A Brief Risk To Reward Analysis…

I think about comic books too much.

Cap’s asking a good question there. Each one of those crooks has two hands…except that the Penguin has his umbrella, meaning that he has to carry that thing around. That leaves them with seven free hands to carry nine sacks full of money with a dollar sign on the side (that we can see). Are they planning to make multiple trips?

Did THEY stack them up on that pile? I’m thinking that the answer is yes, that the Joker is doing that as Cap rips the vault door off. Except…why would you stack up the sacks of money in a pile, instead of just bailing with them as soon as possible? Presumably one of those Bad Guys has brought a vehicle and parked it somewhere… you’d think you’d just start running the sacks of money to the getaway vehicle. Right?

These guys have pretty distinctive cars, though. Am I honestly supposed to expect that say, the Riddler, left a green car covered with purple @#$%ing question marks on the street, behind a bank, and the place isn’t completely surrounded by cops? Arguably, the car is the WORST place to take the money.

What about the cost of the operation here? They BLEW A HOLE in the back of the bank vault. That has to be expensive, and is one of the few things in this situation that I might have an answer for…but it takes some math.

First things first. Cap’s approach to the door. A 24 bolt Diebold vault door has a four point pressure system capable of exerting 1/3 of the door’s weight as pressure. The door weighs 22.5 tons, and so the door can exert a force of some 7.5 tons of pressure. That’s pretty @#$%ing strong, but we have seen Cap pick up whole spacecraft and hurl them out of the solar system, so she can easily deal with a 22.5 ton door. In fact, Spider-Man could do it, and he benches far less than a hero with Generic Silver Age Alien American Powers.

What about the Bad Guys coming in the back? Vault walls (not the doors!) are usually made up of steel reinforced concrete. Usually the compressive strength of concrete is around 4,000 psi (that means it can withstand compressive force of 4,000 lbs per sq. inch) and it has a tensile strength of around 400 psi (tensile strength is basically the amount of pulling force it can withstand).

Steel, on the other hand has a higher tensile strength than compressive strength. It has a tensile strength of 40,000 psi and a compressive strength of around 36,000 psi. The idea behind steel reinforced concrete is that the concrete resists the compression and the steel resists the tension. It’s a Materials Science Team Up! We need to remember that in the case of steel reinforced concrete, steel and concrete are NOT chemically bonded. Hence, we can say that their tensile and compressive strength basically “add up.”

Adding up, we get a compressive strength of steel and concrete 40,000 psi (40,000 lbs per sq. inch)and a tensile strength of around 40,400 psi (40,400 lbs per sq. inch). So…what exerts that kind of force?

A Waterjet cutting machine will do it, I looked it up. Usually it’s table mounted, and used for cutting stone and ceramics, so we have an item that fits the bill with some modifications. These guys are evil geniuses, we can interpret that one of them has figured out how to make one that cuts into bank vault walls. The cost of such a machine is “upwards of $100,000,” according to the internet, setting the base cost of the machine.

You would need to put that thing on your getaway vehicle, and we have to make that a customized car. That’s just how it’s done. The Jokermobile getaway car in the “Suicide Squad” film, driven by Jared Leto’s Joker (not great, I know) is a kit car that can be purchased for $16,000, and constructed for around $60,000. So then the Vaydor Supercar (actual name!) comes in just a bit higher with a custom purple paint job costing around $4,000 (again, I checked).

So far the total cost of the operation is only $164,000 to $200,000 dollars, depending on local market values. The real question is this: is there enough money in the sacks there, assuming they will take all nine that we can see, to make the whole thing worth it?

It all depends on how much money is in the nine sacks.

Again, I looked it up. Each “wrapper” of $100 bills is $10,000, as a starting off point. An average sized backpack can then, by volume, hold somewhere between half a million and one million. Let’s say that those bags looks smaller than a backpack…so we are more at half a million per bag. That puts us at $4.5 Million dollars in play right there.

As a side note, each bag would weigh about eleven pounds, putting about one hundred pounds of cargo in the trunk of the Jokermobile, which is already a two plus two coupe AT best. With that money in the back, and four Bad Guys inside, the handling will suffer substantially. They might have done better to just get a minivan.

$4.5 million sounds great compared to the investment, right? I mean, let’s look at it in terms of brass tacks. The cost was estimated at around $200,000, and taking that off the top, they walk out the back with 4.3 million, which is over TWENTY times their investment. Even dividing by four evil geniuses, that’s a take home profit of $1.75 million dollars, at least according to the artwork.

In the course of the post, we have worked out that:

  • Cap can EASILY rip that door off, but figuring out how to draw it was hard.
  • The Bad Guys can get into the vault through the back by highly customizing a waterjet stone cutting tool.
  • Jokermobiles are expensive and impractical.
  • Apparently, supervilliany at this scale is kind of profitable. I wouldn’t have seen that one coming, really.

I suppose Cap hadn’t thought it out too much either. She’s flying in, questioning the plan here…but considering that only nine sacks of money gives them a twenty times multiplier on their investment, probably in a single afternoon or evening…maybe Cap’s the one who needs a better plan. We all know that she’s still paying off her student loans.

And yes…I think far too much about comics.

I honestly love old Silver Age kind of things like this, and mostly this was concieved of because I felt like I should be able to draw a superhero ripping a bank vault door off it’s hinges, and had to figure out how. Where do you hold it? How do you brace your legs? A question still in the air is, where the @#$% do you put it once i’t off the hinges?

Being a Silver Age Superhero is hard.

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