Campaigning in Crazytown

Obama and Spider-Man

Not officially an endorsement.

If I were in charge of Mitt Romney’s strategy, I would be making much more of a campaign issue out of the Siege of Asgard.

No matter which side of the aisle you favor, there is no question that President Obama has had a rough first term. Look at the record: he comes into office in the middle of a Skrull invasion, only to have S.H.I.E.L.D. completely disintegrate on his watch. He gives the green light to H.A.M.M.E.R., of all things. Then, right as he has to start campaigning for a second term, neo-Nazi death machines fall out of the sky and obliterate the capitol right out from under him (thus providing countless jobs in the construction and manufacturing sector, on the bright side. There is no unemployment in the Marvel Universe if you can hold a hammer.)

As attack ad visuals go, you can’t do much better than the smoking rubble of the Capitol Rotunda.

It’s the Siege of Asgard that would be tough to get around, though. As I was rereading the series over the weekend, I could almost hear the speech. “This is a president who dissolved the greatest anti-terrorism force the world has ever known and replaced Tony Stark with a sociopathic serial killer. Are we to believe that Norman Osborn assembled the entire Initiative to go to war with gods in Oklahoma without the president’s knowledge? Either this president didn’t know what was going on with his own superheroes, or he knew but did nothing, and ladies and gentlemen, I can’t decide which is worse. What did the president know about Broxton, and when did he know it?”

The poor guy wouldn’t stand a chance. His wife wouldn’t vote for him.

I’m not even going to get into the Skrullers, that group of nuts who are still convinced the president wasn’t born here because he’s a shape-shifting alien. You can’t run for dog catcher anymore without being accused of being a Skrull by somebody.

I think Rick Perry cost himself the election by making an issue out of prosecuting the Thing. He had a point– we just watched this guy destroy the Lower East Side with a giant, mystical hammer, and two weeks later he’s just hanging out like it never happened?– but people just didn’t want to be reminded of that whole thing anymore.

In the end, this election is going to go to whoever remembers that old campaign adage: “It’s the economy and the rampant Hulk attacks, stupid.”

…All right. That’s enough of that for a while.

Seriously, though: I would not be able to function in the Marvel Universe. Everyone in the country would have PTSD all the time. The Skrulls alone would have someone on your street stabbing somebody twice a week. They would have to put Xanax in the tap water. You think you have Event Fatigue? How do think that guy who just had Colossus throw his car at a dude feels? He’s going to be on the phone with All State for the rest of the month.

Did you know this was happening?

On the other hand, maybe after the first twenty times the world ends, you start to regard it the way Floridians react to hurricanes. You just board up the windows and shrug. You’d almost have to become jaded to purple men in their underpants shooting ray guns. If you freaked out and hid under the bed every time it happened, you’d never get anything done. Those groceries aren’t going to buy themselves.

This is an aspect of Brian Bendis’ Avengers¬†books that I appreciate, and I hope he starts spending more time on what is for the moment a “B” storyline at best. Lately (really only in the background so far) people have started protesting the Avengers and turning against them. And who can blame them? After all this crazy nonsense goes down around them, do they ever explain to anybody what just happened? You’d think Tony Stark could go on Piers Morgan or something every once in a while and say, “Oh, those were mystical Norse death hammers. Gods are real things, by the way. You know Valkyrie? She’s dealing with them right now… Yeah, I’m surprised it’s taking this long myself. Anyway, we’re on it.”

Ten years ago, the story of a presidential campaign in the Marvel Universe would have been a great, fun book. The climate’s not right for it anymore; the Marvel that took those kind of chances on quirk doesn’t really exist anymore, and the readership has gotten too full of paranoia and acrimony when it comes to even the faintest whiff of politics in their books. Still, as you read your books this week, I would ask you to spend a moment of silence recognizing the real heroes of the Marvel Universe, the normal men and women who live in there, putting up with all this spandex bullshit for our amusement. No one will have a harder time at the ballot box than they will.

Jim Mroczkowski is sure that every kid has gotten the lecture from their parents a hundred times: “College is for suckers. The real money is in plumbing and electrical work in Manhattan, specifically in the ten blocks surrounding Avengers Tower.”


  1. Think about how difficult it must be for college students taking “current events” classes or anything about recent history. Never mind actually living at the ESU dorms. I remember when I was in middle school the Human Torch accidentally set fire to a pretty sizable part of the campus.

  2. MARVELS by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross.

    All I have to say.

  3. I know a few insurance writers through work. I have been considering getting together with them to see what rates would be for Marvel and DC universes.

  4. I think about this all the time, to the point where it’s debilitating and makes me unable to function in normal society.

  5. Yep, the Marvel Universe would be a rotten place to live. And you forgot to mention that Newt Gingrich’s promises to build lunar colonies would be absolutely useless over there, with the Blue Side of the moon and the Inhumans…

  6. Heh good to know the citizens of the Marvel Universe got as irritated by Fear Itself as we did.

  7. This article is amazing great stuff.

    “Obama sends in the Secret Avengers to rescue hostages from Somalian Pirates…Navy Seals and Delta Force disbanded.”

    There is no mutant candidate? Thats going to be a hot button issue…bigger than immigration. I’d love to see a “heated” debate where the mutant candidate literally annihilates someone with mind control or fire or whatever power they have.

    why would anyone live in the Marvel U version of NYC? It gets attacked and destroyed dozens of times every single week of the year. Has to be the worst place in the multi-verse to live. =p

  8. Watching the debates to see which candidate brags about his record of supporting the Regan Era Sentinel Program.
    The never ending security updates to the president about which European/Asian nation which didn’t exist last week now has supertechnology and is being run by Hydra.
    Nevermind that Roxxon oil spill spawning anti-matter monsters off the Gulf Coast.

    It never ends….

  9. What all of this shows is that the electoral college needs to be abolished. None of this would have happened had Colbert, won won the popular vote, gotten into office.

  10. I don’t know which universe is worse:

    DC for letting a villain become president.


    Everything Marvel citizens allow….Actually Marvel is the right answer isn’t it? From the various presidents allowing these events to occur to people being so stupid with Osborn, the Marvel U is filled with Karl Pilkington’s.

    • I’d rather take DC because even though Lex Luthor is evil, he’s still an incredible genius. The recession wouldn’t even stand a chance before him.

  11. Has anyone been following Twitter for the uprising in Latveria? Looks serious.

  12. You know that guy whose house was on the site of the first and last battles of the U.S. Civil War? I bet there’s someone like that in the Marvel Universe. No matter where he moves, his house gets a giant robot, or some such thing, thrown through it. I wanna know his story.

  13. I would love to see a West Wing type series starring superheroes. I mean I suppose that’s what Ex Machina is but something new and fresh would be interesting.

  14. Are Obama’s appearances in Savage Dragon and Bomb Queen canon in this continuity?

  15. And it gets even crazier when you realise that in the condensed timeline of the Marvel Universe, everything from Avengers: Disassembled to Secret Invasion to Fear Itself and Spider Island probably happens within a year or two. The MU must be terrifying. I’ve been considering this a lot lately. And it doesn’t just happen in “events”. If I recall, an entire town of 5000 people got nuked in Thunderbolts recently (or maybe it was Hulk. It happens so often I get the catastrophic death tolls mixed up).

    The memorials alone would bankrupt nations.

    Tony Stark’s position in Civil War made a lot of sense in this context.