The Top Twelve Rich Guys in the Marvel Universe

Who do you think is the richest Marvel Character?

  • Iron Man
  • Doctor Doom
  • The Black Panther
  • Mister Fantastic
See results without voting

Brother, Can These Guys Spare a Dime?

When we think of money, there’s comfortable, rich, mega rich, and insanely rich.

The DC Universe has its share of rich guys. However, in the Marvel Universe, there are a plethora of them. So much so that I couldn’t narrow it down enough. Because when we justify wealth, we also need to look at heads of state versus the self-made rich guys and the industrialists.

And even then, we have to look at the successful industrialists versus the ones that failed. For example, the background stories of Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Simon Williams (Wonder Man) are almost a mirror image of each other – except Tony Stark was a successful businessman and Simon Williams was not so much. It also didn’t help that Simon’s older brother, Eric (The Grim Reaper), was embezzling millions of dollars of the Williams fortune and funneling it to his gangster friends.

That’s the way of money and business in the Marvel Universe.

The naturally wealthy characters needed mentioning and I think the best way to do this is to mention the characters that are heads of state first versus the guys who just have money.

I tried to get this down to five, but it was just impossible. Instead, there are twelve. Good news for you, the reader, bad news for me, who has to write about all these guys.

Let’s start with the richest monarchs.

T'Challa, The Black Panther
T'Challa, The Black Panther

T’Challa, the Black Panther

Royalty has its privileges and being the monarch of Wakanda is a huge priviledge indeed.

T’Challa is the latest in the royal line of Wakanda's Panther Tribe. The ruler of Wakanda prior to T’Challa was his father T’Chaka and before him it was his father. Kingship comes with a price. When the prince is old enough, he must go through his trials. The main trial is to defeat, in combat, the various champions of the Wakanda tribes. So, while his title is hereditary, he still has to earn it.

Wakanda has two main assets, its technological greatness which is generations ahead of most of the world’s countries and its mountain sized reserves of the rare metal, vibranium. These two assets alone make the country one of the richest in the world and, at the same time, the most secluded.

As head of this state, T’Challa has vast amounts of financial resources to draw from making him one of the wealthiest characters in the Marvel Universe – while he’s head of state.

Prince Namor - Lord of Atlantis
Prince Namor - Lord of Atlantis | Source

Namor, the Submariner

Yes, he’s king of the sea, but… so what?

While it is true being an ocean monarch of three quarters of the Earth doesn’t have a lot of commerce in it, there is a lot be said about the natural treasures accessible to only someone who can withstand the very deepest of ocean pressure. And there are limits to where corporations can mine.

Is it a lot of money? It’s nothing to sneeze at – even for surface dwellers. Namor was able to finance the formation of a major ecological corporation called Oracle, Inc., a company dedicated to the protection of the Earth’s environment (specifically its oceans).

When you think of all of the wealth that falls into the ocean through shipwrecks, plutonium from sunken submarines, and the natural mineral and crude oil deposits that exist under the sea, Namor, as its sovereign, has a potential stranglehold on what most populations need to survive.

All he needs to do is convert it to cash.

Victor Von Doom, aka Doctor Doom
Victor Von Doom, aka Doctor Doom

Doctor Doom

A brilliant mad man with his own country where he is absolute ruler – That’s what Doctor Doom is.

You might think that this kind of megalomaniac would be the one person who’d be a cruel bastard to his own people. You’d be wrong. According to most accounts, Doom is a benevolent dictator (Sorry, um, “imposed monarch”). Oh sure, if you cross him, he’ll disintegrate you with a flick of his gauntlet. But no child goes hungry in his country.

Latveria, Doom’s kingdom, has a population of 500,000.

While Latveria is not a large country it is not poor. Doctor Doom has been able to support this entire country through his personal patents in electronics. Latveria is also free from industrial pollutants (usually caused by the presence of modern industry) and is considered by the presence of Doom’s technical might to be a superpower.

When you own a country and can sustain it through your own inventions, you’re pretty well off.

Silver Sable
Silver Sable | Source

Silver Sable

There are businesses and then there are corporations that keep countries alive. Silver Sable International is one of the latter.

Silver Sable, aka Silver Sablinova, is the CEO of Silver Sable International and the leader of the mercenary squad, the Wild Pack. The thing you should know about her and her company is that they are one of the primary revenue generators for Symkaria, a small country in the Balkans that is adjacent to Latveria.

Her corporation’s profits combined with the profits made from her mercenary group, The Wild Pack, are enough to keep the country (population 1,500,000) solvent. As compensation to her efforts, Silver Sable owns her own castle which she uses to track down Nazi war criminals.

She and Doctor Doom have a deep rooted diplomatic relationship.

Tony Stark, Iron Man
Tony Stark, Iron Man

Tony Stark, Iron Man

When I think of a rich guy in the Marvel Universe, this is the guy I think of.

Tony Stark got his money the old fashioned way, he inherited it. His father, Howard Stark, was a wealthy industrialist and Tony followed in his father’s footsteps. The advantage that Tony Stark had over his father is that he’s a bloody genius. Stark, who’s genius is second to only Reed Richards and Doctor Doom’s (no one is quite sure who is the smarter of the two), entered MIT at the age of 15 and earned his Master’s degrees in electronics and physics.

Under Tony Stark’s stewardship, Stark International has blossomed, making him one of the wealthiest and most powerful industrialists in the world.

He inherited his father’s corporation, after his parents were killed in a car crash, and brought the company into a new age and made a fortune designing and selling munitions. According the Forbes 25 largest fictional companies, Stark International is worth $20.3 billion. He is also the mind behind most of the weapons used by S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division), including its helecarrier and is a major sponsor.

Oh, and by the way, Stark owns the Avengers Mansion as well.

If you’re a superhero who needs some megabucks to save the world, Tony Stark is the guy you usually hit up for the cash.

The Kingpin
The Kingpin | Source

Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime

Not everyone makes money the honest way – although, if you’re the Kingpin of Crime, you have resources in both the legitimate and illegitimate business worlds.

Those of you who are true comic book fans know that while most of the Marvel superhero community know that Wilson Fisk is the Kingpin of Crime, Fisk has never been convicted of any crime and has no criminal record. To this day, despite his wealth in various illicit affairs, he claims to be only a humble trader in spices – his legitimate enterprise.

Fisk has lost and regained his criminal empire multiple times. He has used his influence within major Marvel Universe corporations to leverage his might in rebuilding them. And his wealth and power make him a figure to be feared worldwide.

Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin and Former Head of Hammer
Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin and Former Head of Hammer | Source

Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, Leader of the Thunderbolts, and Head of H.A.M.M.E.R.

Some people use drugs as an excuse for their bad behavior – others were just rotten bastards beforehand.

Before Norman Osborn was involved in the accident that made him The Green Goblin, he had the reputation of being a ruthless businessman. Osborn studied both chemistry and electrical engineering and was partner to scientist Mendel Stromm. The two of them formed Osborn Chemical, which eventually became Oscorp. Then Osborn, in a power play, framed Stromm for embezzlement and took complete control of the company.

After Norman Osborn’s accident that caused his schizophrenic shift into the Green Goblin, his business acumen would either diminish or increase depending on whether he was suffering from his amnesia or not. Although his company has had its ebbs and flows, Norman Osborn became a wealthy man who has used his power to make life for Spider-man into a living Hell. By manipulating all agencies against the wall crawler to the point of buying a majority hold in the Daily Bugle and manipulating Parker’s status at ESU.

Osborn later became the star of the Secret Invasion by killing the Jessica Drew Skrull. In doing so, he was appointed as the new director of the S.H.I.E.L.D. group H.A.M.M.E.R. (acronym never revealed) and took the mantle of the Iron Patriot (using Stark’s armor design).

Osborn through the same insanity that made him the Green Goblin lost control at the end of his Dark Reign and was taken into protective custody. Whether he used his position in H.A.M.M.E.R for a professional advantage (likely) is unknown. What is known is that he could afford to build a special plant of Oscorp in Brooklyn specifically to see the bridge where he killed Gwen Stacey.

Justin Hammer, Industrialist
Justin Hammer, Industrialist | Source

Justin Hammer

And speaking of a Hammer, here's a real tool.

Justin Hammer is Tony Stark’s number one competitor. Hammer Industries is probably one of the leaders in arming super-villains who like to fight Iron Man. He is a financier of criminal activities and has backed villains like Whiplash (or Blacklash, if you prefer), The Beetle, The Constrictor, Discus, Leap-Frog (a bad investment), Man Killer, Porcupine, Stiletto, and Water Wizard.

He really doesn’t play fair and his best most consistent way of competing in the technology industry is to kill his main rival, Tony Stark. This is all done secretly and maliciously.

He is a cunning adversary and has probably done more to injure Tony Stark’s fortune than any other force. Even when Stark lost his company to Obadiah Stane, Hammer bought much of the Stane Stock, which was tainted through Stane’s malfeasance – sold it back to Stark who assumed the majority of the damages.

Justin Hammer is evil, rich, and powerful.

As a major competitor to Tony Stark, he would need to have a lot of capital to not only compete with him but to foil him as well.

Dr. Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic
Dr. Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic

Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic

We all know that back in the day, the Fantastic Four had its financial ups and downs.

Reed Richards like Tony Stark got his money as a combination of inheritance and through hard work. While it is true that the Fantastic Four (and tangentially Reed Richards) have at points fallen on hard times – being broke once or twice. We also saw that when it originally came to hiring Spider-man (Spider-man #1), Richards said that all their money went to science and experimentation.

However, the regular rule of thumb is that Reed Richards is loaded.

Richards earns enough money to not only buy the Baxter Building and Four Freedom Tower, but also has an entire business within Fantastic Four, Inc. When Reed isn’t inventing things or off saving the world from Skrulls or Ronan the Accuser, he’s managing the affairs of Latveria when Victor Von Doom is away in the netherworld dimensions.

We also have to remember that Reed Richards comes from money as well. Nathaniel Richards, Reed’s father (also a soopah genius) had megabucks as well.

Reed's patents are so valuable that he is able to normally bankroll the Fantastic Four, Inc., without any undue financial stress.

Nighthawk -  Kyle Richmond, Marvel's Bruce Wayne
Nighthawk - Kyle Richmond, Marvel's Bruce Wayne | Source

Kyle Richmond, Nighthawk

Every superteam needs a rich guy to finance it, it seems. The latest incarnation of the non-team, the Defenders (Doctor Strange, the Hulk, Submariner, and the Silver Surfer), gets their share of money from one specific hero vigilante.


Just as there are some superheroes that are a distorted reflection of a DC counterpart, Nighthawk is Marvel’s version of Batman. Well, almost. Nighthawk is nowhere near as dark and moody as Bruce Wayne, yet he has all of the toys, money, and power. As a matter of fact, Kyle’s counterpart in the Squadron Supreme Universe (dimension 712) made a bid for the US Presidency and won. Being president, though, didn’t keep him out of the vigilante game… and it didn’t keep him from being killed either.

Kyle Richmond, like all of the big rich guys in the Marvel Universe, is a billionaire industrialist heir. He’s been known to bankroll more than the Defenders as per whatever team he’s a member of. When he’s not being a good guy, he’s a member of the Squadron Sinister. He is socially conservative as he sided with Tony Stark and his pro-registration side of the Marvel Superhero Civil War.

As in all dimensions, it’s good to be rich.

Iron Fist
Iron Fist | Source

Daniel Rand, Iron Fist

Once again, if you have a superteam, you really need to bankroll it.

Daniel Rand was born into a good amount of money but did not grow up spoiled. How could he? He spent his formative years in the legendary extra-dimensional city of K’un-L’un. His father had also spent time there after saving the life of the city’s ruler, Lord Tuan. After coming back from K’un-L’un, Daniel’s father made his fortune in business and planned on returning as an expedition with his business partner Harold Meachum. Meachum betrayed Rand’s father by ensuring he fell from the mountain he was climbing.

Rand, after acquiring all the secrets of “the iron fist” from Shao Lao the Undying, returned to civilization and eventually was able to get the fortune of Rand-Meachum, Inc. Daniel Rand is now quite wealthy and has been able to bankroll Heroes for Hire, Inc. as well as the Secret Avengers.

According to Rand, he owns a few high real estate buildings within Manhattan and used one of them for the hideout for the Secret Avengers.

The Angel (or Archangel), aka Warren Worthington III
The Angel (or Archangel), aka Warren Worthington III | Source

Warren Worthington the Third, the Angel

It doesn’t happen every day, but when a rich mutant comes out of the mutant closet, people should know about it.

Warren Worthington the Third had everything. Parents that loved him, bags of money, and a pair of wings to let him fly. What more could anyone ask for? Warren is the CEO and heir to Worthington Industries, a multibillion dollar corporation.

The Angel owns properties around the world and, like all rich guys that like to finance superteams, was the original backer for X-Factor.

Ironically, like many of his classmates, the Angel has died and returned to life. Unfortunately, he has currently lost control of his fortune. I believe that like most things in the Marvel Universe this state of affairs is somewhat temporary.

Final Words

Money and power – where there’s one, you usually have the other.

Did I hit all the rich guys in the Marvel Universe? No. But the guys I mentioned are certainly worth remembering. Honorable mentions go to Professor X, the Red Skull, Magneto, Gregory Gideon, Baron Zemo, Ulysses Bloodstone, the original Union Jack, the original Baron Blood, and the Mandarin.

The Marvel Universe has some major financial players and heads of state fighting for and against justice. Some of the characters have used their powers for financial gain and have continued to use them to keep it. Others use intelligence, gumption, and even ruthlessness to get what they want.

What they got is a lot of money.

The funny thing is the quote, “With great power comes great responsibility”, is associated with one of the few characters that has not much financial power at all. We see what the good guys do with their cash. They make sure that other good guys continue to do what they do and have a safe place to hang their hat. They also make sure that they have the tools and equipment to wage war against the bad guys.

The bad thing is that we have an entire class of rich bad guys that use their cash to do nothing more than cause trouble and make more money – it’s sort of like real life. We hear that guns don’t kill people – people kill people. Yes, but the gun really helps. We also have a group that lobbies our government to ensure that people can kill people with ruthless efficiency in the guise of patriotism and rights.

You can’t make this up. It’s not the plot of a graphic novel, either.

However, what we do know in the end is with our Marvel characters is that money and power make a huge bit of difference to everyone involved.

© 2013 Christopher Peruzzi

More by this Author

Comments 13 comments

Dominique L profile image

Dominique L 3 years ago from Oregon

Duuuuuuude, good point about Narmer. That actually makes a lot of sense. And kudos for the mention of Sable. She never gets enough love.

cperuzzi profile image

cperuzzi 3 years ago from Freehold, NJ Author

As I said, there are lots of rich and power in Marvel. Few mention Gregory Gideon or Diablo (immortal and alchemy must have changed base metals to gold by now) as the Marvel Rich and Famous.

ScottLoogan profile image

ScottLoogan 2 years ago from High Point, NC, USA

Great hub. And I agree that these are the most well-known and maybe richest of the rich of Marvel. Very detailed and well written. Some of the information is a bit dated though. Fisk did end up going to prison after being convicted of something. Hammer died, and his ruthless daughter and widow are running the corporation now. I'm not sure if Doom and Iron-man are the richest in Marvel, but they are my favorite rich guys. I think Cyclops during the Utopia period also had control over as many resources as just about anyone else on the list. Oh, and maybe Moon Knight as honorable mention, if not on the list itself.

cperuzzi profile image

cperuzzi 2 years ago from Freehold, NJ Author

Thanks for that.

It's very difficult to keep up with casualty rates for both DC and Marvel. I forgot Marc Spector - that is a great honorable mention. We should also remember that his wealth would need to be divided amongst the different personalities he has at any given moment.

The one thing about articles like this is that these are the rich guys we know of - just like the criminals we know of. When we think about rich guys and villains we think of the ones that are overt about it. A really successful villain is one that no one has heard of or even suspects of being a villain - yet he remains a terrible force for evil. The same can be said about wealth. If you met Warren Buffett on the street, you'd never guess he was "The Warren Buffett". All you'd see is the grandfather who doesn't even contemplate buying an extra scoop of ice cream for his grandkids.

I am certain there are plenty of characters in the Marvel Universe that have huge reserves of cash hidden away. For example, those of us who are following the exploits of "The Superior Spider-man" had no idea that Doctor Octopus had millions of dollars ferreted away in hidden accounts that he continues to use as the "new" Peter Parker. Doc Ock wasn't even on my radar.

I also stay with the cardinal rule of comic book writing. No one stays dead for long - Justin Hammer included. Fisk will get his empire back because - as usual - nature abhors a vacuum. I rationalize Doom as a major player because as a monarch he has an almost limitless potential for making more capital. I'd discount Cyclops as I'd be more prone to see Warren Worthington III as the rich boy of the X-teams.

But you're right, keeping current with these things is important, because anyone could win the lottery.

ScottLoogan profile image

ScottLoogan 2 years ago from High Point, NC, USA

Very good points :) And as for Doc Ock....I think hat it should be an unspoken general rule that all super-smart characters hide sums of money over their career. It's the smart thing to do. Oh, I also forgot that there are many other people smarter than Stark, and possibly Doom. Hank Pym, The Mad Thinker, Bruce Banner, Hank McCoy, etc. Richards is generally accepted as the absolute smartest of the Marvels, though.

cperuzzi profile image

cperuzzi 2 years ago from Freehold, NJ Author

Ahh, intellect.

I think the five real intellects of the Marvel Universe that are on a super genius level would be the following: Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Hank Pym. These are the guys you'd go to if you needed to resolve a science problem without going to the outrageously god-like intellects like Galactus, the High Evolutionary, the Grandmaster, Thanos, any of the Eternals, any of the Olympians, any of the Asgardians, The Stranger, The Overmind, Diablo, The Mad Thinker, The Watcher, and any of the characters that are near omniscient.

You do have a second tier of mere geniuses like Hank McCoy (in his own admission had trouble keeping up with Pym and Richards in an autopsy), the Wizard, Doc Ock, Smythe, The Red Ghost, and the Machinesmith.

But getting back - Reed, Stark, Pym, and Banner are your "go to" guys. You can even include Charles Xavier as he's the guy you'd turn to for genetic issues. And, once again, if you were absolutely desperate and didn't care about selling your soul - you'd go to Doom.

ScottLoogan profile image

ScottLoogan 2 years ago from High Point, NC, USA

Very good points. The difference between actual intelligence vs. useful intelligence is a big one. The Mad Thinker is one of the smartest people there is..but he's evil and insane and a lot of what he says no one can interpret. I was making my list off a half-remembered part of a comic..I think one of the Civil War or Initiative comics, when Stark himself was telling someone all the people who were actually smarter than himself. But he said the one area he excelled at even beyond all the smarter people was predicting what people will need and want before it happens.

cperuzzi profile image

cperuzzi 2 years ago from Freehold, NJ Author

That's why Stark is a CEO. It's basic Sun Szu - know yourself, know your strengths, know your weakness, know your terrain, and know your enemy.

When you think of the Mad Thinker, he's not only an intellectual genius with a mind that's like an organic computer, he's a creative genius as well. I think it was in the Fantastic Four graphic novel "The End" when he got by all of the intergalactic communications barriers by going low-tech. His big thing is that he thinks of every possible contingency and is only really foiled by the random "x-factor".

Sure, there are smarter guys than Stark and Richards - like the gamma irradiated Leader. He's a genius a thousand times over, yet he has a terrible weakness for immature outbursts and impatience.

It's as in all things. It's what you do with what you've got that counts.

vhayward profile image

vhayward 18 months ago from Michigan

This was super interesting to read, my inner nerd is very happy. Thanks for a great article :)

cperuzzi profile image

cperuzzi 18 months ago from Freehold, NJ Author

I'm glad you liked it.

Taranwanderer profile image

Taranwanderer 13 months ago

Very dedicated work! I'd have to go with T'Challa as the richest superhero, given the mountains of vibranium. That stuff's nearly priceless. Namor may be a very close second - there's a lot of gold dust in the ocean and rocks. Awesome writing!

cperuzzi profile image

cperuzzi 13 months ago from Freehold, NJ Author

Thank you. The research was a bit painstaking.

The Balck Panther does have quite a lot of wealth for its size... And so long as Black Panther is reigning he is the richest. He does have to worry about usurpers who challenge his physical power.

Namor's throne and wealth are a tad more stable, but he has the same issues.

cperuzzi profile image

cperuzzi 13 months ago from Freehold, NJ Author

A few minor corrections:

I meant to say Wakanda is a rich nation for its size. (Black not Balck). The monarch of that country is rich.

Atlantis is a rich kingdom and so long as Namor is its sovereign he is a rich hero.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    cperuzzi profile image

    Christopher Peruzzi (cperuzzi)241 Followers
    171 Articles

    Chris Peruzzi is a comic book superhero historian who is passionate about how today's comic book heroes are the new mythology for America.

    Click to Rate This Article