Political Powers: 10 Superheroes Who Held Public Office

<i>By <a href=http://www.twitter.com/graemem>Graeme McMillan, Newsarama Contributor</a></i> <p>So, Ultimate Captain America is the next President of the Ultimate United States as of this week's <i>Ultimate Comics Ultimates #15</i>, as Marvel announced earlier this week. <p>It's a big step for the character, but not necessarily for the superhero community, many of whom have held public office before including some of Cap's fellow Ultimates. Here are some of the super-powered elected officials we've seen throughout the years. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p> <p>


As a result of events in the final days of the pre-New 52 <em>Justice Society of America</em> series, Jay Garrick became mayor of the city of Monument Point. <p>We never really got to see what he did with the position other than move the Justice Society there en masse thanks to the team essentially ceasing to exist in The New 52 reboot, but in some part of the Multiverse, Garrick is surely proving himself very good at dealing with civic problems very quickly.


Oliver Queen had a longer tenure as Mayor of Star City, one of the many changes to emerge from DC's <em>One Year Later</em> stunt in 2006. <p>Although he continued to fight crime in the traditional manner as Green Arrow in the evenings, his days were filled fighting corruption in a more prosaic manner in public office. It didn't last long, of course; 16 issues later, he stepped down as Mayor, apologizing to the city for failing to live up to his campaign promises. Doing so did give him a chance to propose to Black Canary, so it wasn't a complete loss.


Unlike most of the characters on this list, we first met Hundred as an elected official; Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris' <em>Ex Machina</em> was, after all, more about his time as Mayor of New York City than his time as The Great Machine in the end. <p>But while the other heroes on the list found themselves outside of the everyday political process, Hundred was right in the middle of things... and described the experience as a tragedy right there in the first issue. Let that be a warning, dear readers: Stay out of politics for your own good.


Little remembered now, but before Barbara Gordon was shot by the Joker and reinvented herself as the all-seeing, all-knowing Oracle and <em>way</em> before she returned to the role of Batgirl in last year's New 52 reboot she spent the 1970s using her skills for good in Washington DC as a congresswoman. <p>Admittedly, there wasn't a <em>lot</em> of call for acrobatic detective work at the time, but you can't argue that she could probably do more good there than she could fighting what feels like a losing battle against corruption in Gotham City every month.


Before the Avengers found themselves Disassembled, Tony Stark was in a pretty good place for once. Not only had he revealed his secret identity to the world once again, but he'd found himself accepting the president's offer of a role in his cabinet, becoming the U.S. Secretary of Defense. <p>Admittedly, the Scarlet Witch quickly made that job go away by magically making Tony drunk at a UN meeting, where he insulted various diplomats and found himself forced out of the position, but it wasn't long before Stark found himself back in a position of power as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Of course, that didn't really work out too well, either. Maybe someone should make sure that Tony doesn't accept any high-powered positions anytime soon, just in case.


What's that, you say? <em>Thor</em> was President of the United States? When did <em>that</em> happen? <p>Clearly, someone doesn't remember the alternate reality visited by the Ultimate Fantastic Four when Mark Millar returned to the series with artist Greg Land in tow. While you may be upset that our America has never had a leader as chiseled and buff as the son of Odin, you can console yourself with the thought that we've also never been invaded by Skrulls, either.


Sadly, the closest to President Batman that we may ever come, Bruce Wayne's counterpart over in Marvel's Earth Squadron Supreme found himself in charge of the most powerful country in the free world <em>but not himself</em> when he became President while under the mental thrall of the villainous Over-Mind in a storyline from the dearly-departed (and often wacky) original <em>Defenders</em> series. <p>Once released from mental control, he found himself so unwilling to assume a role of power that he even quit the Squadron Supreme when they decided to take over control of the world just to make things better.


Talking of super teams that took over the world, when Wildstorm's Authority had their <em>Coup D'Etat</em> in the early part of this century and took control of the United States, Jack Hawksmoor somehow ended up the President of the United States. <p>It wasn't a role that he had necessarily wanted or one that he enjoyed Monica Lewinsky-related sex-in-the-Oval-Office jokes aside and you have to wonder whether he was secretly glad when mysterious forces conspired to force the team out of the White House and on the run.


While it's true that, yes, the Man of Steel is technically an alien and therefore couldn't become President of the United States under the current rules, it's worth pointing out that you can take a few liberties with reality in stories where aliens come to Earth and can fly around saving the day on a regular basis. <p>Superman, in fact, has become President of the United States on multiple occasions in various "Imaginary Tales" during his tenure as the world's favorite superhero, most memorably in a possible future glimpsed by Waverider during 1991's <em>Armageddon 2001</em> crossover event. Considering that Superman's arch enemy Lex Luthor actually took office almost a decade later, maybe Waverider might consider getting his future-vision powers checked out.


OK, you're thinking that Cap has never held high office before, despite considering it on a couple of occasions, and you're correct... as long as you ignore <em>What If #26</em>, which very clearly answered the question <a href="http://marvel.wikia.com/What_If%3F_Vol_1_26">What If Captain America Had Been Elected President?</em>. <p>Things didn't exactly work out well for the Star-Spangled Avenger after he took the job (spoiler: The Red Skull would be pleased by the ultimate outcome), but America became a better country for having Cap in charge, even for all-too-brief a moment. If this turns out to be a sneak peek as to how things will turn out for Ultimate Captain America, then he'd better make sure to stay on the look out for rogue satellites.

Political Powers: 10 Superheroes Who Held Public Office

Date: 20 September 2012 Time: 08:48 PM ET