IF SUPERHEROES TRAVELED LIKE US
Superhero movies have been dominating the big screen for at least the last decade and, with all of the films and projects that have been announced through 2021, they probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. More than just showing us fantastical super powers, or otherworldly dimensions, comic book movies transport us to new and exciting locations in virtually every film. Of course, for superheroes, this kind traveling is easy. They can use their superpowers or they have their own jets or fleets of cars! But what if they didn’t? We looked at four of the most recent popular superhero films to find out what travel in the real world would look like if Spider-Man couldn’t swing between buildings or Superman couldn’t fly. Read on to see what we discovered.
With Great Ridesharing Comes Great ResponsibilitySpins a web, any size, catches thieves just like flies – but what if he had to call an Uber like the rest of us? After all, Peter Parker may have proved he was basically just your average teenage kid in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” ..(with just a few key exceptions!). Having been bitten by a radioactive spider at some point in his youth, Peter Parker becomes the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man at a fairly young age. In “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, Spidey also manages to fit in a substantial amount of traveling between balancing his new alter-ego, home work, and beating the bad guys. From his hometown of Queens, New York, all the way to Washington D.C and the top-secret secret Avengers HQ, Peter manages to get around with his trusty high tech web-slinging suit, courtesy of Tony Stark. But imagine if he hadn’t had those webs (or Tony Stark’s limo) to carry him across the country? By our estimation, it might have cost Spider-Man a pretty penny to get around using more conventional methods of transportation. Assuming he traveled more than 1,100 miles over the course of the film, traveling by Uber would have cost nearly $3,000 (without surge pricing) between mileage, time, and base cost. Surely his billionaire buddy, Tony Stark (Iron Man), would be willing to help offset the costs.
Invisible Jet-SettingWhen Wonder Woman made her solo-film debut in 2017, Diana Prince didn’t just save the world from nazi invaders or even break down barriers for female superheroes – she broke records at the box office too. Maybe the Amazonian goddess used some of that cash to foot her travels? As a princess from the fictional land of Themyscira, we weren’t able to calculate the exact number of miles Wonder Woman traveled between her home and London over the course of the film. By using an island off the coast of Spain instead (the location Steve Trevor might been flying over at the point he was shot down) we came up with a close estimation. Assuming Diana and Steve traveled just over 1,320 miles to get to London and beat the villainous Aries, the combined cost of her train ride ($195.04) and the sailboat they might have rented ($1382.22) would have added up to a grand total of $1,577.26. Perhaps trading in one of those indestructible gauntlets or renting out the Lasso of Truth might have helped cover the bill?
Man Of Free RidesOn both the big screen and in the comic books, Superman has been through his fair share of reboots. While the 2013 “Man of Steel” is (currently) the most recent standalone Superman film, it’s entirely possible that a direct sequel of that movie would still be a reboot of sorts. Of course, since his inception in 1939, a couple of things about Superman have remained relatively consistent. His costume and logo are one of the most iconic symbols anywhere in the world. His love for Lois Lane ranks among the best fictional relationships ever. And he’s literally faster than a speeding bullet. Built-in aviation makes Superman’s travels in “Man of Steel” from Metropolis to the Phantom Zone (and even into space) a complete non-issue, but if Clark Kent didn’t have his secret Superman identity to help him get around, that travel would add up. If he couldn’t fly, let’s imagine that Clark Kent would rent private charter planes and helicopters to help him get around and protect his identity in “Man of Steel.” With over 69,000 miles covered over the course of the film, the total cost of his domestic, international, and space age travel could have cost a cool $1.1 million. Getting that bill in the mail might just be the scariest Superman moment of all-time.
Jarvis, Bring The Yacht AroundBy now we know when it comes to the Avengers, Tony Stark is probably the guy signing the checks. There seems to be no limit to what his mind can create or what his cash can buy. Iron Man may have only played a small role in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, but he showed up just long enough to bestow a brand new suite upon our up-and-coming Spider Man complete with all the bells and whistles a high school boy could ever want. But what if instead of being a billionaire inventor, Tony Stark were just like the rest of us – or even like the rest of the Avengers? How would he ever pay for all of those on-the-fly trips around the world? In the 2013 “Iron Man 3”, Tony Stark travels across the country – from the to-secret Avengers HQ in upstate New York, to NYC, to Tennessee and Washington D.C. – and as only Iron Man can, he does it in style. Covering an estimated 12,860 miles in total, Stark’s excursions by both land and sea would have cost just about anyone else a chunk of change! With the limo rental alone ringing in at just over $31,097 and the yacht at $3,999, Iron Man’s travels would have cost someone in the real world over $35,096.
Real Life TravelNow that we know what it might have cost to get around in some of our favorite comic book movies, it’s fair to wonder how any of these heroes would have financed their fare. It’s no surprise that Peter Parker in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” would have found paying his Uber tab the most difficult on his own. As a high school student by day, the web-slinging Spider-Man doesn’t actually have a salary. Historically, Parker goes on to become a photographer for the Daily Bugle so it’s possible that his financial position could evolve, but for now he’d probably be looking to Uncle Ben and Aunt May to help him afford his altruistic lifestyle. Watching Iron Man pay for expensive things is almost half the fun when he makes his cameo appearances in miscellaneous Marvel movies these days. We’ve gotten so used to seeing him pay for the extravagant ships, armor, and overall expenses of the Avengers, we might have forgotten to ask when he has time to make any of that money back. Still, with no change on the horizon to his billionaire status, it wouldn’t take any time at all for him to pay back his $35,000 travel debt from “Iron Man 3”. On the other hand, without his superhuman strength or speed, Superman’s reporter paycheck wouldn’t cut it. Superman would have to spend more than 26 years working at the newspaper to pay off his travel bills. Wonder Woman’s travels are more affordable for an everyday earner. While we still have a lot left to learn about the modern day Diana Prince, we did get a glimpse of her life as a museum archaeologist in “Wonder Woman”. At an estimated annual salary of more than $63,000 a year, it would only take her just over 9 days to fully pay down her transportation tab. Worth it, for sure!
Your Own Super Travel OptionsSeeing the world is good for people of all ages. For young people especially, it supercharges classroom learning, and gives students a boost for college. With so much world to see, WorldStrides help makes student travel programs really count. With over 7 million students participating in our educational programs, we’ve taken the worry out of travel for thousands of teachers and parents. And our scholarships and fundraising support helps make sure more students experience fun and the learning on our trips. You can start exploring WorldStrides.com today to see our most popular destinations and learn more about how we make travel possible.
MethodologyWe watched the most recent film for each of the four superheroes and recorded distance traveled. In certain cases we used close approximations or outside sources to find exact locations. For example, when documenting Spider-Man’s distance traveled we tracked city blocks as he traveled around the city. We then calculated mileage around the city by using the average length of a city block in New York City. We also utilized real landmarks to calculate distance when possible. When traveling to & from different countries we calculated distance between the two closest airports. When calculating distances between cities without any discernible landmarks, we calculated distance from one downtown area to the other. When an area was unknown we calculated the distance to the closest possible area that matched that scene’s surroundings.