One of the reasons that Marvel Comics gained the advantage over D.C. in the 1960s and onwards was that their comics were set in the “real world.” Instead of Metropolis and Gotham, Marvel had New York and Chicago. And when politicians showed up in the pages of Captain America, they were usually real people.
Case in point: Barack Obama. The first African-American President actually made the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #583, complete with a story inside where the Chameleon impersonates Barack and tries to take over the White House. Spidey saves the day, of course, and the issue was one of the best sellers of the 2000s, moving 350,000 copies over five printings.
Bush and Clinton showed up sporadically throughout their terms as well, and even Tricky Dick Nixon showed up during the 70s to cut funding for Hulkbuster Base. So how will the comics deal with President Trump?
Well, before his Presidential aspirations Trump’s been in the comics as a businessman. He showed up in a cameo in New Avengers #47 when Luke Cage moved his limo out of the way of an ambulance. Trump, seeing a Black person, immediately threatened to sue. But that was nothing compared to Spider-Gwen Annual #1 by Jason Latour with art by Chris Visions, Michael Walsh, Chris Brunner and Annapaola Martello.
Haven’t been reading Spider-Gwen? Here’s the gist. It’s set in an alternate universe where Gwen Stacy, not Peter Parker, was bitten by the radioactive spider and got powers. She’s got a striking costume, a cool supporting cast and the book is a lot of fun. Put it on your pull list.
The annual is a collection of short pieces, most of which are pretty solid. The one we’re concerned with here stars the Captain America of this alternate earth, Samantha Rogers – a pilot who went through the Super-Soldier process. Instead of being frozen in ice, she was lost in a bizarre alternate dimension and just returned to her home. In the story, she’s reading comics by Steve Rogers (who we know as our Cap, and who has been a cartoonist for his “day job”) and marveling at the weird world they present. One of the stories involves a villain known as “Mental Organism Designed As America’s King,” or “M.O.D.A.A.K.”
That’s a portmanteau of M.O.D.O.K, the Mental Organism Designed Only For Killing (originally a Captain America villain who would go on to plague many other heroes) and real estate magnate turned Republican President-Elect Donald J. Trump. How exactly Trump got the big head, tiny limbs and hoverchair of a M.O.D.O.K. isn’t explained, but Cap deals with him swiftly and easily.
He only appears for a few pages, but if this is how Marvel plans to treat Trump moving forward, we predict a bunch of really whiny Tweets about the matter.
Oddly enough, that’s not even the first villainous Trump in Marvel history. During the 1980s, Daredevil contended with Carlton Sanders, a former stage magician turned crook who went by the alias “Trump.” It’s hard to say with any certainty whether the character was based on the Donald or a reference to playing cards, but he was a D_lister at best.
So that’s where Donald J. Trump stands in the Marvel Universe. We’ll see how the company deals with his Presidency moving forward, and if he manages to extract himself from that hoverchair.