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The Most Unexpected Day Jobs Worked By Superheroes

May 7, 2020 517 votes 58 voters 2.1k views14 items

List RulesVote up the jobs you'd never expect to be done by a superhero.

Most superheroes, even the famous ones, have secret identities - and secret identities usually come with a day job. Typically, these non-costumed careers are nearly as exciting as crimefighting itself; Superman's a journalist, Spider-Man's a news photographer, and both Batman and Iron Man are billionaire playboy philanthropists. But some superhero day jobs aren't just unexpected or surprising - they're contrary to everything the character working them stands for.

Whether they're advancing through a rewarding career or scraping by on minimum wage, even caped crusaders need to earn a living somehow. Sometimes, that means punching a clock by day - and punching a supervillain by night!

  • Batgirl: Member Of Congress
    Photo: DC Comics

    Barbara Gordon has had an interesting character history with DC. She goes by the name Batgirl to this day and seems to be perpetually a year or two out of college - and yet, she's also one of Batman's oldest allies and a mentor to generations of subsequent Batgirls. She's also old enough to have held a major public office.

    Before her continuity was rebooted several times, Barbara had spent several years as a member of the United States Congress. She campaigned for the position because she realized her vigilante actions weren't striking at the root of her country's problems - but she still found time to dress up in a cape and beat up crooks, even while Congress was in session!

    Unexpected gig?
  • There have been many Deathloks in the annals of Marvel Comics, but they're all fairly similar - cyborgs from the future with extremely lethal capabilities. The individual known as Deathlok Prime features the body of an unrepentant serial killer paired with a noble and heroic AI, a combination that probably shouldn't even be allowed on school grounds, much less in a teaching position.

    Still, when the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning found itself in desperate need of substitute teachers, Deathlok Prime made the transition from Wolverine's X-Force squad to the teaching staff. Deathlok's lessons primarily consisted of informing students of their precise statistical odds of experiencing tragic ends - which, in all honesty, is probably an important part of the curriculum at a school for mutants. He stayed in the role until he went back to the future.

    Unexpected gig?
  • Steve Rogers has been many things in a lifetime that has spanned a century - soldier, Super Soldier, Avenger, and director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Even before he was a military man, however, Rogers carried an interest that has only occasionally been depicted in the pages of his comic adventures - a passion for art.

    Long before he encountered the Super Soldier Serum, Rogers showed a real knack for drawing - something that came in handy when designing Captain America's costume. When he woke up from decades in the ice and had to find his place in the modern era, Rogers spent some time trying to establish a normal life for himself - and that included taking on a couple jobs as a commercial illustrator. He even did a stint as a comic book artist, which included illustrating comics about himself - which must have been a bizarre experience. Eventually, Rogers revealed his identity to the public, however, and had to leave his other work behind.

    Unexpected gig?
  • Green Lantern: Traveling Toy Salesman
    Photo: DC Comics

    There have been many Green Lanterns from Earth, but Hal Jordan has always been both the coolest and most popular. Even before his time with the Green Lantern Corps, Jordan was an ace flyer and an Air Force test pilot - which makes the career change he made in the midst of his Justice League days all the more unusual.

    In part to help create a plausible explanation for his appearances all over the country as Green Lantern, Jordan took a job as a traveling toy salesman. That's certainly a far cry from the danger and prestige that comes with being a test pilot, and it resulted in at least one embarrassing incident for Jordan, in which his fellow superheroes caught him with a suitcase full of dolls. But after a continuity reboot, he was right back to being a pilot.

    Unexpected gig?