Fighting crime in cape and tights won’t always pay the bills… Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Blue Collar Day Jobs!

Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Upton Sinclair, Presents:



Though good of heart and noble of spirit, Chuck Taine isn’t always the brightest bulb at the bottom of the barrel. His superhero career began with a random gig as a delivery boy, during which he took time off to catch a robot gladiator tournament. If the several-hour-long delay weren’t enough to prove that he wasn’t cut out for such a gig, the fact that he accidentally *DRANK* the super-plastic fluid he was tasked with delivering should have. Fortunately, Chuck’s C.V. quickly added “Legionnaire”, a job that he excelled at, in his own quirky way. He even became the headmaster of the Legion Academy, teaching new heroes the ropes.


Born a mutant with wind powers, Sofía Mantega-Barrett was one of the many mutants depowered by The Scarlet Witch after the events of ‘House of M’, forcing her to take a job as a waitress in a diner.  (The fact that nearly none of those depowered mutants were well-known or headlining their own books was a coincidence most astonishing.)  Soon after, though, she became enmeshed in the second Night Thrasher’s plan to recreate The New Warriors. Using technology stolen from from Doctor Octopus and others, she took on a hard-to-pronounce alias and became part of the short-lived team, though she has not been seen since its disbanding.


Colloquially known as ‘The Working Class Mage’, it’s never been exactly clear which of John’s jobs that title might be referring to.  (John has been a bartender, a rock star, a paranormal investigator and many more during his years in comics…  I’m still gonna count it, though.)  As an occult detective and wandering troubleshooter, he has become a central figure of the DC Universe since the original Crisis On Infinite Earths, even pulling off the feat of returning from Vertigo to the New 52.


His cleverness with cantrips is rivaled only by his skills with a wrench, and he can rebuild your carbeurator while clearing the demon infestation from your townhouse! Secretly Arthur Merlin Witwicky, his power is actually bestowed by ancient artifacts, as he wears  the Cape of Cagliostro in concert with the Coveralls of Cooter Davenport.  Even so, he still takes the time to operate his repair business when not traveling the cosmos to defend against mystic threats and stripped bolts.


A blackjack dealer by trade (which may not be precisely blue collar, but is definitely service sector), Pete Riske signed up to make some money on the side as a subject in clinical trials. He didn’t count on those trials being run by the nefarious Baron Blade, nor on getting the power to affect probability around him (though not always in positive ways.) His bad luck can boomerang on him or his allies if he’s not careful about it.


A dangerous assassin and foe of Captain Canuck, little is known of her besides her utterly lethal reputation, but one thing is clear:

That collar is totally blue, y’all.


Thanks to a descent into depression and a possible psychotic break, short order cook Frank Darbo becomes the protector of the innocent and defender of right (with Swift and blinding violence.).  Armed with the Pipe Wrench of Justice, he beats the bajeezus out of wrongdoers, eventually attracting media attention and even a sidekick. Frank’s story has a bittersweet ending, for sure, but he at least comes to terms with the terrible situations that drove him over the edge.


A bouncer by trade, Scott Tucker is brought into the team known as the Young Heroes by his pal, Offramp, becoming their strong arm and good heart. Though occasionally not the most thoughtful hero, Thunderhead forges friendships while punching evil and develops a massive crush on literal hottie Bonfire, whose attentions are focused on the bad boy, Frostbite. Of course, he doesn’t realize that Zip-Kid is crushing on him, while Junior crushes on her, making it a perfect metaphor for my college days. #YoungHeroesInLove


Spending his days as a truck driver (whose gigs are sadly controlled by organized crime), Mike McCluskey was exposed to toxic chemicals during one of his runs. An experimental procedure negated the poison and gave him enhanced strength and healing powers, which he then used to target the mob, using the costume and identity of a retired vigilante cop. Mike also plied his trade with the Sentinels of Justice, associates of Femforce, led by the legendary Captain Paragon.


Blue Collar Day Jobs

The most powerful telekinetic in the world, Tommy Tudbury became a crimefighter after dropping out of college. Since most of his time was tied up in flying around the city in armored shells (the first of which was converted from a Volkswagen Beetle), Tommy spent his days in a low-paying gig as a TV repairman, which also kept him in electronic parts to keep his shells afloat. Finally retiring in the late 80s after decades of action, The Turtle wrote a tell-all autobiography and finally got out of wage slave oblivion.

Thanks to Faithful Spoilerite @wnathan for this week’s topic! Feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra for more Ten Things madness on Twitter or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, if only because excessively rich and oppressively poor superheroes are the norm. There is no caped middle class, it seems. Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!

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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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