Are you tired of the name-calling, the sniping, and the buffoonery of this election season? Well, increase your stamina by checking out the top 13 underrated political stories in comics....you bag of deplorables.
13. Action Comics #9, “Executive Power”
Even though this story wasn’t a story arc, it deserves recognition. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this story has a black Superman as President of the United States (with definite Obama parallels). ‘Nuff said.
12. Ultimate Comics: Ultimates, “Divided We Fall”
Although the Ultimates Universe is now gone, one storyline looked at a realistic outcome of having superheroes: electing them president. In the aftermath of a disaster, Captain America becomes the elected President of the US (a fitting position for such a symbolic character). However, not much time was spent fleshing out how the superhero would balance his political duties with his heroic obligations. Cap 2016!
11. Deadpool: Dead Presidents
Oh Deadpool…you are the candidate America deserves. But, until he throws his name (or a grenade) into the hat, we’ll have to settle for our favorite Merc with a Mouth killing a bunch of zombified former presidents. This delightfully campy blood-fest has me saying “Yes, Gore (and we’re not talking Al)!”
10. Letter 44
Every new, incoming president is given a letter written by the previous president. Although the contents of these letters are largely unknown, the imaginative series Letter 44 envisions a world where—on his first day in office—a president learns of intelligent life in the universe…and has to deal with the aftermath. And you thought the Senate commissions were probing…
9. Doom 2099, “One Nation Under Doom”
One of the most interesting things about the villainous Dr. Doom is how he managed to run the nation of Latveria while simultaneously plotting the destruction of various Marvel heroes. When inexplicably pulled to the 2099 timeline, Dr. Doom, without the distraction of the heroes he hated so much, was allowed to blossom into the politician he was born to be. He also finally takes off his mask to reveal orange skin and a horrible comb-over (just kidding).
8. Superman, “President Lex”
Now if this doesn’t have Trump written all over it, I don’t know what does! A powerful business tycoon who decides to run for office, seems presidential, but is really just a looming villain. Superman wasn’t fooled either…
7. Saucer Country
This series (recently announced to be relaunched) followed the first Latina presidential candidate as she campaigned for office while dealing with her past alien abduction? No wall could be high enough to keep those aliens out (and they certainly wouldn’t pay for its construction).
6. Black Panther
In addition to being a hero, Black Panther has always been a man who had to consider the best interests of his home nation, Wakanda. The current series, under the capable hand of Ta-Nehisi Coates, has become much more political, focusing on the people who helped build the empire, instead of just the reality star in the penthouse.
5. Vote Loki
In issue #1 of this miniseries, Loki strikes a chord with how most Americans feel about politicians: “If I were elected president, I’d have the guts to lie to your face…and you’d love it.” This witty series takes the God of Lies and throws him into the place he was born to be: the political arena. Why choose the lesser of two evils when you can just choose evil?
4. Great Pacific
When a spoiled, billionaire brat is tired of running his daddy’s company, what does he do? Create his own island nation on the Texas-sized pile of trash in the Pacific Ocean, of course! Great Pacific is an interesting look at the struggles that come with founding a nation in our modern world (UN Charters, nuclear weapons, pant suits, etc).
3. The Authority, “Coup d’Etat”
What would happen if a group of super-powered individuals came into being in our world today? They would probably take over a country or two, if not the whole world. The Authority explores the idea that, if superheroes are truly to protect the world, they might need to rule it. After toppling corrupt regimes and battling politicians, “Coup d’Etat” pushes the envelope by having The Authority actually take over the US. And if you think emails are scandalous, just wait until you see what Midnighter does!
When the world decided to make presidential voting an online affair, they elect the first ever teenage Commander in Chief in the series Prez. Although the premise seems odd, the series actually tackles some pretty big issues like healthcare and political corruption. #winning
1. Ex Machina
The must-read title on the list, Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughn is a smart, political drama (with superpowers!). Each volume takes on a different divisive issue—gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, censorship of state-sponsored art, immigration, etc—and because the protagonist is a moderate, he is able to navigate tricky territory without being linked to one party. He always seeks input from his staff (some conservative and some liberal), allowing the audience to be fully informed about the issues at play. By the end of the series, you see that he isn’t just another cog in the machine; he’s the wrench that’s thrown into it.
What do you think? Put in your two cents in the comments below. Follow me on Twitter @HeyMrTullyman