by Ryan Rigley
Election coverage is finally dying down, but this week is staying political with the release of Steven Spielberg’s newest film “Lincoln.” Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Honest Abe, “Lincoln” takes place over the course of the last few month’s of the 16th president’s life as he struggles to overcome the prejudice of an entire nation. Colliding with members of his own cabinet, President Lincoln must do everything within his power to abolish slavery and end the Civil War.
In honor of Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” we thought it a good idea to come up with our own list of presidents. Comic book presidents, that is! These commanders in chief have all been either presidents in real life or well-known comic book characters before being elected, yet the one thing that they all have in common is the responsibility of leading an entire nation.
Click past the jump for our list of the five greatest comic book presidents!
America’s first “superhero president,” Teddy Roosevelt has been featured in a number of comic book series to date (including “House of Secrets,” “Detective Comics,” and “Scrooge McDuck”) but his most prominent appearance occurs in “Tales From the Bully Pulpit.” Stealing a functioning time-machine from H.G. Wells, President Roosevelt teams up with the ghost of Thomas Edison in order to prevent Adolf Hitler from creating a race of Alien Aryans and taking over the entire world.
After allegedly running for presidency during the 2008 election, Stephen Colbert was elected President of the United States in the Marvel comic book universe; beating out both Barack Obama and John McCain. However, Colbert’s fictional presidency was extremely short-lived as it was announced several hours later that he had only won the popular vote and that Obama had, in fact, secured the most electoral votes.
Growing insanely jealous of all the love and support for Superman, Lex Luthor decides to run for president on the platform of technological progress via the advanced technology of LexCorp. Although President Luthor started out predominantly as a left wing politician, his true colors were eventually exposed due to his involvement with the complete and utter destruction of Gotham City during the “No Man’s Land” story arc.
As a direct result of a mysterious plague that wipes out every male on Earth, Margaret Valentine (the secretary of agriculture) becomes President of the United States by default thanks to the presidential line of succession. Throughout the course of Brian K. Vaughan’s “Y: The Last Man,” President Valentine actually excels in her new role and is eventually re-elected by the women of the United States for a second term.
Recently, in the Ultimate Marvel universe, Captain America has been elected President of the United States tasked with combating out of control anti-mutant hysteria and factionalism. Steve Rogers wins the election as a write-in candidate in issue 15 of “The Ultimates,” choosing to take the title “commander in chief” a bit more literally than previous presidents. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to reunite America, even if it means sitting behind a desk in the Oval Office.
List your favorite comic book presidents in the comments below or on Twitter!