I’ve been thinking about this a little bit reading Glen Weldon’s The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture. A terrific book and one I recommend. The question of the Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark wealth is a pretty interesting one because I think we all agree now that it is, for all intents and purposes, a super-power. It’s also not just the money, but how that money is made. Both fortunes are industrial ones. They have applied sciences divisions. They squirrel away (especially in the movies) tech that can help them. Their wealth buys also sorts of things, like super computers, tech (that they don’t make themselves). That’s the easy things to see, but what else does it buy them?
They are both insanely smart, but they also can afford the best educations and resources. They can hobnob their way into exclusive places no one else can. They can afford the best maintenance (read private health care, trainers, nutritionists), spend a lot on this, and never raise an eye-brow. Because wealth doesn’t just come into play with their super-hero lives. It’s at home too. And not just I-want-to-get-this-villain-so-I’m-going-to-conveniently-plan-a-party-next-door bit either. Where this shows up most is in time.
Time is pretty much the most important thing their wealth gets them. Consider that they don’t have to worry about commuting, bills, home repairs, cooking, cleaning, doing their taxes, getting gas for their car, car repairs, or any of the other mundane things we mortals have to worry about. They also probably don’t even choose their own clothes. Everything is laid out for them. That’s hours and hours of time you spend each day that they don’t even have to devote mental energy too.
Wealth–it’s an amazing superpower.