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Election Day is here, and there has been a wealth of comics about the election. In terms of “Big Two” characters, at least, since this is a topic that would be far too long otherwise. The topic at hand is the plethora of characters who have run, successfully or not, for President. It’s not that rare, which is hilarious given that comics run on a status quo and a relatability to the real world. So, which have I picked out to discuss with readers today? Let’s start with an easy one.
Lex Luthor is, without a doubt, the most iconic superhero comic character to ever become President. While a relatively new idea, it has since become an accepted part of how he is perceived in the general consciousness. Justice League Unlimited pulled from it and Smallville used it as part of its grand finale. Lex being President was the button on the interpretation of the character as the consummate businessman, and what greater arena for his talents than the United States of America. As President his most notable accomplishments were, once again, trying to foil Superman (and Batman too) and establishing the “Earth Defense Corps.”. The latter of which was a good miniseries.
Etrigan, The Demon
Etrigan is perhaps one of the oddest and most overlooked examples of this set-up. Only lasting for one short arc in Dwayne McDuffie’s run on The Demon, Etrigan made a lasting impression in satire and cutting commentary. McDuffie played the story with a very wry hand, employing critiques of news media and campaign trails to show how a rhyming demon could hold his own in the Political world. One of the highlights of the arc was the use of a comedic parody of children’s books to show Etrigan’s rise. Timely and still utterly hilarious, his campaign was one for the history books.
This is a bit of a cheat given that he was specifically created to be a Presidential character. Prez was created from a Joe Simon fever dream, a nod toward the burgeoning youth culture and how it could save the country. Maybe, thought Simon, the country could also teach it a few things. President Rickard’s term was distinguished by taking the reins of his administration. He might not have been without failures, but he learned from each one. The office helped him mature, and he was able to bring a new perspective, a groovy perspective.
Now this one is a complete cheat, given that he wasn’t even an actual President. Damien Blackthorne, Ultimate-style, was the Vice President. Why should I mention him? Well, the idea that the Vice President had sold his soul and performed rituals to the Devil for power is just too amazing to forget. Mark Millar’s Ultimate Avengers was an insane mix of tones and action, with every arc upping the ante. So, when you have an arc about how the Ghost Rider has the V.P. on his hit list? Yeah, you have then earned a character onto this list.
Happy Election Day from all of us to you!