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Richest Heroes In The DC Universe

If being a superhero was cheap, everyone would do it. Sure, you might be able to pull it off if you get blessed by a wizard or recruited by the space police, but if you're not lucky enough to acquire superpowers, having deep pockets (or a generous benefactor who does) is basically the only way to go. Gadgets, vehicles, and costumes are expensive, and it's also awfully hard to hold down a job when you might be called away to fight crooks or angry gods at any moment. Even Superman can just barely pull that trick off.

Consequently, a significant percentage of Justice Leaguers, Teen Titans, and other DC Comics superheroes are backed by big dollars, mostly acquired the old-fashioned way: inheritance. Heck, some superheroes are even lucky enough to be born with both incredible powers beyond those of mortal men and generations of accumulated wealth.

Naturally, fans like to debate which DC superheroes have the most in the bank, and these arguments are mostly futile. Unsurprisingly, it is very difficult to evaluate the assets of fictional people. Except in the rare occasions when the text of the comics gives us an actual number, we can only make educated guesses as to the relative wealth of superheroes based on clues in their stories and the net worth of real people who have had similar circumstances. Here's what our accountants (read: comics nerds) have been able to dig up...

Batman's not as rich as he used to be

There's no more famous example of a superhero whose primary superpower is "being born rich" than Bruce Wayne, the orphaned billionaire who uses his fortune to finance a massive war on crime as the masked vigilante Batman. Bruce is descended from two of Gotham City's oldest and wealthiest families (the Waynes and the Kanes) and is heir to the multinational corporation Wayne Enterprises. By the start of 2020's "Joker War" crossover event, Bruce Wayne's personal fortune is stated to be over $100 billion. Only nine individuals in the real world can boast that level of wealth.

Bear in mind, that's how rich Bruce is after more than a decade of developing and manufacturing countless Batmobiles, Bat-Rocket Ships, and Justice League moon bases. $100 billion is truly more money than any person — even Batman — could possibly spend.

Unfortunately for the Dark Knight, $100 billion isn't more money than a person can steal. In "Joker War," the Joker identifies all of Bruce Wayne's bank accounts — both his publicly-declared assets and the secret accounts that he uses to fund Batman — and drains them. Even after Joker's scheme is thwarted, public and government scrutiny into Wayne's finances make it impossible for him to continue to spend massive amounts of money on his masked alter ego. Instead, the lion's share of the Wayne fortune is wired to the account of Wayne Enterprises CEO Lucius Fox.

Despite his public financial disgrace, Bruce receives a generous "golden parachute" from Wayne Enterprises and is still not hurting for money. He's merely "big time Hollywood actor" rich, not "practically his own country" rich.

Lucius Fox's kids are set for life

Lucius Fox was no doubt paid handsomely as the longtime CEO of Wayne Enterprises, usually depicted as one of the largest companies in the world. For reference, the CEO of Lockheed Martin made $15.7 million in compensation in 2020, mostly in stock value, and his net worth is estimated at about $32.2 million. That's a whole lot of money, but it's pennies compared to the sum Lucius acquired in that same year. In 2020's "Joker War" crossover event, Catwoman steals back tens of billions of dollars of what used to be Bruce Wayne's private fortune from the Joker and stashes it in an account in Lucius's name. Bruce agrees that this money is better off in Lucius' hands, making the Foxes the richest family in Gotham (according to "Infinite Frontier" #0).

Though an indispensable part of Batman's team, Lucius Fox is not technically a superhero. Two of his four children, however, have taken up the Bat-symbol themselves. His eldest, Jace, has recently returned to Gotham after years of estrangement and now operates as his own version of Batman, independent of Bruce Wayne's incarnation. His younger son, Luke, battles evil in a high-tech armored battle suit under the name Batwing. Luke has plenty of his own money, having recently sold his successful FoxTech company to Wayne Enterprises, but both brothers will no doubt benefit from this massive injection of liquid capital in their future heroic exploits — assuming Lucius is willing to sign some checks.

His accountant also calls him Mister Terrific

Some people call Michael Holt "the third-smartest man in the world," presumably in the company of Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor. A genius polymath and Olympic gold medalist, Holt founds his own technology company, Holt Industries, and at one time boasts a net worth of over a billion dollars (according to 2011's "Mister Terrific" #1). Holt's most exciting inventions are his T-Spheres, all-purpose flying drones that Holt employs as his costumed alter-ego, Mister Terrific. Holt Industries eventually becomes Terrifictech, which finances the exploits of the motley inter-dimensional super-team The Terrifics and Holt's superhero braintrust, the T-Council.

Ever since the events of "Dark Nights: Metal" in 2017, Holt has made occasional and sometimes lengthy expeditions into the Dark Multiverse. Without his leadership, his company is ripe for takeover attempts by the likes of Simon Stagg and his son Sebastian. Luckily, Holt has been able to reclaim much of his work and now holds court alongside his most trusted advisors in the floating city of Terrific Island. From there, Holt plans to design a build a better, high-tech future for humanity which, frankly, sounds pretty expensive.

Blue Beetle Ted Kord died broke and was reborn rich

Like many a costumed adventurer, Ted Kord is the son of a wealthy businessman. In the "Post-Crisis" continuity in which DC Comics were set between 1986 and 2011, Ted Kord took his father's company, Kord Omniversal, from the brink of collapse and turned it into a leading technology firm, using his share of the profits to fund a costumed crimefighting career as the Blue Beetle. We don't know enough about the company to create a definite figure for his net worth, but we might create an estimate by examining the wealth of the CEOs of large tech hardware companies in our own world. The CEOs of Intel and Samsung are estimated to be worth $74 million and $17 billion respectively. That's an incredibly vast margin, but we'd wager that Kord peaked somewhere on the low end of that scale for one simple reason: By the time of his murder in 2005's "Countdown to Infinite Crisis" #1, Ted has lost almost his entire fortune, and it's frankly very difficult for a billionaire to go broke (though it's been done).

Ted Kord got a new lease on life when the DC Universe's continuity was reset by 2011's "Flashpoint" event. He resurfaces as a young man in "Forever Evil" #5, in which he once again takes over his father's company. While he's not currently a costumed crimefighter, he does become a mentor and benefactor to Jaime Reyes, the new universe's Blue Beetle.

Batwoman's family money doesn't come from where you think

Batwoman Kate Kane is the daughter of US Army Colonel Jacob Kane, of the Gotham Kanes. Jacob is Martha Wayne (née Kane)'s younger brother, making Kate first cousin to Bruce Wayne. Not much is known about the Kane family, though we do get a glimpse of their family estate and at Jacob's parents Roderick and Elizabeth in "Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne" #5. In a story set around the time of Martha Wayne's murder, we see that Kane Manor is of a similar scale to the Waynes' estate, and that Elizabeth looks down on Martha's husband Thomas with the sort of disdain that the rich typically reserve for the slightly less rich. However, this story also establishes that the Kanes' company, Kane Chemical, is sold under duress to the devious Simon Hurt, which may have closed the tap on their cash flow.

By the time Kate is an adult, most of the family's money isn't from the Kane side but from her step-mother's — Catherine Hamilton is an heiress to the Hamilton Rifle Company fortune (as revealed in "52" #7). Imagining that this is DC's analog to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, Sarah Winchester's cash inheritance was $20 million in 1880 dollars, which would be over $536 million today. Even diluted across several generations, that's a pretty penny.

The Hamilton fortune has no doubt fueled Kate's travels and arsenal as Batwoman, who prefers to maintain operational independence from her control-freak cousin Batman.

Wonder Woman lives above our conception of money

It's no surprise that Wonder Woman's name comes up often in conversations about the wealthiest DC superheroes. Princess Diana of Themyscira has a bunch of signifiers of massive wealth: she's royalty, she's a demi-god, and she's served on and off as a formal ambassador on behalf of her island home. Everything about Diana says "high status."

At the same time, it's hard to pin down how rich Diana actually is or where the wealth comes from. She's a princess, but from a nation that does not seem to practice capitalism internally and is typically resistant or even hostile to foreign trade. She's an immortal, but hasn't been in "Patriarch's World" long enough to accumulate wealth through longterm investments. She's a diplomat, but ambassadors and diplomats typically aren't paid particularly well.

The fact is that Diana's finances are not logically trackable. When Themyscira goes missing in 1993's "Wonder Woman" #73, Diana finds herself penniless and gets a job at a fast food restaurant. By 2001's "Wonder Woman" #170, Themyscira has been restored but its monarchy has been abolished. Despite their loss of title, Diana and her sister Donna Troy are, explicitly, fabulously wealthy. 2020's "Wonder Woman" #759 sees Diana once again acting as Themyscira's ambassador and buying ersatz IKEA furniture for her Washington D.C. apartment. When not fighting monsters and criminals on Earth, Diana travels through space and between mythological realms where earthly material wealth has no meaning.

Is Wonder Woman rich? Sometimes! We'll have to leave it at that.

Green Arrow distributes his wealth generously

Like so many costumed adventurers of classic comics, Oliver Queen is the heir to a large industrial fortune and has served on and off as the head of his family's company. According to 2011's "Green Arrow" #1, Queen Industries is a massive corporation, competing neck and neck with companies like Wayne Enterprises and LexCorp, but is fueled by oil money and other ecologically unsound ventures. Oliver's career as Green Arrow is motivated by his desire to atone for his family's ill-gotten wealth and for his own selfish behavior as a young man.

As one of the most vocally left-wing DC superheroes, Oliver attempts to use his platform to encourage positive social and economic change in his community. As Green Arrow, he proudly self-applies the label "social justice warrior," aiming to protect the poor from the manipulations of the rich. In 2016's "Green Arrow: Rebirth," Oliver boasts of the amount of money Queen Industries spends on charitable donations and programs, though he doesn't give an exact figure.

As of 2021's "Infinite Frontier" #0, Oliver is officially "richer than Batman," though that says more about Bruce Wayne's recent money woes than it does about Oliver's own wealth. In the subsequent "Justice League" #63, Green Arrow officially accepts financial responsibility for the Justice League and offers Batman complete transparency of his operational spending. Unfortunately, the story doesn't open the books to the reader, so we're left to guess that his net worth is somewhere in the low billions.

Geo-Force is the prince of a small country

Along with being Geo-Force, the Earth-shaking superhero and original member of the Outsiders, Brion Markov is the reigning Prince of Markovia, a small European nation. In its first appearance in "Batman and the Outsiders" #1 in 1983, Markovia appears on a map between France and Luxembourg, replacing the southern tip of our universe's Belgium. Belgium just so happens to still be a monarchy in the real world, so we have some basis for a true estimate of Markovia's royal fortune. King Philippe of Belgium has an estimated net worth of about $14 million, and with no other data to go on, we're forced to imagine that Markovia's monarch is worth about the same amount.

The current status of Brion or indeed the entire Markovian royal family seems uncertain in the aftermath of 2020's "Leviathan Dawn," in which the international espionage syndicate Leviathan purchases the entire country of Markovia in cash. (If only we knew how much!) Geo-Force has been seen very rarely in recent years, and he may no longer be active. If he is, his world has certainly been shaken up significantly by the new private ownership of his home country.

Knight is English royalty

During the sunnier days of Batman's war on crime, the Caped Crusader inspires crime-fighters from across the world to create their own superhero personas in his idiom. Thus is born the International Club of Heroes, also called "the Batmen of All Nations," first seen in 1955's "Detective Comics" #215. Two of the charter members of the Club of Heroes are Percival Sheldrake, a.k.a. the Knight, and his son Cyril, the Squire. Under his medieval helmet, Percival is secretly the Earl of Wordenshire, which allows him to fund his war on crime in England. Upon Percival's death, Cyril becomes both the new Earl of Wordenshire and the new Knight, and replaces himself by recruiting a new Squire, commoner Beryl Hutchinson. This version of Knight and Squire happily join a new, organized take on the International Club of Heroes, Batman Incorporated.

Knight is killed by the Heretic, an adult clone of Damian Wayne, in 2013's "Batman Incorporated" #6, leading Beryl to take up the mantle of Knight in the subsequent "Batman Incorporated Special." In 2021, "Batman: The Detective" #1 reveals that Knight has taken on a new Squire of her own, continuing the legacy.

As Cyril's ward rather than his child, it's unlikely that Beryl could inherit his title, but she still seems to be heir to the Sheldrake fortune. The average member of British nobility has a net worth of £16m, or about $22 million USD, which would make her one of the wealthiest superheroes on Earth.

Aquaman owns most of the planet

To us surface-dwellers, Arthur Curry is Aquaman, superhero and longtime member of the Justice League. But he is also Orin, King of Atlantis, rightful ruler of Earth's oceans and everything in them. Aquaman lays claim to all that exists in what we'd consider "international waters" and probably more beyond that. For just a small example of the wealth that represents, the bounty of shipwrecks on the ocean floor has been estimated at about $60 billion. That's literally just the value of stuff that humans have dropped into the ocean accidentally.

More than 70 percent of our planet's surface is covered by the ocean, and humans have only explored about 20 percent of that. The advanced technology of the DC Universe has no doubt allowed humanity to have a greater understanding of what can be found on the ocean floor, but they'll have to fight the forces of Atlantis to get it. That means oil, minerals, natural gas, you name it. In the DCU, Aquaman would have the might (and, according to him, the right) to make whatever demands he chooses to allow surface-dwellers access to it. This theoretically makes Aquaman the richest person on the planet by an incredible margin.

However, Aquaman is not just the sovereign of the seven seas, he's also their protector and cares a great deal about preserving aquatic life from the dangers of human exploitation. Whatever riches may lie beneath the ocean floor, they're not "assets" to him — they're natural resources to be respected.