As they’ve proven in the past with other high-profile stories like the Death of Captain America, Marvel’s become pretty good at building buzz in the mainstream media for some of their more high-profile stories. So it’s no surprise that Barack Obama’s appearance in next week’s Amazing Spider-Man #583 has generated a ton of ink and TV appearances for the company this week, with stories courtesy of outlets like USA Today and CNN (who appear to be brandishing an advance copy in the linked video).
Spider-Man editor Steve Wacker comments on the issue over at Marvel.com:
“Elections change what we do visually every few years whenever there’s a new president to draw in our books,” explains AMAZING editor Steve Wacker. “Marvel has always strived to be the world outside your window, so whenever we need to see the president, we try to show the one we have. The election hasn’t fundamentally changed any stories we’ve had planned, but it probably has put our stories in a different context.”
He also notes that Obama will play a role in the Dark Reign storyline, which is a good segue into this more interesting article about Obama’s appearances in recent Marvel comics.
While most of the big media outlets are simply reporting the news, the Christian Science Monitor wonders if comics lean left, highlighting a post on Newsbusters where Ken Shepherd asks if there’s a pro-Obama bias in comics. Both articles highlight a comment in the USA Today article that says presidents “have appeared as more shadowy figures in recent years,” while Shepherd points out a Punisher story from 2001 that portrayed President Buch “as a slobbering belching incoherent drunk, gleefully itching to launch nuclear missiles.”
So is Marvel left-leaning and pro-Obama? Well, he may be bumping fists with Spider-Man next Wednesday, but as the CSM points out, he’s also the guy who appointed Spider-Man’s greatest foe, Norman Osborn, as the head of all things superhero as a part of their Dark Reign storyline … and if these pictures on Wednesday’s Child of various “associates” Obama has worked with in the past are any indication, it’s likely the citizens of the Marvel Universe will soon be wishing Stephen Colbert had won instead.
Meanwhile, at Newsarama, Matt Brady asks a more basic and probably crucial question for fans heading to the comic shop next week — are there even going to be any copies left by the time they get there?
Again, that depends. If you want one, and your retailer is willing, you may want to call and reserve one now. The issue has been all over the media over the last 24 hours, and as such, thousands of people who don’t normally frequent comic book shops are going to – or may have already – found their local shop and will be looking for it. The first printing, Newsarama estimates, will quickly physically sell out at the retail level (it’s already sold out, as noted, at the distributor level), and will be doing a brisk business on eBay Tuesday evening, January 13th. Yes, it’s not supposed to be on sale until the 14th, but orders will be taken and auctions will be won via eBay Tuesday, with copies shipped later.
Actually, the eBay auctions started earlier this week, and as you can see, some of them are already up over the $30 mark for the book.
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