By Eilis Flynn
How do super-heroes look for work? As super-heroes, that is. We’ve seen plenty of panels in comics that involve said characters, in their secret identities, perusing the want ads in newspapers. And websites, in later issues. (There’s nothing much in the newspapers these days, of course; but then, there aren’t that many newspapers either.)
So for their day-by-day lives, they look for jobs the way anybody else does. I’ve always assumed that their interviews are somewhat awkward. Because those interviews are always awkward, sure, but think of the part when Our Heroes are asked about relative availability: “Oh, 24 hours a day! Except when I have other obligations.” Questions about the kind of obligations will be asked. Lies will be told. Good recruiters will smell something fishy. Good super-heroes will stonewall or lie through their teeth. Fortunately, there are many bad recruiters and managers in the world. Still.
Yeah, unless they’re tech geeks or health care professionals, those unemployed super-heroes are not going to get quick nibbles for decent employment. If they’re reporters, journalism jobs are pretty thin on the vine. Maybe if they’re scientists, they may have luck looking for work, depending on their specialty. Academics? Are they tenured? If they are, they don’t have to worry about a new job, but if they’re not, their jobs are in constant peril, and it’s hard to battle The Big Bads if you’re worried about where your next paycheck is coming from. If they’re in retail? These days, never a steady living, probably made harder because as a super-hero you’re always vanishing to battle thugs and a super-villain or two. Although they’ll be able to find temp work around the holidays. Overall, sooner or later all these super-heroes would probably get employment, but it’s not going to be an easy job (yes, deliberate wording, and yes, I’m sorry). Only a few Bruce Waynes or Tony Starks around, after all.
Most super-heroes have to earn a living somehow. I assume if they’re in an organized, well-funded super-hero association of some kind, they can live at the clubhouse (see: the Legion of Super-Heroes’ clubhouse, the Justice League’s watchtower, or the Avengers mansion, and so forth). So if need be, rent’s taken care of. But they have to pay for those uniforms—the cleaning, the replacement, the equipment. Their day-to-day clothing (or, their civilian clothing when they’re on vacation or on a date, say, but neither are likely to happen). Bills. Alimony, maybe. Child support. There’s a reason Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark would be super-heroes: The dilettante rich can afford it. And if they’re dilettantes, well, they don’t have much else to do, anyway.
Anyway, back to my original question. How do everyday Joe super-heroes look for employment? The easy way, naturally, is to hit up one of the dilettante rich super-heroes for a job. But that doesn’t seem to happen that often, indicating that super-heroes also have pride, which is stupid, because they’re out risking their lives battling super-villains or large monsters or hostile aliens from outer space. Surely it wouldn’t be out of the question to have a stable job so you can keep saving the world. If nothing else, so you can make repairs on the uniforms and to be able to have a square meal once in a while.
That’s their lives as super-heroes, though. In their lives as civilians, though, it’s a whole ‘nother sit. There are no boundaries they can’t challenge. Except acing that interview.
Eilis Flynn can be found at Facebook, Twitter, or at her website at www.eilisflynn.com. Since she was laid off recently, she’s also looking for a job, which is why she started to think about super-heroes and employment. Right now, she’s working on short stories about her super-heroine Sonika.