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The Presidential Election: Super Hero Style

How your favorite comic characters would vote

Illustration by Andrew Kapellusch

November 1, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST

BAM! BIFF! KAPOW! As in conventional literature, the truth in comic books is usually grayer than a night in Gotham City. These superhero serials have had a history of political commentary and debate since World War II. Two Columbia comic experts — Rebecca Vogler, a graduate assistant in Ellis Library’s special collections, and Andrew Kapellusch, a freelance illustrator and Mid-Missouri Comic Collective member — give their take on who our favorite cowl-clad superheroes would vote for this presidential election.


Daredevil




When a radioactive substance blinded Matt Murdock, his other senses were ramped up to superhero levels. But it didn’t make Daredevil any less Catholic. Because of his faith’s pro-life stance and the way the Catholic church has responded to Obama’s healthcare plan, Daredevil would check the box next to Gov. Mitt Romney’s name.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics



Green Lantern




Hal Jordan, the most well-known of DC Comic’s Green Lanterns, is an ex-military guy reminiscent of Ronald Reagan. Speaking of, this guy is a Reagan conservative. His ties to the defense industry have a Reagan-era “Star Wars” feel to them. With conservative tendencies, an unstoppable willpower and a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps attitude, Jordan would vote for Romney this November.

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics



The Punisher




This ex-military martial artist is the classic anti-hero. After his wife and children were killed by the mob, Frank Castle was willing to bring about justice for villains by any means necessary. Fiercely independent, the pro-death penalty, pro-gun toting, ex-military Punisher is a Romney guy.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics


Batman






Gotham’s prince has the makings of a stereotypical conservative heir with a billion in the bank and a mansion on the hill. But the Dark Knight has some pretty liberal policies. He’s against the death penalty, for gun control and a philanthropist for social justice. Knowing this, Batman would vote for President Barack Obama.

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics



Black Canary




One of the most proficient martial artists in comics, as well as one of the best motorcyclists, Black Canary is never afraid of a challenge. It’s presumptuous to lump her voting record in with her super-leftist husband, Green Arrow, but it would be hard to fight crime with such an ideological difference on the home front. Black Canary would vote Democrat in the upcoming election.

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics



Black Widow




A former KGB spy, Black Widow defected to the U.S. to become a member of the Avengers Initiative. With her left-wing upbringing, her conviction to fight for those less fortunate and Democrat Scarlett Johansson playing her in The Avengers, it’s not too hard to make a case for Black Widow being an Obama supporter.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics



Captain America




Captain Steve Rogers’ political psyche is like America itself — divided. He’s a moderate, with both conservative and liberal tendencies. Captain America’s views are a little old-fashioned, but that’s what happens when you’re created to fight Nazis in World War II. Passionate about small government, personal privacy and helping the less fortunate means the slightly left-of-center Obama might be of the Captain’s persuasion, even though he wouldn’t agree with his foreign policies.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics



The Flash




Barry Allen, or Flash 2.0, was a police scientist about 50 years before CSI made it cool. A stray lightening bolt fixed Allen’s slow, deliberate ways by striking his laboratory, sending a chemical shower that gave him supersonic speed. Politics had not yet entered the comic scene when Flash first appeared in print, but with Allen being a scientist who believes in funding schools, he probably wouldn’t agree with Romney wanting to downsize the Department of Education. This Obama supporter's friendship with Green Lantern shows that even in the world of superheroes, people of different political persuasions can get along.

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics



Green Arrow




Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) is the most overt liberal character in comics. He has become the proponent of progressive politics in the DC Universe. This former billionaire lost his fortune when he was framed for corruption, which inspired him to crusade for the poor and underprivileged. Green Arrow, the super-liberal Batman, would vote for Obama.

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics



Spider-Man




Peter Parker is a young liberal who has even brushed shoulders with the commander in chief. In The Amazing Spider-Man #583, Spidey saves Obama’s inauguration day by exposing the villain Chameleon as an imposter posing as the president-elect. With an active investment in the presidency, it’s safe to say he’d vote for Obama.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics



Superman




Raised in a rural town with small-town values, Clark Kent could vote with the elephants. The man-of-steel is a man-of-the-middle, however. A true moderate, Superman would vote for the candidate, not the party. He’s always been a bigger fan of the little guy than massive corporations (nemesis Lex Luthor’s LexCorp, anybody?). So though he could go either way, Obama would be his preferred candidate.

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics



Wonder Woman




The Amazon princess is a champion of women’s liberation, so it would be hard to imagine this feminist icon voting for Todd Akin’s party. Wonder Woman would cast her ballot for Obama and his stance on women’s pay and reproductive rights.

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics



Hulk






Uncle Sam hasn’t been particularly great to Bruce Banner, the government scientist-turned-Hulk. A radioactive accident turned him into a massive hunk of green with anger management problems, and the government has been bothering him ever since. Kapellusch says: “Why is the Hulk a libertarian? Because he just wants the government to leave him alone.” With that in mind, the Hulk would probably be a Gary Johnson supporter.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics



Iron Man




Before becoming Iron Man, Tony Stark was a weapons creator and fierce conservative with flashy billionaire ways. But Stark gives up the weapons side of his business and becomes a political isolationist. Like Batman, he holds onto his money but invests privately in causes such as alternative energy. This pegs Iron Man as a supporter of Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics



Aquaman




Having ruled over 70 percent of planet Earth, it’s safe to assume that this former king of the ocean would support the Green Party. Aquaman would be quite distressed by the news that the polar ice caps are melting even faster than scientists thought. Offshore drilling would be a no-no as well, as Aquaman is all about conservation. This left-leaning, environmentally minded liberal would vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein this election.

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics

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