A quick scan of the Internet has listed vastly different values depending on the source. Neither DC nor Marvel could be reached for comment. However, there have been several differing articles on the subject over the years and the comparisons imply the following overall values are promoted as approximations of individual net worth:
- Emma Frost: 1.6 billion
- Charles Xavier: $3.5 billion
Makes sense, since both are extremely potent telepaths, market manipulation and other telepathic shenanigans should be easy to do with little trace. Xavier is also a genius so that doesn’t hurt either.
Here is where the problems start: An article I found a few years ago rated Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne respective corporations at:
- Tony Stark: $12.1 billion
- Bruce Wayne: $9.1 billion
This seemed strange to me given the breadth and types of technology both companies seem capable of producing and the range of products (the ones not used in their secret identities) should still be able to purchase or own.
I found these values interesting in that both of their companies actually produce products and both men are interested in investing in the best staff money can buy, so their overall corporate value might seem less than say, Uber, or other overvalued companies on our world.
But most of our high value companies get that way by paying their cut rate people very little and keeping most of the money for themselves. I will assume Bruce and Tony are smarter than that.
By comparison, US Steel (in its heyday) $1.4 Billion ($42 Billion today) one of the first billion dollar companies. Its current total equity value is listed at $3.2 billion. In our world some of the richest corporations make fortunes dwarfing these numbers in comparison:
- Walmart – $485.9 billion revenue in 2017
- State Grid Corporation of China – $315.2 billion revenue in 2017
- Sinopec Group – $267.5 billion revenue in 2017
- China National Petroleum Corp – $262.6 billion revenue in 2017
- Toyota Motor – $254.7 billion revenue in 2017
- Volkswagen – $240.3 billion revenue in 2017
- Royal Dutch Shell – $240 billion revenue in 2017
- Berkshire Hathway – $223.7 billion revenue in 2017
- Apple Inc. – $215.6 billion revenue in 2017
- Exxon Mobil – $205 billion revenue in 2017
I still found those numbers presented for Stark and Waynetech rather low unless both men are working to keep their companies smaller that most tech companies on our world, which by comparison make significantly more money than either of them. Compare:
- Apple. Market value: $995.50 billion.
- Alphabet. Market value: $756.85 billion.
- Intel. Market value: $220.33 billion.
- IBM. Market value: $112.47 billion.
- Facebook. Market value: $434.66 billion.
- Hon Hai Precision. Market cap: $6023.96 billion.
- Oracle. Market value: $190.38 billion.
I am forced to conclude the numbers presented for Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark are their personal wealth statistics which are far more humble than even our CEOs but make much more sense comparatively speaking than to consider them their companies incomes which would be dwarfed by ORDINARY technology companies on our Earth.
One Last Comparison …
Let’s check one more group: defense contractors.
The list of top 10 defense contractors says we are still outside the economic ballpark to estimate either of their enterprises in comparison to real Earth companies.
- Lockheed Martin (US)
Defense Revenue: $40.13 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 88.00%
- Boeing Co. (US)
Defense Revenue: $29 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 32.00%
- BAE Systems (UK)
Defense Revenue: $25.45 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 92.80%
- Raytheon (US)
Defense Revenue: $22.23 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 97.40%
- General Dynamics (US)
Defense Revenue: $18.56 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 60.20%
- Northrop Grumman Corp. (US)
Defense Revenue: $18.40 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 76.70%
- Airbus Group (Netherlands)
Defense Revenue: $14.61 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 18.10%
- United Technologies (US)
Defense Revenue: $13 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 20.00%
- Finmeccanica (Italy)
Defense Revenue: $10.56 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 54.20%
- L-3 Communications (US)
Defense Revenue: $9.81 billion
Percentage of company’s total revenue from defense contracts: 80.90%
My conclusions: I suspect the low-ball valuations on Stark, Wayne and LexCorp which is reputed to be lower than WayneTech (but not by much) is the fact most writers don’t do enough research to define and compare what companies like Stark Enterprises (or whatever he’s calling it this month), Waynetech, and Lexcorp should be making and therefore valued at with any serious effort.
With my cursory efforts and considering what all three companies have created, off the books, (Stark’s incredible suits, Batman’s host of amazing gear and Luthor’s tools, weapons and research facilities) these things should make them easily as rich as the richest defense contractors on our Earth without question.
Updating Based on What We Now Know …
If I were to value their corporate economic might myself, comparatively speaking it would look something like this:
STARK: $95 billion
Peak: Stark Industries would be worth around $80 billion – In his heyday Stark was an unapologetic defense contractor who made the greatest weapons in the world. He was worth even more before he got right in the head. Stark would likely have had satellite manufacturers which also worked for him outside of the Stark brand worth at least $40 billion.
Current: $70 billion, easily – I would suggest having had Stark fall from grace more than once, his company might be somewhere in the middle of the economic pack since he no longer produces weapons, per se. I also think he keeps his company smaller than we would expect to reduce his espionage profile. His satellites would be about half of his organizational net worth of $25 billion.
Bruce Wayne: $90 billion
Peak: $120 billion – also an unapologetic arms dealer for generations, the Wayne’s wealth was passed down and incorporated multiple streams of revenue, working in a multitude of other industries. His losses were likely less when he left creating military weapons because he continued to create experimental technologies for the military.
Current: the crowning jewel in Wayne’s empire (WayneTech) is probably worth around $60 billion. The DC Earth is far more volatile and Bruce Wayne is a far greater philanthropist than any Wayne before him. I would suspect Wayne’s satellite agencies would easily be worth around $30 billion.
LUTHOR: $130 billion
LexCorp: $65 Billion – Lex has always been rich and he stays rich by being smarter than everyone around him. While LexCorp is his shining star, I suspect, he like Wayne, keeps a constellation of other businesses of equal value which support him and his core LexCorp research activities. I think Lex Luthor should be richer than both of them (because he is the only one who goes to work daily and is obsessed with making money and killing Superman) but DC says otherwise.
I think All three of these men should have significant net worth outside of their companies due to their increased intellectual acumen, but it would be hard to place an actual value since they tend to make and spend with impunity.
In personal wealth, I would rank Wayne first, Luthor second and Stark third, since Tony has hit rock bottom more than once.
For the record, King T’challa has been estimated at $90 trillion due to the estimations on the value of pure Vibranium retails for about $10,000 per gram (Fantastic Four #607), and Wakanda’s vaults hold 10,000 tons of the stuff (Doomwar #1).
Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.