ByAnanda Dillon, writer at Creators.co
MP Staff Writer, lover of all things fantastical and spooky. "Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive." - Ferris Bueller @AnandaWrites
Ananda Dillon

There is nothing sweeter in life than a strong and true friendship. Friends are met in the most unlikely of places and are crucial to our lives, offering us comfort and aid in pivotal moments. A real friend knows you in and out, and in turn, you know and keep their darkest secrets.

Or do you?

What if, in fact, they were keeping a crucial secret from you? No one wants to believe this of their best friends but there may be one reason such secrecy is required: your best friend could be a superhero or supervillain.

Think about it: Spider-Man, Batman, Lex Luthor, the Power Rangers, the Green Goblin, Max Steel (as seen in his new trailer below!), Superman, Catwoman, Supergirl, pretty much anyone with a "girl" or "man" after their name for that matter, all kept secret identities while maintaining relationships and friendships. Many of them lied quite blatantly to keep their secrets, especially to friends.

Luckily, we can learn from these "supers" and apply what we know in a simple check-list for determining if our closest friends are, in fact, superheroes and supervillains. Here are ways to detect if your friends are living a double life.

1. They Seem Tired All The Time

Do they have destroyed alarms everywhere?
Do they have destroyed alarms everywhere?

Have you caught your friend sleeping in class? Do they overlseep often and arrive late to things? Do they have dark circles beneath their eyes all the time? Sure, maybe your friend is an insomniac or a night owl. Or maybe they get very little sleep because they are out fighting crime all night long. Everyone knows vigilantes and ingrates are most often to be found up to no good in the wee hours of the night. So be they villain or hero, they are most likely to be most active at night.

2. They Have Inexplicable Bruises And Can't Explain Them Well

Blood and no wound is a dead giveaway.
Blood and no wound is a dead giveaway.

First off, it's crucial here to know the difference between your friend being the victim of abuse or a hero receiving wounds from their regular crime-fighting excursions. The key difference is that a superhero's bruises will probably clear up abnormally fast. Unless they are a normal human like Batman, but that kind of a vigilante has money to afford their hero hobby (and any accrued medical bills). Be aware of cuts, scrapes, band-aids, and limps. Another good indicator is if you step on their toes, punch them hard in the arm, or accidentally hit them with your car and they forget to say "ouch." An increased pain threshold is a sure sign of superpowers.

3. They Are Distracted, Flaky, & Bad At Excuses

Feel like your friend isn't really listening when you're speaking? Well, they could just be a bad friend, but they might also have world domination on their minds, or worries for the safety of all mankind. A superhero/villain has a lot on their mind. If their distractedness is paired with flaky behavior, like forgetting your birthday or leaving a coffee date early, and if their excuses are especially vague, something along the lines of "There's just something I've got to do" or "I-I have to go, I'm sorry" then it's quite likely they are ditching you for some super-fighting.

4. They're Experiencing A Lot Of Ch-Ch-Changes

Max seems different.
Max seems different.

If you are in middle school, you can expect your friends to undergo a lot of sudden and strange alterations. Voices start to crack and then become suddenly deeper. Short friends shoot up several inches seemingly overnight. Once clear faces become pepperoni pizza look-alikes. This is normal. If your friend suddenly doesn't need eyeglasses anymore and hasn't once mentioned Lasik: Not normal. They can lift your car to change a tire: Not normal. They can fly into trees to rescue cats: Not normal. If they start wearing gloves, or hats, or sunglasses all the time, that's your cue to start asking questions.

5. Glasses Might Make All The Difference In Their Appearance

If you suspect that your friend may look VERY different if they were ever to take their glasses off, that's a sure sign you may not know them as well as you think. Additionally, try to keep an eye out for whether or not they ever take those glasses off.

Whoops, how will anyone recognize me?
Whoops, how will anyone recognize me?

6. Sudden Disappearances & Less Free Time

Where'd he go?
Where'd he go?

Feel like your friend has a new hobby they can't seem to share with you? Maybe one that makes them often unavailable but that they're unable to explain? Are they inexplicably here one moment, gone the next? Solid reasons to suspect they are either secretly training, building weapons, or possibly so lightning fast you can't even see them leave when they rush off to pull burning airplanes out of the sky. They may also have used sticky netting or a grappling hook to whisk them off to wherever the action is or may be experiencing an unavoidable body transformation that requires they scram quick. I know, so annoying.

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7. You've Caught Them Monologuing On Moral Responsibility

Yeah, yeah, us too.
Yeah, yeah, us too.

Whether they're triggered by an article in the paper or a homework assignment, if your friend seems more prone to outbursts on right and wrong and the correlation between power and responsibility, they may be internally grappling with a newfound sense of obligation. If the two of you are playing a game of Halo, and they seem to be taking their duties as Master Chief a little too seriously, they may be projecting due to their superhero status. Contrarily, if they seem overly eager and diabolical in their schemes to take down down characters while playing games, they may be on the villain side of the spectrum.

8. They Keep A List Of Wrongs Done To Them

Just make sure you don't make the list.
Just make sure you don't make the list.

Journaling is one thing, a friend who pulls out a notebook to jot things down whenever something unpleasant happens to them may be keeping a tally for when they take over the world. If they laugh sinisterly or glare with an intensity unfitting the situation, this is also a solid indication they've gone to the so-called dark side.

9. They Have Ready Access To A Tech Or Bio Company

Just a normal dad, at a normal dad job.
Just a normal dad, at a normal dad job.

This is just not normal. If your friend has an underground lair, lab, or any hidden entrances to any part of their home this is a pretty big red flag. Granted, they are not likely to show you these things on their own, so this could require sleuthing. However, if your friend seems extra involved in their job or internship at a tech or bio company, spending unnatural amounts of time after hours or mumbling often about how close they are to a breakthrough, this could mean they are "super." If their parents are scientists or doctors who can also provide this kind of access, that is also suspicious.

10. Dead Or Missing Parents

Sad story.
Sad story.

Tread lightly, because your friend could possibly just have endured a rather tragic life if they have dead parents or a parent gone missing. But if they are orphaned AND exhibit other traits on this list, there is a high likelihood of superheroism or supervillainy at work. If the missing parents were involved in top secret work of any kind, I'd start sniffing around for a latex suit.

11. You've Been Inexplicably Put Into Mortal Peril

Hold on!
Hold on!

So this is gonna be your biggest indicator. If a villain has kidnapped you, the good news is this means you are such great friends that this villain thinks you'll serve as perfect bait for the secret superhero in your midst. The bad news is, well, it sucks to be in danger/at risk of death. Just sit tight because your friend is probably on the way.


So there you have it, plenty of ways to keep tabs on your friends and check for secret identities. And if you need examples in action of a secret superhero, check out Max Steel, in theaters October 14.

Of course, you have to remember that calling your friend out may not be all that fruitful. After all, their instincts will be to hide their identity at all costs. Plus, they may lie or cut you out of their lives in an effort to keep you from harm. You may consider keeping your newfound info to yourself. At least you'll know that you know.

Do any of these traits give you reason to believe there is a superhero/villain in your life?