Top 5: Comic Book Presidents

Ground Rules: Presidents who were actual presidents at the time when the comic takes place don’t count.


 5. Stephen Colbert

He made a much stronger run in the Marvel Universe than he did in the real world, which is good because he’s a comedian. I wish they’d stuck with it, and treated it completely seriously. Either way, it’s a big win, and he took the prize. It’s right there in the Daily Bugle. That counts. Just ask Dewey.


4. Lex Luthor

The greatest thing DC ever did with Lex Luthor was make him president. They raised him as high as he could go, and it still wasn’t good enough, because no one loved him as much as they loved Superman. Conversely, the worst thing they ever did to him was that collar.


3. Richard M. Nixon

The best part about Nixon’s fictitious presidency in Watchmen is that is assumed that he was in office for nearly 2 decades. He would have done it if he could have. His brand of creepy paranoia was the perfect political backdrop for the story.


2. Prez

Created by legend Joe Simon, and never reaching the relevancy of Captain America, we must not overlook the wacky greatness of the teen president, who happened to also be named Prez. The character actually had some legs, and was featured in Sandman, in addition to making some actual political statements in the original series.


1. Gary “The Smiler” Callahan

This face from Transmetropolitan is my favorite comic book president of all time, and as happens in fiction, hubris got him. The Chairleg of Truth got him. He was the perfect foil for Spider-Jerusalem, and the slow burn of the series over the years really let his story play out. He also reminded me way too much of John Edwards, who also turned out to be a prick.


  1. No love for President Doom, on Warren Ellis’s excellent run on Doom 2099?

  2. There are so many awesome things about that Prez cover.

  3. Thank you for reminding me to begin the semi-regular re-reading of Transmetropolitan!

  4. As an addendum to #3: Let’s hear it for the Secret Empire Republicans in Captain America.

  5. I never knew about Prez until now. I must know more!

  6. Was thinking Callahan as soon as I saw this. Happy to see he was #1 and the John Edwards comparison is spot on.

  7. President Lex Luthor AKA ‘Why the entire U.S. in the DCU are fucking morons.’

    I’ve been re-reading Transmetropolitan for such a long time now and the Smiler, and the Beast too, are so pitch perfect parodies of presidents. Even though the title is now a decade old (think about that for a second!) it hasn’t dated itself at all.

  8. What about President Rexall in the Martha Washington books? His brain is put into a robotic body and he’s re-elected!

    What comic had the president that was actually just CGI, and every once in a while it would glitch kidna like Max Headroom? Was that MW as well?

  9. There were times when it seemed like DC wanted to make Lex a legitimate President who didn’t perform evilness and misery for the heck of it and actually did his job well. I actually liked that. The idea that he could screw with Superman, Batman, and the JLA as much as he did at that time and STILL go down in history as one of the great President made me happy. It was doomed to fall apart because Lex is too good a villain for a face turn but I always liked the idea.

  10. I liked that Pete Ross was President for five minutes. He was Lex’s Vice President and after Lex was impeached or quit or got super-punched in the face or whatever, Pete was President of the DCU. Flash Fact!

  11. nice list. although how is Nixon 3?

    • First line in the article explains it. REAL president Nixon wasn’t actually President in 1985, so it counts. As opposed to Dark Knight Returns where Reagan actually was president. Then again, I don’t know what year that was supposed to take place, so maybe it counts too.

  12. What about the “Ronald Reagan” like president in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight?

  13. Fun article!

  14. Josh I just got a profile how do you change the picture

  15. That was a perfect post Josh. The Smiler. Damn. Nice.

  16. Too bad Captain America and Howard the Duck both failed in their bids to be President.