Barack Obama can add comic book hero to his resume, thanks to a brief appearance in a special issue of Spiderman. Barack Obama, on his way to the inauguration, has a brief adventure with Spiderman himself. There are also some jokes at Joe Biden’s expense.
Spiderman and Obama briefly deal with some nefarious plot by the super villain known as the Chameleon. After vanquishing the Chameleon, Obama and Spidey exchange the now famous fist bump. Then Obama goes forth to be sworn in and Spiderman, watching from the top of the Washington Monument, exclaims, “Looks like Washington is in good hands.” That is debatable, but Peter Parker never did have the capacity to make good judgments.
Spiderman is not the first comic book super hero to hobnob with Presidents of the United States. President John F. Kennedy was a regular guest in the Superman comic strips during his brief Presidency. President Kennedy was even going to appear in a major role in an issue that would promote physical fitness. The story line was shelved at the insistence of Lyndon Johnson after President Kennedy’s assassination.
Captain America was originally the product of a top secret project conducted during World War II to create super soldiers. The iconic red white and blue shield that Captain America carried around and used as a weapon was personally presented to him by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Captain America battled the Nazis on behalf of President Roosevelt.
In contrast to Democrats, Republican Presidents have not been depicted very well in comic books. In the Frank Miller graphic novel, The Dark Knight, which re-imagined how the world saw Batman, President Ronald Reagan, who is never named, is depicted as a decrepit, insane man who was just a heartbeat away from destroying the world. The Dark Knight graphic novel also depicted Superman as a super patriotic tool of American imperialism.
Research has not yielded up any other instances in which either a Marvel or DC superhero ever interacted with an American President. The closest was a series of special Marvel comic books that depicted how the Marvel universe super heroes reacted to the 9/11 attacks and why none of them were able to stop them.
Will there be any future meetings between President Obama and folks from the Marvel universe? It seems likely, though only so long as Obama’s popularity holds up. One only knows what will happen if, say, Sarah Palin gets elected.
Sources: Obama, Spider-Man on the same comic-book page, David Cotton, USA Today, January 7th, 2008