Saturday, January 10, 2009


From the AP via the Huffington Post:

Obama, Spider-Man Appear In Inauguration Marvel Comic

The comic starts with Spider-Man's alter-ego Peter Parker taking photographs at the inauguration, before spotting two identical Obamas.

Parker decides "the future president's gonna need Spider-Man," and springs into action, using basketball to determine the real Obama and punching out the impostor.

Obama thanks him with a fist-bump.

Marvel comics have featured most presidents, but generally in walk-on roles, Quesada said.

More here.

It's always been a bit weird for me to see actual, specific, real human beings portrayed in comics. I mean, it's okay, I guess, but as a comic geek since childhood, I have to say it kind of spoils the imaginary fun a bit. I've read a 1960s issue of the Flash featuring its then-editor Julius Schwartz. I've read a 1970s issue of Marvel Team Up featuring then-publisher Stan well as the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players--let me tell you, the comic book version of John Belushi was a sight to remember. I've seen comic versions of Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. I've seen comic versions both Orson Welles and Edgar Allen Poe in 1940s era Superman comics. Kind of nifty, I suppose, but really, these people don't belong in comics. They do nothing in the long run but crash the party.

You know, DC even gave Jerry Lewis his own title for a while in the 1960s. Why do they do this shit? Yeah yeah, money, I know.

Anyway, as far as my love of comics goes, this isn't such a big deal. What vaguely disturbs me, on the other hand, is the continued mythologizing of our incoming President. I have absolutely no doubt that many Obama voters, perhaps a majority, don't really know the damnedest thing about American politics, only that they're sick of conservatism and Bush. Combine that with the whole agent-of-change meme strongly pushed by the Obama people during the election and you have the former Senator from Illinois elevated to bizarre cult status.

That is, I don't really think a lot of his supporters really know or care what he's actually up to because they know he's a good man and that he will bring much needed change to our nation. In other words, he's become something of a messiah in the psyches of Americans. And that's dangerous in a democracy. No one man can or should hold the fate of the nation in his hands, and even thinking such a thing is an abdication of civic responsibility on a grand scale. In the US, the people govern, not men, certainly not a single man.

Turning Obama into a superhero doesn't help.

For that matter, turning him into a commemorative plate doesn't help much either.

I guess we'll see how this all works out.