What unites such heroes as Aquaman, Thor, Superman and Black Panther? Power. Each of them had to take off the mask of a superhero and put on a crown, albeit temporarily.
What happens when a superhero becomes a ruler? What does he choose for his country: the path of super-prosperity or the power of super-rubbing? By the premiere of Aquaman, we understand how power and superpowers are interconnected, and we recall how the reigns of famous superheroes ended.
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Superheroes have abilities that are inaccessible to mere mortals, and they themselves give power. Their owner can impose his will: obey, otherwise this fireball or piece of metal will fly into you! Even if superpowers are money, like Batman and Iron Man, it gives influence. Just for us, the power of finance is in the order of things, unlike levitation or rays from the eyes. The owner of such abilities can be worshiped as a god.
And what if the superhero will have the power and status? For example, was born in the royal family? Such heroes can fight against injustice on a large scale and try to lead their country to prosperity – and superpowers should help them in this. Ideally.
But still, having superpowers, it is possible to establish tyranny. From the superhero ruler just a step to the dark lord.
Where was it: The Reigning arch (Thor # 68–74).
Than rules: Asgard, New York, and then the whole Earth.
Cover of the first release of The Reigning
Thor is perhaps the most famous superhero of the royal family. He is the son of the father of the gods Odin and heir to the throne of Asgard, who eventually takes. As a rule, the god of thunder is shown a noble hero. But in The Reigning storyline arch (“The Board”), Thor became a purposeful tyrant who captured the world in the name of good.
The story begins with the fact that the lord Odin is killed in battle. Thor inherits not only the throne of Asgard, but also the power of his father. He decides that the Asgardians and the people should live together, and with the help of the new-found force he transports the entire Asgard to Earth, placing it right above New York!
Of course, the defenders of the Earth did not like the huge city above the city, and they attacked the Asgardians. In the bloody battle that claimed the lives of tens of thousands on both sides, Asgard won. By 2020, Thor united both cities into one large-scale futuristic metropolis, which he called New Asgard.
Over the years, Thor has become very similar to his father Odin.
Over the next 150 years, Asgardians captured almost the entire planet – while they healed diseases, created an almost infinite source of energy, established peace and equality, erased the boundaries between states and religions, and proclaimed the cult of creativity and science. For some, the Earth has become a paradise for self-improvement, but the lives of others have turned into dull idleness.
In the end, his son Magni helped to abandon the tyranny of Torah. With the help of Mjölnir’s hammer, he accidentally awakened the assassin of the gods Desak, who attacked Thor’s family. The new Asgard was on the verge of death, but Torah managed to find a device for time travel. He went to the past and agreed to return Asgard to his native world. At the same time, Thor retained the memory of his mistakes and now tries to avoid them.
Worthy ruler? Rather yes than no. Thor led the earthlings and Asgardians to unprecedented prosperity, although it cost a lot of blood. Even the treacherous Loki became his loyal friend and faithful adviser for these one and a half centuries! But most importantly, Torah had the wisdom and fortitude to correct the mistakes made.
Where was it: cartoon Justice League: Throne of Atlantis.
Than rules: By Atlantis.
Trouble can overtake a character from the royal family, even if he does not know about his origin. It happened with Aquaman in the cartoon “Throne of Atlantis.” Arthur Curry lived in Maine and considered himself an ordinary person. He might not have known about his roots if the struggle for power had not begun in Atlantis.
Events “Throne of Atlantis” became the basis of a new film about Aquaman
Prince of Atlantis Orme suggested that mother, Queen Atlanna, attack people. Atlanna was against it and asked Meru’s assistant to find Arthur – her second son, born of a mortal. The queen hoped that he would establish peace between the people and the Atlanteans. She didn’t live to see it – Orm killed the queen and blamed the crime on people from the surface. Curry and the Justice League had to oppose the angry Atlanteans. The cyborg helped uncover the deception: he reproduced Orma’s voice recognition, and the Atlanteans learned who killed the queen. Arthur overthrew his brother, occupied the throne of Atlantis, and immediately ordered the war to be stopped.
Aquaman constantly had to combine superheroism and royal duties. He many times saved Atlantis from the dangers – from bloodthirsty sensible jellyfish to the perfidious sister of the Measure called Siren. In the new restart of DC Rebirth, Aquaman appears primarily as the ruler of his country. In these issues we are shown how Arthur is trying to establish diplomatic relations between the Atlanteans and the people – and in part he succeeds.
Worthy ruler? Yes. Aquaman proved this by hardly taking the throne when he helped make peace between Atlanteans and people. And in the future, he showed himself not only as an outstanding ruler of Atlantis, but also as a mighty superhero and a regular participant in the League of Justice.
Where was it: arch of the “Avengers against the X-Men.”
Than rules: Wakanda.
The Avengers vs. X-Men crossover shows the battle in Wakanda, the native country of the Black Panther, which determined the fate of the state for many issues ahead. According to the plot of the arch, the cosmic essence Phoenix returned to Earth and chose the heroes who received a part of its destructive power. Underwater ruler Namor succumbed to this force and began to prepare the invasion of Wakanda.
Black Panther – an ancient title, fanned by pagan mysticism. But Wakanda is a fairly modern country.
At that time, under the mask of the Black Panther, Shuri, T’Challa’s sister, fought and handed her the title and costume after spending a long time in a coma. But she lacked the strength to protect Wakanda. Therefore, T’Challa went to the City of the Dead, where Bastet, the cat goddess, bestowed upon him the abilities of all Black Panthers. So T’Challa became the “king of kings”. Alas, it did not save Wakanda – Namor, obsessed with Phoenix, flooded the country with a huge tidal wave.
T’Challe had to take a number of hard decisions in order to begin rebuilding his homeland. First, he broke up a marriage with the superheroes Storm of X-Men, as this organization opposed Wakanda. Secondly, he drove all the X-Men out of the country and forbade them to appear here. At the same time, T’Challa forbade his subjects to pursue mutants. After that, the Black Panther returned the country to the international arena – it allowed Wakkanda not only to strengthen military force, but also to start developing a space program.
Worthy ruler? Rather, yes, albeit with nuances. T’Challa did a lot for his country: he opened it to the world and developed new technologies. In addition, in the guise of the Black Panther, he constantly fought with invaders like Eric Killmonger (he became the main villain in the film). However, T’Challa sometimes neglects the duties of a ruler – he continually gets involved in foreign conflicts. For example, he replaced Daredevil after the events of the following story.
More about Wakanda and the country ruled by a supervillain:
How the Black Panther Fought the Ku Klux Klan and the X-Men in Comics
T’Challa also hunted the Fantastic Four, married Storm and killed Prince of Atlantis. We tell the amazing story of the Black Panther and recommend the best comics about it.
Marvel fictional countries guide: Wakanda, Latteria, everywhere else
We go on a tour of countries that exist only in the imagination of the writers of Marvel.
Where was it: arch “Land of Shadows” (Shadowland).
Than rules: organization “Hand”.
The Land of Shadows crossover series began with the incredible: ninja from the villainous organization “Hand”, the eternal enemies of Man without fear, were looking for a new leader, and the choice fell on … Daredevil! And the superhero unexpectedly agreed.
So he gained control of a powerful organization, with the help of which he was going to restore order in Hell’s Kitchen. He set the conditions: “The Hand” should not kill people, and all its income should be honest. Matt Murdoch believed that he would force the Hand to act according to the law.
Daredevil orders “Hand” to kill his former friends and colleagues
But not all clan members submitted to Daredevil. In Japan, the dark magicians “Hands” conducted an ancient ceremony and released the spirit of the powerful demon Beast to Earth. This spirit gradually began to poison Matt’s mind. First, Daredevil decided on the first murder – thrust a knife into the heart of the Marked supervillain. Then he decided to extend the influence of the “Hand” not only to the Hellish Kitchen, but to the whole of New York. And in the end, lifted the ban on murder.
Only a team of street superheroes could defeat the demon inside Matt: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing and others. As a result, the dark spirit was defeated, and Daredevil for a long time disappeared from the Hellish Kitchen. Instead, T’Challa became the new defender of the district, who refused the title of the Black Panther.
Worthy ruler? Probably not. It is unlikely that the inhabitants of the Hellish Kitchen felt safe when they learned that they were being watched by detachments of cold-blooded killers. Daredevil’s motives were noble, but the members of Ruka did not resemble crime fighters. Broken and lost loved ones, Matt Murdoch barely coped with the responsibilities of a superhero – where could it be before the rule of the ninja clan.