At the end of a long and thoughtful comment on the re-posting of my long winded and pretentious piece on "Watchmen As Alternate History," Jonathon Riddle closed with this thought:
"Which American president has had the most appearances in American comics? My guess would be Reagan."
Even though the comment is unsigned, I'm fairly positive that it was Jonathon, since this is a question he has raised several times in our conversations off-line. So, when I was trying to think of something vaguely politically themed to write about on this Election Day, I decided to find out the answer to his question.
Arriving at that answer was a simple, if somewhat tedious, matter of going to the Comic Book Data Base and counting the listed appearances of the U.S. Presidents.
Of all the presidents listed on the site, the one with the most appearances is, of course, Lex Luthor. You may remember that Superman's arch-nemesis was elected President of the United States of the DC Universe in 2000 and remained in office till he went full on battle-suited berserk at the end of the first Superman/Batman story arc, "Public Enemies." Of course, I didn't bother counting all of his appearances, which must number in the thousands. Of the real world presidents listed, none had more than a hundred. Although one came close.
Keep in mind that the info on this data base is by no means complete. I added a previously unlisted appearance of Gerald Ford while I was doing my research, and I know of at least one appearance by LBJ that's not catalogued. Also, Teddy Roosevelt isn't listed at all, and I know of at least one comic book appearance of the Rough Rider. Of course, he is drawn as a Disney style anthropomorphised animal complete with cute button nose. That's because said appearance is in Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. And, hey, if we're counting fictional characters, how come Prez Rickard isn't listed there.
Anyway, without further preamble, I give you:
The Top 5 U.S. Presidents With The Most Comic Book Appearances
5. Abraham Lincoln
The Honest One earns extra points for appearing on one of the oddest and most memorable covers of the Bronze Age, the Weird Western Tales cover that accompanies this post.
4. George W. Bush
"Poppy," by the way, comes in 9th.
3. Bill Clinton
2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Even though he was President throughout almost the entire Golden Age of Comics, most of his comic book appearances come from the 70's and 80's
And it seems that Jonathon's guess was on the money. With 92 appearances listed on the Comic Book Data Base, the most frequently appearing president in comic books is:
1. Ronald Wilson "Dutch" Reagan
Now, quit wasting your time reading comics blogs and go vote.