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Batman vs. Iron Man: Who is The Richest Superhero?

According to the logic of both Marvel and DC Comics, nobody makes a better superhero than a handsome billionaire. Batman and Iron Man aren't just 2 of the biggest names in comics, they're also 2 of the deepest pockets. Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne's large fortunes have helped them countless times over the years, and their willpower or heroism aside, they couldn't be superheroes with the millions it costs to be Iron Man or Batman.

As neither man has any powers of their own, they've been using their dollars to turn themselves into armored warriors for the greater good. But out of these 2 billionaire good guys, who has the bigger bank account? Allow us to run the numbers.

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Thanks to the MCU the world now knows Tony is the brilliant successor to Howard Stark's technological behemoth. The same goes for Bruce Wayne, de facto heir of an empire stretching from housing and transportation to military contracts. Surprisingly comparable situations, thanks to some nice inheritances. But it's what the characters do to swell or squander that wealth that makes them unique. While these characters might be fictional, their lifestyles and habits are easily analyzed to help give insight into the wealthier suited superhero. Let's talk numbers.

The Forbes Fictional 15  was assembled back in 2013, ranking the richest fictional characters ever created. Though the list isn't necessarily considered 'canon,' Tony Stark ranks in 4th with $12.4 Billion... as Bruce Wayne places 6th with a paltry $9.2 Billion. Millions spent on Batsuits, Batmobiles, and every other Bat-gadget are nothing to scoff at, but Bruce doesn't have anything on Mr. Stark. Lamborghinis, Malibu mansions, and countless variations of specialized Iron Man suits make Batman's body armor seem like a Halloween costumes (with a difference in price tag to match).

The numbers certainly don't lie. However, a basic understanding of either character will help explain why Stark Industries will always flourish, while Wayne Enterprises remains relatively unchanged. Tony Stark is Iron Man. Everyone in the Marvel Comics Universe has known this for decades. In fact, his widely known technological brilliance is what literally made and makes him a superhero. That technological brilliance fuels both his superhero antics and his own successful corporation. When Stark invents a new technology, it's understood that it will be patented and eventually marketed and sold to the highest bidders.

Some of those inventions may go awry (*cough* Ultron *cough*) but others can evolve from a simple A.I. named 'Jarvis' into the miracle that is Vision. Tony invented his own suit, the Arc Reactor that powers it, and many other devices and innovations from which his company can draw nearly limitless streams of revenue. Tony Stark isn't just a successful and unforgettable superhero, he's also a brilliant businessman. The same cannot be said for his darker, DC counterpart.

Bruce Wayne rarely shows that much interest in the business side of Wayne Enterprise, typically acing as a charitable figurehead--more likely to send a trusted proxy to meetings than attend one himself. But Batman's dichotomous existence is one of the most interesting aspects of the character, often losing interest in maintaining the ruse of Bruce Wayne, were it not for the encouragement of his butler and adopted father Alfred. In many instances Wayne Enterprises has been the only thing to pull Gotham from the brink of destruction, at the expense of its monetary health. When Bruce puts his company to his uses, he's more likely to spend money on hospitals, orphanages, and improving life for Gotham's most vulnerable citizens.

Tony Stark certainly isn't greedy for being business-savvy or profit-oriented, but profit and business couldn't be farther from Batman's mind. If he invents a new antidote to cure Joker Serum or Scarecrow's Fear Toxin, he's not going to patent or package it unless it stops an immediate threat. He's going to keep it secret and use it only when necessary. If he lets his Rogues' Gallery know that he's figured out one of their deadly traps, they'll simply concoct another. Tony Stark might spend time researching and developing his inventions into more practical uses that could help the common man, but Batman doesn't have the luxury of passing the job to Wayne employees who are sure to ask questions.

Doing the math, Tony Stark's wealth of Iron Man suits and technological marvels undoubtedly outweighs the Utility Belts and Batmobiles in Bruce Wayne's basement. That's what happens when you spend your days inventing innovations, rather than spending your nights as a "caped" crusader. What matters is that both Batman and Iron Man use their vast fictional fortunes to help the worlds they inhabit... and comic book fans are richer for it. But nowhere near as rich as either of them, unfortunately.

NEXT: The 10 Most Expensive Things Tony Stark Has Bought

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