This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on November 8, 2016.
It’s Election Day in the United States of America. Citizens from across the country today will go to vote on important races and issues on the local, state, and federal level, shaping the future of their country with the power of a ballot. To say that today is an incredibly important one is a vast understatement. This is a day which should evoke both pride and careful consideration.
We at ComicBook.Com want to encourage all voters to take their civic responsibilities seriously. We would also like to add a little bit of levity to this long election cycle. So with that in mind, we have devised a list of ten heroes who we think would encourage all of us to vote today.
Who else could have come first on this list? Captain America is the ultimate, inarguable patriotic superhero. Whether you’re talking about a skinny, scrappy kid from Brooklyn or the leader of the Avengers, Steve Rogers has always embodied the American dream. He fights for the little guy, stands up to bullies, and saves everyone. While Captain America has been pushed to question his identity at times, he always returns to wearing the colors of his country and upholding the values they symbolize. One of those values is suffrage, the right to vote, a right that has been brought to every citizen over two centuries. So you can be darn sure he would want you to vote.
Wonder Woman may not be American, but she has a vested interest in the welfare of the United States. As the official diplomat of the Amazonian people and a regular resident in America, it is an adopted homeland in her life. She cares for the people and shows that good works and compassion can cross borders with ease. As someone of Greek heritage, Wonder Woman also has a vested interest in the very concept of democracy. America was once a great democratic experiment and has helped spread the value of voting across the globe. There’s no doubt that Wonder Woman would want to see that continue.
Superman is the embodiment of the American dream. Sent to Earth as an immigrant child with only the blanket he would one day wear as a cape, Clark Kent was raised in the American heartland by two hard working farmers. From these humble beginnings he would grow to become one of America’s greatest sons. Working to expose the truth as a journalist and saving lives as a superhero, Superman shows us all that we can aspire to be in America, not matter where we are from. He also takes pride in his role as a citizen and the responsibility of voting.
Captain America (Isaiah Bradley)
You probably expected to see Steve Rogers on this list, but Isaiah Bradley is every bit deserving of a spot, if not more so. Bradley’s story, first told in the mini-series “Truth”, is that of the first Captain America. He volunteered for the Army, but was subjected to super soldier experiments against his will. In spite of the horrific treatment, he still fought for America in the European theater, but was never acknowledged until much later in life. While his story is a tragic one, it’s a reminder of all the people in history who have fought for an American dream they never experienced.
Uncle Sam may have begun life as a piece of wartime art, but he has found life as a character in the pages of DC Comics. Sam is the leader of the Freedom Fighters, a group of patriotic heroes who fought in World War II and continue to fight Nazism on at least one alternate Earth. Uncle Sam derives his power from the American people. It is our virtues and values that drive him and make him a proud defender of his country. There’s little doubt that the turnout on Election Day helps to determine just how tall this hero may stand.
The Old Soldier
In the world of Astro City, the Old Soldier is a mysterious figures who only appears in times of great need. He supposedly traces his roots to the American Revolution and has continued to resurface when his country needs him most. This unnamed hero embodies the bravery of those lost at war and every American soldier who has fought for freedom. It’s important that he is not just one person, but that he can stand in for all those who valiantly protect us. One way to honor those brave men and women is exercising your right to vote.
American Maid may be a parody of characters like Captain America and Wonder Woman, but part of that parody involves refining their essential traits. In the world of The Tick, where most heroes are anything but serious, American Maid is the one you can always rely on. She takes the work of a superhero seriously and is always responsible. Part of that responsibility is in her uniform (no, not the maid part) and it’s a serious commitment to American ideals. One of those ideals is the power and privilege of voting. So you can be certain that she would be dragging you and all of her cohorts to the polls today.
The Great Machine
Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’ series Ex Machina took a realistic look at politics with the added twist of a superpowered politician: Mayor Mitch Hundred. While the series ended on a very tragic note, Hundred and his staff always pushed themselves and the series’ readers to seriously consider issues. All of them were big believers in the importance of voting and did their absolute best to serve the people who elected them. You may not want to do everything Hundred did, but one fine example he left behind is that of civic service. It’s an example that you can set for others as well by voting today.
The Blackhawks are not an American team. They are defined by their diverse nationalities as well as being the absolute best fighter pilots in the DC Universe. What brought this team together, besides their skill, was a shared dedication to democracy and will to fight against fascism in WWII. While not all of the Blackhawks could vote today, they would want all American citizens to do so. After all, you don’t have to be American to be engaged with this election or support the importance of democracy.
The Real Heroes of American History
While it has been fun speculating on which fictional heroes would encourage Americans to vote on Election Day, it’s important to remember that voting is a serious topic. The right to vote in the United States is something that has been earned by countless heroes over its entire history. We have monuments across the United States dedicated to leaders like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. who along with so many others dedicated (and sometimes lost) their lives in the pursuit of justice and equality.
By voting today, you honor their legacy and the legacy of so many other dedicated American soldiers, activists, and protesters who worked to ensure the right to vote was enshrined in their country. While it dropping your vote in the ballot box may seem like a drop in the bucket, it’s an action protected by very real acts of heroism.