How Alias anticipated modern superhero storytelling
Likewise, the moments when Sydney’s two (or three) lives begin to collide have other heartbreaking consequences: as the scene in which her best friend Will (Bradley Cooper portrayed as the Friends Zone pal, Incredible ) is kidnapped and sees Syd saving him, is one of the best laughs of the decade, it also leads Will to enter the witness protection program. Her life is ending, in a way, because Sydney couldn’t shut it all off. And we haven’t even known the terrible fate that befalls her best friend Francie (Merrin Dungey)…
What A.k.a Planned : The beating heart (or arc reactor) of many superhero stories is this tension between them, which means that the grand reveal of a secret identity must be carefully timed and purposefully presented. It’s as moving as the mask of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who gets ripped off when he saves the subway car from Sam Raimi’s people. Spider-man 2, as big as Spider-Man: Far From Home doxxing this Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in a fake news commentary, or as outright as Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) posing as Iron Man in the MCU’s very first installment. You can’t ring that bell, so it better be a moment to remember.
What superhero stories can still learn: Revisit the stakes of the secret identity! Captain America: Civil War deftly took on the game-changing Marvel Comics arc of the same name by collectively unmasking the heroes, and movies like Spider-Man: Far From Home these ramifications still play out. Most importantly, we see the dangerous ramifications of the heroes doxxing themselves, without really adding to the tension so that the heroes must constantly lie about the things that really matter to them.
Clever campy and alias costumes
If you have watched A.k.a or were even vaguely aware of it, without a doubt the first thing you consider is Sydney in black leather and bright red hair, aka her iconic pilot look. Her under-the-radar disguise not sanctioned by SD-6 (mimicking Will’s sister) flaunts her ingenuity and sets the series’ mark: eye-catching hair paired with increasingly ridiculous outfits, chainmail waitress outfits to rubber dresses. She played punks, rich bimbos, attractive businesswomen, escorts, and all manner of female characters her brands projected their assumptions onto, which belied her true strength and cunning.
Even when future episodes riffed on the color wheel with teal, magenta, purple and good old-fashioned blonde wigs, it was still in a clear spectrum set on this crucial mission, when she channels a silly girl who cares more about her hair color than her safety, only to pin her torturer with the same chair she’s strapped to.
What A.k.a Planned : I would risk guessing that Natasha Romanoff’s first appearance in 2012 The Avengers– a seemingly helpless redhead strapped to a chair, about to be viciously questioned – was a nod to Sydney’s triumphant pilot mission. Additionally, despite the MCU’s first ten years leaning toward sleek costumes, later phases (like WandaVisioncheeky reminders of Halloween) realized they could adopt the bright colors and country patterns of the comic book’s source material.