Monday, July 9, 2012

Income Inequality Affects Superheroes, Too

I have just spent the entire weekend being a bit of a bad mommy and watching cartoons. Yes, I am a former comic book collector and only very recently stopped watching Saturday morning cartoons. I love super heroes. I loved Superfriends (and the Legion of DOOOOOMMMM!) as a kid. I Loved Spiderman and his Amazing friends. Then when the WB came out with a new Batman cartoon…oh, I watched it religiously. I watched Superman, the X-men (which was kinda weak) and then when the Justice League came on…ooooo! I was soooo happy.  I have now become a Young Justice uber fan and that is what I watched this weekend.

Now, Batman is the dude! He's rich, he has all the gadgets, and taught himself how to be a bad ass. No super powers. He can just knock a mutha out 'cause he's batman. Then there's Spiderman: poor, brilliant, nerdy kid from Queens who got bit by a spider and has super strength. He, too, lifted himself up and created webbing because he's essentially a super genius. But he's not just broke, he's really broke.

The Huffington Post did a comparison of each one: their income, taxes paid, where they live, the cost of their clothing even. Though it's not new information, it's shows the economic differences between the super rich and the rest of us. (Why Wayne Enterprises's CFO hasn't figured out all the money being syphoned off to build all the bat gadgets and the Frickin Justice league watchtower satellite is connected to Bruce Wayne being Batman, I do not know) They even compared the salaries of Alfred and Aunt May! The rich really do live better and they do pay a lot less as a percentage of income in taxes, as in zero in this version of Bruce Wayne's finances. They wear better clothes, live in better homes, their sidekicks eat well…they even pay less for schooling. Well, maybe that last one is a little far fetched. But the point is made: It's good to be rich. I ain't mad at them.  It would just be nice if Spidey didn't have to fight Doc Oc and the Lizard while worrying whether Aunt May will have enough social security and medicare benefits to cover her needs and whether he'll make enough money to pay off his student loan debt, the inevitable medical debt (when you fight crime even Spiderman can get hurt), and various other living expenses like rent and food. Mary Jane can't live off of love alone. Dates cost money. Catwoman just steals all her expenses, so Batman still makes out like a fat rat.


  1. In real life, broke-down Petey Parker would *have* to be more of a Robin Hood type. It would work well: stop petty crime, and while the bad guy's all webbed-up....
    The whole "struggling photographer" bit doesn't really work. No still camera on a timer would get the action shots he'd need to get paid. Plus, he'd have to beat the streets on the regular, and have no time for the research they portray. Let alone make webbing and repair that suit after a run-in with Doc Ock.

  2. I heard part of the reason why Marvel magically dissolved Peter's marriage to MJ was because, along with "aging" the character, Peter was too "happy" being married and having a somewhat successful career. The same thing with Clark and Lois no longer being married in DC's "New 52." Every hero does not need to be a brooding, tortured soul like Bruce Wayne. It's okay to have happy, well adjusted costumed do-gooders.

  3. I'm just in awe about you being a House and Jazz diva who likes comic books. LOL!!!

    I think Batman/Bruce Wayne should be compared more to Iron Man/Tony Stark. Then that's a fairer comparison. Peter just isn't going to keep up on a free-lance photographer's salary.

    One thing I noticed is that when I collected comic books in the 70's, Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark were millionares. Now they're billionares. I guess they had to account for inflation too huh?

    1. Awww, thanks Lance! You could compare Batman to iron man, but the point would be lost. This article's underlying point is comparing Obama to Romney; the rich to the rest of us. And when you see it, it's so startling. But the millionaire has to morph into a billionaire. You think those gadgets and robots make themselves? Some robot in china is working hard to make them batarangs....