5 of the Poorest Superheroes (and why they’re so poor)
People love superheroes because they get to do things that we would love to do but can’t. Because unless you’re from Asgard or can fly around in an iron suit, then you don’t get to fly cool spaceships, beat up bad guys or hang out with the Avengers. While superheroes provide an escape from today’s gruelling realities, their writers also know that they also need to be humanised, so they’re given alter egos and mundane jobs.
Unfortunately, not all superheroes are born wealthy like Batman or Iron Man. Some have to struggle between paying the bills and saving the city; others can’t even make ends meet and have ended up homeless.
So let’s pay homage to them with this list of the poorest superheroes and try to understand why they’re poor.
Yes, I know a lot of you are shocked but take a moment to think about it. As the Man of Steel, Superman has a kick-ass Fortress of Solitude complete with an alien zoo, special training equipment, a super computer, a trophy room for all those mementoes he got from his adventures and, I imagine, some robot butlers to make his stay more comfortable. But as mild-mannered Clark Kent, he has to live in a small apartment and work as a reporter for the Daily Planet. Aside from the fact that the Daily Planet is just a little known broadsheet, print newspapers are also going the way of the dinosaurs so Clark Kent’s job security is in question here. Plus, according to PayScale, journalists just make an average of $38k a year.
It comes as no surprise that everybody’s favorite web slinger is also among the poorest superheroes. Peter Parker’s job as a freelance photographer would just earn him about $41,000 annually. This figure isn’t surprising as a memo leaked last year from a well regarded newspaper showed that photographers are only paid $65 per photo that the paper chooses. Taking into consideration that you have to submit 5-7 photos for the client to choose from, that would mean that each photo you take is just worth around $10. Instead of forcing his pictures of Spider-Man on J. Jonah Jameson, Spidey should probably put his web slinging abilities to good use and become a paparazzi instead. He could probably earn more money that way.
There have been several Green Lanterns since the character was introduced in 1940. As an interstellar law enforcement agency, the Green Lantern Corps is probably busy trying to make the universe safe. But some of its members still had time to find regular jobs. Hal Jordan and John Stewart probably earned good money being an Air Force pilot and architect respectively. Unfortunately for the latest Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, being a freelance graphic artist sounds cool but doesn’t rake in easy cash.
Back when he was still alive, Spawn was known as Al Simmons, one of the CIA’s top agents and bona fide assassin. I don’t know the exact figures but I imagine being CIA means you’re a federal employee so you should be getting a good salary plus benefits. But after being killed, sent to hell and making a deal with the devil, Simmons was resurrected as Spawn, a hell spawn without a job or a home.
Probably one of the poorest superheroes, The Hulk had good job security when he was still working as a physicist. But life got really bad, and expensive, after that freak accident that left Dr. Bruce Banner with extreme anger management issues. Aside from being hunted by people who want to exploit or study him, every time that Dr. Banner would get angry and transform into the Hulk, he would be left stranded and left with literally just the clothes on his back.
Like us normal folks, some superheroes also went through a rough financial patch at some point in their lives. For instance, Green Arrow led a nice cushy life, thanks to his family business but bad business and personal decisions forced him to go bankrupt. Batman and Iron Man had suffered losses too, but they were able to bounce back and become stronger. If there’s something we can take away from them, it’s that we can always come back stronger and better.