While some folks view the Republican primaries as America's greatest reality TV show, left-leaning viewers may see it as a choice between four political supervillains (or three supervillains and the somewhat less potent Ron Paul). Front yards across the nation are already littered with campaign signs, and they will get even more cluttered as we move closer to Election Day. But can you tell whether a candidate is a villain based on his political ad? Some villains are upfront about their evil plans for world domination and human enslavement, while others simply stand in front of an American flag with a smile and a "Vote for me." I've collected campaign art from some of pop culture's most notorious killers and madmen.
Would any of them win your vote?
It came as no surprise to me that the most popular election parodies were takes on Shepard Fairey's popular Obama "Hope" poster. Of course, when you've got a notorious dictator or a gleeful murderer in lieu of the President of the United States, you need a tagline other than "Hope."
Victor von Doom
couldn't actually become the President of the United States; after all, he has that pesky birth certificate problem. Even though Latveria was only briefly a democracy, Doom might consider employing these stylized screen prints to remind the peons just who is in charge (as if they could ever forget).
by James Lillis was probably inevitable, but the combination of the Watchmen
button with Obama's rising sun logo is a brilliant touch. Still, I'd expect more of a manic grin.
Unlike Nick Roche, I don't think "Sarcasm"
is the first word I'd choose for Chancellor (later Emperor) Palpatine. I'd probably shoot for some typically Sith word, maybe "fear" or "hate" or "holy crap, what happened to your face?" But in the abstract, I love the idea of more openly sarcastic politicians.
Adding a little Hunger Games
into the mix, we have President Snow
. How does one run for president in Panem? Dress a puppies up in adorable outfits and make them fight other puppies? Hold a Hunger Games marathon on election night to distract the masses? Or do you just pledge four more years of teen-on-teen slaughter?
And here we have an Obama parody that was actually an official piece of marketing for Megamind. Even for a supervillain who pals around with an enhanced goldfish, this seems a bit cutesy.
prefers to give Palpatine a classy Obama parody, turning Obama's Pepsi symbol into the Death Star. Cue the "That's no riding sun" jokes.
And there are plenty of supervillains who got in-comic (or in-movie) election posters:
Transmetropolitan dealt with a political showdown between a political supervillain and a run-of-the-mill evil politician. The moral of the story is that you should never trust anyone who shows that much gum in their campaign posters.
The trick here is that the Joker will kill you regardless of whether you vote for him. He'll plant himself 100 feet from the polling station and give everyone an acid flower spritz on the way out.
Galactus might have trouble running on his "devourer of worlds" platform, but really, anyone who faults him for that is a tree-hugging hippie.
Okay, technically it's Gordon Wright, not the Red Skull, who's the politician, but when Americans voted Third Wing, they were for the enemy. The raised fists should have been a dead giveaway.
And of course there's the fresh-faced Harvey Dent campaign poster from The Dark Knight -- before the Joker's defacement of both the posts and Dent's face. Just remember, just because a politician isn't a villain yet doesn't mean he's not a villain in the making.
But I rather prefer Carlos Gruiz
's grim, foreshadowing version.
Lex Luthor opts for the classics in his political campaign ad: American flag, "Vote Lex" button, the power stance. But the high-collared shirt says, "Innovators don't need neckties." Of course, neither do megalomaniacs. It's like Steve Jobs and his turtlenecks.
Artist das chupa
rethinks Luthor's need for ties. The tie says power. It says maturity. It says, "I don't go to work wearing my undies on the outside."
also made this wonderfully creepy 2001: A Space Odyssey
...as well as my favorite parody of the "Change" meme ever.
And then there are the artists who pair villains up with a certain candidate or political party:
I believe that now Dick Cheney
prefers to be called "Darth Dickous."