The Presidential Fury of Future Lincoln!

Long-time ISB readers might recall that while I like to consider myself more of a comics reader than anything else, there are a couple of things that I go after just for the joy of having them, and chief among those is my collection of comics with covers featuring America’s greatest leader, President Abraham Lincoln.

Imagine my good fortune, then, when I stumbled across this little gem purely by accident yesterday:



That, my friends, is a cover that asks us to accept a lot of things. Namely:


1. That the robot in question is accurate in both its reporting and its statement that this news is happening now

2. That it is indeed the year 2971, as evidenced by the yellow skies and the fact that Adam Strange is swinging by to fight with the Flash’s word balloon

3. That the Elongated Man was once a selling point

And perhaps most importantly…

4. That the MILFs of the future will have some dynamite legs.


Of course, there’s also the part where we’re to assume that it’s actually Lincoln and not just a sophisticated Robot Lincoln designed to preserve the Union during a futuristic Civil War, but–Spoiler Warning!–it’s really just a sophisticated Robot Lincoln designed to preserve the Union during a futuristic Civil War.

As for the why of all this madness, that can be summed up pretty well in about two words: Cary Bates.

In retrospect, those might not be the words you were expecting, but still. Bates is, after all, the guy who brought us stories like the one where a 10 year-old Batman kicks the crap out of a grizzly bear. Sadly, that’s not a theme that he revisits here, but we do get an opening sequence featuring this:



Yes, as revealed by the “probing” of the Flash’s “time vibrator,” in the grim future of 2971, there is only war! Civil War in fact, as Earth-East and Earth-West struggle against each other for reasons that are never actually made clear. What we do know, however, is that the War has left Earth-West with “inadequate news coverage,” to the point where they’re recruiting from the twentieth century.

Specifically, they’re going for Iris West, who was born in the future and then sent to the past, but came back after Professor Zoom–you know what? Let’s just skip it. All you really need to know is that she’s the Flash’s girlfriend, and in order to fulfill a community service requirement left over from transporting electrified chemicals over the border, she’s volunteered to help set up a “picture news service.”

One quick hop on the Cosmic Treadmill later, she and the Flash arrive in the future to hear the grim news: President Lincoln has been assassinated. And even more amazing, nobody saw that one coming.



You’d think Barry Allen might be used to things like this, what with the fact that he himself is following in the footsteps of another guy who ran really fast and called himself “The Flash,” but the whole thing just blows his mind. It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder how he deals with other repetitive aspects of his life.

“Incredible! The McRib was only available for a limited time! How can it be available again–a whole year later?!

Needless to say, he doesn’t bother to stick around for the thirty or so seconds that it’d take to explain what was going on, instead choosing to tear off across the country to investigate the murder and track down the responsible party: The 30th-Century Doppelganger of John Wilkes Booth!

Or, as he would become known to his contemporaries…





Only the addition of Sarah Vowell could make that more awesome.

Unfortunately, the Flash’s zealous pursuit of justice in the name of the Union is not without the hazards that come from hasty crimefighting:



Just for future reference, things are usually referred to as things like “The Wild Region” because there’s something there that you really don’t want to run into. In Metropolis circa 1971, the problem was an overabundance of high-tech street-racing super-hippies.

In Earth-East, however, it’s more a problem of Stranger Danger:



Of course, the real issue here is the prevalent amount of powerful hallucinogens in the atmosphere–which coincidentally was a condition shared by the offices of DC Comics throughout the decade–and before long, Barry figures out a way to block out the evil of the spectral hands.

And I think it’s a solution from which we could all benefit:



And he does, finally revealing the trick that the readers probably assumed six pages ago in a sequence involving the search-result skewing image that can only be described as “Naked Robot Lincoln.

For those of you requiring further explanation, allow me: With the threat of a Civil War involving atomic weapons–very atomic weapons–looming over their heads, the hot-shot scientists of the 30th Century decided that the best course of action would be to look to the past for inspiration. Thus, in a move that pretty much confirms that it’s all downhill from here as far as world leaders go, they do what Walt Disney did a thousand years before: they make themselves a Cyborg Lincoln.

But sadly, thanks to a two-and-a-half-star laser-blast from Cyborg John Wilkes Booth, his term as President of the Future was cut short. OR WAS IT?!

For you see, while the Flash is caught up in The Worst Deathtrap Ever–a ball and chain that it takes him like three pages to figure out he can get out of by rotating the other way–Future Booth meets up with his sinister paymaster Bekor, the Ruthless Commander of Earth-East, who is not Ming the Merciless, but an incredible simulation.

By this point, though, Booth has outlived his usefulness, and after delivering the murder weapon to his boss–a plot point that’s about to be pretty relevant despite never being explained–he’s immediately shot, at which point things start to get way more awesome.

Because this is where Lincoln comes out of the laser gun and reassembles his atoms thanks to an anti-disintegration pocketwatch he’d been holding for just such an occasion.

Thus: Presidential Beatdowns, presented here in all their wondrous, democratic glory.






Man! Not since Benito Cereno’s Tales From the Bully Pulpit has there been an Abe-Related Beatdown that Union-preservingly thorough!

48 thoughts on “The Presidential Fury of Future Lincoln!

  1. I don’t suppose that any any point Abe says “Help me, Flash, Help me”, or gets impaled on a spear?

  2. That is the most awesome thing I have ever seen in my life. My mind has been blown by the mad Lincoln madness and awesomness ever.

    We need mroe Lincoln Mr. Sims, we need MUCH more Lincoln.

  3. I always thought of Cary Bates as “the Grant Morrison before there was Grant Morrison,” or “The Son of Kanigher.” Bates’ comics often blew my little mind.

    And I’d be curious who’d win a “DC Crazy-Off”–Kanigher, Haney, Bates, or Morrison?

  4. zomg… Can we get “Cyborg Lincoln” on our Illinois license plates to replace the boring “Land of Lincoln” phrase that is on there?

  5. I’m just going to go ahead and assume this is a different 30th century than the one the Legion was kicking around in.

    A far more wrasslin’ 30th century.

  6. All I can say is that if Countdown ends with Future Cyborg Lincoln beating up EmoManBoy Prime, I’ll take back every mean thing I’ve ever said about it. Hell, I’ll take back mean things OTHER people have said about it…

  7. I do think that every question a character is asked on a DC cover between (roughly) 1956 and 1986 can be answered by “LSD in the writer’s water supply”.

  8. Not many people know this, but Appomatox was not originally to be a place of surrender for the Confederate states. The original plan was for Grant and Lee to simply discuss things and see where to go from there, but in a moment that never made it into any of the paintings you see of the event, the war was ended when future president U.S. Grant put General Lee into the very same half-crab Honest Abe busted out on Ming up there.

  9. Please tell me that the very next panel was Abe going to the top rope and backwards-splashing Bekor into next century! Pure gold, Mr Sims, pure gold.


  10. Lincoln rocks. The man is carved into a mountain, had a beloved childhood toy named after him, hobnobbed in outer spaaaaace with James T frickin’ Kirk (and was way awesomer than him), punched out Robot Hitler, and now THIS. (Or, THEN this. Or whatever. My brain exploded halfway through reading the post.)

    Because ABE LINCOLN, that’s why.

  11. Occasionally I have a dream in which I happen to be visiting Europe and wander into a pub full of English soccer hooligans, Dutch soccer hooligans, German soccer hooligans, Italian soccer hooligans, or what have you, and they, upon learning that I am an American, proceed to offend me by insulting Abraham Lincoln. (Why, I have no idea.) In the dream, I respond by saying “No man insults the Railsplitter!” and clearing the place out, fight-in-a-Western style, complete with hooligan flying through the window.

    Aw yeah.

  12. Flash Fact: If Abraham Lincoln were alive today, he’d whup the tar out of the entire modern Republican Party in a wrasslin’ match.

  13. Cary Bates was called (I dunno who gave him the name, but he was so called) “Mr. Surprise,” and he earned that by repeatedly officially freaking me out well into his run on Captain Atom.

    One surprise here is that I believe this story may be the last story to ever predict that mass media will be *less* omnipresent in The Future, such that there will be a crippling shortage of Katie Courics.

  14. Suedenim: YES! YES! Remember the Captain Atom issue where Cap tells Ted Kord about his adventures with Dan Garrett, and it’s full of continuity errors, and we all thought DC had messed up, but actually it was deliberate because Cap was making it all up, and Ted knew, but kept it quiet, and… and… (collapses into incoherence).

  15. “Yes, as revealed by the “probing” of the Flash’s “time vibrator,” in the grim future of 2971, there is only war!”

    Speaking as someone with a sizable Warhammmer 40,000 interest, may I just say this sentence made me laugh probably harder than it should have.

    And Cyborg Lincoln putting the half-crab on a bad guy, and remembering the good old days as he did so, is a candidate for The Best Thing Ever.

  16. That guy giving Flash the Booth Report looks suspiciously like John Kerry!

    Also, is the Lincoln a cyborg or a robot? I’m just tickled that he gets thought balloons, either way.

  17. “It’s just like my younger days back in Illinois!”

    Funny, I grew up in Illinois, and we never knew Lincoln, the wrestler…

  18. Now that my brain is healing a little, I have to say that the panel of Abe tossing off his jacket to lay down the smack – pure genius. What you gonna do, brother, when the Railsplitter comes for you?

    There would be vast demand for a t-shirt with that image.

  19. For many a ne’er-do-well the image of Lincoln removing his jacket is forever bruned upon their retinas, the last thing they saw before being born unto a new world of pain.

  20. I grew up in Illinois, and I did know that Lincoln used to wrestle.

    As did Plato, come to think of it.

    *GASP!* How has there not been a comic about that yet?

  21. Let me get this straight.

    So Cyborg Lincoln allows himself to be killed so he can then come back to life and defeat his enemies when they least suspect it?

    Is Cyborg Lincoln supposed to be Jesus or something?

  22. “As did Plato, come to think of it.

    “*GASP!* How has there not been a comic about that yet?”

    Derek – Read Action Philosophers!


  23. Chris,

    Hopefully you read replies to older posts.

    I was zooming across eBay today and saw THIS:


    The cover?
    Scalphunter in an ARM-WRESTLING match with…

    One can only hope that scene is in the comic.

    Check it out (if you don’t already own it)


  24. Wait… sure, Lincoln making a world leader tap out to the Half Boston Crab may be truly awesome, but I must admit I have a problem or two with this. Shocking, I know.

    If you were wearing an anti-disintegration… ugh… pocket-watch, wouldn’t you just NOT disintegrate, rather than still disintegrating and reintegrating later? Should it not then be called a reintegration pocket-watch?

    The reason RoboLincoln gave for his temporary voluntary disintegration was to find out who was behind the assassination (attempt?) but they were at war the whole time, so… wouldn’t the leader of the other side just be immediately obvious? I mean, you could probably just ask the guy. It’s not like he would be afraid of military retribution.

    Weird. But as always, good times.