It’s Presidents Day! That may mean very little to those of you outside the United States—and frankly very little to many of you inside the United States—but it’s the day we honor those who have served in our nation’s highest office, situated generally either on George Washington’s birthday or between that and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. More importantly, I get the day off from work.
Both fictional and legit presidents of the U.S. have a long stories history in comics. Bill Clinton endorsed the (ultimately genocidal) Cyborg Superman while Barack Obama had a Marvel Team-Up with Spider-Man. Captain America famously declined to run for office, while known super villain Lex Luthor got elected in a story my friend TJ swears to me makes total sense.
But what comic book characters would in fact be most qualified and best-suited to run this country? Given my extremely limited knowledge and understanding of politics, I am a terrible person to make this determination, so here are my top five plus honorable mentions.
HONORABLE MENTION: BATMAN
On the plus side, there’s no problem he can’t solve with sufficient prep time. On the downside, he’s a sociopath who lives in a cave.
HONORABLE MENTION: HARDCASE
No real reason other than that as an actor turned super hero, he could basically be Ronald Reagan with invulnerable skin.
5. THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
The spiritual mother of the Marvel Universe could totally be America’s mom as well. She’s already demonstrated her diplomatic skills during Jonathan Hickman’s run writing Fantastic Four, and it’s a safe bet the U.S. could count on Wakanda and particularly Atlantis—though likely not Latveria—for support at those UN meetings. Having the smartest man in the world as first husband doesn’t hurt either.
4. KARATE KID
Of all the people elected leader of the Legion of Super-Heroes over the centuries, Karate Kid is the only one from Earth, and thus under our current rules, the only one who could be President (actually, Invisible Kid may have had a term as well, but I’m still going with Val). If he can manage a team of hormonal intergalactic teenagers with super powers, surely KK can handle guiding this great nation. He’s got statesmanship experience as Princess Projectra’s consort and his zen calm will be a big help; and when it’s not enough, hello, super karate.
Sam Guthrie is the perfect melting pot of belief systems and influences needed to boldly lead America. He’s got his Kentucky upbringing amongst a huge family with blue collar working class values. He’s got the pacifist teachings of Professor Charles Xavier to bring to bear when serving as a diplomat. He’s got the more militaristic stance of Magneto to keep in mind in matters of defense. And he’s got the pro-active guidance of Cable to serve him as a world leader. Beneath that, he retains his good ol’ boy charm and loves his country—he’s Jimmy Carter with a blast field.
2. LOIS LANE
Despite growing up with a military whackjob father, Lois Lane seems to have emerged with a pretty healthy balance of liberal and conservative values that have served her well in her role as the DC Universe’s top investigative reporter. She’s been around the world and is no doubt familiar with all the foreign policy one would need to be up on as President and from all accounts has endeared herself to a number of prominent heads of state and business along the way—well, the legit ones, not the crooked one her exposes have brought down. She can be charming but doesn’t take crap from anybody and also has a spit-curled demigod sharing the first bedroom with her if anything really goes wrong.
1. WAR MACHINE
James Rhodes is an experienced and decorated military man, but also somebody who has done his tour in the private sector as the one-time head of Stark Industries. He’s had a taste of wealth and runs in the social circle of his best buddy Tony Stark, but also maintains strong ties to the middle and lower class via his upbringing. He’s worked with the government before as leader of the Sentinel Squad and at Camp Hammond, but also shown he’s willing to question authority during his Worldwatch days and recent actions during Norman Osborn’s reign in power. Rhodey’s got intelligence, integrity, the right connections—hello campaign contributions—and the right skill set to be an awesome President at least in the Marvel Universe. Could he sweep the stuff he did his 90’s solo series under the rug and not be the victim of a smear campaign on his way to the top? If Osborn can do it, I’d say yes.