‘Misunderstood’ Comic Book Presidents

‘Misunderstood’ Comic Book Presidents

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I don’t think this post need much of an introduction or explanation except that the choices are in no particular order, so without further delay.

Loki – Vote Loki

from marvel.com
Loki is many things — god, trickster, brother, liar, son, villain, even hero. Now he wants to add one more thing to the list: President of the United States. That’s right, the God of Lies has set his sights on becoming the ruler of the free world, but is this just another scheme? One thing’s for certain — with Loki’s winning smile and silver tongue on the campaign trail, this election just got a lot more interesting…

Richard Nixon – Watchmen35-nixon.jpg

from watchmen.wikia.com
Richard Milhous Nixon
 (1913-1994), 37th President of the United States. Nixon was in Dallas, Texas earlier on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It is implied that The Comedian, who was minding Nixon that day, committed the crime. Elected President in 1968, Nixon asks Dr. Manhattan to intervene in Vietnam, thereby ensuring a U.S. victory in the war.

With the repeal of the 22nd Amendment and the suspicious murders of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (also thought to have been committed by The Comedian), who would otherwise have exposed the Watergate Scandal, Nixon is reelected repeatedly, and still serves as President in 1985.

After the disaster, serious new candidates for the Presidency are mentioned (Robert Redford in the novel, Ronald Reagan in the film), which may suggest that Nixon will not run for a sixth term.

Nixon is advised by Dr. Henry Kissinger.  Gerald R. Ford, actually his Vice President from 1973-1974, still holds the office in 1985.

Lex Luthor – DC Universeimage-1-batman-vs-superman-could-we-see-a-luthor-waller-ticket-for-2016-jpeg-191041.jpeg

from wikipedia.com
Deciding to turn to politics, Luthor becomes President of the United States, winning the election on a platform of promoting technological progress. His first action as president was to take a proposed moratorium on fossil-based fuels to the U.S. Congress.

Luthor is assisted by the extreme unpopularity of the previous administration’s mishandling of the Gotham City earthquake crisis (as depicted in the No Man’s Landstoryline in the Batman titles), and his own seemingly heroic efforts to rebuild Gotham. After six months, Gotham is restored and rejoins America. Batman ultimately learns that the entire debacle was the fault of Luthor alone as he attempted to take control of Gotham by forging deeds for the land in his name. This results in Bruce Wayne severing all commercial ties between the U.S. government and his company, Wayne Enterprises, in protest of Luthor’s election as President. Luthor responds in turn by arranging the murder of Wayne’s lover, Vesper Fairchild, and framing Wayne for the murder (as seen in Bruce Wayne: Fugitive).

An early triumph of Luthor’s first term occurs during the Our Worlds at War comic book crossover, in which he coordinates the U.S. Army, Earth’s superheroes, and a number of untrustworthy alien forces to battle the main villain of the story arc, Imperiex. As it is eventually revealed, however, Luthor knew about the alien invasion in advance and did nothing to alert Earth’s heroes to it, leading to the destruction of TopekaKansas, by an Imperiex probe, letting the destruction happen so that he could be remembered as Earth’s leader during such a decisive war.

John McCain – Ex Machina200_s.gif

from litreactor.com
Ex Machina 
is a comic book about a lot of things, but at its core it’s about a superhero that saved one of the towers on 9/11 and went on to become mayor of New York. Written by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man), it follows Mitchell Hundred, a civil engineer that develops the ability to talk to and control machinery when a strange device blows up in his face. He uses these newfound abilities to pursue a fairly unsuccessful career in crimefighting, but the one thing he does right is direct United Flight 175 on September 11, 2001 to safety. As he had already retired and was running for mayor, on November 6, 2001 he’s elected and the rest of the series follows his one term in office, followed by him being appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and ending with him as the Vice President.

The twist is that he’s the VP under John McCain, who in this world won the 2008 election. A lot of Ex Machina mirrors reality, with events like the Northeast Blackout of 2003 playing major roles in storylines, but there can’t help but be divergences. Not only is Michael Bloomberg never mayor of New York, but this is a world where not only does a Twin Tower still stand (making the whole event at least a little less somber), but more than one person has super powers. The repercussions are subtle, but the series ran from 2004 to 2010 and was able to make things up on the fly. One was having Obama, whom Vaughan couldn’t have predicted would be president when the series started, lose the election. Hundred’s visions, supposedly from God or whoever gave him powers, also set him on a path to eventually becoming president himself, with the implication that he had the potential to be a world-conquering Anti-Christ. The series ends on that ambiguous note.

Red Skull – Old Man Logan824290-2.jpg

from wikipedia.com
The United States has been conquered and divided among supervillains, with territories belonging to The Abomination (later conquered by the Hulk), Magneto (later conquered by a new Kingpin), Dr. Doom and the Red Skull, who has named himself President and added his face to Mount Rushmore. Heroes have been wiped out of existence, with the few survivors in hiding.

 

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