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 dictionary.com 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.