Superhero Presidents: Counting Down the Top 5

The Real Super PACs

Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-El, to save the planet Earth.

President Barack Obama at the 2008 Al Smith Dinner

Election Day is almost upon us. Two diametrically-opposed champions prepare to wage a war of words while hordes of donkeys and elephants scream hosannas. Perhaps not that fanciful or interesting, but the day America decides who will be president for the next four years rapidly approaches.

The current candidates are an incumbent president and a career politician. Previous races have included soldiers, lawyers, farmers, entrepreneurs, and more. This makes you wonder, if superheroes existed, could one run for president? Could one of the cape and costume crowd step into the Oval Office and fight for truth, justice, and freedom as the POTUS?

I’m not the only one to ponder such inane questions. Many writers have had superheroes run for office, sometimes as a parody and others seriously. A few heroes have even won the election and served as president. So who are the top 5 superhero presidents? Let’s find out.

#5 Loki

Played by Tom Hiddleston and Troy Baker

Loki: [observing a presidential debate] “The whole process is fascinating. They’re not really competing with their ideas. They’re competing with stories.

Vote Loki

This list has some crazy candidates, but few stranger than reformed supervillain and Norse God of Lies, Loki.

The storyline Vote Loki features Loki stopping HYDRA from attacking the Presidential candidates. Intrigued by the narrative of the election, he throws his hat into the ring. Loki runs independently on a platform of being honest and transparent about lying to his constituents.

Loki’s campaign is seen as a joke, but he slowly gains followers through his wit and personality. He also earns fans by taking the piss out of his detractors. Journalists bring up how Loki wasn’t born in America? He recounts a story about how he was reincarnated to explain that he technically was. His worshipers try to sacrifice a goat at a rally? Loki defends them on grounds of religious freedom and invites his followers to join the cult. So on and so forth.

Throughout his campaign, Loki is opposed by a journalist named Nisa whom he had previously wronged. She frequently finds evidence of Loki committing crimes, but he manages to spin everything she reports. Nisa eventually defeats Loki by revealing to the public that he has put no work into a platform and has no plan for his presidency. He decides the race is no longer interesting and bows out after lambasting the other candidates.

#4 Etrigan

Played by Dee Bradley Baker and Ray Chase

Etrigan: “I offer this tidbit to add to your fears:
The lessons I’ve learned I’ll apply in four years
The problem I pose you can’t possibly fix.
I’m here to serve notice: I’ll be back in ’96!”

The Demon: Political Asylum

Loki wasn’t the first mythical being to run for president. If a Norse god didn’t fare so well, then what of Etrigan, a demon from Hell?

Etrigan joined the 1992 presidential election in the storyline Political Asylum. He was summoned by a rich conservative who considered Bush 41 and Pat Buchanan to be too liberal. Etrigan was unimpressed, but decided to enter the Republican primary so that he could use America’s army to conquer Heaven and Hell.

Etrigan was a straightforward candidate, assaulting his opposition until they agreed with him, setting annoying journalists on fire, all of the things a politician secretly longs to do. His antics and over-the-top personality earned Etrigan many fans. Even the staunchest conservatives sided with him when he claimed to have been born several miles below America and faked a conversion to Christianity.

Etrigan’s campaign seemed unstoppable until he suggested that Superman would be his running mate. Superman broke his moratorium on interfering with politics to debate the demon, urging America to be better than the self-abasing rubes Etrigan treated them as. Superman’s speech worked and Etrigan was sealed away, but not before promising to return for the next election.

#3 Ultimate Captain America

Played by Justin Gross

Captain America:This crisis calls us all to do our best. To rebuild our fragile unity. To find the strength equal to our challenges. I have decided to answer the call of the people. I accept. I, Steve Rogers, Captain America, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States.

Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #16

Chances are you know about the Ultimate Universe thanks to Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man. Well now it’s time to learn of that world’s superhero president, Ultimate Captain America.

Much like normal Cap, this Steve Rogers was a patriot who volunteered for a super soldier project during WWII. He gained superpowers and became Captain America, a one man Axis-smashing army. Ultimate Cap was eventually caught in an explosion and fell into the ocean, where his body entered suspended animation.

Captain America was found and revived in 2002. He joined a U.S.-led superhero team called The Ultimates, who were this world’s version of The Avengers. Cap led the team through alien invasions, robot uprisings, and even a near-apocalypse caused by the mutant terrorist Magneto.

A villain called The Maker destroyed Washington D.C. and assassinated President Obama, causing several states to leave the union and threaten a civil war. An emergency election saw Captain America elected by write-in votes. He reluctantly accepted the results and became president, immediately leaving the White House to start reuniting the country.

#2 Lex Luthor

Played by Gene Hackman, Jon Cryer, and Clancy Brown

Luthor: “I am Lex Goddamned Luthor. I raise my voice, and Satan himself is on bended knee. I am The Leader of the Free World, you impotent little psychotic. I’ve had the most powerful beings on this or any planet gunning for me for years, and you think you’re going to scare me?”

Outsiders #3

You don’t need superpowers to be a superhero or a president. Who better to demonstrate that than our penultimate superhero president: Lex Luthor?

It’s a safe bet that you know Lex Luthor as one of DC’s premier supervillains and Superman’s archnemesis. Lex’s campaign began in the Batman event series No Man’s Land. Luthor flouted federal law to bring food, medicine, and an army of disaster relief workers to Gotham City, which had been devastated by an earthquake and exiled from the U.S.

The public lauded Luthor for stepping in to save Gotham City and flocked to the polling places when he announced a presidential run. In the year 2000, Lex Luthor was elected president. No tricks, no alternate universe cop out, Luthor was the actual president in DC Comics for years.

There’s a lot more to President Luthor’s story. Our Lex Luthor Backstory has the details.

#1 Prez

Played by Jeff Bennet

Prez:So there’s a whole desert of broken watches? …Boss Smiley, I don’t think I will stick around and sing hosannas. I think I’ll be going off to look at Americas. Must be one of them that needs a Prez. Must be one that needs fixing.”

The Sandman: World’s End

Our number one superhero president is the youngest, the grooviest, and the least prolific of them all: Prez Rickard.

Prez Rickard was the star of Prez, a comic in which the age of presidential eligibility was lowered to eighteen. Prez was born in a town infamous for having hundreds of clocks set to different times. As a teenager, he became famous for resetting each clock by hand and became an unexpectedly popular write-in candidate.

While some saw a leader, others saw a puppet. A mobster named Boss Smiley approached Prez, offering to ensure he became the president. Prez considered it, but eventually chose to earn his presidency the old fashioned way. After his inauguration, he led the country against many threats, from fifth columnists and Dracula to a vengeful Boss Smiley.

Prez didn’t last long, but the teen president still makes appearances. An issue of The Sandman reimagined Prez as a messiah who traveled the multiverse to help other Americas. He reappeared in The Multiversity, protecting Earth-47 alongside Magic Lantern, Sunshine Superman, and the Love Syndicate of Dreamland.

Prez was recently rebooted, this time featuring a female Prez who became president after a video of her saving someone went viral. The original Prez is her Vice President and mentions that he was almost president once.

Who is your favorite superhero president? Is there one even better than these? Tell us in the comments. And now, a Public Service Announcement.

My fellow Americans, let me make one thing perfectly clear: The election is almost here. It is your right, privilege, and duty to vote for the next president. I don’t care if you vote for Trump, Biden, Loki, Etrigan, Ultimate Cap, Luthor, Prez, Jesus, Xenu, or the Staypuft Marshmallow Man, just make sure you vote. And remember folks, if you don’t vote, you don’t get the right to complain about the results.

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