In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics).
Today, in honor of Election Day and as suggested by my pal Chris N., we take a look at five super villains who became President of the United States. We’re not just talking cases where the President was a bad guy, like in “Transmetropolitan” or “Elektra: Assassin”, I mean when an actual super villain ended up as President.
Clearly, the most famous example, Lex Luthor had successfully convinced the world that he was just a nice businessman in the late 1990s (he had previously convinced them that, but then he turned evil but then convinced everyone that the evil Luthor was just a clone – this IS comics, after all) and he specifically used his contribution to helping Gotham City get back on the map after No Man’s Land to run for President in 2000. He won, which was weird, of course, for superheroes to have to deal with Lex Luthor as the President of the United Stats. He wasn’t even really all that awful of a President, shockingly enough. Until he snapped during the first storyline in “Superman/Batman” and went flying around in a super suit trying to kill Batman and Superman. That finally got him kicked out of office.
In the “Doom 2099” comic book series, Doom ended up actually invading the United States and taking over, putting himself in charge. Doom was a benevolent dictator, as he actually had plans to attack the corporations that had taken control of the country. He also aligned himself with the X-Men of 2099. However, Doom was ultimately deposed by a coup that revolved around seemingly the return of Steve Rogers, Captain America. The new government attacked Doom’s home of Latveria and killed his entire country with nanotoxins. Doom quickly retaliated and wiped out the other side, including “Steve Rogers” but he was now much more obsessed with finding out a way to somehow save the people of Latveria through time travel than actually trying to rule the U.S. again.
Philip Nolan Voigt, Overshadow, was the main villain of the New Universe comic book series, “DP7”, which saw Voigt collecting superpowered individuals to form his own army, under the auspices of a clinic for superhuman research. A group of the test subjects broke free and became their own team of rogue heroes, ultimately defeating Voigt, who had tremendous amount of power as he could duplicate anyone else’s power. However, after he was defeated, he popped up again running for President – and he WON! After the explosion at Pittsburgh, Voigt moved the U.S. capital to Denver and he was manipulated into almost starting a nuclear war. Luckily, all of the nuclear missiles launched were stopped. Voigt had his powers back and he has popped up a few times since, no longer President.
In the alternate future of “Earth X”, Norman Osborn’s business interests have taken over the entire United States. Even without him being the President, Osborn was pretty much already in control of the country as his businesses have become the economy of the country. The Terrigen Mists have changed his face so that he now looks like an actual Green Goblin, so he is forced to wear a human mask. The Skull, though, wants him dead and ultimately throws him from a White House window, where Osborn’s foot catches on a flag pole, thus his neck snaps just like Gwen Stacy’s did when Osborn killed her all those many years ago.
In the alternate future of “Old Man Logan”, the United States has been conquered by villains, who divvied the country up amongst themselves. The East Coast is run by President Red Skull. Hawkeye and Logan went on a mission where they tried to get some Super Solder Serum to form an underground Avengers team, but it turned out to be a trap by S.H.I.E.L.D, who killed them. Luckily, Logan survived and he decapitated Red Skull with Captain America’s own shield!
Lex Luthor Again
In the alternate future of “Dark Knight Strikes Again”, the President is Prez Rickard, but it turns out that Rickard is just a phony hologram that allowed Lex Luthor to control the Presidency through a figurehead.
If anyone else has a good idea for something like this that happens all the time in comics, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I might feature it in a future column!
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