There was a time (not very long ago) when Steven Spielberg doing a movie about Abraham Lincoln would not have evoked images of a “serious historical drama.” Seriously, can’t you throw in just one T-Rex? Alas, Spielberg’s upcoming Lincoln movie features no aliens, giant sharks, or vampires; not even a return to Neverland! The truth of the matter is, Abraham Lincoln is not only a great historical figure, but he’s evolved into an almost-mythical character by this point. The following list is the Top 10 Supernatural Adventures of Abraham Lincoln. The order is listed from most recently done, to most distant.
10. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 20th, 2012)
In this adventure, President Lincoln is cast as an avenger who stalks and kills vampires, who were responsible for the murder of Lincoln’s parents. Vampires also just happen to mostly be Southern-landed gentry. Apparently, they harvest slaves for not only labor, but also food. In the book and movie, Lincoln is an ax-wielding badass who slaughters vampires at will. The twin tragedies are presumably that Lincoln died before his total mission could be fulfilled, and that Lincoln never met Edward Cullen. Of course, you can’t speculate too much about Zombie Lincoln Versus Edward and Bella, or some studio might actually spend a quarter of a billion dollars making it.
9. Mitefall (November 11th, 2011)
In the last episode of the cartoon series The Brave and the Bold (which featured Silver Age style team-ups between Batman and various heroes), Batman teams up with an alternate-universe Abraham Lincoln, and saves him from assassination by John Wilkes Booth. However, this being a comic book universe, Lincoln and Batman must use special axes to destroy Booth (who has a steampunk Iron Man-type armor, and goes by the moniker John Wilkes Doom). It is also hinted that it may have been a mistake to save Lincoln, as his survival brings forth a possibility of an evil cyborg army of oppressive Lincolns. Hopefully, there will be special anti-Cyborg-Lincoln axes around.
8. Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (May 22nd, 2009)
In the Night At The Museum series, literally anything can come alive. In the case of Smithsonian, the Lincoln memorial wakes up from a presumably long slumber to dispense advice, and inform Larry and Amelia that they would be a perfect couple. When questioned about the possible veracity of the statement, the statue of Lincoln angrily cautions them with, “I never lie.” The Lincoln statue also gets up to banish the evil warriors back to the underworld at the end. Well, the evil are sent away, as well as the merely grouchy ones. The Lincoln statue’s walking is the most impressive movement by a large statue since the Statue Of Liberty inspiring goodwill in Ghostbusters 2.
7. Clone High (November 2002 – April 2003)
Clone High was actually a Canadian animated series that appeared in the United States on MTV. Clone High featured a top-secret government experiment, where clones of historical features are raised together. As such, you are introduced to a socially awkward Abraham Lincoln, voiced by Saturday Night Live’s Will Forte. Lincoln had three major angles on the show. First, he seriously wanted to be romantically involved with the Cleopatra clone. Second, Clone Lincoln was not a fan of the rival John F. Kennedy clone. Third, Lincoln wanted to live up to the legacy of his “clone father”, the real Abraham Lincoln. Overall, it was a bit of a confusing series, but it definitely deserved a longer run.
6. Super Best Friends (July 4th, 2001)
Super Best Friends was an episode of South Park so controversial that it is not even aired anymore, online or in syndication. This is mostly due to the show’s supergroup of religious figures, including a representation of the prophet Mohammed, which is viewed by some as a major-league no-no. The actual episode featured a magical cult of David Blaine, which some of the South Park boys join. The Blainetologists are ordered to drown themselves in a reflecting pool by Blaine. The Super Best Friends (led by Jesus, Buddha, Joseph Smith, and Mohammed) band together to stop David Blaine. In retaliation, Blaine gives life to a statue of Abraham Lincoln. The Super Best Friends respond with a statue of John Wilkes Booth, who defeats the Lincoln statue in a battle where good becomes evil and evil becomes good. In statue form, anyway.
5. The Head Museum (March 28, 1999)
In Futurama, there are frequent visits to the “head museum.” This is a collection of preserved heads of famous figures, who are still alive and eat pellets like fish. In cases like Lincoln’s, said heads had to have been dug up, removed from the body, reanimated, revitalized, given a makeover, and only THEN featured in the museum. In what is literally a Hall Of Presidents, one can chat with any of the past Presidents of (what used to be) the United States. There are also Presidential losers, but they’re hidden away in a shut closet. In the head museum, Lincoln is frequently seen, and occasionally is given a speaking role.
4. Downwind From Gettysburg (October 17th, 1992)
Based on the short story by Ray Bradbury, Downwind From Gettysburg is a futuristic story of an animatronic Abraham Lincoln being unveiled in a museum at Gettysburg. An attention-starved descendant of John Wilkes Booth decides to “murder” the robot, by shooting it with a derringer. Ultimately, the descendant is captured and released, and told never to tell his story (or risk his own life). In the end, the robot comes back to “life,” and starts to recite the Gettysburg Address. The perception that Bradbury leaves the viewer with is that an idea can not be destroyed by a mere assassin’s bullet. The idea could not be destroyed in the 1860s, it can not be destroyed today, and it will not be destroyed in the future.
3. Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure (February 17th, 1989)
In retrospect, Lincoln might have just wanted another go at seeing Our American Cousin. Abraham Lincoln is one of many historical figures kidnapped by Bill and Ted in their adventure through time. Lincoln travels to various eras, gains a criminal record at the San Dimas Mall, and ultimately helps the not-entirely-smart Bill and Ted pass their history class. Of course, if nothing else, he teaches us all to “be excellent to each other.” Lincoln should be happy he ultimately got to return to his own time though; there is a rumor that those of us living today might be forced to endure a third Bill and Ted movie quite soon. Bogus.
2. The Savage Curtain (March 7th, 1969)
In the third season episode of the original Star Trek series, a representation of Abraham Lincoln is created by aliens interested in studying good versus evil. It is then revealed that Abraham Lincoln has always been the hero of Captain James T. Kirk. Lincoln shows himself again to be a fighter against the representations of evil. Ultimately, the representation of Lincoln sacrifices himself by taking a spear, in order to save Kirk. The message of The Savage Curtain was that the nobility of a fight can be reflected in the motivation for fighting. Also, the show eloquently demonstrated that you don’t have to actually be a particular person, in order to strive to live up to their ideals. In the end, the aliens release Kirk and Spock back to their ship, with Kirk realizing that he now has a deeper understanding of who Lincoln was, and what he truly represented.
1. The Passersby (October 6th, 1961)
The Twilight Zone was one the greatest television series of all time. There is little doubt on that statement. In a truly great show, The Passersby was one of The Twilight Zone’s most memorable episodes. The Passersby is the story of a woman waiting for her love to return from fighting in the Civil War. On the road in front of her, you can see soldiers from both the North and the South passing by. They are all wounded. When the woman’s love does come, he continues on down the road. In the end, it is apparent that the soldiers are all dead, and the road leads to whatever mystical fate we must face after death. Furthermore, it is revealed that the woman herself is also dead.
Finally, after all the soldiers pass, Abraham Lincoln himself walks by. As the “last casualty of the Civil War,” Lincoln escorts the woman down the road. The Passersby is a powerful and indelible moment, in an equally powerful series.