Domino, my sorceress character runs a second-hand bookstore specialising in mystical/mind/body/spirit literature and has a reputation for being able to get you anything. Of course, she’s also the scion of one of the richest families in the Bay Area, so it’s not like she *needs* a job, but she enjoys the work and the clientele.
(I do confess, I haven’t thought through the practical logistics of this, I just thought it sounded thematically appropriate, not merely a cool idea.)
Yeah, but I think you're talking about two different things now. In the game, a Secret ID won't be revealed to the public unless the player just absolutely blows it. The purpose is to add another dimension of gameplay and give obstacles for the player to overcome. Amazing Man isn't going to have his Secret ID busted by an IRS investigation or because somebody tested a hair follicle, because that would be a boring game. That's not superheroey, so it won't happen. But if we're talking about a "realistic" scenario where supers are hiding their identities, that's when you start wondering about how they file their taxes and which cell towers they're pinging.
Cool stories (and fun games) have different considerations than a realistic deconstruction of the genre.
Although, this discussion has given me an idea for a story/character. What about some kind of "SecretIDs R Us" company that sets you up with good alibis, covers your tracks, and provides red herrings to investigators? Nobody is going to investigate your Secret ID if they think they already know who you are. I mean, of course Batman is secretly Mark Manchester, the Gotham PD detective who got fired for police brutality 10 years ago. His wife got killed by the Joker, and he went on a rampage putting guys in the hospital trying to catch that clown. He almost went to prison, but the DA declined to prosecute because of the circumstances with his wife. Mark had a big fast car, knew some martial arts, and a bunch of SWAT gear went missing right before he got fired. He still lives in Gotham, runs a gym, and disappears for days when Batman is away on Justice League missions. Who else could it be? I hear he's even got an under the table connection to a big company, like LexCorp, where he gets some of his really cool stuff.
Imagine being a really low-tier superhuman who gets hired to be Superman's "real identity". You're about the right height and build, and you kinda look like the Man of Steel. You're a construction worker in Metropolis, and you sometimes "accidentally" bend a steel bar or step out into the street and get hit by a truck, surviving unscathed. "Wow I really got lucky there" as you leave a palm print in the hood of the vehicle. You run off during disasters and come back to work with really lame excuses. You tell government agents that you're definitely absolutely not Superman, and then place a call from your definitely-tapped phone line to a secret number and tell the gravely-voiced Batman-sounding guy on the other end that you're running late to the League meeting.
After a small-time (but vicious) bureaucratic villain got away scot-free during the course of our latest escapade, we met with the NPC that hired us to investigate said fiend.
NPC: *still upset, but steadily beginning to cool down* "Merrius will get his due. Every rope has an end."
Me: "Comforting words. Your own?"
NPC: "My father's."
Me: "He must have been a wise man."
NPC: *takes a measured sip of his drink* "He was a hang man."
Me: *takes a swig of ale with nonchalance plastered on my features* "Doubly wise, then."
I drew a lot of Supers back in the 80’s and 90’s but rarely used skin tight costumes. Pockets pouches or armor were common. My own characters were mostly some variation of armor. But I would draw anything for $20 bucks back then.
And as for communicators, secure phones/radios with Bluetooth earpieces are always an option. I keep thinking about a headset which combines scrambled comms, a flip-aside HUD and a miniature video camera. The idea is to be able to let everyone see what you can (a la movies like Aliens) and have data able to be projected into your POV without it being overly distracting.
Choosing the first “modern” option was actually a spur of the moment thing, because I started to thinKing of a scenario where the first superheroes with verifiable “powers beyond mortal ken” appeared a little over two generations ago (the late 60s).