Monday, October 31, 2011

Week of 10/31/2011

Top 5 Reasons Why Comic-Book Obama is Better Than Real-World Obama
– by David Matthews 2

I had to dig through a comic collection to find it… but there it was…

Barack Obama as Superman.

No, seriously.

DC Comics mini-series “Final Crisis” Issue #7 has the first African-American President wearing the red-and-blue tights and cape of Superman. Writer Grant Morrison even confirmed that this alternate-reality “last son of Krypton” was in fact based on Barack Obama following the President’s comedic feedback of public criticism about him. Obama had joked that he actually “sent to Earth by his father Jor-El”, and Morrison worked with Tom Nguyen to turn that into a brief comic book fantasy.

Of course they weren’t the only ones to show Obama in the comics. Obama would later appear in the “normal” DC Universe asking Superman for help in dealing with an Earth-shattering crisis. He would also appear in other comics, including Marvel Comic’s “Amazing Spider-Man”, and Image Comic’s “Savage Dragon”. He would even appear in the fan-made comic series “City of Comic Creators Compendium” Issue #5, in a story written by yours truly.

Obviously this isn’t the first time that a real-world political figure would appear in the world of comics. There have been several over the years, including, of course, Captain America’s debut issue where he is on the cover punching Adolf Hitler right in the jaw. Bill Clinton and his wife spoke at the funeral of Superman. Ronald Reagan barred superheroes from operating in “Legends”.

Most of the time, comic book versions of political figures are seen as either equal to or lesser than their real-life counterparts. And the less seen of them, the better. George W. Bush wasn’t even seen in the DC Universe at all as President. The man sitting in the Oval Office during much of that time was none other than… of all people… Lex Luthor. And his appearance in the world of Marvel was… well, let’s just say “less than presidential”.

But in looking at “Comic-Book Obama” versus the real world, I’ve come to the conclusion that we got the wrong version. We should have gotten the comic book version and left the real-world version to the world of comics.

Because let’s get brutally honest here… Obama’s people have created this mythos about him as being so great that when it is compared to the things that he’s actually done, his own record falls painfully short. Here are some not-so-serious reasons why the comic book version is better than the real one:

Number 5: A One-Superman-Army! - A super-powered Obama wouldn’t need to put armed forces in harm’s way. Iran causing trouble? Zip! Done. Looking for Bin Laden? Zip! Found him and moved him to Gitmo. North Korea riling up? Zip! Guns have been turned into farm tools. Think of the billions of dollars that would be saved! Super-powered Obama would have rightly earned his Nobel Prize in the same time that the Nobel Committee fretted about giving Real-world Obama his.

Number 4: No Political Insurrection! - Comic-Book Obama doesn’t have to worry about a Congress sabotaging his programs at every corner. There’s no talk about filibusters or brokering deals in Comic-Book world. Need a bill passed? Done! There is no wrangling about debt or taxes.

Number 3: REAL Enemies! - Comic-Book Obama doesn’t have to worry about talk of impeachment or slanderous claims of being born in another country like Real-World Obama has to worry about. Instead, Comic-Book Obama has to worry about super-villains and techno-savvy armies like the Fifth Column. Misery in the world? Oh, it’s not the fault of Wall Street; it’s actually because of some ancient Norse deity looking to bring about the end of the world.

Number 2: FAR Better Scandals! - Never mind Solyndra; how about Comic-Book Obama fist-bumping Spider-Man? You know, that “menace” you read about all the time in the Daily Bugle. Or how about giving Defense deals to LexCorp, or to that lush Tony Stark over at Stark Enterprises? Oh, and what’s with all of those top-secret classified agencies? Project Cadmus and their clone-making system would certainly raise far more eyebrows than “Cap-and-Trade”. And how about that huge United Nations intelligence agency with the hovering aircraft carrier?

And the Number 1 not-so-serious reason why we should have gotten Comic-Book Obama instead of the Real-World version…

He’d Actually Make The Choices! - Leaders in comic books don’t promise the world and then fail to deliver. They don’t promise “change” and then reinforce the status quo. If they’re in a position to make a decision, they make it. And they’d actually be the ones to make the decisions instead of blindly following their advisors. Not to mention if they make the wrong decisions, then you’d know they were under the influence of some demonic being or replaced by a lookalike robot.

Now obviously comic book writers (including yours truly) have to take certain liberties when it comes to portraying politicians; that’s why it’s called “fiction”. But when that fiction ends up doing a better job than the source material, you really have to wonder if it’s time to look for better material.

No comments: