I collect about half a dozen comic book titles and I've noticed a growing trend in blurring the line between the secret identity of a super hero and their super hero identity. In the old days, a super hero had a regular dayjob with coworkers, girlfriends and bills to pay and put on his or her tights at night to fight crime. Nowadays I read comics about the same characters I used to read about as a child who now either no longer hide their non-super hero identity as a secret or have had their secret identity revealed to so many people that it might as well not be a secret.
This trend is particularly true in Marvel's Ultimate universe. If you are unfamiliar with the Marvel Ultimate universe here is a brief description of it from the Wikipedia entry for Marvel Universe
A greater attempt has been made with the Ultimate titles; this series of titles is in a universe unrelated to the main Marvel continuity, and essentially is starting the entire Marvel Universe over again, from scratch. Ultimate comics now exist for the X-Men, the Avengers, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. Sales of these titles are strong, and indications are that Marvel will continue to expand the line, effectively creating two Marvel Universes existing concurrently. (Some rumors exist that if sales continue to increase and more titles are added, Marvel may consider making the Ultimate universe its main universe.)
In the Marvel Ultimate universe the Avengers (now known as the Ultimates) are government agents who treated as celebrities by the tabloids and whose non-super hero identities are known to the public. The Ultimate X-Men appear on the cover of Time magazine and have met with the president several times. The anti-mutant hysteria that is a mainstay of the regular Marvel universe is much more muted in the Ultimate Marvel universe (Thank God for that, they had gone overboard with it although classics like God Loves, Man Kills will always have a special place in my heart). The identity of Ultimate spider-man isn't known to the general public but it is known by his girlfriend (Mary Jane), an orphan adopted by his aunt (Gwen Stacy), the Ultimates, all of major villains spidey has met (Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Kraven the Hunter, Sandman & Electro) as well as most of the staff of S.H.I.E.L.D.
This has also spread to the regular Marvel universe, most noticeably with Daredevil. His secret identity was known by the Kingpin for a long time and eventually was an open secret to most of the Kingpin's criminal organization. In recent issues, Daredevil has been outed as Matt Murdock in the tabloids and has to deal with assassination attempts on him in his regular life as well as when he is Daredevil.
DC Comics is also playing along somewhat with Batman. Although it isn't common knowledge that Batman is Bruce Wayne there are now so many heroes (the entire Justice League, Robin, Nightwing, Spoiler, Batgirl, Huntress, Oracle) and villains (the Riddler, Hush, Bane, Ra's al Ghul) that it might as well be public.
I suspect that one of the reasons for this trend is a point that the character Bill makes in Kill Bill vol.2 towards the end of the movie. He points out that most super heroes are regular people with regular lives that have a secret identity as a super hero while Superman was actually a super hero who had a secret identity as a regular person. Getting rid of the artificial division between super hero and alter ego makes sense because we tend to look at them as different people (Bruce Wayne is nothing like Batman) when in truth they are different facets of the same character. The increased connectedness of society as a whole has also made it easier to blur the lines between various aspects of one's character that used to be kept separate. I think comic book authors are just reflecting this trend.
Speaking of reflecting current trends in comics I was recently disappointed and then impressed by statements made the Ultimate version of Captain America. In Ultimates #12, Cap is fighting the apparently indestructible leader of the alien invasion army who's just survived getting half his head blown off by an assault rifle when this exchange takes place
Alien Leader: Now let's get back to business, eh, Captain? The world was about to go up and you were about to surrender in these few brief moments we've got left. Let me hear you say it. “I surrender Herr Kleiser! Make it quick!”.
Captain America: *head butts and then starts to beat up the alien leader while saying* - Surrender? Surrender? You think the letter A on my head stands for France?
This issue came out when the "freedom fries" nonsense was still somewhat fresh in people's minds and I was very disappointed to read this in a comic book coming from a character I liked. However he recently redeemed himself with his line from a conversation with Nick Fury in Ultimate Six #7
Captain America: You know, being a veteran of war it occured to me, that really it's men of influence and power that decide what these wars will be about. They decide who we are going to fight and how we will fight them. And then they go about planning the fight. In a sense, really, these people will the war into existence.
I remember thinking the same thoughts as a preteen in military school trying to decide whether to follow in my dad's footsteps and join the military or not. I fucking love comics.