Boy those superheroes sure have it easy don’t they? They dedicate their lives to vigilantism and never usually have to worry about clocking in for the old 9-to-5 for very long. The rest of the working public has to go into the daily grind every week and simply hope a random superhero battle doesn’t snarl traffic or smash up their main office.
This lends itself to a unique problem however, in that a lot of villains have emerged and use corporations as fronts to their nefarious activities. So what’s a humble civilian to do if they want to avoid working for a psychotic criminal CEO? We’ve compiled a few companies in comic books that are perfect for the average Joe on a job hunt.
Employees say: “The current owner is very Zen, but has made a lot of positive changes that make Rand a truly great place to work!”
Starting out, the Rand Corporation was a multi-billion venture that revolved around business research and investment. The company was unfortunately mired in turmoil, as one of the founders Wendell Rand was killed by his co-founder Harold Meachum. Now rightfully taken over by Danny Rand, the firm has made strides and profits day in and day out; often infusing its profit into improving the community.
Rand might not be most employees’ first choice in firms, but they can trust in its direction never wavering. Having Danny Rand as CEO pretty much ensures that the business would be shut down before he’d allow a hostile takeover. Rand definitely has had its fair share of turmoil over the years, but overall has remained a consistent brand that continues to do good business where it can.
BIG BELLY BURGER
Employees say: “Yes, it’s fast food, but there’s something nice in being a neighborhood staple. Plus you get free burgers at the end of your shift!”
This may not be the most glamorous place to work, but it has all the charm of a longstanding go-to food joint enjoyed by all. It is one of the largest fast-food chains across the U.S. (in DC continuity that is), and is known for serving up gut-busting, delicious burgers. The restaurant has been patronized by a number of heroes throughout the years, including Superman and Booster Gold.
Who hasn’t had to work a customer service job in the past? The good thing about Big Belly Burger is that it’s a well known name to add to your resume. Besides being a steady gig, employees could transfer wherever they need to since the chain spreads so far and there might be an off chance of meeting a superhero during their off hours.
Employees say: “Not the most prestigious in the R&D sector, but a good place to start if you like technology (with entomology themes for some odd reason).”
Kord Enterprises (or Industries in certain continuities) is run by Ted Kord, the scientist that leads a double life as the superhero Blue Beetle. Kord utilized the company to invest in making his bug-like gadgetry over the years, before becoming entrenched in technology development and researching materials or artifacts that came from space. Later on, the conglomerate was absorbed into Wayne Enterprises, where it functions as a subsidiary.
The corporation might be small potatoes in relation to its bigger budgeted peers, but Kord Enterprises still works to do good on its own. While some other places work on phones, medical research or other things as a front to superhero activities, Kord puts all its cards on the table (at least in the early days).
NELSON AND MURDOCK
Employees say: “Pay isn’t great and the office is a bit shoddy, but the amazing work you do alongside the founders every day really makes it worth it!”
Before Matt Murdock was fully devoted to fighting off the evils of Hell’s Kitchen clad in spandex shorts, he furtively studied law and went into business with his best friend Foggy Nelson. The two created Nelson And Murdock, a small time law office that gained a reputation for defending the most disenfranchised clients against the worst of lawbreakers.
Sure, there might be law firms that have perks like a car service or huge bonuses, but Nelson And Murdock is known for truly making a difference in the lives of their clients. They’ve only represented the truly innocent and wouldn’t waver against the bullying tactics of other firms or criminals that wished to silence them. Employees may not get all the glamour of a high-end law firm, but working at Nelson And Murdock can provide an unmatched experience that makes people truly believe in the justice system working to apply for all, instead of the privileged few.
Employees say: “Lots of different owners and rebranding through the years, but it has great benefits and feels like the CEO really cares about his employees.”
Inheriting a company might sound easy to some, but for Oliver Queen it’s been a long process. The businessman by day and Green Arrow by night, Queen has worked to keep his parents’ company clear of corruption or shady dealings. In the early days, he used its resources to develop vigilante weaponry and, since then, the company has broadened its horizons with helpful consumer devices (the profits in part funding his superhero lifestyle, of course).
For potential hires, Queen Industries has a lot to offer. There’s the nice building, the consistent product line and the CEO that genuinely wants the company to positively impact the world (even though he often disappears for long stretches of time). Sure Queen Industries has come to change hands a lot in recent years and be all but driven into the ground, but the business is a resilient one. So long as there is a Queen family member wanting to do good, there will likely be a strong resurgence of Queen Industries in the future.
Employees say: “The editor is a bit of a jerk, but the Bugle is a good place to work if you’re getting your feet wet in the journalism field.”
The Daily Bugle is a tabloid-style publication well-renowned for its criticism of superheroes, particularly Spider-Man. Run by the ever rough-edged J. Jonah Jameson for a number of years, the daily paper was the popular go-to for citizens to get their vigilante news. The Bugle fell on hard times later on its run, eventually being acquired and changed over, but its spirit as an outlet for checking the real facts behind the heroes has lived on.
For employees sick of all those other news outlets posting rah-rah stories celebrating every little thing those vigilantes do, The Daily Bugle is the best place to be. This media company takes a hard look at superheroes and was unwilling to excuse their sometimes questionable actions done in the name of good. Sure it might not be glitzy, but The Bugle is a time tested publication that readies its writers with more experience wherever they go.
Employees say: “Home office tends to get destroyed or moved every so often, but other than that, it’s a nice place to work. Boss man is a little scary, but a good guy at heart.”
Known primarily as the Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been a longstanding organization tasked with protecting people from superpowered threats on a global scale. Their operations span across the world, with operatives of every skill set ready to fight at a moment’s notice. The organization has a lot of help from superheroes as well, including the Avengers and Fantastic Four, which have assisted in their missions to fend off any villainous attacks to innocent civilians.
Sure, you may not see S.H.I.E.L.D. listed at the top of the Fortune 500 given a large part of its operations happen under the radar, but it’s still a place that actively recruits employees to keep it functioning. From technology to defense, communications and more, this company is a place employees can find their calling without feeling limited on who or where they can help.
Employees say: “This is THE place to be if you’re in aviation. It’s rare to be in a workplace that allows you to take high risks, but it’s rewarding. Sometimes.”
Ferris Aircraft, known better as Ferris Air, is a well-known name in aviation. The company made its reputation in the earliest days by making strides with experimental aircraft and air flying strategies. Hal Jordan was most famously a former pilot for the company before becoming a Green Lantern. Ferris Air experienced a few struggles financially before the current owner Carol Ferris took over and turned it around for the better. Now the business still has a focus on experimental planes, but also works as a commercial airliner.
Whereas plenty of other corporations have loads of subdivisions, Ferris Air focuses on one thing: flying. This is the perfect place for job-seekers to go if they don’t want to be chained to commercial piloting and want a sense of progress in their careers. If you’re lucky, you might even get to meet an alien or two.
BUREAU OF PARANORMAL RESEARCH AND DEFENSE
Employees say: “Lots of fun and eclectic people to interact with. Great place to work if you hate Nazis!”
This particular comic book workplace is certainly tied to multiple governments, but functions well on its own. The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, B.P.R.D. for short, is responsible for fighting off all manner of occult threat to the world; namely Nazis. It’s most famous member is undoubtedly Hellboy, but they also employ Abe Sapien, Johann Kraus and Elizabeth Sherman, just to name a few.
Working at the Bureau is certainly not easy work for most of its employees, but it’s certainly rewarding. Most B.P.R.D. workers are tasked with fighting off paranormal threats that the unwitting masses couldn’t even comprehend, much less fight against. To be one of the privileged few that can not only take up arms against these ever emerging paranormal perils is not for the faint of heart, and shows a person’s true mettle when they join this workplace.
Employees say: “Plenty of work to go around. So long as there are superheroes throwing each other around downtown every week, there is job security.”
The crazy punch ups between heroes may be exciting to behold, but it often results in a lot of collateral damage to the surrounding areas. Windows are smashed, streets decimated and sometimes entire buildings are demolished. This is where Damage Control comes in. The company took on the incredibly necessary niche of quickly repairing the destructive aftermath of these super battles.
For a lot of employees, this isn’t just a generic construction job, it’s a chance to rub elbows with heroes and villains. Plenty of repair jobs have placed Damage Control workers square in the paths of The Punisher and a few X-Men throughout their careers. The perks may be few (or nonexistent), but the work is important in getting New York cleared up for its citizens to return to business; until another super villain decides to scrap with someone that is.
Employees say: “This company has become one of the top news organizations in the world and pushes employees to get great coverage. One particular writer doesn’t seem to be held to the standards of the others for some odd reason though.”
Known as one of the biggest newspaper companies in Metropolis, The Daily Planet has gained a reputation for its amazing coverage on political corruption, crime and the city’s shining beacon Superman. Home to the reporter famous for tracking down great stories and never backing down, Lois Lane, as well as the award-winning photojournalist Jimmie Olsen, the news organization has gone through lots of growth over the years.
While The Daily Planet has certainly gone through some dark times, like being acquired by Lex Luthor or straight up having its building destroyed, its name has continued to be a positive one. Employees at this news platform are seen as some of the best journalists the world over and are unafraid to expose the evil doers behind the scenes that prey on the little guy. Plus, the offices are pretty darn nice to boot.
Employees say: “Lots of opportunities in the cybernetics division. Sometimes the boss acts like he is two different people.”
Back when Peter Parker wasn’t quite himself and actually inhabited by Otto Octavius inthe young man created his own company called Parker Industries. Starting with a strong focus in cybernetics for limb replacement, the business grew into a multi-billion dollar corporation. The company eventually went under the leadership of the actual Peter Parker after a time, during which he struggled to acclimate to it.
For those passionate about science, this is the place to be! Parker Industries has historically been run by scientists, so the company isn’t bogged down simply because the man in charge doesn’t “get” the progress that can be made with research. Yeah, the building got destroyed once, but it was relocated quickly to resume operations, so employees won’t be affected too much when the odd villain decides to bust up the workplace. Plus Spider-Man seems to be near the building a lot for some reason.
Employees say: “Sometimes the work environment can get a little hostile and better perks are offered elsewhere, but meeting Supergirl in person is way better than donut Fridays.”
The Scientific and Technological Advanced Research Labs (commonly referenced as S.T.A.R. Labs), was established as a way to research all manner of science and technology without being beholden to any one government. The company was established as its own business to ensure that outside interests, such as military or corporate ventures, wouldn’t sully its progress in research. S.T.A.R. Labs has only grown in size and scale over the years and, while it has experienced its lulls, it’s still an incredibly prestigious name in the scientific business community.
If employees want to be on the bleeding edge of metahuman and alien research, apply nowhere else. Scientists working at S.T.A.R. Labs consult with heroes on a near daily basis, as the company is considered the de facto leader in the field. Workers can be employed all around the globe and be among the first to see what new amazing things have come to planet Earth.
Employees say: “CEO is a bit of an egomaniac, but you get to make some of the most cutting-edge defense technology the world (or those other ones) has ever seen!”
Stark Industries is a company with a somewhat lengthy history. It has operated under the sometimes questionable guidance of Tony Stark as its CEO, but has experienced a few temporary leadership changes in recent years before inevitably going back to him. The business has prided itself on being the leading supplier of high-tech weaponry and defense technologies in the world. Not only is it known for manufacturing the Iron Man armor, but it has created new types of munitions and such for S.H.I.E.L.D. as well.
Granted, Stark Industries has definitely experienced a lot of volatility in its business outlook. Going through bankruptcy and corporate takeovers (as well as the current CEO going off the deep end every so often), the company has certainly been through a lot. The employees, however, have a lot of benefits and get to add the prestigious name in defense manufacturing to their resumes. Stark Industries are simply unmatched in its field, which is probably why it’s been targeted so much by its rivals.
Employees say: “Great benefits, tons of departments to work in and amazing holiday parties every year!”
Bruce Wayne may don a cape and cowl every night as Batman, but his family is well entrenched in business. Martha and Thomas Wayne were his parents and known for making huge strides in the company’s legacy with the creation of the Wayne Foundation. When Bruce took over, he admittedly had his stumbles, but soldiered on to keep the booming business running. The corporation has slews of subdivisions in tons of industries, such as Wayne Security, Wayne Shipping, Wayne Medical, Wayne Electronics and much more.
As far as places to work, Wayne Enterprises pretty much takes the cake. The company has rarely experienced any long term downturn in their business. It’s not hard to feel positive about the business either, with its strong focus on charitable causes with the Wayne Foundation to help those less fortunate. Bruce Wayne is probably one of the most well-known CEOs around with a sense of doing right by everyone, so employees can expect a non-hostile work environment, good bosses and great pay at Wayne Enterprises.
What other fictional comic book companies do you think would make for a great workplace? Let us know in the comments!
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