When they’re not protecting the world from villains, or saving cats from trees superheroes are usually found schmoozing with some very interesting people. Celebrities, musicians, political figures – the list goes on and on. In the dozens upon dozens of years of illustrated crime fighting, there have been several instances where some of our favorite heroes from fiction and reality collide. To help showcase these unions, we’ve made a list of the top 5 unique comic book cameos you’ll never believe made it to a comic panel.
1. Barack Obama
Leadership. Commitment. Compassion. Understanding. These are just some of the necessary characteristics great superheroes usually have. Similarly, these are some of the qualities that might be expected in people of high political acclaim – A president of a country for instance. In Amazing Spider-Man #583, Forty-Fifth President of the United States, Barack Obama, was impersonated by shapeshifting villain, Chameleon. Swinging in to save the day, Spider-Man stopped Chameleon before he could do any major damage, an act that that rewarded Spider-Man the personal gratitude of the actual Barack Obama.
Barack’s comic book cameos didn’t stop there. During Marvel’s Siege of Asgard event, Barack Obama gave the go ahead to Captain America to attack Norman Osborn’s government task force H.A.M.M.E.R., and officially abolished the Superhuman Registration Act. Just another day in the life of the life of the POTUS.
2. Stephen Colbert
When two great minds come together one genius generally eclipses the other. In Amazing Spider-Man #573 longtime political pundit, Stephen Colbert, met Spider-Man face to face. During Stephen’s campaign for President of the United States, Stephen noticed the web swinging Spider-Man locked in a battle with arch-villain, Grizzly, just a few blocks from his campaign. Being a true patriot, Stephen did the same thing that any hero would do – join in the fight. In an act that can only be described as heroic and brilliant, Stephen Colbert thwarted the villain by pushing a statue off of a building onto Grizzly’s head. While he may have lost the presidential race, it looks like Stephen Colbert might want to consider running for a spot in The Avengers.
3. Muhammad Ali
Very few people can step into the ring with boxing superstar Muhammad Ali. In 1978, DC Comics decided to put the heavyweight champion in the ring with the Man of Steel himself. When an alien civilization demands that the world’s greatest fighters (Ali, and Superman) battle, the pair have no choice but to appease the alien leader, Rat’Lar, or face the onslaught of an alien invasion. Having his powers temporarily removed at his Fortress of Solitude, Superman enters the ring and with Ali. Pummeling Superman, Ali wins the crown of Earth’s reigning champion. Once the alien issues were quelled, Ali gives an even harder one-two punch after he reveals to Superman that he knows his true identity.
Some may consider a crime fighting rapper to be a little ironic. Known for his divisive lyrics, Marshall Mathers (better known to the public as his star rapper persona, Eminem) started his career by joining underground freestyling rap battles. Once his career started to pick up steam, Eminem found himself attacked, but not by the people you might come to expect. One night after performing a concert, Eminem and his staff found himself under fire by none other than Marvel’s biggest badass The Punisher. After Punisher’s ambush, the rapper is saved by his childhood friend, Baracuda. Escaping into the night, Eminem comes to discover that Baracuda was not there to save him, but was actually hired to kill by The Parent’s Music Council. Ultimately, Baracuda dies by Marshall after he is gifted a chainsaw by his “biggest fan”, saving The Punisher in the process. As he has mentioned in one of his songs, Eminem is whatever you say he is – In this particular case, a hero.
There are few things that are even more badass than fighting crime. One of those few things might be rock and roll. In Marvel’s beloved series Howard the Duck, Howard meets a young girl named Winda. On the run, Winda reveals that she ran away from home because her parents planned to perform an exorcism on her. After a series of unfortunate events, Howard and Winda end in in prison where a prison doctor performs the exorcism on Winda. During the exorcism, it is discovered that Winda is actually a psychic, and creates an illusion of the legendary Rock & Roll band, KISS.