It's 2016. A great evil threatens the world, and a great good--you--arises to stop it. Twitter and Instagram are set ablaze with stories of this heroic battle before the news media even has a chance to get on the scene. Collateral damage and casualties are high, but would have been much worse if not for your history-changing intervention.
Later on, some tinfoil-hat schmuck on 4chan with too much time on his hands connects the dots, enlists the help of /b/, and then somehow doxxes you for laughs (and they would do it). Turns out the masked hero is really a graphic designer in Boston who supposedly moonlights as an EMT. Oops.
Now your parents are being held hostage (the ransom: your death), you're being sued by half the city for property damage, and there are two mobs outside your home; one with cameras and microphones, one with pitchforks and torches. Oh, and the police and the military are on their way to ask you a lot of questions (possibly at gunpoint).
And, of course, TMZ is having a field day. Harvey Levin pisses himself with joy as ratings reach unprecedented highs.
Given today's world, how could a superhero--subject to the following constraints--maintain a secret identity in this day and age, if at all? Would s/he event want to?
- You do not have powers, skills, or gadgetry that make concealing your identity effortless. This includes, but is not limited to:
- No psychic powers that erase or modify people's memories of you.
- No shapeshifting powers to look like someone else.
- No technomancy that can be used to destroy video or photo evidence of your activity en masse. You'll have to do this the old-fashioned way.
- No omniscience that magically tells you if the coast is clear to change or not.
- Costumes are okay, but must be practical (e.g. you have to be able to see through a mask, and ensure it doesn't fall off if you can fly).
- You are more or less human. Maybe the alien/cyborg/mutant/uncannily-deformed parts of you can be concealed with clothing and makeup typical of a warm spring day.
- You are not a recluse; you have a civilian life, a day job, and maybe even a Facebook profile you use to stay in touch with friends and family.
- You might not even have super powers at all, but instead super skills like those of Batman or
- Supervillains are also subject to these limitations, with the possible exception of the desire to maintain another identity.
Also, assume the following about the world:
- Superheroes are a part of our culture; the Marvel movies still make a buttload of money, and the Big Bang Theory still does the same product placement.
- The battle I hinted at is the first confirmed instance of super-powered humans. It will not likely be the last, however. How they come about is not relevant.
- It's possible that other people do have superpowers already, but don't use or know of them (or are a lot better at concealing them than you were).