Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Can Money Be Considered a $uper Power?

I’ve talked to many people about money as a superpower and for the most part people think I’m crazy. I hope my comparison of natural super abilities and extreme wealth show you how similar these “powers” are to each other. According to Wikipedia, (not the best source, I know) the term super power means a person who has normal human abilities, but at a level greater than any normal human, such as superhuman strength. It goes on to say that a character that derives their power from equipment, such as Batman, Green Arrow, and Iron Man do not have superpowers even though they are still considered superheroes. I want to challenge the idea that super powers only exist as extreme physical abilities, but that they can also exist when a person is in position of an extreme quality like wealth.

First let’s look at the word superhuman. According to the word superhuman means exceeding ordinary human power. What defines the Flash’s super speed ability isn’t that he runs fast, it’s that he runs 100 times fasters than an ordinary person. Arnold Schwarzenegger may have been strong back in the day, but his strength didn’t even compare to that of the Hulk. Now lets apply this idea of extremes to those super heroes without, “super powers.” Bruce Wayne has a lot of money, so much so that he can build high tech boats, jets, cars and large space stations without it phasing his wallet. Can most people say that? Of course they can’t, most people couldn’t even dream to attempt something like that. Bruce Wayne’s money gives him the characteristic of superhuman because he has superhuman wealth.

Next let’s look at how individuals gain superhuman abilities. One way is to inherit the ability from their parents or a family member from a previous generation. The best example of this would be marvel’s mutants. Both of Magneto’s children inherited mutant abilities from their father. In a broader sense of the word it’s possible to inherit a family’s fortune. Again, if we look at Bruce Wayne we see that after his parents died their money was passed down to him. Another way to gain a super power is to genetically alter ones DNA. A good example would be Peter Parker being bitten by a radioactive spider. It altered his DNA and gave him his spider abilities. Even though you may not be able to change your genes you can change your financial situation. Some of the more enthusiastic financial self help books would say you can make bucket loads of money by following your dreams. Even though it is uncommon hear rags to Richie Rich stories, it still happens. Just think of the guy who created facebook, he’s loaded now.

Finally, if you can see how money could be considered a super power just think about what it means for us in the real world. People like Bill Gates have the potential to save the world. Now I’m not saying that Mr. Gates isn’t doing his part to make the world a little bit better. I know he donates millions of dollars to various charities, but wouldn’t you fell a little bit safer knowing that some masked Bill Gates like character was making sure your neighborhood was safer at night?

So what do you think? Am I crazy or do I have a point? I would love to hear what you think.


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  2. You are crazy. That is what I think. Under your pretense Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Madonna are all super humans under the "wealth" category. I would rather just call them celebrities. I would also just call Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark celebrities NOT super humans. Therefore, I claim that wealth is not a super power.

  3. I consider a get out of jail free card a pretty good celebrity super power. Mr. Monopoly is definitely my capitalistic hero (if only I could get Broadway and Park Place). Don’t forget all the hero worship that celebs constantly get from their fans and weird things they can get away with. Extreme wealth can get someone out of jail just as easily as extreme strength. Thats all I'm saying.

  4. can wealth be considered a superpower? no.
    I will use your own definition. "According to Wikipedia, (not the best source, I know) the term super power means a person who has normal human abilities, but at a level greater than any normal human, such as superhuman strength."
    Is money a human ability? no.
    but can money replace a super power? certainly.
    the examples you give are good, batman with intelligance, training, and wealth becomes somewhat superhuman, and in corrupt legal systems money can get you out of tight spots, aka jail.
    the only problem is that you are compairing two compleatly seprate worlds. super ablitiy heros dont live in the same univers as money heros. and you can say "what about ironman?" but i would rebut that his inteligence is superhuman by wiki's definition. the fact that he has his intelligance that he used to make his money makes him a double threat, but the money without the inteligance would do nothing for him. (aka paris hilton, lol)
    anyway back to seprate worlds... money is only a minor substitute for true super powers. it is only as powerfull as the greed of others, wich i know is great, but is still limiting. it works for batman because of the realistic city he is in, but money vs a super abilityed villan gets him shat. for example superman fights doomsday. mighty battle in which both are incapasitated. batman fights doomsday... squish. batman works because of his villans. who though may have some "powers" are still contained within the acutal univers. all the powers are to lesser digrees, poison, madness, etc. batman in return has high intelligance to combat it. but transport something truely powerfull into that world and he has no chance.
    lets say that batman can bribe his way out of jail 60% of the time. the days gordon is off or something... though in gothem it seems unlikely that bribes would work, but whatever.
    the hulk busts normal walls 100%,
    batman can glide, super power can fly
    batman can fight, super power can fight in space, with planets...
    batman is smart and has a cool suite, ironman built a better suite, more wepons, and can fly.

    just $$$ gets you something like 50% of the powers, diet powers, just not powers enuff.

  5. The ladies of Hallmark are superhumans! The box mover isn't so bad either.