Everybody loves talking about the rich, even if they’re fictional – so much so that Forbes puts together an annual list of the Forbes Fictional 15, the top fifteen richest fictional characters that year. It’s a fun exercise in finances, with Forbes tallying up well known fictional characters and their net worth estimates. Throw in the fact that some of these characters aren’t just rich – they’re baaaaad – and it’s one heck of a fun read. Here are the top five rich bad guys from pop culture, as taken from the Forbes Fictional 15.
1. Ming the Merciless (from Flash Gordon) – Ming the Merciless made the list in 2007 with a $20.9 billion net worth. Evil Emperor of the Planet Mongo, he is known as a ruthless despot who constantly knocks heads with Flash Gordon. Since Ming is basically a dictator, there’s very little difference between his personal fortune and the planetary finances.
2. Mom (from Futurama) – At number four on the 2007 list, Mom is worth a whopping $15.7 billion that she made from technology and conglomerates. As the CEO of MomCorp, she has her finger in many pies, with companies that produce things from robots to weapons. Although she puts on a sweet matronly face for the public and participates in many charity fundraisers, insiders know her true self: ruthless, dangerous and determined to get her way.
3. C. Montgomery Burns (from The Simpsons) – Mr. Burns is worth $1.1 billion and is number twelve on the 2011 list. He is the owner and operator of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. He’s had his ups and downs though, with his most recent down resulting from the EPA trying to reduce the amount of pollution produced by his plant by putting the entire city of Springfield under a giant glass dome. During that time, his mansion was looted and he lost several priceless artifacts. Once the dome was removed though, he stood to make a great deal of money through new contracts. He cares little for his workers’ safety or names, preferring to focus on how to make more money and flaunt his power.
4. Gordon Gekko (from Wall Street and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) – Reputed to be worth $1.1 billion, Gekko is number fourteen on the 2011 list. Unfortunately for Gekko, this is a major drop from 2008 when he hit number four on the list. Gekko made his billions through his investment firm Gekko & Co, but everything went downhill for him when he was convicted of insider trading and securities fraud. He got out of jail eight years later in 2001 and leaving the world of investments, became an author and lecturer. He got back to the top eventually though by taking his daughter’s trust fund and putting it into a new hedge fund.
5. Adrian Veidt (from Watchmen) – Mr. Veidt got onto the 2010 list at number six with $7 billion. Considered to be the smartest man on the planet, Veidt reinvented himself several times. At seventeen, he received a large inheritance and donated it all to charity. He then became Ozymandias and fought crime. After retiring from being a crime fighter, he started marketing the Ozymandias image and once again became a billionaire. He was known as a great humanitarian, but the truth was he was just using his reputation to create a major catastrophe on Earth in order to unite mankind.
- Forbes Magazine “Richest Fictional 15 Characters” (femmesdallure.com)