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The Costs of Being a Superhero: A Financial Profile of Batman

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DC Comics’ Batman has proved that money is the only superpower you need. Batman does not rely on his extraordinary abilities, but rather on his massive fortune, to equip himself with the best gadgets technology has to offer in order to save the world. Keeping in mind Christopher Nolan’s film adaptions of this iconic comic book character, let’s take a look at the estimated worth of Bruce Wayne, and discover what it actually costs to become Batman.

Wayne Enterprises

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Wayne Enterprises was originally founded by the merchant ancestors of the Wayne family in the 17th century, and fully established itself in the 19th century. The company not only provides Bruce Wayne’s income but also aids his Batman activities.

Wayne Enterprises has several subdivisions. Based on the information provided in the films, we have compared some of these components to several real life corporations in order to find out the company’s estimated market capitalization.

Perhaps the largest of Wayne Enterprises’ components is the Defense division. Upon returning to Gotham City, Bruce does not show much interest in reclaiming his family business and instead applies for this particular sector, where he equips himself with gadgets originally made for the U.S military, and uses it to help fight crime in Gotham City. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC), an American defense technology company which also happens to be the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world, could be considered its real life equivalent. Assuming that Wayne Enterprises makes a similar income, its estimated market capitalization would be $25.44 billion.

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Wayne Enterprises is also said to have a civil engineering division, which has been around for several decades. The division mainly focused on the construction of the railways of Gotham City. Hence, its real life counterpart would probably be Fluor Corporation (FLR), a firm that provides engineering, construction and maintenance on a global basis. Assuming that Wayne Enterprises’ civil engineering division operates on the same scale as Fluor Corporation, its market capitalization would be an estimated $13.1 billion.

The company also contributes to the shipping industry, as we are shown a ship marked with the Wayne Enterprises logo in the film, as well as docks marked all over Gotham City. If we compare it to Frontline Ltd. (FRO), the world’s largest oil tanker shipping company, it would make a market capitalization of $300 million.

At the start of the 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight, we are shown that Wayne Enterprises was considering a deal with Lao Security Investments, a company comparable to The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s banking constitution that attributes to about 15% of the total firm’s market capitalization. Making this assumption, we would say that Wayne Enterprises’ securities division has a market capitalization of $12 billion.

Based on all this information, Wayne Enterprises would have an estimated market capitalization of a staggering $50.84 billion.

At the end of Batman Begins, Wayne Enterprises becomes a public corporation. Bruce himself purchased a controlling stake in the company, by means of his trust fund, when he fired William Earle and appointed Lucius Fox as the new CEO, eventually controlling about 50% of the firm.

In short, if you were Bruce Wayne, you would be worth about $25.42 billion.

Wayne Residence

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In the film adaptions, the former Rothschild estate in Buckinghamshire was used to portray the Wayne Manor, aka Batman’s residence.

The running cost of the mansion is about $37,000, and following its destruction (including that of the Bat Cave) in The Dark Knight, the Wayne estate was rebuilt at an estimated cost of $600 million. Alfred, Bruce’s guardian, earned about $55,000 as the caretaker for young Bruce, but now receives $80,000 as his butler, with an additional $150,000 as the manager of the estate.

The cost of becoming Batman

The Suit

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It would cost about $1, 058600 to just LOOK like a superhero. Need we say more?

Vehicles

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The tumbler was originally developed as by Wayne Enterprises’ Applied Science Division, for military purposes. It boasts jet engine, stealth, self-destruct, armor plating, front mounted machine guns, GPS and a remote control system. Not too bad for a cool $18 million.

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When Batman initiates the self-destruct sequence in the Dark Knight, the Batpod acts an escape vehicle from the Tumbler. The Batpod is not steered by the hands but by shoulder movements and the rider’s forearms are protected by shields. On its own, it would cost about $1.5 million.

The Batwing

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The Bat Wing, shown in the Dark Knight Rises, is powered by two large propellers on either side of its undercarriage that creates a vortex of air that lifts it off the ground. The flying vehicle will cost you about $60 million.

Batman’s total cost of vehicles would be an estimated $80 million.

Training and Education

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Since Bruce Wayne does not actually possess superhuman powers, he has to spend big money on his training in order to defeat his enemies. His military and special forces training as shown in Batman Begins would cost around a million bucks while his engineering degrees cost about half of that.

Gadgets and Weapons

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Batman’s huge arsenal of gadgets costs an estimated $162,750, which includes the T-PLS grappling hook launcher, laser microphone, and the hand-held grenade launcher, among others. His weapons also cost over $10,000, including the GPS tracking device, automatic lock pick, periscope and the exploding batarang.

For those who have dreamt of being Batman some point in our lives, good news is that it’s actually somewhat possible. Unfortunately, it would cost about $82,731,350 to become the savior of Gotham City.

 

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