Sure, in the Marvel Comics universe, Stephen Colbert is running for President of the United States. Here in the live-action U.S., though, we have Barack Obama, John McCain, Bob Barr, Ralph Nader and a host of other candidates who are bringing people to the polls in big numbers this year. But how would our real-life candidates fare in the comics world?
We posed that question to various comic book writers, asking them how some of the characters they're well-known for scripting would've voted in today's election. Here's how they responded:
"Astonishing X-Men" writer Warren Ellis didn't exactly disagree with Fraction's assessment, but he did tell MTV, "God, you wouldn't want those people to vote. Have you seen how they dress?"
However, Ellis said that there wasn't any doubt about the candidate of choice for one of his most popular characters, the gonzo-style journalist Spider Jerusalem from DC/Vertigo's "Transmetropolitan."
"Spider Jerusalem would in fact vote for Obama," explained Ellis. "If for no other reason than damage control and the fact that John McCain will sell his wrinkly ass to anyone who looks like they might be buying."
But what about everyone's favorite gamma-fueled giant, The Hulk?
Fan-favorite "Incredible Hulk" writer Peter David told MTV that Bruce Banner would certainly vote for Obama, but the question was moot for Banner's alter ego, since Hulk "probably wouldn't fit into a voting booth."
Fraction, who also scripts the ongoing adventures of several other top-tier Marvel characters (including "Invincible Iron Man," "Punisher: War Journal" and "Thor: Man of War"), weighed in on the voting style of a few more familiar heroes.
"Iron Man/Tony Stark would be 100 percent for Obama. Men of vision always recognize their own," the writer explained. "Thor would post OBAMA/BIDEN signs on every yard in Asgard if he could. He'd respond to the careful and reasoned leadership this great young man shows, as he understands those same pressures, and has faced them himself triumphantly. And as a warrior, he'd despise any so-called leader that exercised sabre-rattling as a tool of diplomacy.
Lest you think every character was firmly entrenched in the two-party system, Fraction added that Frank Castle, Marvel's gun-toting vigilante known as Punisher, wouldn't be favoring Obama or McCain.
"Frank'd vote way down ballot," said Fraction. "Starting with Bob Barr, libertarian, for president, and heading into arcane party territory from there. Not sure he's elligible to vote with his record, though. He probably wouldn't risk it, but should check on that via an anonymous Internet connection at, say, the public library."
And Castle wouldn't be the only comic book character voting outside the two major parties. David said his popular IDW hero Fallen Angel would be voting for Nader because "she lost a bet with God."
When it comes to comics' well-known superteams, though, would the voting line be unanimous? David chimed in about the voting habits of one of the other well-known X-groups -- his critically praised team of mutant detectives, "X-Factor."
According to David, "Multiple Man" Jamie Madrox wouldn't vote due to being "terminally undecided," while members Rictor and Darwin would be casting their votes for Obama. ("Palin's attitude toward evolution would be a deal breaker for [Darwin]," explained David). Monet would cast the only vote for McCain, while team strongman Guido would vote for Ralph Nader, said the writer. As for the enigmatic Layla Miller, David told MTV she was "MIA, and too young to vote in any event." Former X-Men member Siryn would cast her vote for Cynthia McKinney, because as David put it, "Having no strong attachment to McCain or Obama, the young Irishwoman would find it personally amusing to vote for the candidate of the Green party."
In addition to sharing his thoughts on Tony Stark's ballot, Fraction also weighed in on the votes of another member of Marvel's wealthy -- yet heroic -- elite, telling MTV that Danny Rand, the "extraordinarily charitable kung fu billionaire" of his "Immortal Iron Fist" series "understands that the strong helping the weak, the healthy helping the sick, and the rich helping the poor isn't socialism, it's being an American."
"As a proud big-D Democrat, he'd be an Obama man all the way," added Fraction. "He, Tony Stark, and George Clooney would host all kinds of fundraisers. Maybe they'd host board break-a-thons, I dunno."
Across the pond, however, Ellis has always had a slightly different take on politics and government -- especially US politics -- than many of his stateside peers. As he pointed out, for many of his best-known characters, the question of where their votes would be cast isn't relevant for one reason or another. But that doesn't mean he he shied away from explaining where they'd stand on today's options.
"The Authority would in fact have banned voting by this point and Jenny Sparks would be choosing our local leaders for us," said Ellis of the team in his wildly popular superheroes-as-government series. "However, Obama would stand a good chance of being selected as America's community organizer. Mind you, Jenny Sparks was an infamous drunk, so, frankly, so would Jesse Ventura, John C. McGinley or Bubbles from 'The Wire.'"
Ellis noted that John Constantine, the star of DC/Vertigo's long-running "Hellblazer" series, is not only a British citizen but also "an old Labour man."
"He'd be rooting for Obama just because he'd want the GOP thrown out of power," said Ellis. "However, Obama would be somewhat to the right of John Constantine, and many things about the man would irritate John, not least his avowed opposition to gay marriage. See, what you guys call a leftie, we call a centrist."
Ellis added that his Avatar Press character William Gravel, a British military man who battles occult forces using "combat-magic," would have a distinctly different reason for interest in the outcome of today's election.
"He would simply hope that whoever was elected would prove relatively easy to assassinate should he be so ordered," explained Ellis.
How do YOU think your favorite characters would vote, Splash Page readers? Let us know in the comments!