EXCL. PREVIEW: "Avatar: Smoke & Shadow" TPB Threatens the Fire Nation
Yesterday Arcana Comics released the third issue of their Greatest American Hero mini-series, which featured the above variant cover. The book joins a never-ending list of books that have featured President Barack Obama on their cover, from Amazing Spider-Man and Savage Dragon to Barack the Barbarian: Quest for the Treasure of Stimuli and My Neighbor Taro-kun.
We’ve all heard countless times that President Barack Obama is a fan of Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian, and we saw where his affinity for the wall crawler led a few months ago. Now the other sword has dropped.
On Sunday, Comic Continuum posted Devil’s Due Publishing’s solicitations for June, and they include a comic titled Barack the Barbarian: Quest for the Treasure of Stimuli #1, written by Larry Hama. There’s also a poster offered of the cover to the first issue by Tim Seeley (pictured above). Here’s the full solicitation text:
BARACK THE BARBARIAN: QUEST FOR THE TREASURE OF STIMULI #1
Written by Larry Hama, art by various, covers by Tim Seeley and Rachelle Rosenberg.
From a far away land rises a mighty hero. The son of peasants from two different realms, the one known only as Barak protects the people of Hope Kingdom at all costs. Watch as he takes on the likes of Boosh the Dim, Red Sarah, and Cha-nee the Grim in this first issue!
But wait, there’s more!
Savage Dragon and Barack Obama? Old news. Spider-Man and the president? Pfft. Kids’ stuff.
Japan pushes past the Spandex and slugfests — and, apparently, boundaries — with Tonari no Taro-kun (“My Neighbor Taro-kun”), an erotic manga starring Prime Minister Taro Aso. Hence the title.
But the February issue of My Neighbor Taro-kun features a very special guest: a dead ringer for U.S. President Obama. If I’m not mistaken, er-Obama is flanked in the panel at the right by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and possibly Sen. John McCain. Or Ron Howard; it could go either way.
According to Gia Manry, the gist of the issue is that Taro-kun gets “a black neighbor who calls for change.” Judging from these scans from Sankaku Complex — not safe for work, but probably not as bad as you imagine — he wants a little more than change.
Manry also points out the artist draws er-Obama with a dot (or Urna) on his forehead, a symbol of enlightment or wisdom often seen in depictions of Buddha. Cue another round of those “Chosen One” comments … now.
If you thought superhero comics were finished with President Obama, you’d be wrong. The covers of Savage Dragon and The Amazing Spider-Man, and a shadowy cameo in Thunderbolts were only the beginning.
Readers of this week’s Final Crisis #7 were introduced to an alternate Earth with a black U.S. president … who’s also that universe’s Superman. It’s writer Grant Morrison’s nod to then-candidate Obama’s October speech at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner.
“I wanted to do something special for the last part of this huge comic book series,” Morrison told Scotland’s Daily Record. “As I was writing it, I heard Obama making a joke about being born on the planet Krypton and being sent to Earth by his father Jor-El to save the world. I thought it would be a fitting end to all the darkness in America recently. All the comics have been dealing with darkness recently and, having defeated evil, it’s now time to celebrate.”
Morrison says he would like to do more with “the Obama character” next year. I presume he means President Superman, not the actual president.
That should please FOXNews.com to no end. No, really.
NBC Nightly News ran a story last night on “The Obama brand,” and how the themes of his campaign and his own image are being used to sell everything from White Sox baseball caps to comic books. Marvel editor Steve Wacker appears at the end of the clip:
Blogger Sean Kleefeld collects comic strips with an Inauguration Day theme … which I’m posting just as Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.
In anticipation of Barack Obama’s inauguration tomorrow, Shooting War creator Dan Goldman created a short webcomic for Tor.com that plays off of the end of Barack’s first term and the end of the ancient Mayan calendar — Dec. 21, 2012 — or, as X-Files fans might remember, the day before the aliens come. Throw in a little bit of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World for good measure, and you have to wonder when we’ll see the first Motherbox in the White House …
Earlier this week I blogged about Erik Larsen’s comments on Amazing Spider-Man #583 and Savage Dragon #137 that appeared on the ComiCon.com message boards. If you haven’t seen those comments, go read them first before you read this post, as it’ll make more sense that way.
Everybody up to speed? Good. Here’s Spider-Man editor Steve Wacker, who sent us an email responding to Larsen:
With all of the publicity leading up to today’s release of The Amazing Spider-Man #583, it’s no surprise that lines for the Barack Obama variant cover began forming well before many comic stores opened.
But who would’ve guessed the event would require a bouncer?
At FishbowlNY, Noah Davis passes along word that the Midtown Comics Times Square location has “a nightclub-like bouncer at the door and block-long line of (mostly) guys waiting to get inside that stretches from 40th and 7th to 40th and 8th.”
The New York Times’ City Desk blog identifies the bouncer as the awesomely named Bronko Spaleta, 38, who said he was “frostbitten, but otherwise good.” Spaleta was tasked with crowd control: Safety codes permit only about 20 customers at a time in the store.
The story appears to be pretty much the same at stores across the country — long lines and brisk sales:
As Comic Book Resources reported earlier, USA Today broke the news today that next week’s issue of Amazing Spider-Man will feature Spider-Man and President-Elect Barack Obama teaming up in a five-page story. Half the print run will feature an Obama cover by Phil Jimenez.
And even though we’re still six days away from the book’s, it’s already popping up on eBay. Actually, it started popping up before the cover was revealed, which lead to some interesting, and some downright bizarre, images being used on the listings. I think this one is my favorite:
Some of them are offering from five to ten copies of the issue, while one listing noted that the Stephen Colbert variant cover was a hot item, and “his popularity is no where near that of Obama.” So far I’m not seeing any bids, but that could have changed by the time you’re reading this.
Update: You can see the Obama variant cover after the break.