This week, many U.S. states are holding their presidential primaries to determine which candidates will run for the highest office in the land this November. And with so much at stake, maybe it’s time we considered electing someone with power - <i>real power</i>. Y’know… Like a superhero. <p>Marvel sure has, with the <a href="http://www.newsarama.com/28196-you-think-trump-is-bad-marvel-asks-you-to-vote-loki-in-2016.html">announcement Tuesday of <B>Vote Loki</B>.</A> <p>Of course we’re kidding, but there have been plenty of times comic book characters have run for – and held – political office in the pages of their stories. With the American political season in full swing, we thought it high time we took a look at some of the characters that have sworn the oath of office.
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 the New 52 reboot -- she spent the 1970's using her skills for good in Washington, D.C. 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 United Nations 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.
Steve Rogers hasn’t held political office in the mainstream Marvel Universe despite considering or being compelled to do so several times – but he <i>has</i> taken the plunge into politics in alternate realities, most notably the Ultimate Universe. <p>Ultimate Captain America actually became the president in <i>Ultimate Comics Ultimates #15</i> (and was sworn in in #16) after winning a special election on a write-in vote. Ultimate Cap successfully held the U.S. back from civil war for some time before a secret campaign to make it look like the government was attacking its citizens lead to his resignation. With the Ultimate Universe destroyed by <i>Secret Wars</I>, I guess we’ll never see what a second term would look like. <p>A different alt-Cap’s tenure as Commander-In-Chief didn’t go much better, with <i>What If? #26</i> which showed a reality in which Steve was killed in a trap by the Red Skull after being elected President.