopardy during the Silver/Bronze Ages because she was the wife of the World Famous Elongated Man*?

*The Elongated Man is the only super-hero to publically reveal his true identity! What a gloryhound!**

**He would be perfect in today's slew of reality shows.

Sue must have known, as everyone else did before they got married.  The first time we see Sue is in Flash #119, when it's announced that she's marrying him in the newspaper.

 

Regarding her being threatened for being his wife, I don't recall that ever happening during the Silver Age.  After he left the pages of Flash he never fought any super-powered foes.  I'm sure that maybe someone thought about getting to him via Sue, but I don't know of it being a plot point in any of his solo stories.

 

Philip Portelli said:


I was wondering if Sue knew who she was marrying beforehand.

I don't think that most of EM's villains, even the super-powered Flash-connected ones, were real killer types back in the SA. They were more bank robbers and such. It's also possible that Ralph and Sue travelled around so much that nobody could have caught up to them even if they wanted to. Certainly, killing Sue would've been bad news x100 for whoever did it.

-- MSA

I can think of a couple of stories from the 70s in which Sue is threatened to force Ralph to do something. In "Sign of the Two Fingers!" from Detective Comics #436, one of his solo tales, Sue is held hostage to force him to plant a bomb. In a two-part Flash story in Flash ##252-253 Communist spies threaten Sue to force Ralph work for them. He has amnesia at the time, but finds the face on the photo they show him familiar.

 

An index tells me the element also appeared in the Elongated Man story in Detective Comics #330, from 1964. There may be further examples.

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