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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Default Why do most magic users in comics go by their real names rather then aliases?

    Dr. Strange
    Zatana
    John Constantine
    Circe
    Etrigan
    Dr. Doom
    This is a trend that seems to be especially common among magic users at both DC and Marvel.

  2. #2
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    Magicians in superhero comics are more like specialists in certain areas than vigilantes. Strange is tasked by an established institution with defending Earth from magical forces and Constantine is a mage for hire. Dr Doom rules a country so need for him to hide his identity anyway.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member LordMikel's Avatar
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    Names have power, if a wizard was to use a false name it might lessen their own powers.
    “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
    ― Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless


    "That's the problem with our opposition – they keep thinking nobody could possibly be as stupid as we are. Fools 'em every time."
    ―Lando Calrissian[src]

  4. #4
    MXAAGVNIEETRO IS RIGHT MyriVerse's Avatar
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    Because they're not superheroes, per se.
    f/k/a The Black Guardian
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  5. #5
    Boisterously Confused
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    A great many of the early comic mystics who more or less set the trends were inspired by the King Syndicate character Mandrake. He also didn't use an alias, but then he predates most of the superhero conventions that emerged by the early 1940s.

    Even Dr. Fate didn't originally have an alternative name. That got bolted on later.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    Why do most magic users in comics go by their real names rather then aliases?
    Why shouldn't they?

    How many of those you mentioned have "secret identities" and wear masks or whatnot to conceal their real identities?

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member PaulBullion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    Why shouldn't they?

    How many of those you mentioned have "secret identities" and wear masks or whatnot to conceal their real identities?
    Well, that is part of the point then, isn't it?

    We have a White Witch and a Scarlet Witch, a Doctor Voodoo and and Doctor Occult and ... a tiny handful I cannot think of at this time of night. But we have dozens of magicians who go by there own names, and that is a creative choice. I guess many magicians are more like Private Investigators: experts being consulted by the heroes to help out. And we don't really have a Detective Lass, either.
    "How does the Green Goblin have anything to do with Herpes?" - The Dying Detective

    Hillary was right!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulBullion View Post
    Well, that is part of the point then, isn't it?

    We have a White Witch and a Scarlet Witch, a Doctor Voodoo and and Doctor Occult and ... a tiny handful I cannot think of at this time of night. But we have dozens of magicians who go by there own names, and that is a creative choice. I guess many magicians are more like Private Investigators: experts being consulted by the heroes to help out. And we don't really have a Detective Lass, either.
    Of those three, only Dr. Occult has used the name as an alias (and I don't think it was an alias when he was created, but something retroactively made into an alias). Like all of her colleagues, White Witch's Legion name is more an affectation than a concealment. I don't think Scarlet Witch ever made an attempt to conceal her identity; later comics suggested that Mutants in The Brotherhood adopted alternate names to signal their rejection of the human societies into which they were born.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member SquirrelMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Of those three, only Dr. Occult has used the name as an alias (and I don't think it was an alias when he was created, but something retroactively made into an alias). Like all of her colleagues, White Witch's Legion name is more an affectation than a concealment. I don't think Scarlet Witch ever made an attempt to conceal her identity; later comics suggested that Mutants in The Brotherhood adopted alternate names to signal their rejection of the human societies into which they were born.
    To me, Alias just means "alternate name". It has nothing to do with secret identities.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    At a guess, they are drawing from different narrative traditions. In some ways, I think of the superhero obsession with secret identities partly is a fluke based on the influence of Superman and Batman, though the trope of the masked avenger (see Zorro, the Phantom, the Shadow, and so on) obviously was popular and powerful already.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  11. #11
    Boisterously Confused
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquirrelMan View Post
    To me, Alias just means "alternate name". It has nothing to do with secret identities.
    Complicated point. It literally means "otherwise called : otherwise known as —used to indicate an additional name that a person (such as a criminal) sometimes uses." To me, that implies disguise. But I don't think either of us could win a dictionary debate over this. The term is too loose.

  12. #12
    Mighty Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    Because Magic is general done in secret and not in the public view, Most Magicians operate in plain sight and even with all the crazy stuff that happens in the universe Magic is still a fringe thing. Using the movie Dr Strange or even Blade most people are unware of what is happening around them. This is general theme of Supernatural stuff everything from Legacies to Charmed to Harry Potter to The Magicians to Supernatural etc. Why do you need a code name or alias when your whole operating status is for nobody to find out about you.

  13. #13

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    Lack of creativity.
    Constantine doesn't have an alias.
    BB

  14. #14
    Mighty Member SquirrelMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killerbee911 View Post
    Because Magic is general done in secret and not in the public view, Most Magicians operate in plain sight and even with all the crazy stuff that happens in the universe Magic is still a fringe thing. Using the movie Dr Strange or even Blade most people are unware of what is happening around them. This is general theme of Supernatural stuff everything from Legacies to Charmed to Harry Potter to The Magicians to Supernatural etc. Why do you need a code name or alias when your whole operating status is for nobody to find out about you.
    That is a wonderful explanation, actually.

    Anybody know if Magicman is any good? I do love Kurt Schaffenberger art.




  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member PaulBullion's Avatar
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    Schaffenberger only did the covers. Inside art by Pete Costanza, who als signed the covers because DC didn't like Kurt working for the competition.
    "How does the Green Goblin have anything to do with Herpes?" - The Dying Detective

    Hillary was right!

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