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Superheroes and their day jobs.


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So, as some of you may know, Superman quit his Daily Planet job and is off to be a blogger.



"...the resignation reflects present-day issues – the balance of journalism vs. entertainment, the role of new media, the rise of the citizen journalist, etc.”


"...we’re going to really see Clark come into his own in the next few years as far as being a guy who takes to the Internet and to the airwaves and starts speaking an unvarnished truth.”


Sooooo, he's getting a bowel disruptor and a couple of filthy assistants?


Anyway, I wanted to use this as a starting point for discussing superhero dayjobs.


1-Is it feasable for a superhero to have a full time day job, especially a demanding one? Test pilot, Business exec, Reporter, Scientist/researcher...


On the one hand you'd expect your heroes to be driven people with ambition who will achieve things outside of the sphere of heroics. Most of them are accidental superheroes who probably grew up wanting to be an astronaut or doctor. But a Superhero would need to have some flexibility to respond to crime and crises. It makes better sense for them to have a job as say, artist or blogger or consultant.


2-Are the old school day jobs still valid? The world has changed so much it's hard for me to imagine a freelance photographer making money working for a paper, especially when he specialises in Spiderman pics. The move from newspaper journalist to blogger makes sense for Clark Kent in this way. Just last week, Newsweek announced they are ending their print edition.


Some old school careers are actually more relevant now, I think, like Barry Allen being a forensics cop or Tony Stark being an arms dealer/technology magnate.


3-What's a good fit storywise? or just to avoid cliche? Reporter has to be the one job no new superhero should ever have just because it's so overdone. But's it's overdone because it's a job that gets the hero into trouble for the story conflict.


Scientist researcher types like Reed Richards and Stark and Ray Palmer get to have adventures just off of their jobs. Doctors and school teachers, not so much.


What would be your pick for asuperhero profession that's never been done, but fits well with the needs of the modern superhero lifestyle? Musician maybe? EMT/Fireman? Janitor at a weapons factory? Prostitute?


4-How much of the job should be in the story? What's a good job for having in a story? If your hero is a short order cook, I'm assuming his/her job isn't going to be given a lot of panels for the most part. But it seems like some jobs call out for more screen time and don't get it. Bruce Wayne as a businessman hardly ever seems to do business. Same with Stark. (he gets to do a lot of technology, but not much business.) Do any of the X-Men even have jobs?

Edited by Jumbie
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My initial reaction is that it's kind of irresponsible and selfish for a super powered crime fighter to have a day job, or even an alter ego. Aunt May would never have to worry much about being murdered if Peter had faked his death and become Spider-Man full time.


On the other hand, super heroing generally isn't a high paying gig. If you happen to have to eat or sleep (or rely on a multitude of expensive gadgets), you're going to need to fund that somehow. What else can you do but get a job? Steal? Live on the streets or in the sewer? Shit, I'd at least want an apartment.


I've thought about this (probably more than I should), and I think if I were in the position I would do something like stunt work for movies. A quick check and studios would much rather just pay a guy to fly a car through the air than use elaborate CG (as a random example) if you charged less.


Whether or not the world is full of other super powered beings is a big factor too. If not, you could just make a living by being a quasi-celebrity (a la Paris Hilton), famous and paid simply for existing.


Depending on your power set, the special effects/stunt guy job could be used to make some really, really cool looking movie scenes. You would be wealthy before you knew it.

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yeah, i assume most are crazy-neglectful at their day jobs - dr. thor, etc. i like that at least DD and Iron Fist made a point to show just how awful they are at showing up on time when they barely get any sleep and dont make their paid duties a priority anyway...im glad danny dropped his gig entirely.


i mean, what's the purpose for some of these guys, especially those whose superhero lives are subsidized anyway? cap, wolvy etc dont need alter egos, they should be well know at this point. now like logan said, solo dudes like spidey get fucked on this, but you know, that's why you play for a team with a good union like the FF or something. they never go hungry.

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Forget unions, it's all about those government paid jobs: X-Factor in the 90s or Dark Avengers.


X-factor as detective agency was a good idea that slipped my mind. Not that I saw them get paid too often, mind you, but it brought them into the plots more and provided a sense of what the characters were about as people.

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staying sane by leading an entirely duplicitious life? the only joy you'd get is listening to everyone's boring lives at the water cooler & them talking about how awesome Moon Knight (or whoever you are when you aren't pretending) is.


i mean if it helps your vigilante efforts somehow, i guess...one of moony's personas is a cab driver that used to be said to get him intel or the like, but i dont really see it, past the silver age "plight of the common man" type shit. again, when do you sleep? it kinda makes sense for bats cause he can keep my hours, but surely super criminals would just start shit around 11AM to keep him off his game.

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^Ly brings up a fair point about keeping perspective with a mundane jerb. Historically this has also been served by having a supporting cast to constantly keep from dying. I've always said in a world like this if I alone were to gain abilities(well me and say, 5 other people for the sake of interest) I'd just go present myself to the highest authority of the free world(that we know of) and offer myself as a freelance agent for covert ops, much like Hyperion or Dr Spectrum initially were.


These days, recognising the broken system for what it is I'd probably just set up a few medium-sized heists(banks and wherever else is insured to the eyeballs- most direct consequence will be some job loss) to accrue some unmarked cash and live out of the most secure flea motel I could find, or better yet if I could get access, a warehouse loft or similar with rooftop access. From there I'd like to start picking off key figures in the world gov't and leaving demands to see/speak with the secret government and either align myself to or oppose them. In reality chances are better that I'd just be castrating rapists in the street and still playing videogames.

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