What exactly does it say about our culture that the two biggest superheroes of the summer movie season are also billionaires, and how does a Cullen family patriarch fit into it all?
Must be rich folk can afford better body armor than your average working class vigilante, and 400-years as a vampire gives you a leg up playing the stockmarket, as Forbes Magazine adds Bruce Wayne (#8) and Tony Stark (#5) as well as "Twilight" vampire Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli) at #3, to their 2012 list of the "Fictional 15," the wealthiest made-up people in the world.
While Robert Downey Jr. has always erred on the side of light and bubbly in his role as Stark/Iron Man, a cool cat industrialist who enjoys a car, gadget or expensive suit as much as the next magnate, Christian Bale's portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman has been somewhat reluctant to savor his 1%-er lifestyle, preferring the solitude of a Batcave or a grimy alley.
Does the battle for box-office supremacy between "The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight Rises" parallel the longtime rivalry between billion-dollar CEOs Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs? Despite their influence, we're pretty sure neither of those gentlemen had any sweet aircraft like The Bat or a Quinjet … that we know of. Perhaps next year Apple will unveil its paramilitary iTroops to replace soldiers the way the iPod replaced CDs.
Other well-to-do pop culture staples on Forbes' list include Orson Welles' Charles Foster Kane at #7, shrimp entrepreneur Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) at #9, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" hacker extraordinaire Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) at #10, and coming in at #1 is Smaug the dragon, soon to enter legendary cinematic status in Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" movies voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.