Superman's Biggest Secret May Be Out, Thanks to Batman

Warning: SPOILERS for Heroes in Crisis #2

The secrets of DC's greatest heroes (and villains), including Superman's identity as Clark Kent, are under attack in Heroes in Crisis. The tragic event kicked off with a superhero mass shooting, and the murders of The Flash and Arsenal, among many others. But things have only gotten worse since... and it turns out that the dead heroes may have been spared the fate of the heroes left living.

The mass murder which launched Heroes in Crisis occurred at a place called Sanctuary, a relatively new location in DC lore set up by Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman as a rehabilitation center and refuge for the superhero community. One of the services central to Sanctuary is a confidential - and filmed - video confessional, where anyone who visited the center could divulge their darkest secrets in complete privacy. At least, that was the plan. Because whoever slaughtered the patients of Sanctuary may have gotten a hold of these confessions as well, threatening to reveal the heroes' deepest secrets to the world.

Related: Superman & Lois Lane 'Take a Break' From Married Life

Since Heroes in Crisis began, the core murder mystery (assuming Booster Gold didn't kill the heroes himself, as stated) has been broken up by 9-panel pages of various DC figures baring their souls into a video camera. At first these moments seemed like an interesting narrative device to provide insight into the large cast of DC characters. Yet as of Heroes in Crisis #2 these taped confessions have become much more important to the central plot. After getting over the initial shock of finding a house full of deceased superheroes, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman start to worry that Sanctuary's highly classified confessions have also been obtained by the murderer.

Although the confessions weren't meant to be stored anywhere after taping, Wonder Woman and Superman immediately turn their attention to Batman. The two assume (justifiably) that Batman has some secret store of the confessions. Similar to Batman always keeping a rock of Kryptonite in his bat-belt, Superman believes Bruce Wayne devised a backdoor into Sanctuary. The Dark Knight swears he's not hiding anything, and that he's respected the sanctity of Sanctuary-- and that he's certainly not storing Kryptonite on his person. But this clear-cut dismissal is thrown into question shortly after the scene, when the heroes come across Harley Quinn, the other prime suspect. After the trio track Harley down, she manages to get her hands on Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth.

Harley ties the rope around Batman's neck and forces the caped crusader to divulge the best way for her to escape their confrontation. And as Superman and Wonder Woman dismiss her suggestion, the telltale green glow confirms Batman was keeping Kryptonite in his belt, allowing Harley to escape justice. The implication of the moment is clear: If Batman lied about having Kryptonite, then it's just as possible that he also lied about storing the Sanctuary confessions. Batman probably isn't responsible for the deaths at Sanctuary... but he may be the one to blame for their secrets getting out. To further underline this point, the action shifts to Metropolis, as Lois Lane receives word that confessions have already started to leak - beginning with Arsenal discussing his drug addiction.

Roy Harper's confession getting leaked is an invasion of privacy and an insult to his memory, but there's far more at stake. Heroes in Crisis #2 ends with Clark Kent unmasking himself as Superman, and wondering aloud which of them is the real 'mask.' The suggestion is that Superman could be the next hero to be exposed. So could the the entire murder spree have been a ploy to get at these secrets, and attack DC's heroes where it will affect them the most?

Whether DC Comics really plans to expose Superman's secret identity or not is a question for future issues of Heroes in Crisis to answer. The chances that Superman's private life becomes public is fairly slim, considering that DC went through a lengthy storyline of Lois Lane exposing Clark as Superman to the entire world before Rebirth. It took the death of one Superman, the return of another Superman from a different universe, and a bending of reality to allow the two versions of Superman to merge into one to retcon that story. To revisit the 'everyone knows Clark Kent is Superman' well would be a little too much, a little too soon. But make no mistake: it does seem inevitable that a secret like Superman's real identity will be leaked by the time Heroes in Crisis ends.

Heroes in Crisis #2 is available now from DC Comics.

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