Saturday, July 20, 2013

Counting the cost of being Batman, Hulk, Spider-Man, Superman and Wolverine - Then & Now

Mashable has compiled and designed some very beautiful infographics of "How Much Does It Cost to Be a SuperHero (Batman, Hulk, Spider-Man, Superman and Wolverine) in Real Life?" and I just had to share them here :) Mashable has compared the costs of being a Superhero at the time of conception and how much it would cost to be a present day Superhero. (source: Mashable) Click on the pictures for a bigger and better view.

More than 50 years ago, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko caught the attention of Marvel fans with the tale of Spider-Man in an issue of "Amazing Fantasy." The humble one-man-show, unique from other superheroes who required sidekicks or bands, won Spidey his own series.

From the comic book hero to the blockbuster success, Spider-Man continues to be a favorite (and if you're unlucky enough to suffer a spider bite, at least you can console yourself that you too might discover hidden strength, thanks to Peter Parker's example). But would you ever really want to be Spider-Man? Let's see what that would cost — we look at the cost of being Mr. Parker back when we first met him and today, with all the technological innovations and inflation.

The innocents of Gotham City — and the comic book world in general — owe its allegiance to Batman. Created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, Batman first appeared in DC Comics' issue #27 in 1939. His immediate popularity earned him his own eponymous series the next year, and his latest movie release in 2012, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, currently holds the fourth biggest opening weekend in box office history.

A notable superhero because of his distinct lack of superpowers, Batman takes out the bad guys of Gotham using no more than his physical prowess, indomitable willpower and quite a number of high-tech, self-invented gadgets. (Take away the Batsuit, the Batmobile and the Batarang, and Batman is just ... well, Bruce Wayne.)

But fighting crime in any decade isn't cheap, even for the billionaire owner of Wayne Enterprises. Check out the infographic and compare how much it cost to be Batman at his debut in 1939 and 2013, taking into consideration the technological advancements and inflation.

"The Incredible Hulk" issue #1, written by Stan Lee himself (and additionally co-plotted by Jack Kirby), debuted in 1962. Despite his on-and-off again comic book presence, this Avengers co-founder has proven himself to be a cultural icon. The Hulk was inspired by both Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Lee said he believed an imperfect character was always more compelling, much like The Hunchback of Notre Dame's misunderstood Quasimodo.

Thus, emotionally reserved Dr. Bruce Banner is a scientific prodigy — and his advanced technology, Bannertech, is considered on par with Stark Industries — yet as a child, he was abused by his violent genius father and witnessed the murder of his loving mother. Intense gamma radiation absorption during an experiment gone awry prompted Banner's bizarre transformation into the Hulk. His alter ego boasts limitless superhuman strength — the angrier he is, the stronger he becomes.

But it's stressful turning green. There are psychologists to visit, Ph.D. degrees to be had, and of course, new clothes to buy.

Kal-El. Clark Kent. The Man of Tomorrow. Whatever you call Superman, this humble Kansas farm boy has captured our hearts ever since we found him playing in the cornfield.

Our favorite Kryptonian and his unwavering moral compass have saved civilians and spared criminals' lives since high schoolers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster dreamed him up in 1933. Five years later, a corporate predecessor of DC Comics published Superman in "Action Comics" issue #1. He received his own self-titled series the next year.

Since then, we've seen him mature from Lana Lang to Lois Lane; from Smallville to Metropolis; from leaping "tall buildings in a single bound" to hurtling through outer space. And with the release of Man of Steel earlier this year, it doesn't seem like we're growing tired of the world's most famous portmanteau — whether or not we interpret him as a Christ figure, a historical reflection of FDR's New Deal or an embodiment of the American Way.

This Daily Planet journalist and Justice League co-founder is the poster boy for "American cultural icon." His backstory has become common cultural knowledge — The Last Son of Krypton was sent to Earth by his parents. He discovers his herculean powers and ultimately uses them to protect and defend humanity from evil.

"It is a remarkable dichotomy," said Batman in "Superman/Batman #3", under writer Jeph Loeb. "In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then ... he shoots fire from the skies, and it is difficult not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him."

"I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn't very nice."

We know him best as a ruthless X-Men authority figure. He's brusque, irreverent and rebellious — but also a cunning leader who adheres to a code of personal honor. Brandishing his adamantium-laced claws, this classic anti-hero is the most popular X-Men character of all time. Wolverine, or Logan, first appeared in 1974 as Bruce Banner's enemy in "The Incredible Hulk," issue #180. Writer Len Wein specifically created him at the request of Marvel's editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, who wanted a fierce-tempered, Canadian Wolverine.

He eventually joined the "X-Men" comics, and his growing popularity led to his own four-issue series, "Wolverine," in 1982. He's continued to be a main character in most mutant adventures.

Born in the late 19th century, Wolverine suffers one of the most infamously dark and secretive personal histories of all comic book characters, which we've slowly unraveled over the years through numerous mini-series, story arcs and films. (The latest adaptation, James Mangold's The Wolverine, premieres later this month.)

He possesses superhumanly accurate senses, a mastery of the martial arts, a razor-sharp intellect and is resistant to telepathic assault — not to mention his near-indestructible adamantium skeleton and his powerful healing ability.

The heavy drinking and smoking doesn't help his loner reputation, but with all his assets, he doesn't need any assistance.

Related posts:
May 10, 2012: Fashion Heroes - The Costume is a Superhero's Most Defining Characteristic and Stuck for Life
August 2, 2012: Counting the cost of being Iron Man
August 2, 2012: So you want to be Batman? Let's see if you got what it takes to be a crimefighter, money wise
July 30, 2012: The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles and Documents from the Batcave
May 3, 2013: Hall of Armor: The Evolution of Iron Man
July 19, 2013: Evolution of Wolverine: Every Costume Logan's ever worn in almost 40 years (1974 – 2013)

Also check out some of my Wolverine figures in all shapes and sizes HERE

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