Being the first black superhero in mainstream American comic books, Black Panther tops this list as the most realistically rich superhero (or supervillain) in either DC or Marvel.
Why is this? Well, for one, he runs the entire country of Wakanada (a fictional African country in the Marvel universe), which just happens to be the world's only deposit of the most precious metal: Vibranium.
You know that indestructibl tough metal that Wolverine's bones are incased in? Vibranium is is even stronger than that, and T'Challa (the Black Panther's real identity) owns all of it and often has to protect it.
So, from the perspective of natural resources, supply vs. demand, and how much he has at his disposal, if he just sells a tiny bit of it – T'Challa, The Black Panther, is arguably the richest superhero in comics.
BONUS: He's considered one of the eight smartest people in the entire Marvel Universe.
Namor once saved the day with a ridiculous wad of cash with the explanation that if he wanted to, he could always have money because what he has to work with is oh, you know, all the riches of the sea.
That's right, any time anyone loses a wallet or drops change into the ocean (as well as any pirate treasure that exists in the Marvel universe and the countless riches of the Kingdom of Atlantis)... it's all Namor's. The reigning Prince of Atlantis, Namor is one of the biggest jerks in the Marvel universe, even though his heart is usually in the right place.
Namor has other-worldly value to his riches, which puts him above anyone who runs a country (except for T'Challa, because c'mon, what if one guy owned all the platinum in the world?), and anyone who runs a huge corporation.
BONUS: Breaking a chunk off of a building in his place could go for millions at a huge museum, so that's another huge source of income.
Guess he does have a reason to be so snobby.
Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias)
Adrien Veidt, otherwise known as Ozymandias, otherwise known as (WATCHMEN SPOILER ALERT) the bad guy from Watchmen, is one of the richest superheroes in history. He has Bruce Wayne-style power and fortune, but takes it one step further than Bruce Wayne. His questionable morales give him the financial edge on Bruce Wayne, as Wayne runs an honest business. Veidt kills people and sells toys of himself.
On top of it all, he is also the smartest man on Earth.
Veidt is a superhero/supervillain (depending on your take on Watchmen) that doesn't pull punches (often) and does what he wants to get what he wants. Money isn't really a problem for him, as he owns a freaking crazy, genetically-engineered wildcat named Bustastis, and a "tower" (a sure sign... as you will see... of a rich superhero).
Because of all this, he's #3 on this list.
Owner of Wayne Enterprises, billionaire Bruce Wayne is the richest self-made superhero on this list. Sure, Strange earned his powers, but someone had to give them to him. Bruce Wayne took billions of dollars as an orphan and turned himself into one of the most powerful superheroes in comic books.
Being able to keep up with the titans in the Justice League like Superman and Wonder Woman (and often having to save them all, always being one step ahead of almost everyone in the DC universe), Batman is easily among the smartest characters in comic books.
With this intelligence, he runs Wayne Enterprises, a multi-billion dollar international company, and somehow still has enough time to be Batman (see: Lucius Fox) and get all those crazy gadgets he needs not only made, but ordered privately and in quantities that allow him to always have everything he needs under his belt... well, ON his belt.
Owner of LexCorp, Lex Luthor is one of the most ruthless and morally-despicable characters in the DC universe. Needless to say, he's rich as hell.
LexCorp is one of the most successful multi-national corporations in the DC universe – which says a lot, considering the insane stuff that every single one of these characters buys with their money. Giant robots, endless research, mountains of cover-up money, enough money to fund his own campaign for the presidency of the United States, and most of all, enough money to really do little else but try and kill Superman all the time – LexCorp brings in billions for Luthor.
So, imagine Bill Gates did nothing but try and kill some unkillable guy all the time.
That's Lex Luthor.
Everyone always attributes Magneto's breadth of resources to the Nazi gold that he stole from Hydra, but there's something that people tend to forget...
He is the master of ALL METAL – including precious metals (see item #1).
So theoretically, he could call all precious metals to his every whim, making him one of the richest characters in all of comic bookdom. Since this isn't a "potentially rich" list, he falls at #6 on this list because literal tons of gold have got to put you a little bit above good ol' Tony Stark.
The Bruce Wayne of the Marvel Universe, Tony Stark, owner of Stark Industries, is one of the richest men in the 616 Marvel U. Imagine if Halliburton was owned by one guy, times a hundred... and imagine that everyone LIKED the company and that guy. The developer of some of the most impossible technologies on Earth, Tony Stark was born to the founder of Stark Industries, Howard Stark.
Stark went to MIT at the age of 15 and then, after his parents' death, inherited Stark Industries. Since then, he acquired (and spent) enough money to even fund superteam The Avengers, as well as the construction of Stark Tower.
He's at #7 on this list because unlike Doom, he is not the head of a country, but the head of one of the most powerful corporations on Earth. He loses control of his corporation at least once during his extensive history and goes as far as losing two years worth of his memories. Although he still has his corporation, being an enemy of the state never helped anyone.
The status quo will be restored soon, but currently, Tony Stark is not the picture of wealth that he once was.
Victor Von Doom is one of the most intelligent characters in the Marvel universe. Arch nemesis of the Fantastic Four, intellectual rival to Reed Richards, and ruler of the small Eastern-European nation of Latveria, Doom has a great fortune to his name (read: GDP of Latveria) that he uses, as supervillains do, to try and kill some cool, fun-loving, innocent heroes.
While, financially, he runs the equivalent of a country like Serbia, he has his own freaking country. This means he has his own army and all of his people's resources to do what he wishes. He's dealt with various galactic leaders and continues to be one of the most esteemed and feared supervillains in all of Marvel comics.
The only reason Luthor beats him out is the sheer amount of wealth Luthor has built up for himself. It's a fine line, but the ruler of a small country, if he's a supervillain, is the equivalent of Luthor taking over the state of Delaware and having them all do his bidding. Only Luthor's a little more powerful than that.
Norman Osborn, otherwise known as the Green Goblin, is easily one of the most vile, evil, manipulative, and sadistic characters in all of comic books.
In a lot of ways he's the Lex Luthor of the Marvel universe, except Osborn just owns Oscorp, a corporation that is huge, but struggling a little more than LexCorp ever has.
The edge he has over the Green Arrow is that Osborn recently became the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and now has the government's full support to do whatever he wants. He's been using these insanely powerful resources to systematically take down every major superhero in the Marvel universe, reducing them to fugitives one by one.
Much like Stark, Green Arrow (otherwise known as Oliver Queen) inherited the company that made him rich from his parents shortly after their untimely death and decided to become a superhero with the money the company was bringing in.
Definitely the worst businessman on this list, Queen let his fortune get away from him after a while, as he started running the company out of obligation and took up being a vigilante due to his empathy for the working people of the world.
Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, allocated all of the funds in his inheritance very carefully and Stark is a scientific genius who only improved on his father's work.
Queen treated his fortune more like an escapist teenager in that he spent it on luxuries like gadgets, cars, travel, and women. Eventually, Oliver lost his whole fortune and sold the company before his death (later retconned). He continues to be remembered as one of the wealthier superheroes in history, as he is known as that rich kid who decided to do good with his inheritance along with all of his high livin'.
Professor Charles Xavier is one of the most well-known leaders in all of comic books, running Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, otherwise known as the place that houses and trains the X-Men.
This institution not only houses some of the coolest, most unimaginable gadgets in all of comics (Um, the Danger Room!!!), but has a steady stream of seemingly insane resources that are ostensibly under Charles's control.
Xavier is not only well off, but actually came from money. He inherited a mansion and the entire estate where the school exists from his also-genius father.
Xavier's genius (and mastery of telepathy) help him get everything he needs in life, and this includes all the cash in the world to fund one of the most oppressed and misunderstood superteams in all of comics.
Owner of KORD Industries, Ted Kord manages this hugely successful company that allows him to buy things like his flying vehicle, his different guns and all the other gadgets.
He also runs a video game company with fellow superhero Booster Gold.
Want to talk recession-proof? KORD industries is a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises (see item #4).
Daniel Rand, otherwise known as Iron Fist, has a ridiculous amount of money in his most current incarnation, as he also inherited a fortune and has a huge company: Rand International.
After learning the oppressive origins of the fortune that started his company, though, he decided to make it into a non-profit organization that focuses on helping the poor and needy.
Rand doesn't live too much like a playboy, but instead uses his money for others. Exclusively. Making him one of the most technically rich comic book characters, but definitely not one that lives a lavish life of luxury and ladies. He also doesn't require much in the real of gadgets (or clothes), so he packs pretty light in general.
Leader of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards is arguably the smartest man in the Marvel universe. Needless to say, this translates to quite a bit of cash – at least enough to have bought the Baxter Building and then perform various experiments that lead to a lot of the Fantastic Four's greatest adventures.
Getting endless grants from the government and always on the side of good, Reed Richards uses his intelligence to keep the world safe.
Thor, Norse Thunder God and son of Odin, King of Asgard, has never had to worry about money. Even as Donald Blake, Thor's Earthly alter ego, he often goes on humanitarian healing journeys to various places in the world: not something a financially-struggling person does.
In the latest run of Thor, we open with Blake helping out in Africa until Asgard starts slowly coming back to Earth.
After this, Thor not only has everything he did before, but has the kingdom of Asgard all to himself. With an army of Gods, a kingdom, a castle, and no need for human currency, Thor is one of the richest characters in Marvel... just a little bit richer than Hercules due to his edge on that whole "stability" thing.
Hercules has recently re-won his fortune in a poker match with the villain The Constrictor. Having the same demi-God status as Thor, he is all powerful, extremely strong, and not to be meddled with.
He is Marvel's take on the classic character from Greek mythology who has never had to worry about anything other than his quests, until recently.
With all the hardships he's gone through lately though, it puts him just a notch below Thor.
Having a street-level fortune built on crime, murder, extortion, bribes, and power, Wilson Fisk has amassed his fortune all by himself. He is almost the Batman of supervillains (even though he's in the Marvel universe).
After being bullied around as a kid, Wilson Fisk made himself into a powerhouse later in his life – both physically and socially.
Bringing down crime boss after crime boss, taking all their money and power and making them his, he has truly earned the name Kingpin of crime.
He pulls plenty of schemes that aren't thwarted by Daredevil or Spider-Man, and they have made him one of the richest characters in all of comic books, coming in just below that of Gods (since the Gods don't really have physical currency as much as they do "worth" and "riches").
Warren Worthington III inherited the millions of dollars in the Worthington fortune after his parents were killed (surprise!).
He's the sole owner of Worthington Industries, which is one of the most profitable and stable companies in the Marvel universe. He's founded various non-profit organizations to help mutants who suffer through the same shame he did when he was growing up.
He also funded X-Factor at some point.
Much like Daniel Rand, he uses his inheritance for good and for the benefit of others (as well as on skin-tight costumes so that people can stare at his junk as he flies over them).
Doctor Stephen Strange, otherwise known as the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange, was once an incredibly skilled and notable surgeon. When his hand became incapable of performing surgery, he blew his entire rich-surgeon-guy fortune on traveling the world to find a cure for himself. He ended up going through a series of circumstances that put him on the path of becoming the most powerful sorcerer of the Earth dimension.
In "people who get laid" speak, that means he's basically one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. He can travel through dimensions, conjure up (and cloak) entire houses, and can sure as hell conjure up any jewels, money or financial trinkets he might need for his various travels and quests.
Sure, he's not directly known for being wealthy, but he has never been known for being poor or ever needing money, whereas a lot of people in the Marvel universe have at least had one issue where they struggle with finances in some way, shape, or form. This leads us to believe that his primary source of income isn't his savings account.
Although there is a new Sorcerer Supreme in comics right now, Stephen Strange held title the longest and with his cloak and the Eye of Agamotto, he could do just about anything except create worlds... and even then he, much like Superman does with his brawn, was always just holding back.
Once again, though, since this is a list of the richest and not "potentially richest" characters in comics, Stephen Strange comes in at a just-above-Godly #19.
Daredevil's one of the characters with the greatest day jobs ever. We have absolutely no idea how he manages to make it to court (his poor, poor business partner), but he's a pretty great lawyer (given the cases he takes).
It's one of the most lucrative professions in the U.S., and therefore gets him on this list because, unlike a lot of heroes (*cough* Spider-Man *cough*), he's not struggling to pay the bills and is obviously doing well enough to buy his cool gadgets and a ridiculous amount of privately-tailored spandex.
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