With the release of the Superman movie, “Man of Steel”, I have been thinking about Superman and his hiding of his identity. I will pass by the typical slam about glasses on and glasses off and Lois Lane (or Jimmy Olson or Perry White etc.) can not tell who he is and go right to another thought. Superman does not wear gloves.
Looking through images of iconic superheroes from the comics, you find that almost all of them wear gloves. Why? One reason might be that they conceal weapons like built in brass knuckles. Another thought is that the gloves add to the ability to climb or scale a building or edifice. However, I think the most obvious reason is fingerprints. If a superhero were to not wear gloves, then he would be leaving fingerprints everywhere. Couple this with the ease at which a fingerprint can be obtained or the propensity for some heroes secret identities to be questioned by the police and one could see how they could be easily discovered their secret identities if they did not wear gloves.
Not Superman. In any incarnation of the character, Superman is never wearing gloves. Now, I know that the good people of Metropolis are probably all excited about his saving the day. But at least one of the super villains (like a super genius called Lex Luthor) should have thought about getting his fingerprints and using them to reveal his secret identity. Seems common sense and very straight forward to me. Of course, many of Superman’s villains already know who he is but the Daily Planet is forever looking for his identity. Someone could have gotten a fingerprint from any one of the many places that Superman has touched and then go on a hunt. Before long they would have tracked down his identity, sold it to the press and made millions.
But then this is the comics.
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