However I feel about the guy, The Don is a true character. And the whole fiasco had me thinking, has there been elected officials in comic books that were possibly even more ridiculous than him? I came up with 7 of them that may have been even worse than if Donald Trump actually manages to win the U.S. presidential race.
Robert Kelly was basically a “grade A” jerk in the Chris Claremont Uncanny X-Men run, as well as the first X-Men film. Sure he was primarily manipulated by the Hellfire Club into adopting an anti-mutant political stance and then signing off on creating murderous Sentinels, but I believe you need to sort of have a little bit of bigotry in you to so easily join a genocidal witch hunt.
Kelly though eventually came around (even after his wife was killed in a fight between Rogue and Master Mold), and joined the pro-mutant cause, but not long after died in Cable’s arms, shot by an anti-mutant terrorist.
Kelly was an interesting character, as in most of his incarnations he’s portrayed as one of the few people that learns to get past their hateful, ignorant ways. If only real bigoted people could learn from the stories and mythologies of the X-Men. Am I right, people?
Ronald Reagan (From The Dark Knight Returns)
This fictional version of Ronald Reagan (which is Frank Miller’s own personal parody of the actual President Reagan, even though he is never named as Reagan), is basically exactly how I would imagine Donald Trump as president would basically be like. Just replace Superman with a nuclear bomb (gold plated, of course), and it’s probably spot-on.
DKR’s Reagan basically uses Superman as the U.S. government’s secret weapon to abolish their enemies and when the returned, more militant Batman becomes a similar problem for him, he does the same. I don’t think Reagan is depicted as necessarily a horrible person here, but he definitely comes off hokey and cartoonish, with a star-spangled suit and a dim-witted attitude to match.
This confuses some readers, as it sort of goes against Miller’s usual pro-Republican rhetoric in some of his comics. I personally don’t think superhero comic books are necessarily the right place to air political agendas, but it happens anyway, and this is one of the oddest examples of it. I'm not even quite sure what Miller was getting at, but I just think it was a bit wacky, and actually more ahead of its time than I think Frank ever imagined. Put this side-by-side with some of the cameos George W. Bush made during his presidency and it's almost identical.
I get the feeling that post 9/11 Frank Miller wouldn't depict Reagan, a Republican hero, the same way these days as he did in the 1980's. Funny how things change.
Barack Obama (Marvel's Earth 616)
Now to more comic book parody, this time involving the current president! Actually, this is more of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” when it comes to the Marvel Universe’s Barack Obama and his decision...maybe the worst possible decision any fictional president has ever made: making Norman Osborn, The Green Goblin, head of superhuman affairs in the entire United States!
WHAAAAAT? Yeah, THAT happened. WHY? Well, because he killed the Skrull queen. Yup. That’s all that’s qualified. Hulk could have done that. Groot could have done that. Howard the Duck could have done that. See, Norman Osborn who was previously believed to have turned over a new leaf and was leading the Thunderbolts at the time, weaseled his way into the worst possible job you could ever give to a super villain during the Secret Invasion crossover event and becoming “mankind’s hero”. And President Obama just gave him the keys to S.H.I.E.L.D. Willy nilly. Just like that. Don’t try to make sense of it, because it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
But alas, Marvel likes to present to us a mirror-image of our own world, and since Barack Obama was president at the time, it was his likeness that was used to be the complete idiot to shake Norman’s hand and usher in Marvel’s Dark Reign era. I would be surprised if President Obama is even aware of this blemish on his comic book appearance history! It sure didn't get the same media attention as his famous team-up with Spider-Man.
Normally, wouldn’t a president get impeached for appointing a maniacal super-villain to a high profile homeland security position? Yeah, probably. But I guess Marvel just didn’t wanna go there.
J. Jonah Jameson
Somehow, the biggest blowhard in all of comics, J.J. Jameson, became president of New York City for awhile. And as you can expect, things got really hard for Spider-Man.
During his tenure, Jameson had Spider-Man hunted, blacklisted and scrutinized...until Superior Spider-Man (Spidey’s body taken over by Doc Ock’s brain, if you didn’t know) came into the picture. Jameson of course, got along with that darker, more villainous version of Spidey, until that is, Superior Spidey began blackmailing Jameson. This began Jameson’s downfall as mayor.
After trying to use an updated version of Spider-Slayers to hunt down Superior Spidey, he resigned from his position.
Jameson became one of the most corrupt mayors ever...so much so, that his hatred for Spider-Man only grew and made him do some horrible things after he gained some more power. Not very much unlike some real life politicians I can think of...
Okay, he’s more like a dictator than anything...and it’s not like the supreme ruler of Latvaria is going to any United Nations summits anytime soon...but Doctor Doom most definitely cannot go unmentioned in this column! Doom demands recognition as a true statesman!
Victor Von Doom rules his land literally with an iron fist, and is without a doubt, Marvel’s own Kim Jong Un. He’s the stereotypical egomaniacal ruler, with statues of himself, lives in a castle, has a robot army, and even refers to himself in the third person. Actually, give Doom a terrible toupee and reality show, and he’s almost EXACTLY like Donald Trump!
I can see it now! Instead of firing B-List celebs like Arsenio Hall and Bret Michaels he will atomize them with finger lasers! That’s television!
In the 616 universe, Steve Rogers nearly ran for presidential office in one of the most surreal moments in the character’s history. Although, his Avengers teammates were not all on board with supporting him. Wasp and Beast were supportive (Hank even offered to be his campaign manager), but Iron Man and Vision were less so. You’d think Earth’s Mightiest Heroes would have better things to do than to talk politics!
After realizing his place was to protect the American Dream from evil and not sit behind a desk he decided not to run...and to be honest, I actually don’t think Rogers would have been a great president anyway. His ideals are a bit too old fashioned, he wears bright spangly outfits and we need to keep that throwing arm in good shape for the next alien invasion or supervillain plot!
But don’t tell that to Ultimate Comics: Ultimates writer Sam Humphries, who actually made it happen in the Ultimate universe! That’s right, Ultimate Captain America became “President Cap” in that series due to overwhelming public demand,when the sitting president, Barack Obama (this guy has a tough time in comics, doesn’t he?) got assassinated.
Cap also became the first president to say the cheesy line, “America is my White House.” I don't think anyone would be able to take a president that says corny stuff like that.
This one can’t go unnoticed, now can it? Lex Luthor was undeniably the most shocking, wrong, and maniacal United States President ever in comic books.
It happened in the comics and then adapted into the animated film Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Luthor began his Presidential run seemingly normal...but things got very creepy...very quick. As you would expect, Superman and Batman were hunted as outlaws, made deals with Darkseid, made out with Amanda Waller, made an evil supersuit to fight Supes in and became addicted to a kryptonite steroid! He did everything you would expect Lex Luthor would do if he became the leader of the free world.
Needless to say, Lex wasn’t in office very long. It sure was a wild ride while it lasted, Lex.
So, is truth stranger than fiction? I’m not sure if that really applies to comic books, because weird s#!t really does go down in the funny books! I don’t know how many American citizens are taking Donald Trump very seriously as a Presidential hopeful, but at least it’s going to be very entertaining...and strange. And gold plated.
That’s all for this week, kids!