This is Mount Rushmore. It is basically a mountain that has 4 massive Presidential mugs carved into it. 4 Presidents that were not selected by accident. The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, selected each of these men based on what they had accomplished and their impact on our nation. Today, people will refer to the Mount Rushmore of Basketball Players, or football player, or actors or even superheroes, as a way to discuss who were the greatest of all time. I saw someone post an image of their Superhero Mount Rushmore, and I began to wonder who would be on mine? Who would I consider the greatest 4 superheroes of all time, and I thought that would make for an interesting post. Then my wife suggested I pick four heroes and tie them in with the Presidents that were selected, which I thought sounded even more interesting. So, here is who would be on my Superhero Mount Rushmore. I am not saying these are my 4 favorites, but each played a role in the history of Superheroes, somewhat similar to the Presidents who are up on the mountain. (Some of it might be kind of a stretch, but it’s all for fun anyway).
George Washington was selected because he was the original. He was the first President of the United States, he started it all. His place on the mountain was assured because of that, if for no other reason. However, he was also the general that led the colonists against the British and helped us gain our independence. He seems to stand for everything we think of as making America great, and if all the Presidents were to ever sit down and have a meeting, George Washington would be the head of that meeting. I always liked the legend of George Washington refusing to be crowned King. He had just fought a war to liberate us from a king, he didn’t want us to return to that. The people gave him all the power, and he could have taken advantage of that, but he didn’t.
Similar to George Washington, Superman was the first Superhero, or at least the first one that really caught on. For me, this was the easiest connection to make. Without George Washington, there wouldn’t be the other Presidents, and without Superman, there wouldn’t be the other Superheroes. Superman has the power to be a god over the people of Earth, and it’s a good possibility that id he asserted that power, people would follow him willingly, and he could be king of the Earth, but he doesn’t do that. Like George Washington, he acts responsibly with the power he has been given. You may not agree with all of my entries on this list, but it would be hard to have a superhero Mount Rushmore without Superman.
It seems like Thomas Jefferson is always stuck in George Washington’s lofty shadow. George Washington was the 1st President, Jefferson was the 3rd. George gets the $1 bill, Thomas gets the $2 bill, a bill no one ever uses. Yet, it would be hard to argue that any one man did more to frame the foundation for the liberties we enjoy today. Thomas Jefferson is credited for writing the Declaration of Independence, a document that is probably more important to the history of our country and our world than almost any other document. Jefferson was also a big proponent of the government stepping in and being more involved, where as Washington was a little more hands off. Plus, it is only proper that Jefferson be up on this mountain, since his Louisiana Purchase bought the actual mountain and made it part of the United States.
Batman and Superman are opposites in a lot of ways, but they both have similar goals, to protect the innocent and all that stuff. This is similar to Washington and Jefferson. Each performed their role as President very differently, but each had the same end goal: to prosper and protect our young nation. Batman continues to sit in Superman’s shadow, at least in the mainstream, but I think he likes it in the shadows, so it’s ok. Batman, as we have seen in many story lines, is ok with stretching his influence as much as he can to bring order to Gotham, where as Supes seems to want to minimize his. One thing that you have to credit Batman for is his story which has become the ultimate Superhero archetype. Plus, Batman has spread the popularity of comics further than Superman ever could have on his own. If Superman gave us the Superhero model and laid that foundation, then Batman expanded and built it up to what it is today.
Theodore Roosevelt- Wolverine
Theodore Roosevelt has always seemed like the odd man out to me on Mount Rushmore. He was wildly popular in his time, and he did establish the National Parks, and Rushmore is a National Park, but really he didn’t do anything especially mountain worthy. Looking into it a little for this post, I realized that when this sculpture was started in 1927, Roosevelt was a pretty big deal still. He brought our nation into the 20th century and into an economic boom. He was feared and respected as President, especially by those who would threaten our country. He coined the phrase to “talk softly, but carry a big stick.” It seemed to work for him as President. Plus he was a world traveler and renowned hunter. Then there was the Panama Canal which offered a quick connection between east and west. Then there were his days with the rough riders- he was a man’s man, which made me think of…
…Wolverine. Also a world renown hunter, and survivor of multiple “military exploits,” Wolverine is a man’s man kind of Superhero. He may not carry a big stick, but his 6 adamantium claws are a pretty good substitute. Wolverine became the face of marvel comics during a boom time as well: the 1990’s. Since then, his face has been everywhere. He may not be as old or as iconic as the others on this list, but for the modern generation, he may be just as important, similar to Teddy. Wolverine goes his own way, not really fitting into the traditional Superhero mold. Similarly, Theodore Roosevelt felt like he didn’t fit into the traditional mold of his political party, so he started his own, the Bull Moose Party. Because of his past, many may have thought that Wolverine was not really leadership material, but as of late he has taken over as the head of the Jean Grey school, and has done alright, proving to be more of a leader than some gave him credit for.
Abraham Lincoln- Captain America
The thing that Abraham Lincoln is best known for is abolishing slavery and holding our country together through the Civil War. He knew what was right and what was wrong, and he wasn’t going to let anyone tell him differently. He would not back down, and believed that the Union would prevail in the Civil War because it was on the right side of the debate. After the war was over, Lincoln’s plan was to be very forgiving with the former confederate states to help speed along the recovery and peace of our country. Unfortunately, he was gunned down before he could move too far into his reconstruction plans. As a result, our country was left in quite a mess. More than almost any other man in history, Lincoln seems to embody everything America is about or what it should be about, especially considering he had political loss after political loss before becoming President and stepping into his shoes as one of the greatest leaders in the history of the world.
There can be only one Superhero that embodies all of that, and it would be Captain America. He stands for everything good about our country and he sometimes has to stand for it all alone. He also led one side of a civil war in the comics, knowing his side would prevail because they were right. In fact, Steve Rogers has found himself in quite a few of those kinds of conflicts, and he always seems to find a way to bring everyone back together again. Sometimes, that’s no easy task. In addition, he was also gunned down by an assassin’s bullet, leaving the Marvel fictional world to figure out where to go next and what to do next. I think the biggest reason I thought to connect these two was because like Lincoln, when Cap knows something is right, he knows it and that’s where he stands, even if he is all alone.
There you have it, my Superhero Mount Rushmore. Just to be clear, this is all in good fun, and by no means do I mean to belittle anything any of these 4 great leaders have done by comparing it to fictional characters. It’s just not the same, and I recognize that. Just for fun, i thought I would include 2 more Mount Rushmore lists, with just the names, not descriptions. One is the DC Universe Rushmore and the other is Marvel.
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern
Captain America, Reed Richards, Hulk, and Wolverine
Who would be on your Mount Rushmore of Superheroes? I am sure our lists would disagree somewhere. Let me know about it in the comments.