POLITICAL POWERS1 of 12
A promo image for The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child pairs the Joker with U.S. President Donald Trump - and Trump's real-life re-election campaign has depicted him as the MCU super-villain Thanos the moment before his ultimate defeat..
While the idea of Joker or Thanos as President is a bitter pill to swallow, the concept of superheroes as successful politicians is a well-worn trope of comic books.
So with that in mind, we're looking back at the ten greatest superheroes to hold political office.
MAYOR FLASH2 of 12
As a result of events in the final days of the pre-"New 52" Justice Society of America series, Jay Garrick became mayor of the city of Monument Point.
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.
MAYOR GREEN ARROW3 of 12
Oliver Queen had a longer tenure as Mayor of Star City, one of the many changes to emerge from DC's "One Year Later" stunt in 2006.
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.
MAYOR MITCHELL HUNDRED4 of 12
Unlike most of the characters on this list, we first met Hundred as an elected official; Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris' Ex Machina was, after all, more about his time as Mayor of New York City than his time as the Great Machine in the end.
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.
CONGRESSWOMAN BATGIRL5 of 12
Little remembered now, but before Barbara Gordon was shot by the Joker and reinvented herself as the all-seeing, all-knowing Oracle - and way 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.
Admittedly, there wasn't a lot 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.
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE IRON MAN6 of 12
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.
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.
PRESIDENT THOR7 of 12
What's that, you say? Thor was President of the United States? When did that happen?
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.
PRESIDENT NIGHTHAWK8 of 12
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 but not himself 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 Defenders series.
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.
PRESIDENT WONDER WOMAN9 of 12
Being that Wonder Woman was born on Themyscira, she doesn’t exactly qualify as a “natural born U.S. citizen,” she’s not constitutionally eligible to be president. That didn’t stop her from accomplishing that lofty goal in an “imaginary story” dating all the way back to Wonder Woman #7 in 1943.
In the story, Diana pays a visit to her home of Paradise Island, where she gazes into a crystal ball that shows her a vision of the year 3004, in which her boyfriend Steve Trevor is elected president. After realizing that Trevor’s election was fraudulent, Wonder Woman takes his place as president of the United States.
Because that’s how that works.
PRESIDENT SUPERMAN10 of 12
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.
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 Armageddon 2001 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.
And of course, the Superman of Earth-32 is also the President of that Earth's United States.
PRESIDENT CAPTAIN AMERICA11 of 12
Steve Rogers hasn’t held political office in the mainstream Marvel Universe despite considering or being compelled to do so several times – but he has taken the plunge into politics in alternate realities, most notably the Ultimate Universe.
Ultimate Captain America actually became the president in Ultimate Comics Ultimates #15 (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.
A different alt-Cap’s tenure as Commander-In-Chief didn’t go much better, with What If? #26 showing a reality in which Steve was killed in a trap by the Red Skull after being elected President.
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