Tuesday, August 4, 2009

#284. Barack Obama-less Comic Books

"Look, up in the sky. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Barack Hussein Obama on the cover of Spider-Man!"

Black people have long loved comic books, as it is their favorite form of reading pleasure, even though the comic book industry has been hard pressed to create Black characters that resonate with the public. Blade is easily the most popular, having spawned three films starring Wesley Snipes. Steel was a Black character that vied to replace Superman when he was killed in the 90s, but he never caught on. Black Panther has been around for awhile, but he is a secondary character in the Marvel Universe.

Bishop and Storm are throw-a-way X-Men characters at best and the recent decision to replace Nick Fury - a longtime white character - with a Samuel L. Jackson inspired character has been laughed at by most hardcore comic book nerds.

However, Black people have long loved to read comic books as the rudimentary dialogue and colorful pictures are the perfect combination for a tome in the Black community.

There were rumblings in the Black community when the immensely popular Batman Begins and The Dark Knight films had few Black people in them. However, this animosity to the comics industry changed when Mein Obama was elected President of the United States.

Marvel was excited that they put Barack Obama on the cover of Spider-Man and the issue was an instant best-seller, with the first edition now worth more than $100. In fact, five printings of the issue have been done and it has spawned a flurry of imitators, as Obama has appeared in seven other comic books, including Savage Dragon, Youngblood and Thunderbolts.

The outpouring of love for the first Black president of the United States has created a Black-mania for Black comic book collectors.

What is most interesting is how comic book companies are portraying this president, as opposed to other sitting presidents who weren't melanin-enhanced.

Ronald Reagan was in Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns, a highly popular 1980s reinvention of the Batman mythos that had Bruce Wayne come out of retirement to save Gotham City. The 50-year-old Batman takes on Gotham's villains and also Superman, as he has been deemed a vigilante and a criminal. Ronald Reagan isn't depicted as the glorious Man-of-Steel Barack Obama, but as a bumbling idiot and a nuclear war ready Commander-in-Chief.

Contrast that with the hero-worshiping covers and stories of Barack Obama and Spider-Man, and the other comics that include Mein Obama as a real-life Clark Kent.

Or, imagine a comic where a gun-toting vigilante breaks into the White House and throws a bullet at President Obama, telling him, "I'm always this close."

That didn't happen, but in a Punisher comic, the eponymous character Frank Castle threatens President Bush with assassination - during President Bush's tenure!:
"Two months after September 11th, the Punisher was featured threatening the life of President George W. Bush. The story portrays the President as a slobbering belching incoherent drunk, gleefully itching to launch nuclear missiles. The Punisher breaks into the Oval Office, tosses a nine-millimeter bullet before the President and warns ominously, “I can get in anywhere …Nine millimeters. I’m never further away than that.”

Now, let's play the silly reverse-discrimination game where we imagine the roles reversed... imagine The Punisher, a right-wing vigilante, breaking into the White House and threatening President Obama because he agrees with the Birther contention that Obama isn't a US citizen.

The Punisher, who is a white guy, would be the ultimate villain for doing that, especially in climate that sees Barack Obama as the ultimate expression of good and a real-life Superman, a son of Krypton and the only person alive who can save the planet.

A comic denigrating Barack Obama would not be published, let alone one where a white guy threatens to kill the nation’s first Black president, as he did President Bush in the pages of The Punisher in 2001.

Indeed, Marvel would probably be sued or go bankrupt over this image of The Punisher threatening Obama with assassination, for diversity council was actually created by News Corp. over the New York Post Chimpanzee scandal. In that cartoon, Obama is likened to a dead chimpanzee.

Besides the recent satisfaction that Black people have with Barack Obama gracing the cover comic books as a great savior, many have been upset with the characterization of Mein Obama as The Dark Knight version of the Joker, which Black people believe to be racist.

Black people can never forget the brutal way they were treated in comic books, before Barack Obama came along to free comic book covers from a parade of whiteness.

Stuff Black People Don't Like will always include Barack Obama-less Comic Books, because Barack Obama is the ultimate embodiment of heroism to Black people and they don't understand why white people can't view Obama as a hero on par with Thor, Superman and Captain America.

Indeed, to Black people, Obama is the ultimate Captain America for the Post-Obama America.

In the new United States, the old adage that Superman fought for has been reversed, changed to, “Truth, Justice and the Obama Way.”


CatOnARoof said...

Get your t-shirt with this logo and WEAR IT!! Go to www.zazzle.com/obama+joker+tshirts I intend to wear one to the next tea party.

Anonymous said...

There is ones that make more sense that say 'why so socialist?'

Anonymous said...

A year after this was written, Marvel Comics released Seige:Secret Warriors, in which a young, blonde haired, blue eyed superhero breaks into the White House and tries to assassinate Obama for his crimes.

I guess this post turned out to be wrong...