Lord Revan wrote: ↑
An intresting though experiment would should wealth the character no longer has access to disqualify them here. I was just wondering about the Runaways, would they qualify or not, IIRC technically every single one of them comes from wealthy backrounds but don't have access to that wealth currently.
edit: and already I just noticed that my rephrasing of the question is wrong, because of the example you give. This is why grammar is important! Anyway, given my rereading, I would say that it goes onto the "its complicated" pile, because they neither have patrons nor money, but have money waiting for them if they manage to ge it back somehow. As it is, it sounds like they function as superheroes despite lacking wealth, and lacking wealth effects how they live outside of superheroics as well. So arguably, they qualify.
Eegads, that sentence structure! Sorry, I know English isn't your first language, but you have absolutely butchered the grammar there. I think you mean to ask "should the character be disqualified if losing access to wealth would also take away their ability to function as a superhero?" I think
. And that's an interesting question, because it raises the point that some characters here are not wealthy themselves, but do
have wealthy patrons who essentially employ them (albeit in secret). For instance, Nightwing and Batgirl are both middle class and
work alone, but they strongly benefit from Bruce Wayne's funding. The X-Men likewise obviously have their own personal superpowers, but their jet, secret base and other equipment is all bought and paid for by Xavier, who we already established as one of the few wealthy mutants in the comic.
I would also ask whether this extends to superheroes who don't derive their power from wealth, but do
have a patron with a special inheritance. For instance, the Power Rangers have Zardon, an alien from space who gave them the suits, the coins, the Zords, and etc. to fight evil, and without these things they revert to just some kids who know martial arts. Does this qualify as a loophole in the "no special heritage" qualification? Essentially, in both cases the question seems to be whether we should disqualify superheroes who are lucky
. Personally, its a complicated question, as it raises questions of fairness, equality, and power dynamics. I think in the case of the Power Rangers we can probably say that they still qualify because even though they have a powerful patron, luck plays a big role in all
superhero stories, and their relationship with Zardon doesn't change how they live when they aren't fighting evil. Their social and economic status is unaffected by being superheroes (at least in the original show that made its way to the States; after Zardon's death, a lot of later series had the Government step in to employ and equip them instead). Moreover, several Power Rangers episodes and later series have moments (especially near their finales) where the Big Bad figures out how to strip them of their powers, but they continue to fight anyway to demonstrate that the resolve to fight and not Power
is what actually makes them heroes. In contrast, Nightwing is not only lucky, Bruce essentially lifted him up the social ladder and because he continues to fund him, he effects Dick Grayson's life outside the costume. Dick Grayson wasn't born into wealth, but he still benefits off the inheritance of Bruce Wayne. Whereas the Rangers' encounter with Zardon changed their lives by simply giving them the superpowers needed to fight evil, Dick Grayson's encounter with Bruce Wayne gave him power by lifting him up the socioeconomic ladder and fundamentally changing his life both in and out of costume
. I think from these two examples we can conclude that the importance of the patron is exactly that: whether or not the everyday life of the hero is effected by the patron.
Looking at it that way, we can see that this is complicated, but applicable. Batgirl, for instance, is funded by Bruce, but all of that funding goes into her crime fighting. Outside of that, she has to live a middle class life, and her inheritance is merely that of a police commissioner (indeed, in Batman Beyond she eventually hangs up the cape and follows in her father's footsteps). So she would
lose a lot if Bruce were no longer funding her... but then again, Barbra chose to become Batgirl before
she met Bruce, so we know she has the resolve to fight crime even without access to vast amounts of Wayne Enterprises' secret Batman fund. So I am inclined to say she counts because unlike Dick Grayson her life outside the costume is unaffected by the money, and her resolve to fight was demonstrated before she had access to wealth. Just like the Justice League is made up of people who were willing to do the same before Batman gave them a friggen space station
to use as a base of operations.
But then there is the X-Men who show how social equality complicates the issue. Like the Power Rangers, luck played a factor in them having superpowers in the first place, but those powers also place them in a stigmatized social category just like LBGTQ people. Yes, they have Xavier's money, but a lot of them have demonstrated that they would continue fighting for (social) justice even without it. Like Wolverine, who has also served as an Avenger in the comics. Again, I think
they qualify, but its complicated because what would definitely
be effected by losing access to Xavier's bank account is their effectiveness
as a group. He doesn't just give them a base of operations, we saw in the first movie that he gives them access to Washington to lobby for their rights and to educate the public. In contrast, the Brotherhood doesn't have money, and that means they lack a lot of the political and social power that the X-Men have. Would they still have a "fuck the normies" attitude if they had the opportunities Xavier provides to the select few mutants who have joined his academy? Its hard to say. And that complicates the issue of placing the X-Men given the power dynamics of their world. Its much easier to just say "most of them are middle or working class" and leave it at that. But perhaps that is
I don't know enough about Runaways to comment, but given that IIRC the comic has a lot of similarities to X-Men, I think this should give a starting point for analysis.