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Comic books have been around since before Superman first appeared in 1938’s Action Comics #1. Throughout history, both characters and villains have taken on a variety of jobs, but seeing that tech startups are so trendy these days, we’ve decided to round up the ones who’d make the most interesting entrepreneurs.
While we do have access to a pantheon collected over almost 80 years of characters, the list has been limited to only 10 entries. We’ve also excluded characters who are already billionaires, such as Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, though some already have a bit of seed money.
Bruce Banner / Hulk
Bruce, or Dr. Banner, is a genius physicist and medical doctor within the Marvel Universe. He’s always willing to try things out on himself — depending on the Marvel source material — which is how he gained his alter-ego, The Hulk. Again, depending on the material, a happy accident created the big green brute.
Banner would be the brains of the startup. His self-imposed solitude would help in tinkering away at something new, but The Hulk may have to be the face of the company. The Hulk’s brute force and inability to back down would be a must at any negotiation.
Banner can be rest assured The Hulk will always get his way and can literally smash the competition. Hey, the Hulk did rally up a group of rebels in the Plant Hulk storyline so he does have management skills.
If The Hulk can’t get the job done, then there’s always several other alter-egos, such as Joe Fixit (grey Hulk) and Demon Hulk at Banner’s disposal.
Venom, Carnage, and Toxin
Much like others on our list, what better way to run a company than with one’s family? Venom is an alien symbiote from another galaxy, or a science experiment depending on the Marvel universe. It has the ability to take over its host, make them feel strong and powerful, and then slowly control them. Not to mention it spawns every few years, which is how Marvel ended up with the likes of Carnage and Toxin.
The symbiote company would probably specialise in something needing a workforce, such as packing or a courier. Unfortunately there would be a lot of patricide.
Apocalypse is rumoured to be the oldest mutant; the first to have the mutant gene. Born in ancient Egyptian times, this maniacal dictator has traveled the world over, inspiring and enslaving civilisations. His
leaderships skills brainwashing would secure him a place as one of the top entrepreneurs.
An excellent public speaker and devout to his causes, Apocalypse would secure investing from Angels — like X-Men’s Warren Worthington III — the VCs alike.
Sure, his business would probably contain an evil element to it, but what conglomerate doesn’t?
The Joker is a maniacal, crazy, homicidal, and unpredictable human. if you can even call him that. Yes, but he’s always able to obtain money in some way or another through some cunning scheme, and seems to never die. The Joke may fit the image of a stereotypical serial entrepreneur — except for the homicidal part. Whenever you think he’s down and gone, he pops up somewhere new with a brand-new idea, though it’s usually focussed on killing Batman.
Who better to introduce a disruptive business to our society?
The Clown Prince would probably look to starting a range of random and seemingly unconnected businesses, such as Virgin Active, Virgin Mobile, and Virgin Airline. We’re not saying he is Richard Branson, but he could be. You just can’t keep a good — or bad — clown down.
The Ninja Turtles
Raised in the sewers and coming from nothing, these four brothers have a thirst for exploring the human world. They have not only trained in martial arts for most of their lives (which shows dedication) but have developed their own skills. Leonardo is a natural born leader, Donatello is the genius, Raphael is the muscle, and Michael Angelo is… well he could be marketing.
The four brothers already have an excellent mentor, which gives them an edge.
A botanist by trade, Pamela Lillian Isley (aka Poison Ivy) is someone you’ll want as head of research and development. Sure, she’s always fighting with other villains, but her knowledge of agriculture is bested by no one else.
Ivy does have a tendency to work alone, though she’ll no doubt find ease in securing funding, even if she does have to use some of her villanous tactics.
Her control and knowledge over plants means any company she’s involved in could become a conglomerate for medicines, perfumes, agriculture, or anything else involving flora and fauna.
Natalia “Natasha” Romanova is a master spy. Coming out of Russia, Black Widow has been trained in a number of disciplines and can extract any information she desires. Even though she doesn’t have a superpower, Natasha is able to stand up to anyone who does, which makes her incredibly resilient, and the perfect business owner.
Beast is the brains of the X-Men and one of the original members. He’s smart, agile, and works well under pressure. Henry Philip “Hank” McCoy has helped the mutant team in all manner of ways, from creating serums to fixing time machines. He’s one of the all-round geniuses in the Marvel Comics world.
While also being a political activist for mutant rights, Hank would put his knowledge towards helping those in developing countries. Whatever this one-man company developed, it wouldn’t take long to attract investment from outside sources. Not to mention he’ll be able to charm anyone with his fancy suits.
Leader of the X-Men, Professor X is another natural-born entrepreneur. The telepath put together some of the strongest superhero teams imaginable while also running a school. Even though Xavier is a “trust fund baby” this would help him with seed money.
Spider-Man (and his clones)
Good ‘ol Peter Parker is a complex character. Not only does he have to balance a love life, his dear Aunt May, fighting crime, and numerous clones and alternative reality clones, but a job as well. In fact, he makes a living out of his superhero career.
Spider-Man fights crime and sets up cameras to take pics while Peter cashes the cheques. His photography is a driving factor in why Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man is on this list.
Pulling his resources to recruit both versions of the Scarlet Spider, Spider Gwen, Silk, and a host of other characters spun off of him, Spider-Man could create quite a business empire in a relatively short amount of time. With his photography skills, Spider-Man Inc. already has some seed money — as long as his bad luck doesn’t kick in — and a company taking on The Daily Bugal or selling Superhero memorabilia could take off in no time. Think media empires or an Instagram competitor.