The dangers posed by supervillains in the world of comics are pretty obvious: death rays, weather machines, doomsday devices, and so on. But what happens when villains step into politics and seize power the old fashioned way? In the spirit of the midterm elections 2018, we looked at a few times when villains from DC and Marvel defeated their superheroes at the ballot box. Lex Luthor, bane of Superman and the Justice League, rocked the vote in 2000, when he campaigned on an anti-superhero platform and held office for years. Over at Marvel, Loki ran an unsuccessful campaign for office, but the trickster god couldn’t succeed once the voting began. Doctor Doom, on the other hand, has succeeded in global conquest several times over, leaving his Latverian perch battling the Fantastic Four to rule the entire planet as only Dr Doom can.
But not every villain can be Victor Von Doom — sometimes all it takes is an appointed office to wreak havoc on the country, like when the Green Goblin Norman Osborn was appointed head of HAMMER after the Secret Invasion, much to the chagrin of Spider-Man. Despite Spiderman objecting harshly, Osborn ushered in a Dark Reign across the Marvel Universe. Thankfully, when Captain America foe the Red Skull became Secretary of Defense, his tenure was much more short lived. The most famous fictional supervillain to hold office wasn’t fictional at all, it was a thinly disguised version of President Richard Nixon. As the leader of the Secret Empire, Marvel addressed the Watergate scandal of the ‘70s by portraying the president as the leader of an evil conspiracy. It’s more black and white than real life, but it just goes to show you how truth can be stranger than fiction.