To prove that there’s not just infectious enthusiasm about Justin Trudeau’s tenure as Canada’s PM in our own country, it seems that the prime minister will now be captured in four-colour glory on the comic book pages of Marvel’s big summer event series. For what good is it to be the leader of Canada if you can’t also boss around Canada’s comic book super-team, Alpha Flight.
The above cover art comes from Civil War II: Choosing Sides #5 (courtesy of the CBC), which is scheduled to hit comic book store shelves at the end of August. The story sees the arrival of a new super-human with the ability to predict the future, and some heroes, led by Captain Marvel, want to use his gift to stop catastrophes before they happen. Meanwhile, other heroes, lead by Iron Man, feel like this opens a proverbial can of worms best left closed if heroes are stopping crimes before they happen. Alpha Flight, a state-sanctioned superhero team in the Marvel Universe, side with Captain Marvel, but in the process confer with their boss, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Now the above cover is a “variant”, meaning an alternative cover available to comic buyers in a limited capacity as a collector’s item. The image of Trudeau in boxing gear flanked by members of Alpha Flight was the idea of Toronto-based cartoonist Ramon Perez. “I didn’t want to do a stuffy cover — just like a suit and tie — put his likeness on the cover and call it a day,” he told the CBC. “I wanted to kind of evoke a little bit of what’s different about him than other people in power right now. You don’t see Obama strutting around in boxing gear, doing push-ups in commercials or whatnot. Just throwing him in his gear and making him almost like an everyday person was kind of fun.”
U.S. President Barack Obama is no stranger to being immortalized in comic books though. In 2008, he was endorsed by superhero, and fellow Chicagoan the Savage Dragon, and later that year, shortly after Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States, he appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #583, where Spidey stopped the super-villain Chameleon from impersonating Obama on the day of the President-elect’s inauguration. Obama’s been a regular fixture in comics throughout his two terms in office, and he’s even met the Archies. Here’s a sampling.
Back to Canada, where it’s interesting to note that this is not the first time a Trudeau has appeared in Marvel Comics. Pierre Trudeau appeared in Uncanny X-Men #120 to order Alpha Flight (in their first appearance) to bring Weapon X, who was with the X-Men, back to Canada. Comic book fans know, of course, that Weapon X is the official designation for Wolverine, arguably the most popular of Marvel’s mutants, and who has always been Canadian-born and raised.
That issue was written and drawn by Canadian John Byrne. Edmonton’s Chip Zdarsky, meanwhile, penned the story for Civil War II: Choosing Sides #5. If you’re interested, the issue is scheduled to be available on August 31.