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COMIC LEGEND: The demon-possessed Presidential candidate in Elektra Assassin was modeled after Dan Quayle.
Perhaps the biggest plot point of Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz’s classic maxi-series, Elektra Assassin (your number one pick in our recent Greatest Bill Sienkiewicz Stories Ever Told list!), was the fact that a demon-possessed politician named Ken Wind was trying to get elected (and indeed WAS elected) President…
This was something Elektra obviously was trying to stop.
Over the years, a lot of folks have guessed that Miller and Sienkiewicz based Wind on Dan Quayle, a seemingly boyishly good looking politician with higher political aspirations who most liberal folks of the 1980s were not exactly fans of….
The first problem with this theory is that the dates didn’t exactly work, as Elektra Assassin came out in 1986-87 and Quayle was not named as George Bush’s running mate until 1988. However, you could argue that Quayle WAS on the national radar back in 1986, as he successfully retained his Indiana Senate seat that year (after becoming the youngest Senator in Indiana history in 1980 when he was just 33 years old). That was a big deal since a bunch of Republicans had been elected Senator in 1980 riding the coattails of Ronald Reagan’s popularity. When it came time for them to be re-elected on their own merits in 1986, a lot of them failed to do so (a remarkable SEVEN of the twelve Republican senators who gained their seats in 1980 were defeated, eight if you count James T. Broyhill, who was appointed to finish out the term of a 1980 senator who killed himself in 1986), so Quayle being re-elected as a big deal. So it was not like Quayle was not known to a lot of people, and assuredly the guy had higher political aspirations, so it could still have worked, even if Quayle was not yet known as prominently as he would soon become in 1988, when he was one of the most famous people on the planet.
However, as it turns out, the answer was a lot simpler as to who was the inspiration for Ken Wind.
At his great Daredevil site, Man Without Fear, Kuljit Mithra asked Sienkiewicz about it and Sienkiewicz replied:
Mithra: Whose idea was it to use the photo of ‘Ken Wind’? Whose photo is that?
Sienkiewicz: Mine, and Ken Wind doesn’t exist except in pieces. It weirded me out, when years later George Bush chose Dan Quayle as his V.P. I thought, “Ken Wind has come to life.” Turns out it was not too far from the truth.
So that should about settle that, right?
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On the next page, we get the answer to Mark Waid’s challenge over the mystery of how DC edited Superman #139 when they reprinted it!