One of the the stand-out lines from the most recent “Justice League” trailer comes out of the mouth of Bruce Wayne when Barry Allen asks him “what are your superpowers again?” Without missing a beat, the brooding billionaire replies “I’m Rich.”
Although Batman is certainly one of the most well known superheroes to be exceedingly wealthy, he is not the only one. Captains of industry, millionaire playboys, wealthy heiress and self-made millionaires have all been known to don tights and take up the good fight. Join us as CBR takes a look at some of the wealthiest Superheroes comic books have to offer. Whether they inherited their piles of cash, earned them through hard work or just happened to luck into a whole bunch of money, these heroes are all filthy, filthy rich.
15. PROFESSOR X
Kicking off the list is the founder of the X-Men and world renowned psychic, Charles Xavier. In case the mansion in upstate New York didn’t give it away, Charles Xavier is fairly well off when it comes to money. Charles Xavier’s sizeable bank account comes partly through inheritance and partly through his own efforts and hard work. Yep, everything was coming up Xavier until he made the not-so-wise financial decision to found the X-Men!
Ironically, one of the reasons we know Xavier is well off is the fact that he could afford to bankroll the X-men’s many toys, such as the Blackbird, and pay for the endless repairs on the X-Mansion. If three things are certain in life, they are death, taxes and the X-Mansion getting blown up! As Xavier says to Wolverine in issue one of “Wolverine and the X-men” “If you’re expecting this job to make you rich, I’ve found it’s best to start out extremely rich and work your way down from there!”
14. THE WASP (JANET VAN DYNE)
The original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, was as exceedingly rich as she was impossibly small. That’s right, the pint-sized superhero was in possession of a seriously huge bank balance. And no, it wasn’t because she had the foresight to trademark the name “Avengers!” Like a lot of the heroes on this list, Janet Van Dyne had the good luck of inheriting her initial fortune.
The daughter of world-renowned scientist Vernon Van Dyne and niece of successful fashion designer Amelia Van Dyne, Janet van Dyne had a fairly privileged upbringing. Used to all the bells and whistles wealth has to offer, Janet spent her youth sheltered by her family’s fortune. Not surprisingly this led her to become self-centred and spoiled, demanding only the very best. Fortunately, Janet Van Dyne has grown much since her early days as a shallow and selfish heiress and has become very much deserving of her superhero status.
13. NIGHTHAWK (KYLE RICHMOND)
This next entry is the sole heir to a tremendous fortune who spends his nights clad in black spandex in a never-ending crusade against crime. Sound familiar? Before you scream out Batman, the hero we are actually referring to is none other than Marvel’s Nighthawk.
Kyle Richmond’s superhero alter-ego, Nighthawk, is Marvel Comics’ not-so subtle attempt at their own version of Batman. As well as donning black tights and a cape, Kyle Richmond is also as stinking rich as the hero he so brazenly emulates. However, unlike the Bat, Nighthawk wasn’t a always a hero. Angry that his father had neglected him as a child and saddled with a superiority complex from his privileged upbringing, Nighthawk’s early appearances showcased the dark aspects of growing up with ridiculous amounts of money. If nothing else, it really is surprising more millionaires and billionaires don’t turn to a life of costumed crime!
Warren Worthington III, also know as Angel, is more than just one of the first X-men. Apart from his angelic wings, this veteran X-man also posses a considerable fortune. Warren (who started off as Angel and later got metallic wings when he was transformed into Archangel) is the heir of the sizeable Worthington fortune and is CEO of Worthington Industries. Seriously, with a name like Warren Worthington III, it was unlikely he was ever going to be poor!
A highly successful international conglomerate of companies, Worthington Industries has their hands in everything from the latest aviation technology to frozen yogurt! As a result, referring to Warren Worthington III as wealthy might be a tad of an understatement; make no mistake, the angelic X-man is absolutely loaded! Fortunately for the rest of mutantkind, during his time as CEO of Worthington Industries, Angel has used the company’s significant resources to benefit mutants everywhere and is one of the key beneficiaries of the X-Men.
In the world of “Watchmen,” Ozymandias is the smartest man alive, and also one of the richest. Born of rich immigrant parents, at the age of 17 Adrian Veidt was set to inherit their sizeable fortune after they died tragically. However, instead of simply coasting off his parents’ success, Adrian decided he would forge his own destiny. So, after donating his sizeable inheritance to charity, he set off on a vision quest.
After his time as the costumed crime fighter Ozymandias, Adrian retired and founded “Veidt Enterprises;” a highly successful mega-corporation. By selling and licensing products based on his superhero alter ego, Adrian was able to amass his own fortune. Dedicated to making the world a better place regardless of the cost, Adrian spent the resources of his company on humanitarian and charity work. Well, when he wasn’t busy killing anyone who could stop his ethically questionable plot for world peace, anyway.
10. MR. FANTASTIC
Given his genius-level intellect, it is not at all surprising that Mr. Fantastic has made his fair share of the green. Sure, Reed and the rest of the “Fantastic Four” have had their ups and downs when it comes to money, but Reed has always managed to come out on top. This is no doubt due to his super intelligence and knack for inventing useful gadgets that he can monetize through countless trademarks and patents.
In fact, Reed’s ingenious inventions are the main source of Marvel’s First Family’s income and funds the Fantastic Four’s experiments and adventures. Those “Fantisicars” don’t come cheap! Reed and Sue even set up “Fantastic Enterprises” to keep track of and licence out the use of Reed’s various patents. Although it would be near impossible to track how much money Mr. Fantastic is actually worth, one thing is for certain; Reed Richards is one stretchy bajillionare.
As well as the first half of her name, Batwoman, a.k.a Kate Kane, has something else in common with Gotham’s most prominent vigilante. Like Bruce Wayne, Kate has plenty of money. This considerable fortune is a trait common to both her modern and silver age versions.
When she is not busy fighting crime and being yet another bat themed vigilante to stalk Gotham’s mean streets, Kate is an heiress and socialite. Born into the wealthy Kane family, Kate almost has as much wealth as the Bat himself. Almost. One of Gotham’s wealthiest families, second of course to the Waynes, the Kane family own just about everything in Gotham that the Waynes don’t. Like Batman, Batwoman lacks any superhuman powers instead relying on her martial prowess and expensive equipment. Taking example from the best, Batwoman share’s Batman’s affinity for gadgets, including her own batarangs. Good thing Kate’s got that huge inheritance and can afford to keep her arsenal stocked!
8. EMMA FROST
In case her expensive taste in, well, just about everything, didn’t give it away, Emma Frost is not lacking when it comes to wads of cash. As her snobbishness indicates, the former white queen was born into a wealthy Boston family who made their money as merchants in the 1800s. When it came time to choose an heir to the family’s fortune, Emma’s father chose her over her other siblings. Although she initially refused, preferring to make her own way in the world, Emma eventually took on the fortune.
But don’t let that fool you into thinking Emma inherited all her money. Although she did come from money, most of Emma’s wealth was amassed from her time in the business world. Turns out it’s not too hard to succeed in business when you are devilishly smart and have physic powers to boot! Eventually, Emma’s business success caught the attention of a little organisation known as the “Hellfire Club.” The rest, as they say, is history.
He may not seem like an obvious pick for this list, but Namor is as loaded as he is arrogant, which is saying something! Just think about it, as ruler of Atlantis, the Sub-Mariner controls and lays claim to the world’s oceans. Not only do oceans happen to take up a great deal of the planet’s surface, they also contain a great deal of its resources. The world’s fish stores, oil, pearls and sunken pirate treasure all lie among the ocean’s murky depth and are therefore all property of Namor! How do you say payday in Atlantean?
With all the bounty the ocean has to offer at his disposal it is fair to say Namor is one rich sea dweller, and that’s not even taking into account the various treasures and wealth in Atlantis’ royal coffers! Unfortunately, the troubling implication of Namor’s aquatic affluence is that his skimpy choice of attire in his first appearance was completely voluntary and not because he couldn’t afford more clothes!
6. GREEN ARROW
Like many costumed heroes before him, Oliver Queen, known as the hooded vigilante “Green Arrow,” was born into wealth. A member of the super-rich Queen family, Oliver eventually inherited “Queen Industries,” his family’s highly successful business empire. With the financial support of “Queen Industries” behind him, Oliver invested in creating the most high-tech of weapons to help him in his war against crime. We are of course kidding. Instead, Oliver runs around with a bow and arrow. Inspired by Robin Hood, the Green Arrow mimics both the dress sense and weapon choice of the medieval hero.
Although his choice of weapon may be primitive, Green Arrow’s choice of ammunition is certainly not. Oliver uses the considerable resources afforded to him by his wealth to develop high-tech trick arrows, a time-consuming and expensive affair. As everyone knows, it’s not cheap to get a boxing glove to fit inside a tiny arrow head!
5. BLUE BEETLE (TED KORD)
The second Blue Beetle has inherited more than just his mantle. Ted Kord, also known as the Blue Beetle, is heir to Kord enterprises. Also known as Kord Ominversal Research and Development, the business empire is a titan of industry and is known for its advances in science and technology
With Ted at the head of the company’s research and development department, Kord Enterprises went on to rival S.T.A.R Labs when it came to revolutionary breakthroughs. Eventually, Kord Enterprises became a subsidiary of another superhero owned company: Wayne Enterprises. As well as being heir to a successful company, the second Blue Beetle shares Batman’s lack of powers as well as his affinity for gadgets. Like Bruce, Ted uses his company to develop and fund his latest crime fighting toys. This arsenal includes the Beetle Gun (turns out Blue Beetle doesn’t share the Bat’s distaste for firearms) and a spherical flying vehicle cleverly named “the Bug.”
4. IRON FIST
Sure, Danny Rand might spend his time beating up common thugs and prowling the streets of New York for danger, but don’t let that fool you; the Iron Fist is as loaded as they come. As the heir of Rand Corp, Danny is worth millions. Turns out the whole “Hero for Hire” thing was more of a hobby than financial necessity.
Although he was a child of privilege, Danny’s time training with Lei Kung the Thunderer in K’un-L’un turned him as tough as nails. Testament to Danny’s toughness and street smarts is his friendship and superhero partnership with Luke Cage, a.k.a Power Man. Although they may not take on cosmic threats worthy of the Avengers, Power Man and Iron Fist help to keep the streets of New York safe. He might be loaded, but that has never stopped Danny Rand from helping those in need and laying down some sweet street level justice; and all for a reasonable fee!
3. IRON MAN
Tony Stark isn’t just a stinking rich superhero; his superheroism is a direct result of his status as a gazillionaire! As well as being a billionaire weapons designer, a playboy and a philanthropist, Tony spends his time as the superhero Iron Man. Without any powers of his own, unless you count being a snarky super genius, Tony uses a high-tech suit to defend the world and stand toe-to-toe with his fellow Avengers. Featuring only the latest weapons technology, all of which are Tony’s own designs, the Iron Man suit is a force of nature. It also happens to cost more than the average person will make in 10 lifetimes!
Although he lives a lavish lifestyle, Tony also invests a significant amount of his money into the Avengers. Everything from Avengers tower to the endless Quinjets all come out of his deep, deep pockets. Good thing Tony isn’t short on money or the Avengers might be forced to take the bus!
He’s big, he wears black, criminals are terrified of him and he happens to be worth billions and billions of dollars. We are of course referring to Batman. You didn’t think we were going to leave the Bat off the list, did you? The quintessential ultra-rich superhero, Batman very much wrote the book when it comes to superheroes who rely on their wealth.
Like Tony Stark, Bruce’s affluence is a big part of the reason he is a superhero. For starters, it is unlikely Bruce would have been able to travel the world and learn to become the ultimate fighter and a master detective without his family’s fortune. And who can forget the countless Batmobiles, batarangs, high-tech suits and other various bat-paraphernalia. Sure, Batman is more than just a man in a costume, but at this point, Bruce’s gadgets are almost as strongly associated with the caped crusader as he is!
1. BLACK PANTHER
Like Batman, Black Panther wears a sleek black suit with pointy ears and plenty of gadgets; like Bruce Wayne, T’challa is ridiculously loaded. Only thing is, while Bruce commands a business empire, T’challa commands an actual country. As well as being a Superhero, T’challa is also king of the technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda.
As both the king of Wakanda and its sworn defender, Black Panther has access to the nation’s wealth. As well as a ridiculous amount of money, this also gives him access to the most precious metal in the world: Vibranium. Sought after for its ability to absorb vibrations, which makes it perfect for weapons (like Captain America’s shield), even a tiny piece of Vibranium can cost a small fortune. It just so happens that Vibranium is only found in Wakanda, which gives the Black Panther a monopoly on one of the world’s most expensive metals! How’s that for stinking rich?
Who’s your favorite multi-millionaire superhero? Tell us in the comments!