It’s never easy finding a new job. People want to make sure it checks off all their respective needs for employment. Does it pay well? How is the commute? Are there free donut Fridays? These are just some of the things that might cross someone’s mind while on the job search.
In comic books however, there seems to be no end to unethical, unsafe or downright bad places to earn a paycheck. The big questions these firms seem to elicit usually entail things like how much life insurance workers get and what would be the likelihood of being involved with something illegal. We at CBR compiled a short list of places to avoid for employment within the comic book world.
15. ACE CHEMICALS
Employees say: “Seriously questionable working conditions here. Couple people have fallen into the vats over the years. Too dangerous for only $8 an hour.”
Gotham City may have many booming businesses but there are a couple that stick out. Ace Chemicals is a factory that produces (you might have guessed) various chemicals. All was good and well until Red Hood, a gang leader, fell into a vat containing an odd mixture of the substances while trying to escape Batman. The chemicals forever scarred the criminal, transforming his face to having clown-like features. Thus, the Joker was born.
It’s truly difficult to see any real incentives for employees to work at Ace Chemicals. If folks aren’t falling into giant drums of viscous, dangerous materials, one of the growing number of supervillains in the city is targeting it as part of some diabolical scheme. Better to stay away from this revolving landmark of villainy and maybe apply at BatBurger.
Employees say: “Terrible management. They’re so out of touch with their workers, it feels like they’re from a completely different planet.”
Despite having one of the most prestigious company buildings in New York, there was fairly little known as the scientific corporation known as the Techno Cosmic Research Institute. That is, until the business’ initials showed up on a canister of ooze that led to the mutations of five turtles and a rat: the birth of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their master Splinter. Turns out the building was actually a secret base for aliens called Ultroms all along. Yeah, really.
For any of the select few workers that are hired by T.C.R.I., chances are they will be kept in the dark about everything. No real direction on day-to-day projects, coworkers that are really just extraterrestrials in disguise and no holidays off since your managers never celebrated New Years’ on their home world. Besides, the job won’t last past the alien managerial goal of returning home, at which point the building will be leveled and workers can expect their last checks in the mail. Bummer.
Employees say: “Not worth the time. Always shifty types coming in and out, plus one of the regulars won’t ever shut up. Patrons are lousy tippers too.”
The Merc with the Mouth might get a lot of jobs through referral these days, but it wasn’t always like that. He used to hang out at a fine establishment called Hellhouse, which would disperse information about new mercenary jobs as well as plenty of alcohol to its tough clientele. The bar often was the place for many a scrap between freelancers throughout the years and nary saw a slow day.
For mercenaries, bartenders or folks with incoming contracts, all the positions at the Hellhouse were pretty awful. The entire place was full of mean soldiers of fortune to deal with daily. Breaking up fights, getting beaten up or just plain insulted daily by patrons (fellow or otherwise) are just a few of the risks folks take when seeking employment here.
12. VEIDT ENTERPRISES
Employees say: “CEO might be the smartest guy in the world but he’s a real pompous jerk. Job doesn’t feel like a job, more like you’re being used by the boss for something bigger.”
Adrian Veidt was a business genius at the head of his own Veidt Enterprises. All throughout the pages of “Watchmen,” every manner of Veidt product was infiltrating the daily lives of average citizens. From cosmetics to action figures, there was hardly an industry that the company didn’t touch. Unfortunately all of it was a front for Adrian to secretly fund the creation of the doomsday alien that would wipe out a majority of New York City residents.
Working at Veidt may come with plenty of perks, but it’s also accompanied with having to play a role in his scheme. Even employees in his perfume division are helping Adrian gain capital to make a literal monster. Adrian effectively getting away with his evil plot likely only fueled his sense of ego. Given his power over consumerism and his recent terrible victory, it’s probably not long until his egomaniacal ways take a turn for the worse.
11. STAGG ENTERPRISES
Employees say: “Things were good until the office was burned down. Never eligible for rehire afterwards.”
Stagg Enterprises (sometimes referred to as Industries) was a fairly run-of-the-mill corporation. Mainly focused on research and development, the company boasted several major offices across the United States. All was running pretty swimmingly until one worker named Kurt Vonak got caught up in an experiment at the firm that inevitably went awry. As a result, his body was transformed into atomic energy and he transmuted the entire Stagg building into a pile of molten metal.
It’s kind of tough for employees working in the R&D field in comic books. If the company you work for isn’t run by some sort of nefarious schemer CEO, then your livelihood is put at stake by the machinations of your coworkers. Even if it’s for a nice entry on their resume, researchers would be better off looking at a different place of employment than Stagg.
10. GOTHAM CITY BANK
Employees say: “Place is getting robbed almost monthly. Sure Batman puts a stop to them, but my hair has gone completely gray from the stress!”
When Harvey Dent is jonesing to steal some half-dollar coins or Harley Quinn wants some cash for a shopping spree, where’s the first place they hit up? Gotham City Bank is the go-to for all the monetary needs for the city’s villains, and is often subjected to robbery of various kinds. While Batman and Robin (or whomever else in the Bat-family) regularly put the brakes to most villains, they generally do it post-thievery.
This means poor bankers and accountants are stuck dealing with direct stick-ups or looted vaults every Monday. The days of discussing innocent things like vacation plans or football games are long gone at Gotham City Bank, and instead replaced with scared conjectures as to which rogue will strike the establishment next. All employees can expect from this financial institution is being subjected to villainy and shaving a few years off their lifespans from stress.
9. BEYOND CORP
Employees say: “Lots of mystery surrounding upper management. Been told there’s another office ‘elsewhere’ but have never seen it.”
When the terrorist organization called S.I.L.E.N.T. needed a less ostentatious way of operating, they did so through the Beyond Corporation. The business was a front for their terrible plans, such as using weapons of mass destruction on innocent people; you know, the usual Tuesday. When they weren’t putting together new terrible ways to attack people, Beyond invested in ultra-popular products that would would enable them to control the public through their consumerism. Oh, and they incidentally funded a team that would fight against them.
Potential new hires should be wary of the glitz and glam that is Beyond Corporation. Beneath it’s seemingly innocuous product line and high-powered business strategies, lurks a dangerous plan to rule over every living being on Earth. If that’s not enough to turn applicants away, the firm has routinely attracted the attention of various Marvel heroes such as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Spider-Man, and not in a good way.
Employees say: “Awful company. Worked in the genetics division and hated it. Glad that place was trashed. Didn’t even get severance out of it.”
Whether it be food, chemicals or other products, Alchemax had its bases covered. The corporation was actually created by Norman Osborn incognito in an effort to further the Osborn legacy. Things were booming for the company until they decided to jump into the genetics game. After making several clones of Laura Kinney, the division experimenting on the mutant was reduced to nothing courtesy of Wolverine and those same clones.
For employees trying to avoid the insanity of Oscorp, keep looking. Not only is the leadership shrouded in slight secrecy, but also every day work comes under ethics questions. Whatever an employee’s chosen job division in Alchemax, there’s simply no working without wondering if there’s some shrouded, nefarious intention behind it all. This corporation is just an Oscorp light, and that’s certainly not a compliment.
7. ZINCO CORP
Employees say: “One awful CEO after another and after being assigned to R&D for a year, I’m never going to eat frog legs again.”
The B.P.R.D. has plenty of paranormal foes to deal with, but few were quite so connected and entrenched as the Zinco Corporation. Zinco has had several leaders throughout the years, but all of them had business plans revolving around some matter of using the occult for ill-intentions. Such schemes involved controlling frog monsters and using them to fill their ranks, or raising up different iterations of the Black Flame.
Zinco is a corporation that masquerades lightly as a regular business, but fields employees perfectly for its schemes. Not only does working for this place put workers in the crosshairs of the B.P.R.D., it also opens up a whole new set of paranormal horrors to be subjected to. Since the corporation is willing to do anything to further its corrupt power, employees should be wary that the CEO’s action plans don’t include a self-destruct button to the building.
6. A.I.M. CORPORATIONS
Employees say: “Dishonest from the start about job duties and there’s never any casual Fridays!”
While Advanced Idea Mechanics is much more known for being a network full of illegal arms, questionable experiments and rather terrifying inventions, it operates like a well-oiled member of the Fortune 500. The organization has a number of dummy corporations where their operatives work to fulfill the evil objectives of their board of directors. Adarco Corporation, Cadence Industries, Omnitech and I.D.I.C. are just a few of these business fronts that masquerade as harmless privatized firms, but in reality invest in new ways for A.I.M to take over the world.
Employees applying to any one of the A.I.M. fronts are likely going to find themselves in a rough situation. There’s the cult-like pursuit of success by the employees, aided by the near monthly rollout of doomsday devices or initiatives. If the work doesn’t kill you, the crossfire from heroes busting up the operation will.
Employees say: “Day-to-day stuff is fine but it started to become a real issue when supervillains and heroes would fight right outside your office window.”
Norman Osborn created Oscorp Industries through his love of chemistry. Osborn enlisted the help of researchers Mendel Stromm and Nels Van Adder in creating a new substance that would enhance performance in people. Together, they unwittingly created the formula that once applied to Norman, turned him into one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies: the Green Goblin. Besides that, Norman Osborn has been involved with a number of shady dealings, including assembling the supervillain team called the Cabal.
However you slice it, Norman Osborn is just as well known for his questionable business practices in the public eye, as he is for riding around on a glider in the hero world. Employees that fool themselves into thinking the CEO has turned over a new leaf often end up paying for it dearly. Applicants are better off avoiding Oscorp if they don’t want to be inadvertently involved with shady dealings.
4. ARKHAM ASYLUM
Employees say: “Seriously not worth it. If you aren’t being threatened by inmates every day, you’ll turn into one after a few sessions with them. STAY AWAY!!!”
Arkham Asylum is Gotham’s most well-known center for treatment of the criminally insane. An institution with a long and sordid history, the place has housed such psychopaths as Harvey Dent, Edward Nygma and Pamela Isley; or as they’re better known by their aliases of Two-Face, The Riddler and Poison Ivy. Famously, the Arkham psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel was even seduced by one of the patients at the facility: the Joker.
It’s no secret that Arkham Aslyum is a place of questionable practices, both in treatment of the patients and doctors. Fulfilling any sort of position in this institution won’t just add a lackluster entry to your resume, it would risk your very sanity. At best, previous employees will be regarded with caution in their methods of practice given all the stories to escape Arkham. At worst, they’ll become patients themselves.
3. HAMMER INDUSTRIES
Employees say: “CEO is a total cutthroat with zero morals. Didn’t like all the secrets within the workplace.”
Ran by the charismatic (if egotistical) Justin Hammer, Hammer Industries very quickly got a name for itself on eagerly filling in the gap in weapons supply and trade that Stark Industries had left. Hammer became known for selling some of his finest tech to some of the world’s most dangerous rogues. This practice eventually led him to having a huge network of villains that would perform missions for Hammer in exchange, and that was just some of his unethical practices.
The Hammer CEO is certainly one of the worst to work for. He regularly employs villains and has zero qualms about going after people that cross him. For potential new hires, this means being stuck in a job that aids and abets crime almost daily. An employee’s usual duties would probably consist of working on dangerous new weaponry and know that it will inevitably fall into the wrong hands.
Employees say: “Man in charge is one of the most ruthless around. Will completely dismiss any ethical concerns raised by you and personally fire you for the trouble.”
If Lex Luthor got a nickel for every time he was labeled “World’s Best Boss,” he’d be a lot less richer than he is now. Sole proprietor of LexCorp, Luthor steered the company as one of Metropolis’ leading firms in engineering. The business of course has had many other projects done behind the scenes, including experimentation with kryptonite to foil Superman. Luthor was known for firing employees on the spot for objecting to his demands, but he would take it to another level and see to it that his former workers were ineligible for hiring anywhere afterwards. Harsh.
Being an employee at LexCorp is either a resignation of one’s conscious or a futile effort to turn things around. Employees can expect prosperous conditions, but only if they’re willing to go with the flow and never protest to the numerous unethical goings on in the company. Should a worker actually cross Luthor in some way, they’ll be stuck collecting unemployment for the rest of their lives.
1. ROXXON ENERGY CORPORATION
Employees say: “How this place is even still around is beyond me. So many bad practices, expendable workers and not to mention, AVENGERS attacks! And the commute to the new office sucks!”
Roxxon Energy Corporation is well-known for being the most problematic corporation on this list. A combination of internal corruption and an unrelenting need to recover precious items have been its trademark practice for years. Recently, the company came into the possession of King Laufey’s skull, which led to a rather large conflict on their floating island base involving Thor.
There’s really no end to the list of cons here. Folks looking for work are better suited trying anywhere else about 10 times over before turning to Roxxon. The upper management has plans shrouded in mystery, employees are sent on dangerous trips to recover items such as dead bodies or skulls and commuting to a floating island base is just killer for gas mileage.
Can you think of any other terrible comic book companies to work for? Let us know which ones in the comments!