Marvel Already Admitted It’s Done With Secret Identities

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is slowly phasing out secret identities for superheroes, but Marvel Comics already quit using them a long time ago.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a distinct lack of secret identities for the many superheroes within the franchise, but Marvel Comics began phasing out the trope years ago. Secret identities are as emblematic of the genre as capes and cowls; their history goes back to before Marvel fought DC for dominance in the comics industry. But in Ultron Forever, a 2014 miniseries written by Al Ewing with art by Alan Davis and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, a choice exchange between two Avengers suggest Marvel will eventually do away with secret identities for good.

In Ultron Forever, Doctor Doom gathers Avengers from various time periods to defeat an all-powerful version of Ultron from the future. Among others, he takes Jane Foster from the mid-2010s (while she wielded Mjolnir and thus the power of Thor), the Incredible Hulk from the early 60s (while he possessed a more ape-like gait and was still able to speak in full sentences), and – most notably – James Rhodes from a time in which he wore the Iron Man armor instead of Tony Stark. Bringing Avengers together from multiple periods of time is a perfect moment to show discrepancies between different eras of comics – which is exactly what happens between Rhodes and Vision.

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