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Politics! Not supposed to talk about it in mixed company, but I think we’re all friends here. The 2016 race for President of the United States is RAMP. ING. UP. It’s a been a weird one, full of out-there scandals, nonsense soundbites, and dueling puppet accusations. With only a few weeks to go, let’s take a brief respite and look at some politicians from the world of comic books.
Going big right out the gate! Lex has been a lot of things over the years, a mad scientist, a businessman, and — finally — a world-class politician. He even became President! However, as is always the way with Lex, his obsession with killing super people became too great and it cost him the office. The storyline proved legendary, setting back our chances to see a bald President by decades.
In the 70s, Captain America fought a shadowy cabal called The Secret Empire. And this conspiracy? IT GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP! Literally. Cap eventually fights their hooded leader, Number One, in the White House and, in the process, unmasks him. It’s never said outright, but it’s heavily implied to be Tricky Dick himself. Then he kills himself. Biting social commentary!
Two-Face is your typical lawyer. A psychopathic burn victim. While never getting any farther than DA, Harvey Dent still embodies what we like best and least in our politicians. They hobnob with their billionaire friends, crusade for the little man, and are one severe cosmetic trauma away from becoming a terrifying murderer.
Before Frank Miller went off the reservation in a big way, he wrote one of the best comics in the medium. One of the minor villains of the piece is “the President”. It’s pretty much Ronald Regan. I mean, look at him. He looks like a boardwalk caricature of the guy. He orders Superman to put a stop to the Batman and is, in general, a dick. Biting social commentary!
How could I end in any other way but with the villain of the comic about politics. Designed to be the perfect encapsulation of horrible politicians, The Smiler fights tooth and nail to crush Spider Jerusalem with every exaggerated political trick in the book. Both a terrifying warning of power unchecked and a hilarious parody, The Smiler would feel right at home in 2016.
Those are my picks, but who would you pick to run this season? Let me know in the comments below.