When Villains Get Votes | NowThis Nerd

Hi, I’m Versha, and this election day, it’s more important than ever to exercise your hard-earned right to vote America has elected some pretty shady people in the past, but at least we haven’t voted in any mad scientists or costumed criminals… yet

Lex Luthor's attempt to win the Presidency the old fashioned way, by buying it, seems to be picking up steam When it comes to comic books, though, supervillains have infiltrated some our highest offices, and made life hell for citizens of the Marvel and DC Universes These are just a few examples of what happens When Supervillains Get Votes Wait a second, you're making me talk about supervillains wearing this? Let’s start in Metropolis, where one of the very first supervillains launched his bid for office: Lex Luthor Depending on how you feel about the big blue boy scout, Alexander Luthor is either a benevolent genius fighting off an alien invader that’s holding humanity back, or a madman who wants to exterminate Earth’s greatest protector simply because he wasn’t born here Sounds kinda familiar You can’t build a wall to keep Superman away from his adopted home, but on more than one occasion, We the People have elected Lex Luthor to save us from the so-called Kryptonian menace

There’s alternate universes like Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Strikes Again,’ where Luthor is the puppetmaster pulling the strings of a phony holographic president, and Mark Millar’s ‘Red Son,’ where he actually becomes a pretty decent guy once the Soviet Superman is out of the picture, and can focus his genius on leading mankind to new heights of peace and prosperity The ‘Justice League’ cartoon has another great Elseworlds example in the episode ‘A Better World,’ which begins with Superman busting down the door of the Oval Office to arrest President Luthor, with his finger literally on the nuclear launch button There are at least six different ways I can stop you right now But they all involve deadly force, don't they? And you don't do that Luthor’s taunts get the better of the Man of Steel, though, and his term is cut short by a blast of heat vision It's really intense Hera As far as canonical campaigns go, the “real” Lex Luthor was elected president shortly after the new millenium After an earthquake turned Gotham City into a no man’s land, Luthor poured millions of his ill-gotten gains into reconstruction, and he rode that great PR to a landslide election victory As President, Luthor banned fossil fuels, promised Americans a flying car in every garage, and used his power to frame his enemies and demonize Superman at every opportunity No one is above the law

I learned that for myself many years ago I have already taken steps to bring many of these so-called superhumans into the service of our government As always, the mad scientist underestimated the public’s love for the Last Son of Krypton, and instead of tweeting his displeasure at 4 AM like a normal President, Luthor pumped himself full of super steroids and took to the sky in an alien battlesuit to handle his haters personally Luthor’s tenure only lasted three years, but it had lasting effects on the DC Universe As for Marvel, they’ve had their fair share of supervillains who conquered the electoral college

The trickster god Loki ran a fairly successful campaign in 2016, although he came up short once the votes came in If you’re looking for real leadership, and you hate Reed Richards with every fiber of your being, you might want to get behind Dr Doom Normally, Victor Von Doom has no need for the likes of ‘democracy’ and ‘elections,’ because he’s already the tyrannical dictator of Latveria, a tiny European country he rules with an iron fist But Doom’s ambition doesn’t stop there In the alternate future of 2099, DOOM invades the United States and declares himself the new president, and the irony is, he’s actually much better for the country than the braintrust of corrupt CEOs and megacorps that had previously been pulling the strings

It’s similar to the famous graphic novel ‘Emperor Doom,’ where he uses the Purple Man’s persuasive powers to convince the world’s governments to hand him control of the planet I now possess the power to end hunger To abolish disease To eliminate crime To establish a perfectly content, perfectly ordered world

All under the benevolence of MY IRON WILL! And honestly, Earth under Doom’s rule isn’t the worst place to live He ends apartheid in South Africa, puts a stop to hunger and famine, and dismantles all the world’s armies, It gives the Avengers a real conundrum once they snap out of their mind control: Doom genuinely made the world a better place, but at the cost of humanity’s freedom and free will Those things are kind of important

Luckily, Doom doesn’t try too hard to stop the counterattack, since he’s become so bored with the bureaucracy and red tape of running the world, he basically lets the Avengers win so he can have fun trying to conquer it again Now, before we get to Marvel’s most infamous Commander in Chief, we should talk about a couple of villains who landed in some of the lower cabinet positions They weren’t elected to the highest office, but they still did plenty of damage to our nation as Appointed Antagonists Even though his murderous actions as the Green Goblin were public knowledge, Norman Osborn was able to rehabilitate his image thanks to the Secret Invasion of the Skrulls As a result of some behind-the-scenes scheming, the insane industrialist personally ended the conflict by blowing the Skrull queen’s brains out on national television Then he used the resulting goodwill to get himself placed in charge of HAMMER, the government’s more hardcore replacement for SHIELD after it was infested by Skrull sleeper agents This led to a massive storyline called ‘Dark Reign,’ where Osborn basically uses the entire military-industrial complex as his own twisted toy, creating a cabal of the world’s most diabolical supervillains, and forming a team of bloodthirsty Dark Avengers, with himself in the lead as the Iron Patriot

Citizens were surprisingly down with letting a madman in a Halloween costume run national security, ignoring his past crimes in the futile pursuit of safety, but Osborn took things too far when he organized a military invasion of Asgard under false pretenses At least his downfall brought the end of the Superhero Registration Act, but there was no upside when the Red Skull conned his way into the Cabinet In a 2003 issue of the ‘Avengers,’ a senator named Dell Rusk became the Secretary of Defense in Marvel’s America, at which point he proceeded to release a deadly bioweapon from a secret lab behind Mt Rushmore In case the crimson mists didn’t clue you in, try rearranging the letters in “Dell Rusk:” RED SKULL

That’s right, Captain America’s deadliest foe managed to infiltrate the highest echelon of our military, but once his oh-so-clever anagram ruse was exposed, the Skull was met with swift justice when Black Panther literally punched him so hard his jawbone broke in half, Now, all of these examples are thankfully still pretty far-fetched, but how do comics respond when the buck stops with a real life bad guy? Let’s close with a look at the time Captain America duked it out with Richard Nixon America was facing a crisis of conscience in the ‘70s The Vietnam War was a messy moral quagmire, and our commander in chief turned out to be a crook It was a tough time for star spangled superheroes, so, in 1973, writer Steve Englehardt decided to address the great malaise in the pages of ‘Captain America’ The so-called ‘Secret Empire,’ not to be confused with the recent controversial crossover, was a shadowy supervillain organization hellbent on seizing power and soiling Cap’s name, and their leader, Number One, was heavily implied to be none other than Tricky Dick himself Time for Dicky to get tricky! Cap chases him into the oval office, and just before the supervillain takes his own life, he rants about how being elected President didn’t satisfy him, and that his power was too constrained by all those pesky legalities

We never see the leader’s face, but Englehart has confirmed that the story was his way of addressing the Watergate scandal, and that Number One was Marvel’s equivalent of Richard Milhous Nixon I saw him! I heard him! I touched him! He was real! Granted, landing a flying saucer on the White House lawn and threatening to nuke every American city, is a lot less nuanced than breaking into your political opponents’ hotel room The real Nixon wasn’t a costumed supervillain or a mad scientist bent on world domination, he was just a mortal man who abused his power and took advantage of the American people’s faith and trust Real life is a lot messier than the four-color world of comic books, and the consequences of elections have never been more crucial One person’s villain is another person’s hero, and the only way you can make your voice heard and fight for the values and leaders you believe in, is to get out there and vote

Have a voice in your future Register Vote! Tell 'em Spider-Man sent you CTA: Thanks for watching everyone, If you have any questions about the voting process, or you want to find your polling place, Just go to Voteorg for all the neccesary info

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