That’s recruit pay Sydney. Wait till you make Corporal.
Most stories are about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, but at this point you guys know I prefer writing about extraordinary people in ordinary situations. I don’t think making Sydney well off will hamper my story telling at all. Besides, as has been said many times in the comments (and I think at least few in the comic itself) that having super powers usually means you can make a seriously good living totally within the law. Why rob a bank when you can make more money by telekinetically unloading freighters in 20 minutes each, or lay transcontinental cable in a fraction of the normal time with your water breathing and super strength combo? That makes getting someone to potentially get shot at with bullets, lasers and lightning is a tougher sell unless you make it worth their while. Of course there are thrill seekers who want the adrenaline of either breaking the law or stopping that type, or they’re sold on nationalism or responsibility or whatever ideology motivates them, still, a healthy paycheck helps keep them around and provides stability to the team composition.
It was challenging to write so many pages of the comic without the topic of pay coming up. I don’t think I’ll say what the exact dollar amount is, but it’s something in the order of “you can have one jet, or ten supers per year” Admittedly that’s a huge range depending on what jet you’re talking about (and whether you include the R&D costs, maintenance staff and infrastructure, etc.) One Heatwave is not worth one jet in terms of crime fighting power, (not that people do a lot of crime fighting in jets, but you get what I mean) Ten Heatwaves… arguably worth one jet, or at least ten Heatwave level supers. One Maxima is worth an entire battle group, so mileage varies, but at least supers don’t require nearly the same support staff. Their insurance is rather a bit higher though.
The prior page ended kind of vaguely, which wasn’t ideal, but that’s because I wanted to save Sydney’s entire reaction for this page. I realize now that I’ve drawn it, her reaction is actually quite similar to Fry’s, if somewhat more terse. (She doesn’t faint, but we’ll get to that.) I thought it was more heavily inspired by Ren and Stimpy where Stimpy gives up $47 million to be back living with Ren, but looking it up on youtube, Ren’s reaction is just to get angry and smack Stimpy around. This is one of those pages that’s been floating around in my head for so long it probably has several influences.