5 of Marvel’s Most (Thankfully) Unsuccessful Presidential Candidates
Maybe they should stick to heroism and villainy rather than run for public office.
We’ve seen characters from the Marvel Universe enter many arenas. From the distant planet of Sakaar to the Beyonder’s Battleworld in SECRET WARS, heroes and villains alike are always ready to fight for supremacy. However, there is one arena that has arguably caused more conflict than any space battle – the political arena.
Throughout Marvel’s history, characters good and evil alike have attempted to lead (or totally control, depending on whom you are talking about) the United States government. Some would have been an ideal choice. Others would have brought the United States to its knees. As a nod to the final season of HBO’s VEEP and President Selina Meyer’s ever-winding path to the White House, Let’s look at four villains (and one hero) who hit the campaign trail and why it’s a good thing they were unsuccessful.
To celebrate Cap’s 250th issue, writer Roger Stern addressed something fans had been wondering about for years, “Why didn’t Captain America run for President?” At first glance, it’s a no-brainer. The man who is the living embodiment of the country should be running the country. Yes, Steve Rogers represents everything right with the land. He’s the ideal all Americans should aspire to be. That’s the problem. The President of the United States doesn’t just represent all that’s right with America. They represent what’s wrong with it as well. When something is not right within the country, the blame falls on the President’s shoulders. Captain America’s role is showing the world what America CAN be, and the President role is to do the best they can with what America is, even if it can sometimes put them in a negative light. Unfortunately, Cap can’t do both.
The God of Mischief is a fantastic character. He’s not 100% good. He’s not 100% evil. However, he is 100% Loki. With a few exceptions, Loki does what’s best for himself, regardless of whose side he has been on to do it. In this 2016 series, the best thing for Loki was becoming the leader of our nation, of course. When he realized that the current candidates weren’t good enough to hold office, Loki took it upon himself to throw his hat into the campaign ring. Reporter Nisa Contreras exposed his deeds left and right (no pun intended) throughout the campaign. In pure Loki form, he was able to spin any report on him into voting gold. It was when Loki finally had to answer to the people that he realized he wasn’t fit for office, even if he was a god. As fun as it may have been in the beginning, once the novelty wore off, Midgard would have probably been the first world to go in the War of Realms.
Graydon Creed is the human child of Mystique and Sabretooth. Abandoned as an infant, he didn’t start life in the most nurturing of ways. Upon discovering his true parentage, Creed developed a resentment towards mutants and formed the terrorist group the Friends of Humanity. Using his government contacts who were sympathetic to his cause, Creed financed a presidential campaign. If the mutant-hating son of two of the world’s most dangerous villains took office, the events of “Days of Future Past” could have still come to pass. First, it would be mutants. Then it would be whoever else Creed doesn’t find fit for this world. Before anything could transpire, a future version of Mystique assassinated him. Even though he died a martyr for the anti-mutant cause, the long-term effects of his possible presidency would no longer be an issue.
In an alternate future of the Marvel Universe, things didn’t go according to plan for its heroes. A child known as the Skull had most of them in his mental thrall, and those who weren’t served as host bodies for the parasitic Hydra. Oh, and just in case things couldn’t get any worse, Norman Osborn was the President of the United States. After committing horrible crimes, including causing the death of Gwen Stacy, this Osborn used the Hydra parasite and manipulated the public into electing him president. It’s as if he received a reward for being the worst. But eventually, Osborn was killed by the Skull. Earth X was a worst-case scenario for the Marvel Universe. Everyone wonders what would happen in the villains won in the end, and this story proved that everyone’s fears were correct.
This WHAT IF? story imagined what would happen if Steve Rogers was able to stop the Nazi spy from killing Dr. Erskine following his transformation into Captain America. Erskine’s survival meant that the Howling Commandos also became super-soldiers. After defeating the Red Skull at the end of WWII, Steve Rogers was put in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. and eventually became President of the United States. Rogers’ “reign” as President turned the United States into a type of dictatorship, with only people of his choice being given the super-soldier serum. After Rogers’ army of super-soldiers destroyed Atlantis, Namor plotted revenge on the surface world until he discovered the real Steve Rogers frozen in ice during WWII. The man posing as Rogers – and the President of the United States – was none other than the Red Skull, who manipulated the world to keep them from knowing the truth. It kind of makes that Norman Osborn presidency seem like a fantastic idea.
The President of the United States is one of the world’s most important positions. Some people truly want the job so they can increase their power, some (dang it, Loki!) want to do it just for fun. Of course, it’s Captain America who understands the meaning of being the president, and that’s why he eventually turned it down. Would it be cool if a Super Hero was the leader of the free world? Yes. Should it happen? Probably not.
You can listen to the cast and crew of HBO’s VEEP on This Week in Marvel! You can also watch this video of showrunner David Mandel talking about his Marvel collection:
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