Published Jun 28, 2016Canadian politics have crossed into the Marvel Universe once again, with an upcoming issue of the comic company's summer blockbuster Civil War II event finding members of mutant peacekeeping force Alpha Flight asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for some advice.
Civil War II: Choosing Sides No. 5 hits shelves on August 31 and features a storyline in which the prime minister is asked of his opinion on a mutant named Ulysses, whose power is to foresee the outcome of future events. The PM apparently has a discussion over the ethical implications of working with the mutant.
"I didn't want this to just be like a walk-on ... rescued by superheroes and he thanks them and that's the end of the story," Edmonton-born writer and artist Chip Zdarsky told the Canadian Press about the cameo. "I think a lot of these real-life appearances in comics tend to go that way. I liked the idea of him actually engaging them in an ethical debate."
He added of scripting the real-life politician: "It's a little tricky just because once you start to put words in the prime minister's mouth, we acknowledge that this is basically Trudeau fan fiction."
Zdarsky added that Trudeau's high-profile public persona helped make him a believable and easily graspable figure for general comics readers to tap into.
He noted: "I kind of figured to do a story about Canada right now and not take that opportunity to put Trudeau in seemed like a waste. He seems to be the popular culture association with Canada right now, right behind Drake — and I probably couldn't get Drake in the comic."
The Prime Minister's Office was alerted of Zdarsky's plans to put Trudeau in the comic ahead of penning the issue, but the government told Marvel that it couldn't fully endorse the comic. That said, Zdarsky was allowed to proceed with the fictional script.
In addition to appearing on the inside of the comic, a variant edition cover finds Trudeau in full pugilism mode, with Alpha Flight members Puck, Sasquatch and Aurora supporting the Liberal swinger from behind the ropes. As you can see up above, Trudeau sits smiling, wearing a maple leaf-crested tank top, boxer shorts and gloves. The illustration also pictures the PM's IRL, First Nations-addressing bicep tattoo. U.S. superhero Iron Man can be seem standing in the shadows.
"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," Toronto-based illustrator Ramon Perez said of his cover creation. "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."
Interestingly, this is not the first time a Trudeau has hooked up with Alpha Flight. Former PM Pierre Trudeau was pictured talking to the superheroes in 1979's The Uncanny X-men No. 120.
You can read Exclaim!'s list of more Canadian connections to the Marvel Universe over here.
How did the Trudeau comic happen? Um, remember, I'm VERY well-connected pic.twitter.com/iWeml3fELC— Chip Zdarsky ;) (@zdarsky) June 28, 2016