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So, about the DCAU Presidents...

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by iammattie, May 22, 2017.

  1. iammattie

    iammattie Member

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    For years I've been working on what I hope to be the most comprehensive, highly sourced DCAU timeline on the internet. As part of that, one of my rules is that references to real world events correlate with the dates of real world events up until there's mountains of evidence that says that it can't (Hoop Squad being the main offender I can think of currently.) Anyway, last night I was trying to map out presidents that appear or are alluded to and came across something I find interesting. So, let me start with our known presidents:


    1789-1797 - George Washington (Justice League Unlimited: The Once and Future Thing Part One.)
    [​IMG]

    1933-1945 - Franklin D. Roosevelt (Justice League Unlimited: Clash)
    [​IMG]

    1961-1963 - John F. Kennedy (Justice League Unlimited: Question Authority)
    [​IMG]

    1969-1974 - Richard Nixon (Batman Beyond: Mind Games)
    [​IMG]

    1974-1977 - Gerald Ford
    1977-1981 - Jimmy Carter
    1981-1989 - Ronald Reagan (Batman Beyond: Mind Games)
    [​IMG]

    1989-1993 - George H.W. Bush
    1993-???? - Bill Clinton (Batman Beyond: Mind Games)
    [​IMG]


    From here is where things get a little bit interesting. At the time of Mind Games airing, Bill Clinton was the current president so Maxine's responding line was "Then came the boring one". Now, there's been multiple times that the creators have stated that they tried to make the shows timeless, but every now and then a date would slip by throughout the shows. In specific, Cold Comfort had video footage of Bruce Wayne delivering a check that ended up dating the TNBA/STAS era in the late 90s (depending whether or not you count the comics that episode is either in 97 as the check states or that's old footage and the episode occurs in 99.) So, while Bill Clinton is canon, oddly enough the creators (in what I assume was a move to help with the timelessness.) decided the president we see in World's Finest would be a faceless Joe McPresident [1][2]. I guess technically that could be Bill, but hear me out. whether you think it's 97 or 99, that episode most likely occurs in Bill's second real world term, potentially after his impeachment hearings as well. Could this be "the boring one"? Maybe. Perhaps Bill lost his second term to him? Perhaps Bill got impeached and this is Al Gore?




    Let's look at some more evidence.

    As we know, a large part of the Cadmus arc of JLU was Lex's candidacy for president (which are usually announced the year before the election for the primary season.). In the next year, We learn that J'onn has been on monitor duty for two years, and before initiation Supergirl was on the farm in Smallville for 3 years. So, adding that 5 years to 97 gets us to 2002 (which doesn't work for the election cycle) but add it to 99 and we're in 2004 with Lex's candidacy being announced in 2003. During this time, we see that the president is another faceless Joe McPresident [1][2]. This is during the time that real world George W. Bush would be president for his first term after Bill Clinton. Seeing as the whole Cadmus thing is going on, I don't think this is "the boring one".

    Interestingly enough though, we may possibly have another president somehow between Bill's 2nd real world term/"the boring one's" only term, and JLU's president's time in office. It's a bit of a stretch, but look back at that Roosevelt picture. Look familiar?

    [​IMG]

    It seems that at some point George Bush was also president? We see the same portrait in the classroom in Kid's Stuff as well. Now, I'm sure with the faceless president being in place literally 3 episodes after we see George's portrait in Clash that it wasn't the production teams intention for George to be president (perhaps something the animation studio slipped in on their own?) but evidence is evidence. Now, good ol' George was inaugurated January 20th, 2001, and Flashpoint occurs in Summer 2003. So, was George impeached? was Joe McPresident 2.0 perhaps his vice president instead of Dick Cheney? and if he was impeached, he definitely can't be "the boring one"?

    What do you guys think? Did DCAU Bill Clinton's second term go differently than real world Bill's?
    Is there another in universe reason for George's picture to be in that classroom?
    Am I looking too far into some cartoons? Probably, but I feel like there's some interesting conversation to be had here and would love to hear some other ideas!
     
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  2. Dallas Kinard

    Dallas Kinard Active Member

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    Supergirl was on the farm for 3 years before debuting in Little Girl Lost, not Initiation. Also, how do you know that Cold Comfort absolutely takes place in 1999?
     
  3. iammattie

    iammattie Member

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    Hmmmm, I don't think either of these really touch on my questions I left at the end of the post, but I'll bite, cause I understand that there's a few different ways to interpret the data.

    As for Supergirl:
    Whether you think the three year gap was between him rescuing her from Argo and then showing up in Metropolis during LGL, there's still an obvious 3 year gap between LGL and Initiation. The episode where she mentions the 3 year gap (Chaos at the Earth's Core) occurs within the same year as her 21st birthday (Far From Home). Subtract the 2 years J'onn was on monitor Duty and you have her joining the League in Initiation at the age of 19. Subtract another three years and you have her showing up in Metropolis at 16. This coincides with her official bio:
    [​IMG]
    The way the website is set up I can't link directly to her page, but you can fish around here so you know I'm not fooling on you. Past that though, Little Girl Lost was written by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer. Who later went on to write Superman Adventures #21, in which she was 12 when krypton blew up and then 4 years later put into cold sleep. So, not only do we have the official bio stating she was 16, but we have confirmed writers intent. The story of that comic goes on to have a montage of her starting school and then going to Metropolis for the events of LGL during summer break. So while some time has passed between Clark finding her and her coming to Metropolis, it seems to have been less than a full year. Granted, that story later goes on to say Clark is leaving for a League mission and Kara is house sitting for him for her first winter on earth and this is all occurring a little bit before the league should be even formed (I assume this was a nod to the Adventures in the DC Universe comics) so the issue itself can't necessarily be deemed canonical and is just a good source for seeing the authors intent. Since the age of 16 is further backed up by the official bio, at least that part checks out. So 16, 3 years later she joins the league in Initiation, 2 years later she has her 21st birthday. This doesn't necessarily discredit your 3 year gap within little girl lost either way, and your want for the gap doesn't discredit this either. If you'd like to believe Clark found her at 13 that's fine I guess, but seems odd seeing as they use the same exact model from begin to end in that episode and don't age her at all.

    As for your question about Cold Comfort. I didn't say that it has to take place in 1999
    Whether you count the comics or not you could either come to the conclusion that certain episode occurs on or after the date on the check, or that in following the over 2 year gap in Batman Adventures: The Lost Years the episode occurs late 1999 and that the footage freeze is watching is old. It's up to interpretation, and I was simply using the date stamped on the check as an anchor for the fact that regardless whatever interpretation you use, the era takes place in what would be real world Bill Clinton's second term.


    EDIT:
    Let's please try not to steer this apple cart too far off track though. While I do enjoy conversation on my research, I made this post for conversation on the presidents in the DCAU from Clinton to the unnamed President in Flashpoint. Let's try to stick to theorizing revolving around the topic at hand. I figured the Supergirl age question was important for understanding the post and answered the Cold Comfort one simply because it was attached, but I'd rather not turn this into a "let's pick apart eachother's timelines" thread. I'll answer questions that are seemingly important to understanding the original post and that's about it.
     
    #3 iammattie, May 22, 2017
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  4. Dallas Kinard

    Dallas Kinard Active Member

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    I'll PM ya if you are ok with that.
     
  5. AdrenalineRush1996

    AdrenalineRush1996 Active Member

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    There wasn't a Flashpoint storyline in the DCAU. What you're going on about?

    Sent from my LG-H850 using Tapatalk
     
  6. iammattie

    iammattie Member

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    Go for it! Just as a heads up though, between working seven days a week, writing an album, and helping James with Legacies related work I may not have time to respond right away at times or may end up being short and to the point with responses.
    There's an episode in JLU specifically named Flashpoint. It's part of the 4 part ending to the Cadmus Arc
     
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  7. AdrenalineRush1996

    AdrenalineRush1996 Active Member

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    Yes, but newer audiences would now confuse the title of the episode with the storyline that kickstarted the New 52.

    Sent from my LG-H850 using Tapatalk
     
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  8. iammattie

    iammattie Member

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    I mean, I guess? But I can't help that that's what it was literally called. I don't have much else of a way to go about referring to it. I think it's safe to assume that if someone is talking in depth about the DCAU and mentions Flashpoint and provides screenshots from the episode, that that's probably what they're talking about. Anyway, now that that's cleared up, back to the topic at hand.
     
  9. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    Well, FWIW, in "A Better World" I believe that the US president was a ringer for W.

    I tend to think that in the DCAU, the real president was also the president in fiction.
     
  10. iammattie

    iammattie Member

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    I know who you're talking about, he's only president in the Lord's-verse though if I remember correctly so I'm not sure it has any bearing on the main DCAU.
     
  11. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    Interesting theory about the DCAU Clinton only serving one term and Gore succeeding him in his second term. I'd buy that. The "boring one" then makes sense. lol.

    Brian George's President in the Lordsverse vs. Robert Forster's President during JLU was way too different, imo. At the time, I accepted that Max's "boring one" was in reference to Forster's character and this person became president instead of Bush.

    I recall back in the 2000 campaign, Warren Beatty was floated as a Democratic candidate before Gore solidified his run -- so it would have amusing if in this canon, instead of Beatty, the DCAU version of Forster ran for president and won and it was a Democratic regime instead of Republican. And he was president through a lot of heavy stuff - the Big Bang, the Thanagarian Occupation, etc.
     
  12. iammattie

    iammattie Member

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    I remember reading somewhere that the episode was originally produced during primary season and the "boring one" comment was actually in reference to Al Gore, who the producers expected to win (although, I don't remember the source for that.) It just seems very odd to me that it would be in reference to Forster's president, when as you say

    and even if the theorizing around Bush is accurate (which is admittedly still a long shot) Whoever it was during that time period just seems like it wouldn't be accurate to refer to as "the boring one" which I feels lends more credence to Clinton's second term either not existing or being cut short.
     
  13. JamesStrecker518

    JamesStrecker518 Illustrator, "Legacies of the DCAU"
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    Personally (and I know this is just opinionated), I think the Bush-ish portrait in the elementary school classrooms (or classroom? One is for sure in Fawcett City, the other is unknown, but they're nearly identical) is just a choice by the background painters and/or Timm & co. to put something there. As you mentioned, we see that picture twice within the same calendar year that we know Joe McPresident 2.0 is president, so it wouldn't make any sense to actually BE George W. Bush, to me. I agree with Yojimbo that it could simply be that 2.0 became president instead of Bush. For the sake of the "is he boring or not?" argument, discounting our current president of course, we often don't know a lot of what's going on behind-the-scenes -- Cadmus wouldn't have been a public thing (at least for a while) in the same way that there's presumably tons of shady government stuff going on all the time in our real world that we don't know about. 2.0 didn't on-screen get involved with the Thanagarians, nor the Big Bang, nor any of that kind of stuff, so from Max's perspective (especially 30+ years after he was even president) he may have been "boring."
     
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  14. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth, I've always had the impression that the reference to 'the boring President' was wishful thinking that Al Gore would beat George W. Bush in the (then) upcoming election. Of course, looking back, whoever was elected was destined to live in interesting times.
     
  15. iammattie

    iammattie Member

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    Oh yeah definitely. I'm pretty sure I had read that somewhere at some point but as far as this timeline goes I try to take everything I can with a historical reference attached as word of law with regards to the DCAU's history.

    James's comment up there is really making me want to rewatch JLU and see just how much of the Cadmus stuff was easily viewed by the public. Off the top of my head I can't think of that one explosion the League got blamed for but I'm not sure what else.

    I'll find my boring one somewhere! Lmao
     
  16. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    Back on February 23, 2010, while doing press for Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the late Dwayne McDuffie mentioned the President from JLU originated from the Worlds Collide script, the story that took place between Justice League season 2 and Justice League Unlimited season 1, in a measure to seed and pre-plan for his eventual appearance on JLU. Here's the quote from the article:
     

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