I'm wondering if eight-year-old boy-genius Gerald Bostock was inspired by an actual comic with his poem Thick as a Brick (written on the 3rd of March 1972).

Here is the relevant passage:

Won't you join your local government?
We'll have Superman for president
Let Robin save the day

I was wondering this because of the weird association between Superman and Robin, since they are not one of the usual team-ups.

Although I assume it's because he wanted a superhero for office and a sidekick to pick up the slack and that Robin is one of the most well-known sidekicks and that Batman would make a terrible choice for president.

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    The levels of metanarrative here are a bit confusing, since Gerald Bostock isn't real. I think this question would be clearer if it asked directly if there's a comic that inspired or was inspired by the quoted lines from the Jethro Tull album. Commented May 1 at 0:13
  • I removed the [story-identification] tag as that's typcially used for questions asking about specific stories which the OP has previously consumed or heard of, whereas this question seems to be asking if there are any examples of a given type of story, which there may or may not be, and if there are, there could be more than one. It's actually more closely related to a list question than a typical story-ID question, although the scope is much narrower than the majority of list questions. Commented May 1 at 3:59
  • @LogicDictates - As things stand it's a list question; "List Batman + Robin comics where Superman was President".
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1 at 7:29
  • @Valorum even after 87 meta discussions on the issue it seems typical to disguise list questions by asking "what is the first instance of" or similar, and then the answers tend to have lists anyway. Maybe SO is focusing on the wrong end and should consider banning list answers instead of list questions. Commented May 1 at 8:52
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    @J-J-J - Note that the question originally asked whether the quoted song lyrics were inspired by a prior story, or whether they themselves inspired a later one. Valorum edited the question to omit the part about later stories, so this current version of the question doesn't fully convey the OP's intent. Commented May 1 at 9:40

2 Answers 2


According to https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/President_Superman, the first appearance of "President Superman" was in 1969, in Action Comics #371. According to the same page, it seems that there were no other instance of this idea between 1969 and December 1971, when the album was recorded.

As this Action Comics story did not involve Robin, it is probably safe to assume that the association made in the lyrics between Superman and Robin does not come from a specific comic.

The "We'll have Superman for president" line might have been inspired by this Action Comics issue, given that the album and the comic book were just released two years apart, and that Ian Anderson, who wrote the lyrics, is not completely unfamiliar with science fiction:

I was the sort of child who loved spending time collecting pond life and then analysing it. I also loved science fiction stories of the era (the 1950s), because they told of a different, exciting future.

However, I didn't find any interview of Jethro Tull's members pointing to this comic being the direct inspiration for this line, and it's a stretch to assume that Ian Anderson was aware of this specific comic book just because he used to read science fiction as a teenager – so this is just speculation here. In addition, the lyrics imply that people would vote for Superman, while in the Action Comics story Superman doesn't become president through elections.

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    This is the kind of speculation I like. Well researched and referenced.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 2 at 7:11
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    Well, just for completeness, there is at least one previous story having Superman as president dc.fandom.com/wiki/Superman_Vol_1_122 (July, 1958). It has been recently reprinted in the Superman Silver Age Omnibus vol.1 :-)
    – RubioRic
    Commented May 13 at 12:57
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    @RubioRic Nice catch, I stand corrected! I've been thinking about editing my answer accordingly, but I think it would be fairer if you posted the info as your own answer. As Ian Anderson used to read scifi in the 1950s, it might be a bit more probable that he knew the 1958 story than the 1969 one, even if it's still speculation.
    – J-J-J
    Commented May 13 at 17:05
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    @J-J-J Done. :-)
    – RubioRic
    Commented May 14 at 6:37

I don't know if it's the first one but there is a previous story having Superman as President of the USA in Superman #122 (July, 1958) by Otto Binder and Al Plastino

Perry White assigns Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen with an assignment to write a Patriot's Day piece about a famous president. Jimmy ponders what the world would be like if Superman were president. While attempting to straighten a photograph, the picture falls from the wall, smacking Jimmy in the head. Jimmy falls unconscious and has a dream that Superman is actually the President of the United States.

In this dream, Clark Kent is Superman's vice president, and Jimmy is his press secretary. Superman becomes the country's most revered president ever, and even has his image placed upon the one-hundred dollar bill and the postage stamp.

Jimmy Olsen eventually awakens and tells Clark of his dream. Clark explains to Jimmy that Superman could never become president as he is not a natural born United States citizen.

Superman 122 cover

It has been recently reprinted in Superman Silver Age Omnibus vol.1

Superman Silver Age Omnibus vol.1 cover


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