The 15 richest heroes in comics

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Who’s the wealthiest person in comics? There’s been much fan debate over such, with a lot of it centered around famous superheroes (and billionaires) Iron Man and Batman. However, there’s plenty of other wealthy comics characters besides those two.

Here’s a list of who I feel are the 15 richest comic characters.

Criteria

To outline my criteria:

  • Information used assumes it’s the characters at their peak wealth, to avoid one-off “so-and-so loses their fortune” stories influencing things.
  • The information is taken from either the comics themselves, related spinoff media (TV, movies), or sites like eBay, Buddy Loans, and the Forbes Fictional 15.
  • I favor ongoing series over miniseries or one-shot stories, so no “Watchmen.”
  • Just protagonists/heroes on this list, not villains; including them (in a previous version of this list) seemed to cause too many problems.
  • Only American comics for this list.
  • I’m also only using comics set on present-day Earth, to avoid characters set in other eras or worlds besides Earth.

1. Scrooge McDuck

Uncle Scrooge's "Only a Poor Old Man"
Art by Carl Barks.

Estimated wealth: At a minimum, several quadrillion dollars (“DuckTales”), but usually requires newly created names for numbers to describe

Scrooge’s wealth is legendary in being well beyond “mere” billionaire level, no matter what Forbes and other publications might think. It’s often described as being so large, it requires made-up number names to describe (“fantasticatrillion,” “impossibidillion,” etc.). Scrooge could easily buy out every other character on this list and still have plenty left over.

The original “DuckTales” series more “modestly” called Scrooge a “quadrillionaire,” which would still put him at the top of this list. The 2017 reboot’s pilot refers to Scrooge as a “trillionaire” running a “multi-trillion dollar business.”

A Don Rosa-written story (“Uncle Scrooge” #321, September 2003) stated that Scrooge’s taxes alone make up 70% of the US military’s budget. The US defense budget in 2015 was $598 billion; 27% of American citizens’ tax dollars go to defense, while the top US federal income tax bracket is (as of 2017) at 39.6%. Based on the above, Scrooge is earning about $3.9 trillion a year. And that’s just what Scrooge earns in the United States; Scrooge has investments and companies all over the world, in addition to the famous money bin.

Given Scrooge’s wealth vastly surpasses everyone else on this list, the real argument should be over who’s the second wealthiest protagonist in comics.

2. T’Challa (Black Panther)

Black Panther #1
“Black Panther” #1 (June 2016). Art by Brian Stelfreeze.

Estimated wealth: $90.7 trillion (“Fantastic Four” #607)

Surprisingly, #2 on this list isn’t the Rich family or some more famous superhero character, but Black Panther. The African superhero and ruler of the fictional country of Wakanda, T’Challa’s country is the home of the ultra-rare, super-valuable element vibranium, one of the main components of Captain America’s shield. Since it’s a very versatile and powerful metal, everyone wants to get their hands on it, including various villains.

“Fantastic Four” #607 states that Wakanda has 10,000 tons of vibranium in its vaults, and that the value of it is at $10,000 a gram. Assuming that’s in US tons (versus the metric units T’Challa like nearly everyone else on the planet surely normally uses), that’s $90.7 trillion. Compared to T’Challa, Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, plus everyone else on this list besides Scrooge, are small-timers!

3. The Rich family (Richie Rich and his parents)

Richie Rich
“Richie Rich” #254 (January 1991).

Estimated wealth: $1 trillion (Netflix series)

While the comics never stated exactly how much wealth the Rich family has, it’s shown they’re the richest people in their world. Richard Sr. and Regina Rich’s son Richie owns “two of everything money can buy.” The Riches own businesses all over the world (mining, science research and development, and manufacturing seem prominent). There’s also their various vaults of cash, gems, precious metals, and so forth. Despite this, they’re shown as being kind, generous people.

The 1994 movie says the Riches are worth $70 billion; however, the live-action Netflix series, despite being completely and utterly awful, gives them a $1 trillion figure. That seems more in line with the comics/old Hanna-Barbera series, so it’s what I’ll go with.

And yes, it’s the Rich family I list Richie under, since the wealth is his parents’. Richie does get his own spending cash, a $100,000 a week allowance. That’d give him an income of $5.2 million per year, which by itself would just make him as rich as a child actor or boy band member these days.

By default, this also makes Regina Rich the wealthiest woman on my list.

4. Tony Stark (Iron Man)

Invincible Iron Man (vol. 2) #1
“Invincible Iron Man” (vol. 2) #1 (December 2015). Art by David Marquez and Justin Ponsor.

Estimated wealth: $100 billion (Buddy Loans)

As his old 60s cartoon theme song stated, “Tony Stark makes you feel, he’s a cool exec with a heart of steel.” Maybe that should be a heart of gold. Stark Industries and its investments in weaponry, electronics, etc., makes Tony Stark quite wealthy.

Tony’s wealth has varied over the years, including occasional points where he wasn’t in charge of his namesake company. However, the norm is that Tony’s running his own company, along with engaging in his usual superhero activities.

If one goes by “Squirrel Girl,” he also finds time to hang out on Twitter. This might tie into more recent versions of Tony taking Robert Downey, Jr.’s film portrayal into Mr. Stark’s comics characterization.

5. Bruce Wayne (Batman)

Batman (New 52)
“Batman” #0 (November 2012). Art by Greg Capullo.

Estimated wealth: $80 billion (Buddy Loans)

Bruce Wayne’s wealth is quite vast, as required to be a billionaire playboy, the CEO of Wayne Enterprises, and fight crime as Batman. Bruce also helps fund some of the Justice League’s activities, including their space station headquarters.

Yes, at one point he was a “millionaire playboy.” But real-world inflation (like for Archie’s Hiram Lodge below) by the 1990s forced DC to declare Bruce a billionaire instead.

Other wealthy characters

The other wealthiest people on my list:

6. Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks (“Little Orphan Annie”)

Estimated wealth: $36.2 billion (Forbes)

7. Oliver Queen (Green Arrow)

Estimated wealth: $7 billion (eBay)

8. Namor the Sub-Mariner (Marvel)

Estimated wealth: $6 billion (eBay)

9. Hiram and Hermione Lodge (Archie)

Estimated wealth: $5 billion (eBay)

10. Danny Rand (Iron Fist)

Estimated wealth: $5 billion (eBay)

11. Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) (The Fantastic Four)

Estimated wealth: $5 billion (eBay)

12. Warren Worthington III (Angel) (X-Men)

Estimated wealth: $5 billion (eBay)

13. Charles Xavier (X-Men)

Estimated wealth: $3.5 billion (eBay)

14. Emma Frost (X-Men)

Estimated wealth: $3 billion (Money Magazine)

15. Gomez and Morticia Addams (“The Addams Family”)

Estimated wealth: $2 billion (Forbes)

Conclusion

There’s other comic characters who’re wealthy. However, their wealth is often more vaguely defined, so I’m leaving them off this list for now.

Feel free to leave any comments below.

(Updated 8/19/17)


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