In real life? Elections may be important, but often, the candidates jumble into a mess of empty promises and lame platitudes. In comic books? They’re usually more prone to punch each other’s lights out, than have an honest discourse about tax reform. Here, from the annals of comic book history, are our favorite fictional political candidates of all time:
10. Lex Luthor
Political Affiliation: The Tomorrow Party
Well, at least he has experience with world destroying events, right? Even if he’s usually causing them? Superman’s arch-enemy ran for President in this line-wide story that actually resulted in a win for the bald billionaire… And if you’re wondering how he did it, it was after rebuilding both Metropolis and Gotham City after catastrophic events, as well as a bit of the ol’ fake assassination attempt than won the DC citizens over.
Political Affiliation: The Finding Nemo Party
Achewood’s special little five-year-old boy decided to run for President in 2004 on a platform of eliminating sadness. His plan? Give everyone a puppy named Mr. Poopypants. Sadly, his election plans were stymied when he discovered that even if everybody cried at Finding Nemo, that wasn’t enough to build a credible run at the Presidency on.
8. Graydon Creed
Political Affiliation: Friends of Humanity
A staunch enemy of Marvel’s X-Men, Creed used the building anti-mutant sentiment in America to fuel a near successful run at the Presidency. The only thing that halted his chances? Being completely disintegrated by a plasma beam, which was later revealed to be shot by a version of Mystique from the future who was getting revenge on Creed for killing her lover Destiny’s grandson in the past. Oh, X-Men comics from the ‘90s. We love you.
7. Stephen Colbert
Political Affiliation: Independent
While here in the real world, the host of The Colbert Report was a joke candidate at best, in the Marvel Universe the comedian was a viable Presidential candidate in 2008, with billboards and posters in comics throughout the election season, and even a crossover story with the Amazing Spider-Man. We don’t think he won, though.
6. Prince Charming
Political Affiliation: Unknown
He’s had his fair share of womanizing scandals in the past – but then, what political candidate hasn’t? Upset about the current administrations handling of Fabletown’s finances in the Fables comic from Vertigo, he challenged lame duck Mayor Old King Cole, and won. Sadly, also like most politicians, his promises to turn all animal Fables human turned out to be false.
5. Mitchell Hundred
Political Affiliation: Independent
The man known briefly as the superhero The Great Machine started off Brian K. Vaughan’s Wildtsorm series Ex Machina as Mayor of New York… But we occasionally got flashes of his stumping days throughout the series. And without spoiling too much, the climax of the book has as much to do with superheroics as it does to the dangers of re-election.
4. Bill The Cat
Political Affiliation: National Radical Meadow Party
The long-tongued cat star of Bloom County (and later, Opus) has ran for President twice, and Mayor of Bloom County once. Yet each time, he’s lost due to circumstances beyond his control: the first time, he was dead; the second, he hacked a furball on Connie Chung; and the third, he had an affair with Paris Hilton. I think we can forgive him for everything but the last thing.
3. Etrigan, The Demon
Political Affiliation: Republican Party
In a bit of not-so-subtle political parody by the late, great Dwayne McDuffie, DC Comics most hellish “hero” was convinced to run for President… A race that’s eventually shut down by Superman and others, though he did win the primaries in three states. Seriously.
2. Howard The Duck
Political Affiliation: The All-Night Party
Obviously a joke political party, created by writer Steve Gerber in Howard’s Marvel Comic book, the sassy mallard nonetheless received thousands of write-in votes in the real 1976 election, proving that at some point pre-George Lucas’ movie, people actually liked Howard The Duck.
1. Robert Redford
Political Affiliation: Democratic Party
At the end of Alan Moore’s seminal Watchmen, someone decides to finally stand up and run against sitting president Richard Nixon. That man? An actor known far and wide, more for his Westerns than his political acumen. That man? Robert Redford, of course. And who knows? It might still happen… Minus the giant squid, we hope.