Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On the challenges of bringing home the bacon when your nemesis is a giant radioactive porcine alien

In a column on Newsarama, Jill Pantozzi, AKA The Nerdy Bird posited the summer of the Teen Titans.  In it, she posits the kind of jobs that the team might take over the summer, and how they gang aglay.

But in such frippery, she sheds light on an equally fripperous and intriguing DOES the average superhero support hirself?

The Big Three sort of don't count - Batman is calamitously wealthy, and Superman doesn't need to eat; he has a job largely just to keep in touch with Humanity.  Wonder Woman, at least before the recent (presumed temporary, but what do I know) revamp was royalty of an independent nation, and as such fairly set should something arise which requires a sudden application of funds.  Even Aquaman's financial needs are largely moot - if he sees something on QVC he wants, he just needs to go for a swim and pull up a chest of booty or two.  He probably gets them appraised by Carter Hall to save time.

But that leaves a fairly large number of heroes at varied alphabetical plateaus who have lairs to support, jobs to hold down, and in the case of the younger adventurers, research papers to finish.  Rather a burden to bear.

We already know that Bruce Wayne is not new to helping out a friend - He owns several apartment houses in the fashionable end of Metropolis, and has arranged it so that a newspaper reporter and his wife got to the top of the waiting list forone of the better locations on Clinton Street.  We also know that Ollie Queen was secretly funding The Outsiders, which was of course started by Batman several incarnations ago.  With these two facts in place, it's fairly easy to extrapolate a fairly diverse support network for the crimefighters of the DCU.

Once a hero establishes themselves (and has their first crossover), it can be assumed that certain doors open to them.  Jobs with subsidiaries of Waynetech or Queen Industries are likely available in most metropolitan areas, positions with hours in varied shifts, with managers who are very understanding of the need for unexplained absences.  For the younger vigilante, scholarship materials to local colleges will start to arrive in their mailbox, possibly with applications already filled out. 

Paul Gambi doesn't take too many new clients, but once in a while he'll get a name left on his counter and calls are made offering his services.  Equipment manufacturers are a secretive, circumspect lot, but when you get a note with a drawing of a bat at the bottom, you get a new catalog printed up and mailed out toot sweet.

The JSA has been offering training to new heroes for some time now, which again, is likely financed by the heroes themselves.  Alan Scott was quite the media magnate in his day - odds are he sold off his holdings for a tidy sum, if indeed he sold them at all.  He likely owns a nice piece of Galaxy Communications.  Ted Knight may live like a pug, but he owns that gym outright, and likely most of the surrounding block.  Tyler chemicals was quite the powerhouse in its day as well.  It's safe to say the JSA are solvent enough to handle some Extreme Makeover: Headquarters Editions on their own. 

Then there's the question of licensing.  While there will ever be people who claim that it's perfectly legal to slap a hero's face or logo on a shirt as a public figure, there are always lawyers who show up and quietly explain that there's a holding company that can be worked with to create approved products, and in doing so help various charitable endeavors. 

Nobody's gonna get rich as a superhero (not without getting a stern talking to a la Booster Gold) but it's fair to assume that with sufficient proof of dedication, the job can be made at least a little bit easier.

And by the way, the aforementioned Mam'zelle Pantozzi has been appearing on the annual MDA telethon for years, first as one of "Jerry's Kids" living with muscular dystrophy; she's now old and successful (and pretty) enough to help host the New York City local event.  Making a donation to fight this spectrum of disorders, even after the end of the Lewisian baccanal, is a good thing to do with your money.  Donate at, or text "MDA" TO 20222 and a donation of $10 will be placed on your next phone bill.