It’s wonderful when people (or superheroes) can forge a career based around their personal strengths. But let’s face it, life has a tendency to throw some people curve balls, and many people wind up working jobs that they are not well-suited for. It’s easy to imagine that that one guy who used to draw comics all day in English class is now selling cell phones for a living, and if you use your imagination a bit, it’s just as easy to imagine these superheroes doing things that do not jibe with their personalities or skill sets. We’re not saying it could never happen, but just to give you an idea of the stumbling blocks these characters would encounter while trying to perform alternate jobs, we are providing you with the following list.
Poorly Matched Jobs for Superheroes
15. The Hulk: Anger Management Counselor
It’s true that Bruce Banner is a doctor, but his field of expertise is nuclear physics. During the post-credits scene in Iron Man 3, he pointed this out to Tony Stark, who was attempting to unburden his mind by talking with the good doctor. That being said, there are many subfields of psychology, and there is one in particular that Dr. Banner is not likely to excel in: anger management counselor. To say that Banner has anger issues is an understatement, and although most people (especially Stark) enjoy seeing Banner become overcome by his anger, it is not healthy to allow one’s self to become a rage-filled monster (green or otherwise). While it is true that many shrinks have issues, especially of the variety that they are licensed to treat, it would probably not be safe to give Dr. Banner a job wherein he is routinely exposed to other people with anger issues. After two or three frustrating clients, it is likely that Banner would transform into the Hulk and rip the roof off of his own practice.
14. Captain America: Premier of China
This next entry has more to do with ideology than with the inappropriate placement of a super skill set. Captain America is the consummate patriot, and his identity (right down to his outfit) is intrinsically linked with the national identity of the United States of America. That being said, no country has a lock on patriotism; nationalist pride is universal. Ipso facto, it makes sense that given the right circumstances, a national champion could be transplanted. After all, propaganda is easily mutable; beyond that, as long as the champion is committed to the laws of his country and is familiar with that country’s social mores, he could be a super-soldier for that country. The good news for us capitalist pigs is that this could never happen with our beloved captain. For, if he ever took the job as Premier of China, he could no more retain his name than everything he has ever fought for. It’s about as good a fit as Captain China running for office in the United States.
13. Batman: Stand-Up Comic
They say that laughter is good for the soul. So, it makes sense that the people with the darkest souls need the most laughter! This, of course, can go a couple of ways. The Joker, for example, has a very dark soul, and his extreme sense of humor is a symptom of his sociopathology. Batman, by contrast, has a code: he won’t kill people for a laugh. That being said, he also doesn’t laugh much, anyway. While it is a fact that some of the world’s greatest comedians have been tortured or depressed souls (ex. Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, etc), Bruce Wayne has demonstrated much more inclination to exorcise his demons by beating the heck out of criminals than by making the rest of the world smile. And while it has been the tendency of various other heroes, like Spider-Man, to crack wise while busting the baddies, Batman doesn’t seem to have the flair for it. If we put him on stage at an open-mic night, not only would he not kill, it is likely that he would bring the crowd down considerably with a lecture on criminality.
12. Punisher: Singing Telegram Messenger
In the event that Frank Castle (aka The Punisher) consulted Bruce Banner for some therapy, he may have been told that his life lacks balance. Perhaps the good doctor may have even recommended that committing murder, acting violently, and engaging in sadistic behavior (as a way to cope with the murder of his family) was not the healthiest of options. Perhaps, instead, he would have recommended that Castle fill his heart with the love and joy that comes with singing! “I hear that they’re hiring at the local singing telegram company, Frank! This one caters to goths, so you can even wear your Punisher outfit while performing acapella renditions of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus and “A Strange Day” by The Cure!” Currently, the betting pool is 10:1 that he wouldn’t make it through a single song without belting someone that laughs when he sings an off-key note.
11. Superman: Lawyer
Fighting for “Truth, Justice, and the American way” definitely sounds good on paper (or in a movie), but let’s face it, the American justice system is not ultimately guided by the principles of right and wrong. It’s all about who knows how to best manipulate the law and sway the jury. In a fantasy world, Kal-El would be superduper at doing this! After all, he’s a pretty swift guy and can see right through people! Unfortunately, he’s got one of those pesky morality codes; thus, his adherence to proper justice would likely trump the slippery fields of the US legal system, and he’d go and blow it for his client. That being said, before he went and opened his mouth, he would sure make a positive impression on jury members in his slick Clark Kent guise.
10. Rorschach: Marriage Counselor
Talk about Justice, there is no one better suited to demonstrate some good old fashioned Frontier Justice than our pal from The Watchmen. “Oh, did this man steal your purse? Well, I’ll just choke the life out of him,” is the cry of this no-nonsense hero. In the event that Rorschach (aka Walter Kovacs) were to be persuaded to give up sadistically murdering jaywalkers, would anyone want him mediating their marriage? It is likely that he might enjoy the task a little too much, but it would be frightening and inappropriate to provide comment on what some of his suggestions might be (ex. “Oh, he humiliated you in front of his boss and co-workers? In that case, when you get home I want you to take a dog leash and a butcher’s knife and…”). Yikes! Sorry, Rorschach, we don’t think this is a good fit for you, so if you will forgive us, we’d like to ask you to leave the building…that is, if it’s okay with you…sir.
9. Wolverine: Porcelain Figurine Salesman
Wolverine is the best at what he does, and what he does is act burly, go ape $@&%, get routinely brainwashed by various evil masterminds, but when times are tough, everyone needs to pay their bills! Supposing there was a job opening at the local tchochke store, and they needed someone to help sell their fine porcelain art (Lladro, Hummel, Bing & Grondahl, you name it!). In walks Logan (aka Wolverine), smoking his cigar and swaggering up to the store keeper. It would be interesting to find out if he’d even get past filling out the application for employment before accidentally nudging a glass case filled with $8,000 worth of fired, hand-painted, and glazed clay products. It is not likely that the store’s owner would get much in the way of an apology or offered excuse for the destruction. It would probably be something more in the neighborhood of, “Huh! They don’t make this junk too sturdy, do they?”
8. Iron Man: Alcoholics Anonymous Coach
While Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) is generally revered for putting the hurt on bad guys, he is far from a perfect human being. For a good deal of his life, he has struggled with various personal issues, and one of the symptoms of his unrequited problems has been alcoholism. Thus, while AA can provide some much needed support for the billionaire playboy, it is not likely that his personality could adequately convince people that salvation can be achieved with the help of a higher power, a sponsor, and a support group. It is more likely that the meeting would result in debauchery and regret. Additionally, once you party with a billionaire (and then he leaves you to do whatever he feels like doing next), your own personal issues will be compounded by the let-down of having been abandoned by a rich person, who had it in his power to make you forget your woes — if only for a short while.
7. Aquaman: Long John Silver Fry Cook
Once again, in times of hardship, you gotta take whatever job is available — either that or listen to your mother tell you to get off your butt and quit playing video games on a daily basis. If this were to happen to Aquaman, there would be certain inherent advantages that could quickly propel him up the food chain (no pun intended) at the local Long John Silver. First, he could summon all the stock that they needed, and this would exponentially increase their profit margin. After all, if the fast food fish company didn’t need to spend any capital on fish, then…well heck! Even comic book geeks can understand those economics! Unfortunately, Aquaman might wind up taking exception to the nature of this job. Specifically, he’d be serving up his friends to make a few bucks. And while his work would likely result in his ascension up the corporate ladder, it is difficult to imagine that such a betrayal to his fellow sea creatures wouldn’t result in his having to attend Mr. Stark’s AA meetings.
6. Hellboy: Postal Employee
While having Hellboy work in a postal office would be a strong deterrent to people who might otherwise go postal during his shift, there are other problems with having someone like him in the office. His good nature would probably bode well with his customers, but he’d likely get a routine talking to by his employers for smoking a cigar on the job. And in this age of heightened sensitivity to smoke, many patrons would probably become supremely perturbed by the sight. Beyond that, word would likely spread that there was a demon working at the post office, and then the lines, which are typically long and slow moving, would become even more treacherous. This is all in the order of things for people who go there to get a passport photo taken or to mail a series of packages throughout the world, but for people who just want to buy a roll of stamps, it’s just not a very good idea to have the boy around.
5. Deadpool: Camp Counselor
One trait that is often recognized in good teachers and counselors is sound judgement. Given that Deadpool has psychotic tendencies, it is not likely that many parents would feel comfortable leaving their children in his care. Granted, the anti-hero does have a moral compass, but this is probably not going to score him enough points to supersede his reputation for having vulgar tendencies or, again, simply being unpredictable at times. When he decides to make an aside to readers or audiences of his films, the parents (and the children) of the “real world” are likely to become concerned that Counselor Wilson is talking to imaginary beings, and it is a well-known fact that whether you are coming from the real world or the wizarding world, hearing voices is not a good thing.
4. The Flash: Auto Mechanic
One of the staples of the auto repair industry is that they jack people on their fees. Prominent among these fees is that which is charged for the hours of labor that are put into a particular job. Imagine Barry Allen, Wally West, Jay Garrick, or whichever Flash you prefer working on your car. They could have an entire engine rebuilt in less time than it takes you to step into their waiting room and look at the pictures in a four-month-old issue of Maxim. Then, not only are they deprived of the opportunity to price gouge you, but you are deprived of the opportunity to compensate for your depressing expenditure by looking at some stale sleaze. Simply put, the universe would be out of balance, and that’s not the American way! The Auto industry must be allowed to make fools of technically-challenged individuals, and grant a day of victory for the filthy mechanics whom the elite condescend to speak to when their fancy cars need an oil change, a clean air filter, and headlight fluid!
3. Emma Frost: Den Mother
Frost is an exceptionally intelligent woman and co-headmistress of Professor X’s school. This prominent member of the X-Men would be vastly overqualified for the job of watching over a den of cub scouts and fostering their skills in rudimentary survival skills. Furthermore, her presence would likely inspire quite a spread of burgeoning impulses from the minds of her prepubescent little scouts — all of which she would have the embarrassment of knowing. And in knowing that she knew, the poor little souls would have to take their nature hikes as walks of shame. Then again, turning into a living, multi-faceted diamond statue can make for quite the show at the campfire; she’s like a disco ball in the woods.
2. Green Arrow: Gun Trafficker
Crime fighters don’t usually supply weapons to outlaws, but in this economy, who would blame them? Let’s pretend for just a moment that Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow) was not dedicated to eradicating crime in Star City. There is a chance that he might like the opportunity to transport guns. After all, there are many types of guns, each with varying degrees of craftsmanship, levels of firepower, and even high tech attachments like laser scopes. Surely these toys might have some appeal for everybody’s favorite hero with the trick arrows. Then again, most archery aficionados are snobs about their art, and they tend to turn their noses up at the notion of firearms. Ditto regarding his relationship with martial arts. The deathstroke in this poorly conceived career choice, though, would have to be the fact that guns are not typically employed to wound targets, and as Queen is all about trying not to kill folks, he would probably not enjoy selling instruments of death to bad guys or good guys.
1. Daredevil: Airline Pilot
This one doesn’t need a highly nuanced analysis. Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) is blind, and it makes no more sense to allow a blind man to fly a plane than it does to let him drive you home when you’ve had a few too many (although thoughts like this may seem feasible after four or five too many). Then again, what about bats? While bats are not blind (as the saying goes), they do fly in total darkness sometimes — employing echolocation to detect obstacles and their prey. Couldn’t a blind airline pilot rely on some form of electronic guidance from inside the cockpit? Or a co-pilot? Perhaps, but if this were the case, then the airlines, which are already strapped enough for cash that they have to charge people for carry-on luggage, would probably opt out of wasting their money on hiring and training a blind person, even if this meant that they’d have a discrimination lawsuit on their hands. Sorry Matt, you probably ought to just book yourself a seat in first class, where you can enjoy the luxury airline accommodations with other fat-cat lawyers, like Clark Kent.