Is having lots of money a super power?

Most super heroes have super natural powers. Some have gone half way realistic by having very advanced technology that would not work in the real world (for example bat man). Of course some super heroes do have lots of money (again, bat man), but it's not their main way of getting things done.

Having lots of money (billions) makes it possible for someone to do a whole lot more than a utility belt. Villains can build fortresses and hire henchmen. Heroes can solve social problems and hire security to protect those in need.

Almost anything can be accomplished using money. Would Money Man be a good super hero? I mean sure, The Flash can chase down individual bad guys, but Money Man can hire a private army complete with every surveillance equipment on the market and use that to catch way more bad guys.

I for one think it would work, IF someone could write it in such a way that it would be interesting to read about.

Well...would Prime Minister Man count?

Like, a bunch of terrorists are attacking something, and he sends the highly funded SAS after them?

Having said that, superheroes...they don't get things done. Money is best spent dealing with problems in ways that don't involve uppercuts and "WHAK!" in block letters, because that doesn't tend to get to the root of things.

thaluikhain:
Well...would Prime Minister Man count?

Like, a bunch of terrorists are attacking something, and he sends the highly funded SAS after them?

Having said that, superheroes...they don't get things done. Money is best spent dealing with problems in ways that don't involve uppercuts and "WHAK!" in block letters, because that doesn't tend to get to the root of things.

Is that why ALL human societies hire police officers to wrestle down bad guys? Because it doesn't solve anything?

Ever hear of Most Excellent Superbat? He gives his power as being rich enough to do anything. He bought Japan. True story.

Anyhow, the scenario you describe, having a private army and surveillance, is something most writers would portray as a distopia.

Well, villains or heroes usually have powers like flying, super strength, etc. But I do guess that the person could do lots of stuff with it like build a huge army, fortress, make a super weapon, hire spys,and so many other things. Now that I think of it, Batman doesn't really have one of those flying or strength power, he just has utility and technology things. So I suppose yes.

AustinN:
Ever hear of Most Excellent Superbat? He gives his power as being rich enough to do anything. He bought Japan. True story.

Anyhow, the scenario you describe, having a private army and surveillance, is something most writers would portray as a distopia.

Yeah, it could go either way. I only said having money was a super power, not that the person with that power would automatically be a good guy. But seriously, there isn't much another super hero can do that lots of money could not.

A superpower kinda implies a superhero.

All your ideas while making potentially interesting stories don't really involve a superhero since there's not a singular figure solving the crimes so to speak. There's a guy with the 'power' hiring another guy to be the hero, a superhero would combine both in the same person.

Having essentially infinite money would make you super in a way. But you'd be lacking the real hero part as it's used in those comics (someone directly fighting the bad guy).

I'd say, even in real life, having tons of money and spending it in a way that helps you protect people and perhaps stop crime would make you a super hero...especially if you train as well to use the items you can afford. If you have tons of money and have police scanners and heck, even hidden camera's all over the city (And hire people to monitor them for you), for crimes taking place. Then you use your money to make various vehicles that can get you around quickly, a combat suit that is light but makes you very hard to hurt, and you practice martial arts etc and use zip lines etc to capture the criminal and hold them for the police.

Then yes, that could make you a super hero...even in real life....and as long as you don't do anything illegal (drive over the speed limit with your car for instance), then you wouldn't even be arrested for it probably.

Even things like having your own emergency room, with a doctor always on call, enough blood stored to fully replenish your body if need be etc...could help you recover from wounds that might kill most people (Especailly if you have a life monitor in your suit that informs your people if your hurt etc right away).

That would be the first part of becoming a super hero with money.

Then the next part would be your appearance to everyone else. With enough money, you could use special effects to make what you do seem more spectacular. Yes, you'd have a land/water/air vehicle (there are such things), that you could drive/fly around the city, but you could use special effects to make it appear much more amazing (look like it has rockets shooting out of the back, maybe make it look like it can shoot lasers.

You could set up specific props to make it seem like you can jump extra high (to the top of buildings) etc. Setting them up in advance in certain locations and then heading for that location when leaving after fighting (while people are watching). Using some methods you could make it appear like you could jump super high, fly (or at least glide) with just wings attached to your suit etc.

Then to really make it work, you could set up fake "crimes" with someone who is shooting blanks etc, but make it seem like your suit is bullet proof (Which it is...but getting shot would actually still knock you down/hurt like heck....not let you just stand there and laugh). Personally I would never make my suit seem bulletproof though because...yeah then the bad guys just aim for your face.

Anyway, you could also spend your money on having a R&D team constantly trying to make new toys for you to use as well. You could hire stunt men to play the role as your super hero persona while you are seen in public ...making it easy to hide who you are (though you will need to be careful about DNA being left behind!!).

Money is....pretty much...the only way to become a super hero in real. Martial arts training/weapons training can help...but without money your going to be very limited in what you can do.

super_mega_ultra:
Most super heroes have super natural powers. Some have gone half way realistic by having very advanced technology that would not work in the real world (for example bat man). Of course some super heroes do have lots of money (again, bat man), but it's not their main way of getting things done.

Having lots of money (billions) makes it possible for someone to do a whole lot more than a utility belt. Villains can build fortresses and hire henchmen. Heroes can solve social problems and hire security to protect those in need.

Almost anything can be accomplished using money. Would Money Man be a good super hero? I mean sure, The Flash can chase down individual bad guys, but Money Man can hire a private army complete with every surveillance equipment on the market and use that to catch way more bad guys.

I for one think it would work, IF someone could write it in such a way that it would be interesting to read about.

Similar things have happened in the comics, the WILDC.A.T.S. for example used their resources to great effect a few times through HALO industries, they even had that happen in one episode of the cartoon (though greatly exaggerated).

That said the problem is that money doesn't work in of itself as it requires a society to use it, with a society comes rules, and of course many of those rules prevent an individual from say hiring and deploying private armies. Even those with government status face a lot of limitations, both needing to hold onto their office, and oftentimes being limited by other branches of the government. In general while in fantasy it's possible to have a "White Knight" or "Good King" in theory, where they use their extreme wealth and more or less limitless power for the good of all, in a realistic sense it's not going to happen.

As much as it's nice to think that social problems and other issues can be solved by throwing money at them, that's hardly the case. No fortune, even a renewable one, can pretty much care for everyone on the planet who is impoverished. What's more unless a single world culture is established simple independence and disagreement over how people should live and what they should prioritize ensures conflict. A lot of people simply refuse to go to work and be normal people and participate in the grind (I work and contribute to society, and thus survive in my humble fashion). Not to mention arguments of spiritual as opposed to material and rational power and authority and all kinds of other things. People don't generally agree with what all the rules are, and on a lot of levels the tolerance of "diversity" has created problems in countries like the US just as bad as those that would come from any totalitarian state, just of a
different nature. You take issues like gay rights and you'll find just as many people who are opposed to homosexuality on principle as there are who favor accepting it as normal behavior, and that's just one issue, and an issue that will not be solved one way or another by simply throwing money at it.

Typically the situation with someone like "Batman" is they work both angles of the problem. As Bruce Wayne he tries to improve the conditions of Gotham within the system as much as he can while keeping up his business and power base. As Batman he steps outside of society to attack people that can't be dealt with inside the system, such as organized crime figures, criminals (pimps, drug dealers, thieves), and others.

One of the reasons why Catwoman and Batman team up with some frequency is that the current definition of Catwoman has her stealing from bad guys (the very rich and greedy) and while she keeps some of the loot to live quite well, she re-directs a lot of the money to charitable causes. On a lot of levels she does the same thing Batman does, it's just that she doesn't have the benefit of a megacorporation. Albeit she's arguably crazier than he is (and being crazier than Batman is saying something) since she's a compulsive risk taker (and in some definitions a clinical Kleptomaniac), and if she wasn't doing that she'd be doing something else that's crazy since she literally has a need to risk her life.

At any rate there have also been old TV shows like "The Millionaire" based around things like this. What's more some kind of mysterious Philanthropist backing teams of agents to "make the world a better place" is an old idea. The old shows "Counterstrike" and "Charlie's Angels" (perhaps most famously) used that. Indeed one of the big things about the latter is nobody, including his agents, knew who "Charlie" was and to my knowledge it was never revealed in the series as it was an ongoing mystery, but never especially relevant to the premise. What's more by remaining anonymous he also remained unaccountable for sending a bunch of highly skilled babes to bust the faces of people he felt deserved it.

Therumancer:
quote

Well, the setting of course have to be correct. You talk about how not all problems can be solved by throwing money at them, but not all problems can be solved by punching people, yet bat man does that a lot. The truth is that a whole lot of problems can be solved using money and it would be interesting with a story where the good guy is a business man with lots of money and the bad guy is a criminal business man who also have a lot of money. The trick is to write it in such a way that it becomes interesting to the reader, despite the fact that both main characters just hire people to do their bidding.

super_mega_ultra:

Therumancer:
quote

Well, the setting of course have to be correct. You talk about how not all problems can be solved by throwing money at them, but not all problems can be solved by punching people, yet bat man does that a lot. The truth is that a whole lot of problems can be solved using money and it would be interesting with a story where the good guy is a business man with lots of money and the bad guy is a criminal business man who also have a lot of money. The trick is to write it in such a way that it becomes interesting to the reader, despite the fact that both main characters just hire people to do their bidding.

You do realize that what your describing is a soap opera like say "Dallas" or whatever, right? :)

The last time a "new" show like this came around it was "Profit" believe where the "hero" was a sort of anti-hero corporate raider (who was also totally insane) out to destroy a bunch of heartless CEOs and such at their own game after he was wronged. A sort of "Count of Monte Cristo" in the board room.... albeit this guy was just really, really, psycho, if I remember he was so damaged mentally from his past traumas he slept in a shipping crate in a secret room in his house). The show didn't last. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profit_(TV_series)

Of course it should be noted that Profit *did* kill people, and always sought to come out ahead himself. He just didn't usually pull the trigger. :)

Also my point is that Batman does both, indeed this came up big time when years ago he wanted to retire the "Bruce Wayne" identity entirely and be Batman full time (during the whole "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" fiasco where he was arrested as Bruce Wayne after being framed... Cain was the bad guy). Leslie Thomkins [SP] frequently points out that Bruce Wayne helps out as much by charity as Batman does by dangling people off rooftops.

I suppose in a way since after all "power" is interpret in many way (e.g. political power) which one of them is wealth. I guess the super part to super power would be ALOT of money.

Money Man would make for a really odd, probably not-at-all popular super hero but in a real-world context I think having a shit-ton of money would definitely count as a super power. Then again, I've never had much money and have been extremely weird about money in general...having a few billion dollars would definitely change my life in a way very similarly to how the green ring changed Hal Jordan or, The Darkness changed Jackie Estacado.

Another great thing about the money-based super hero is how easily that money could corrupt said hero...

they talked about this on CP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k15NP2cW08

Not according to the US Supreme Court.

On a less controversial 'murican note, I'd have to say in terms of guys like Batman...no, but it certainly helps. I mean, Batman has a lot of power, but no "superpowers".

It's a noteable trait, like a heroes Olympian strength, agility, or speed. But unless a comic explicitly states he/she has the power of "supermoney" than I'd have to go with no.

super_mega_ultra:
Is that why ALL human societies hire police officers to wrestle down bad guys? Because it doesn't solve anything?

By itself, it usually doesn't, it is a small part of a much larger system. Police officers aren't solely there to wrestle people, nor are they the only part of the legal system.

Go read the superior spiderman, hire henchman and building a fortress is exactly what he did, he accomplish more and did things more interestingly than normal spiderman every could or would.

But most superheroes like the normal spiderman is just stupid if you think too deeply on it.

thaluikhain:

super_mega_ultra:
Is that why ALL human societies hire police officers to wrestle down bad guys? Because it doesn't solve anything?

By itself, it usually doesn't, it is a small part of a much larger system. Police officers aren't solely there to wrestle people, nor are they the only part of the legal system.

That was my whole point. AMONG other things, using money to hire people to fight bad guys would be one of the things done.

*sigh* I guess. But that statement sounds like a financially successful dad, who doesn't know his kids, trying to convince them that he is in fact cool. Who needs imagination when money?

I believe the point of characters like Batman and Stark being rich is so it effectively frees up their time, gives them funding for their tech and allows for a much more interesting; Joe Normal whom after working 10 hours a day as a teacher then having to spend a further 4 marking work would be much too tired to be an effective super hero even with powers, let alone without and unable to afford the tech.

However it's not the money itself that makes Bats and Ironman heroes, the money is just the facilitator it's the ever present desire to make the world a better place, be it just cleaning up the streets of your city by being able to do what the police can't, or defending the earth against cosmic threats. It's their ideals, their morality, their personality and their force of will to get things done that really makes them super heroes.

In our reality, I think hiring private armies to roam the streets is a bad idea for obvious reasons.

In, let's say, the Marvel universe, where you have aliens and gods and interdimmensional beings and incredible futuristic technology, there would be no need to hire regular people because they wouldn't do much.
What you could do is manufacture superheroes.
It seems that every street corner has a mad scientist in MU. You could hire them with your infinite money to create serums that either replicate the powers of existing heroes or make completely new ones, you could create an armor suit a la Iron Man or a space ship based on some alien technology (after the events of The Avengers movie took place, there was probably plenty of alien technology lying around New York), you could build an army of cyborgs, the list goes on.
An army of regular dudes would get their asses handed to them by many MU characters.
Also, Money Man wouldn't really be a hero himself but rather the person who funds the real heroes that actually go out and do the fighting (unless he's like Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark but then he wouldn't be Money Man).

Short answer: No, of course not, that's a stupid idea, what the fuck.

Long answer: A super power has to be inherent to the person. The Iron Man suit is not a super power and Batman's arsenal is not a super power because beneath there is a human with the same physical capacity as any other human of their build. It may seem pedantic but I make that distinction because they are very different kinds of heroes explored differently. Heroes with powers built in have to live with it all the time. In many cases they can't adopt a normal life because they have to hide their abilities. Humans who augment themselves can pack away the mask at any time, but they're just as mortal as humans and rely on their devices, which can malfunction or be damaged.

Money is a means to make things happen, so in a way, I can see it as analogous to the Iron Man suit, but I think the indirect and variable nature of money puts it outside the territory of a power. The individual isn't empowered.

There is a question of whether futuristic technology that imitates what we'd call superpowers today and is built into the user counts. I'd say it probably does because it can't be removed from the individual.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked