I think that giving the name, rank and serial number of the protagonist in the first sentence has become a very stale device. OK, no serial number, just the name. I know it's convenient, and it has been done successfully before, but that doesn't make it any more stale.
There are other ways to address this problem:
From the New Yorker: Gilgulby Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi
“You know,” she said almost shyly, “that I have the ability, if you wish, to look into your eyes and tell you when you will die?”