19. Clint Barton


A superhero is only as good as their secret identity. Here are 18 fan-favorite superhero secret identities, ranked from worst to best.

AKA: Hawkeye

While Clint Barton’s story is tragic (his parents died and he wound up in an orphanage), his history as a circus performer gives Hawkeye a pretty colorful past. While he tries to keep his two identities separate, they’re constantly at odds with each other, making him a wildly interesting character to follow.

Image credit: Marvel Studios



18. Hal Jordan


AKA: Green Lantern

While Hal Jordan is the Green Lantern, his real identity is legendary in its own right. As an expert pilot for Ferris Aircraft and an Air Force Captain, Jordan is one of the best there is behind the controls of a jet. He’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie, as it turns out.

Image credit: DC Comics



17. Oliver Queen


AKA: Green Arrow

When it comes to Oliver Queen, there are two very different versions: The one from the comics and The CW’s Arrow. The comics have been a mixed bag for Oliver, portraying him as everything from a journalist to an advocate for the poor. It’s Arrow’s version of Oliver that gets the depth. Seemingly inspired by Bruce Wayne, Oliver is a reformed rich kid doing whatever it takes to save his city — even if that means vigilante justice. But he doesn’t stop there, also rising to the ranks of Mayor of Star City.

Image credit: The CW



16. Selina Kyle


AKA: Catwoman

While technically Catwoman is a villain, she treads into antihero territory quite often. She’s on the wrong side of the law as a burglar, but her transition also brought her face-to-face with Batman.

Image credit: Warner Bros.



15. King T’Challa


AKA: Black Panther

Captain America and the rest of the Avengers were caught off-guard when it was revealed that T’Challa, king of Wakanda, was moonlighting as the Black Panther. A protector of Wakandans for generations, it’s unclear exactly who knows that T’Challa is the one currently under the mask.

Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures



14. Steve Rogers


AKA: Captain America

Before he was given a super soldier serum, Steve Rogers was an unassuming and frail young man. He wanted to serve his country but simply couldn’t. Once enhanced, Rogers became a very symbol of America itself. Now, after being frozen until present day, Rogers is something of a relic of the past. While he has acclimated to modern life and triumphs as Captain America, Rogers is an old soul at heart, which sets him apart from many in comics.

Image credit: Marvel Studios



13. Barry Allen


AKA: The Flash

Whether he’s in his The Flash suit or not, Barry is constantly doing all he can to fight crime. Not only is he a superpowered metahuman speedster, but in his secret identity he’s a forensic scientist working with the Central City Police Department. No matter what Barry does, he can’t help being a hero.

Image credit: The CW



12. Matt Murdock


AKA: Daredevil

Who would accuse this unassuming blind lawyer of being the vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen? Thanks to his incredibly advanced senses though, that’s exactly who Matt Murdock is — a hero.

Image credit: Netflix



11. Barbara Gordon


AKA: Batgirl

From her inception, Barbara was portrayed as the well-educated, career-focused daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon. She also happened to moonlight as Batgirl, joining the Caped Crusader in his fight to keep Gotham City streets free of crime.

Image credit: Warner Bros.



10. Tony Stark


AKA: Iron Man

Tony Stark and his Iron Man alter ego are an interesting case. Essentially, Tony is Bruce Wayne with a mind for science, rather than detective work, and a very cocky attitude. He lets the world know he’s Iron Man, rendering his secret identity not-so-secret.

Image credit: Marvel Studios



9. Dick Grayson


AKA: Nightwing & Robin

Batman’s first sidekick is also the most iconic. Dick Grayson, an orphaned circus performer, was taken on by Bruce Wayne as a ward and trained as his original sidekick Robin. He would eventually emerge from Bruce’s shadow though, becoming Nightwing and taking on his own life and identity as an adult.

Image credit: DC Comics



8. Janet Van Dyne


AKA: The Wasp

The socialite daughter of a scientist killed by an alien, Janet teams with Hank Pym (Ant-Man) to avenge her dad as The Wasp. She even marries Hank, though they end up divorced.

Image credit: Marvel Comics



7. Peter Parker


AKA: Spider-Man

Who would believe that the guy under the Spider-Man mask is just a nerdy high schooler avoiding bullies and working on his own scientific studies — including developing his own web fluid for fighting crime? Peter Parker is the last person almost anyone would expect to be moonlighting as Spider-Man. And that’s why it’s the perfect secret identity.

Image credit: Sony Pictures



6. Billy Batson


AKA: Shazam

Perhaps the best cover of all, the large muscular man known as Shazam is actually a kid. Billy Batson, originally introduced as a 12-year-old, merely has to speak the world “Shazam” to turn into the adult hero.

Like with Peter Parker, most would never suspect a child of being the superhero. In Billy’s case, he doesn’t resemble his younger self at all.

Image credit: DC Comics



5. Bruce Banner


AKA: The Incredible Hulk

While Hulk is the side of Banner that makes the biggest physical impact, it’s his non-rage side that is so fascinating. Dr. Bruce Banner is a genius scientist, renowned in his community for his brilliance. While he may be prone to hulking out, which is good when a superhero is needed, the human side of Bruce is as important — maybe more.

Image credit: Marvel Studios



4. Carol Danvers


AKA: Captain Marvel

Not only is Captain Marvel one of the most well-known superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe, but her alter ego is a hero in her own right. First appearing in comics as a NASA security chief and a Major in the US Air Force, Danvers is also remarkable for demanding equal pay for women in journalism in an early issue of Ms. Marvel.

Image credit: Marvel Comics



3. Diana Prince


AKA: Wonder Woman

Over the years, Diana Prince has had many careers. She’s been a nurse in the military, an astronaut, a member of the United Nations and more. Of course, that’s all a cover for the truth: She was born on an Amazonian island.

Image credit: DC Comics



2. Bruce Wayne


AKA: Batman

Billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is the perfect cover for the Dark Knight. Who would suspect the guy that seemingly has it all puts his life on the line every night to rid the streets of crime?

Image credit: Warner Bros.



1. Clark Kent


AKA: Superman

The most famous superhero secret identity of all time, Clark Kent is the alter ego all other comic book characters are judged against. All is takes is a quick trip to a phone booth for the mild-mannered Clark to become Superman.

Image credit: DC Comics