3. Captain America, A Superhero Turned Super-Slob and Back

doom 2099

Oh, hey! Another superhero with a movie about fighting his friends out in 2016. Steve Rogers might lack the showpiece powers of his DC counterpart, but damn if it's hard not to vote for the guy who has the country's name right in his title. At least it has been, traditionally, for denizens of the Marvel U whenever Cap finds himself nominated.

One such time was back in the 2099 universe. Yes, Doctor Doom wasn't the only Heroic Age figurehead to hold the office. In fact, "Captain America" replaced the metal masked maestro after he was ousted the first time. This Steve Rogers was never explicitly defrocked as an imposter, but that's pretty clearly the case based on his actions and demeanor.

doom 2099

Despite starting out as a somewhat optimistic pawn in the schemes of Doom's nemesis, un-Cap becomes a hard-drinking, hard-smoking, drugged up sadomasochist of a figurehead. Not exactly the sort of person you'd expect the twice-frozen (at least according to his PR campaign) sentinel of liberty to become. That bore out in his first acts as president: which were to wrest control of SHIELD from the Punisher, and liquefy most of the population of Latveria.

doom 2099

As we learned earlier Doom wasn't having it. After his nemesis John Herod -- the power behind the imposter Captain America's throne -- turned the White House into the "Red House" using nanobots, Doom decided it was time for some ironic vengeance. His own nanobots ate up the monstrosity, and everyone inside. Including the twisted Captain.

A slightly more measured Steve Rogers would retake this seat years later. Though it was in yet another alternate universe to the one most of us know and love. Ultimate Captain America (of the Ultimate Comics line, if you couldn't tell) started out not entirely dissimilar to his 2099 doppleganger. You can thank Ultimates writer Mark Millar's first grade understanding of politics for that. And also for this.

president captain america

As the Ultimate line wound down, however, Rogers and company softened ever-so-slightly. Enough so that the people of the United States would nominate and elect him to lead their shattered country during Divided We Fall storyline, which was basically the Ultimate line's bombastic version of Civil War. Like a lot of stuff in the Ultimate Comics universe, however, it didn't really go anywhere.


4. Lex Luthor, The Conspiracy Goes So Much Deeper...

Lex Luthor

Now, here's someone whose reign lasted quite a bit longer. Lex Luthor was brought into office during the early 2001 miniseries Lex 2000. His tenure actually held on for two years. That is, an eternity among the invincible status quo of comic books. During that time, of course, the super-evil super-genius was up to all kinds of no good. Misdeeds that ranged from trying to take control of a recently devastated Gotham, and murdering Batman's girlfriend.

Worse still, Luthor allowed Topeka, Kansas and everyone residing there to be destroyed in a rather unfortunately-timed example of art imitating life before the fact.

The storyline Our Worlds at War -- which started in August of 2001 -- was a pretty standard "alien tries to destroy the universe" arc. Its imagery, however, was wildly similar to the real-world attacks on New York and Washington D.C. just weeks and days later. Right down to the twin LexCorp towers burning in the wake of the attack.


Then there was the minor point of Luthor knowing about the attack beforehand. Only he chose not to tell the heroes and governments of the world beforehand. That way, when the tragedy did occur, he would be lauded as a hero for leading the retaliation against it. The whole thing lent a rather bonkers "Bush did 9/11" element to the story, despite being written months before. Yikes!

Though that didn't deter the publisher from continuing to use the story beat throughout the rest of the arc. Eventually (i.e. predictably) the Justice League dropped their moratorium on removing Lex from office by force, and... they just did that. Superman and Batman in particular went toe-to-toe with the bald-headed head of state.

superman lex

Luthor responded in the most comic book-y way possible. Which calls into question how the supposed smartest man alive managed to get elected in the first place. He shot up with Venom -- the same madness inducing steroid used by Bane -- hopped in a battle suit, and opted into fisticuffs with Superman. For some reason, this brilliant plan backfired and Luthor spilled the beans about his complicity in Kansas. While Batman recorded it. And so ended the reign of President Luthor.