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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Reasons to Elect a Supervillain President

Supervillains can be effective leaders, provided you can get past the lying, unilateral decision-making, rampant murder, and dismantling of your Constitutional rights. Wait, three out of four of those disadvantages sound awfully familiar...

Advantages of supervillians:

They have a strong vision for the future. Perhaps the most famous supervillain president is none other than Superman's nemesis, Lex Luthor, who was elected with 84% of the popular vote after he apparently saved both Metropolis and Gotham City. Luthor's Tomorrow Party platform was a decidedly optimistic one; it's hard not to get behind the promise of a flying car in every garage.

They'll go to great lengths to rebuild the country. Victor Von Doom was already the political leader of his own country, Latveria, but in the Marvel 2099 universe, Doom manages to become president of the United States. It turns out that the supervillain may be just what the dystopian future America needs. 

Granted, he takes the presidency by force, hacking and slashing his way through the White House until he can claim the Oval Office as his own. But he does restore the constitutional powers of the presidency, nationalize the megacorps (a small-government advocate's nightmare, but in this case, highly necessary), and uses their money to rebuild the crumbling United States.

They won't stand for idiotic interview questions. While not actually a villain, the antiheroic Etrigan the Demon would have likely been a less than lawful good choice for president. (Superman called him, "One of the worst candidates for public office I've ever seen.") But his campaign for the Republican nomination certainly was entertaining; when ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson tried to call Etrigan out on his sloppy rhyming, the demon responded with a stream of fiery breath.

They'll eliminate unemployment—albeit through slavery. When alien invaders like Day of the Tentacle's Purple Tentacle and The Simpsons' Kang become President of the US, they tend to reduce humanity to pets or slave labor. Don't like it? You should have voted for Kodos.

They're already part of the shadowy conspiracy that runs the planet. Do you want an ineffectual puppet president who is helpless against the nation's true rulers? Or do you want a president who is actually pulling the strings? In 1973, Captain America discovered that Richard Nixon was the head of the Secret Empire, a powerful criminal organization which had infiltrated and manipulated corporations, criminal enterprises, and the highest offices of government.

They're surprisingly easy to depose: If you're a rotten president, there are a lot of meetings and a lot of paperwork that have to happen before anyone can oust you from office. But if you're an outright evil, criminal president, things become much easier. Gary Callahan, the insecure, murderous Smiler of Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan is so insufferable that even the Secret Service abandons him in the end, and he's arrested within moments of delivering his evil monologue to Spider Jerusalem. Robert L. Booth, the last U.S. President of the Judge Dredd Universe and author of the country's nuclear semi-annihilation, raised a mutant army to attempt to take back America. But as a warlord, he was a bit of cheapskate, and when Dredd decided to use Booth as a human shield, Booth's soldiers simply shot him. After all, you can always elect a new evil president.

Chances are you won't notice a difference between them and your non-supervillain presidents. After all, the alien Cryptosporidium 137 managed to play president in the Destroy All Humans! franchise without anyone being the wiser, and we'll have to see how long it takes Americans to notice that the Cobra minion Zartan has replaced the Commander in Chief in theG.I. Joe films. Even Captain America was shocked to discover that Nixon was a supervillain, and he's a trained to spot this sort of thing. How many other supervillains could have held political office, unbeknownst to the American people?

Based on an article from 2012 (hence the emphasis on presidential elections) from io9 - excerpts above, but go there and read the whole thing.

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