iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #94 – Politics in Comic Books

Show Notes

There is no shortage of politics creeping up in the world of comic books. This week Ron, Josh, and Conor show off some different ways politics have shown up in the pages of our favorite books.

This past month, IDW Publishing released two bio comics titled Presidential Material: Barack Obama and another about John McCain. We take a look at these issues, and let you know if they’re worth reading, and if they’re actually good comic books. You can even watch them on your iPhone or Touch.

Then we go over some comics where politics are central to the story, including Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan andΒ  Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’ Ex Machina. Both of these excellent books come at politics, but from different angles entirely.

Finally, we talk about politics in the superhero world, and how DC and Marvel deal with government in their respective universes.

We try to stay on message, and not once do we flip flop in the entire episode.

Note: This is not a forum for campaigning and political debate.Β  If you want to talk about politics within comics, or their place in comics, go for it.Β Actual political debate (which is healthy and excellent, but belongs in other forums) will be deleted. We know you can do it, so play nice. Thanks!


Get Involved

Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 2 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

  • E-Mail us at contact@ifanboy.com with any questions, comments or anything that may be on your mind.

Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!


  1. good episode

  2. The only controversy in this video? That damn ad that goes threw the video (guy snapping his fingers) telling you to click on it….It slows the computer down and it’s annoying to see it…What the hell guys?

    Great vid as always though guys. I did love that McCain/Obama comic and it really is the best non-bias info you can get from both sides. Now if only news channels can figure that out I’d watch them more.

  3. Ads pay for free content.  If you don’t want those ads, download the shows, and watch them that way, no flash ads.

  4. @josh: I literally laugh out loud with that. No offense but you just answered my question about ads with advertising your show on Itunes. Whether intentional or not good show there. πŸ™‚

  5. I never thought I would enjoy Ex Machina as much as I do.  Very good book.  Also, I have to admit that I also rolled my eyes at those two books from IDW.  Still do, but am willing to give them a try at least.  Also its worth talking about the political undertones of The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Back.  Frank Miller really crammed those books full of political goodness

    And I don’t mind the ads!!  I wish Gordon would do more of those, his crack me up.

  6. It doesn’t make any difference to us how you watch the shows. If you don’t want to use iTunes, you don’t have to.  Just download the file in any format you’d like from Revision3:  http://revision3.com/ifanboy/Politics/.

    There’s no benefit to us if you use iTunes or not.

  7. One way Marvel infused politics into their books is with Iron Man where Tony Stark was both Defense Secretary right before Disassembled and now Director of SHIELD and dealing with all the bueracratic red tape with that.

  8. @josh: I didnt mean any offense, I just thought it was funny you answered my question by advertsing. But I dont mind the ads in your show, that stuff Gordon usually comments or to just take a break, that’s always been there. I’m just talking about that one ad that was on and off through out the vid, it ruined some of the pans of the comics you were talking about and it was annoying me. I know you need ads to survive….I’m sorry let’s just drop it.

    -This rant is brought to you by Burger King.

  9. Except I didn’t answer your question with advertising.  I didn’t mention iTunes, you did.  You advertised to yourself.

    Burger King is terrible.

  10. @josh: Well…..I mean…..damn…..your checkmate Flanagan….

    Oh and Burger King is awesome! I love them crowns.

  11. I think their is a definite connection between Marvels "Embrace Change" motto that’s been featured since the whole Secret Invasion storyline and Barack Obama. Why Marvel would do this I can’t imagine, if Barack Obama is going to be doing to America what Marvels been doing to their world then I’m going to be thinking twice about voting for him πŸ™‚

  12. Burger Ranch FTW. @Epcomics – fighting terrorists? (Secret Invasion – Skrulls are terrorists)

  13. @Epcomics-Don’t forget that there is also a definite connection between DC’s "Embrace Maverickism" and McCain. 

    @TheNextChampion-Sir, I suggest that you always say the opposite of what ever it is you are thinking of saying, or in this case writing.  Just like George Costanza, you will no longer look like a fool.  πŸ˜›   Oh, and Burger King is, indeed, terrible.  In-n-Out FTW

  14. I had Burger King last night… that mascot is creepy as f–k though.  He should be a Batman villain.

  15. In-N-Out truly reaches across the aisles.

  16. This is true.

  17. That’s too close to the name "Pull-out" for me to be comfortable eating there. Also I don’t have a branch anywhere near me. There are branches of burger places that are just small places attached to a supermarket of a rich guy which is also an asshole – trust me. At every supermarket branch, there was before you entered a small building attached where people would cook burgers, mixed and some other stuff.

    The one in Talpiot was great.

  18. @chlop-trust me, In-n-Out is so good that it would end all conflict on this planet.  Give Osama a double-double, he would declare peace. 

  19. @chlop – I understand the reference, I just don’t know why Marvel as a whole would adopt Barack Obamas motto though. That seems a little to bold and forceful to me, to change entire characters because of it.

    @drakedangerz – Thanks. I’m not as on top of things with DC as I am Marvel.

  20. @drakedangerz – mmm…I don’t know. Do they serve pork? Some muslims and some jews don’t want to eat pork.

    As for me, I saw a documentary about the Las Vegas buffets where a lot gets thrown to the dump, and their idea of re use is to give pigs in some farm that food. There is a part where you see a couple of pigs eating left over snacks and you see snack bags on the ground (Like Doritos etc – the stuff you but at supermarkets).

    Also from what I saw in France and Belgium, hotels offer that crap in the morning – pork sausages and pork bits in the rice. Looks like a heart attack to me.

    But nothing’s worse than the eggs in those hotels… too much air I think. Those were awful…

    Also jews want a kosher slaughter! or they won’t agree to peace. and diffeent tables.  

  21. Episode 95: Religion

    And in this comic you can see mohamad with a bomb on his turban. Religious cartooning has been prevelent for a long time. In XXX a cartoonist drew Rothschild as a king grabbing the world. The movie Ghost World based on the comic by the same name showed a racist poster for a restaurant… …This comic that we bought made by Habad shows how jewish people pray and celebrate holidays… …The Hebrew Hammer was a nice movie… …baldness does not equate nazism… 

    That would be an interesting video show πŸ™‚ 

  22. In-N-Out has a special advertising statement for me:

    Comes IN one and N OUT the other. πŸ™‚

    I like the idea of Religion for an episode though Chlop. Like politics it does creep up more often then you think. I mean, Batman: Holy Terror, Cerebus, and even Secret Invasion has a lot of references to religion. In Nova the original Super Skrull referenced his race as Jihad’s and that actually isnt too far from the actually think when you think about it. So it sounds horrible, but now I will think of Skrulls when I hear the word Terrorists.

  23. "Comes IN one and N OUT the other. :)"  Dare I say…epic fail?  I literally heard crickets while reading that joke πŸ˜›

    Religion would indeed be interesting, but not interesting enough for me.  Than again, I said the same thing about politics and I thoroughly enjoyed this episode.  Further proof that the ifanboys are always entertaining!!!

    @chlop-In-N-Out serves no pork!  Only sweet succulent beef!  

  24. @Drake: I’m sorry that I went full on Bob Saget, there’s more I could say about IN-N-Out but it might get me banned from the site…..

    But for the sake of arguement, the Burger King King is the best advertisement icon ever….That’s what the show was about right? (I like it we’ve totally ignored the fine episode the Trinity has given us. lol)

  25. Oh man, first time I saw Bob Saget’s act I almost cried.  Why is Danny Tanner talking like that!?!?!?!?!?  I prefer Margaret Cho myself.

    Ronald MdDonald would work the Burger King over in less than a minute.  Hell, even Wendy would hand him a thorough beatdown

  26. Burger Ranch has a bull as a mascot. Top that.

  27. @Drake: I ment the Full House Bob Saget

    @Chlop: My leading mascot canidate will give us a dollar for the heck of it! A mascot that can give us money is a man I believe in change!

  28. @chlop: My canidate is a family man, he gives to the poor, he nourishes people (side effects with his food but who is perfect?), he knows the important issues like our over population of delicious cows, and finally: He’s a king.

    Why would the people want to vote for such an young and pompous Bull when we got an experience leader right in our country? This man has fought a war for decades with the evil McDonald corporation….While Burger Ranch is now a bankrupt fast food joint while my canidate still stays strong after many decades. We all know who to vote for Nov. 4th

    -This rant was approved by the Burger King King.

  29. Damn…can’t beat a bull.  I submit πŸ™

  30. a discussion about politics morphs into a discussion about burgers?

    i’m guessing you’re all American?


  31. I was relieved to hear you confirm what I thought when I saw the page scans of that McCain comic: "Wow! Hey, I think I see some pictures behind those text boxes."

  32. Good episode.

    I think it is worth noting that sometime politics creeps into the stories without being overtly mentioned, just as a reflection of a worldview. I first noticed it in the 80s as the difference between Captain Americaand the Punisher.

    Captain America is the hero who always finds a way to get the job done without compromising his morals.

    The Punisher is the hero who is willing to do anything it takes to get what he sees as the "job’ done.



  33. O… who?

  34. Oh, and PLEASE do not do a video on religion in comics.  I can see the blood we’re gonna spill when I start arguing about the issues in the religious subtext in Preacher like a mile away.

  35. I second Tork. Not specifically about Preacher (or maybe it is, I haven’t spoken to the dude). But if we can disagree on comics sometimes, and they’re just comics, then let’s just leave the religion can unopened.

    Let’s keep it about comics/movies/TV etc. There’s probably a lot of people on this site who I would disagree with about religion or politics, and vice versa, and that’s cool. It’s their opinion. All I know is, if they’re on here then they probably like some pretty cool comics, and they’ve maybe even got me into some cool books I didn’t know about and now love. That’s enough for me.

  36. Finally got time to watch this episode.  Right before watching it I read Warren Ellis’s Black Summer and I was hoping that it would be mentioned.  On the surface the book seems like some kind of super-liberal power fantasy, but in the end it’s not really about that.  It’s about the use of violence to solve problems.  I really LOVED LOVED LOVED this book like I haven’t loved a comic in awhile.  I wasn’t expecting a whole lot and I was pleasantly surprised.  Criminally underrated.

  37. v for vendeta even though not really relatable to us is a great book about a goverment.

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