Monday, June 8, 2009
When most people think of "rich" comic book characters, they naturally flock to two notable superheroes: Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark.
The former, owner of Wayne Enterprises, uses much of the revenues gained through the many branches of the company (Wayne Steel, Wayne Shipping, Wayne Industries, Wayne Technologies, Wayne Medical, etc.) in order to fund his double life as Batman, equipping himself with an arsenal of bat-shaped gadgets, a utility belt, a kevlar (or somewhat stronger than kevlar) batsuit, a batplane, batsub, batmobile, and perhaps the most advanced supercomputer the world has ever seen ("Computer: cross reference this screeching sound with 'brown bat.'")
The latter owns Stark Industries, a multi-billion dollar company most known for its weapons manufacturing (an extremely lucrative market), but also having a strong international presence (Stark Industries has offices in Japan, Europe, etc.) and several subsidiaries (such as Fujikawa Industries and Stane International). Stark is of course famous for creating the Iron Man armor, which by far is the most advanced suit of armor in all comic book universes.
Naturally, it is easy to think of these two heroes, especially considering the recent motion pictures. However, there are several other wealthy comic book characters: Professor Xavier was a former nuclear scientist who inherited a fortune and owns an entire academy; Danny Rand (the new Immortal Iron Fist) owns Rand International; Oliver Queen was a billionaire and mayor of Star City; Lex Luthor owns Lexcorp, a heavy competitor of Wayne Industries in the DC Universe (Luthor has even managed to harness and channel some Brainiac technology, which he used towards gaining revenues for the company); Normal Osbourn owns Oscorp, and so on and so forth.
I will post my views either in the comments or a later post, but I'd love to hear from the readers the answers to several questions. Given your knowledge of these characters as well as the real-world performance of their respective industries (and assuming all the characters live in the same universe):
1) Who is the richest comic book character in terms of net worth? (You can answer pre-Dark Reign and Batman RIP and post-Dark Reign and Batman RIP)
2) What do you think is this character's net worth in today's dollars?
3) If you answer is not Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark, who of the two is wealthier?
4) Whose company do you think the recession is affecting the most (positively or negatively)?