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Like most Star Wars fans, President Obama was eager to see The Force Awakens, and like many of the franchise faithful, he slipped out of work just a little early to do so.
Holding his annual end-of-the-year press briefing today, Obama addressed a wide range of serious issues before telling the White House Press Corps, “OK, everybody, I have to get to ‘Star Wars,’” and making his way to the door.
As you may have guessed by the absence of an early-morning address from the White House, the organizers of the petition to have Feb. 11 declared by President Obama as “Flash Appreciation Day” fell short of their goal. However, it wasn’t for lack of trying.
No, they contend, the blame falls squarely on the Reverse-Flash. It seems the WhiteHouse.gov petition actually received the 10,000 signatures required for consideration, promptly leading to a presidential declaration. However, Reed Beebe of Nothing But Comics writes that the Scarlet Speedster’s arch-nemesis “went back in time and changed history so that none of that happened. In our altered timeline, the petition still received an impressive amount of signatures (over 700), and a lot of fan support, but just not enough to merit official consideration by the President.”
If Central City can honor the Fastest Man Alive with “Flash Appreciation Day,” why shouldn’t the entire country? That’s the thrust of a new We the People petition that asks President Obama to pay tribute to the superhero on Feb. 11.
It’s an idea hatched by the contributors to the blog Nothing But Comics, who note the date is already celebrated annually by some Flash fans, who drew inspiration from a Season 2 episode of Justice League Unlimited. In “Flash and Substance,” which originally aired on Feb. 11, 2006, the Rogues team up and threaten to ruin Central City’s first “Flash Appreciation Day” by, well, killing the Scarlet Speedster. They don’t succeed, naturally.
“Today I am joined by researchers who invent some of the most advanced metals on the planet; designers who are modeling prototypes in the digital cloud; folks from the Pentagon who help to support their work — basically, I’m here to announce that we’re building Iron Man.”
That’s a direct quote from President Barack Obama during a White House manufacturing innovation event. Although it was a joke — “I’m going to blast off in a second. This has been a secret project we’ve been working on for a while. Not really. Maybe. It’s classified.” — the reality is that Iron Man-like technology has been in development, in one form or another, for some time.
Scratch9, the all-ages series by Rob Worley and Justin Castaneda, will return for Free Comic Book Day with an issue from Hermes Press that finds the house cat teaming with the First Family’s dog Bo to save President Obama from an unknown plot.
Titled “Cat America/Dog America,” the story answers why the president is banning cats from the United States. It’s one of three tales in the special issue — it’s a flip-book shared by Worley and Joshua Buchanan’s Run & Amuk — that launches the new series Scratch9: Cat of Nine Worlds.
You might criticize President Obama’s drone policy or question his stance on immigration, but his nerd credentials have always been beyond reproach. After all, this the commander-in-chief who collects Spider-Man and Conan comic books, does battle with a pint-sized wall-crawler in the White House, wields Lion-O’s Sword of Omens and flashes the Vulcan salute with Nichelle Nichols. However, what happened today now throws all of that into question.
The Wall Street Journal reports that in an impromptu briefing this morning about sequestration, Obama was asked about keeping Congressional leaders in a room until a solution could be worked out. His response was absolutely shocking: “I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that’s been floating around Washington that somehow, even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right.”
Although signed by 34,435 people, a petition asking the U.S. government to build a Death Star didn’t bring the results its signers were looking for. But at least it gave the White House an excuse to have some fun … and maybe watch Star Wars again in the interest of “research.”
The petition was created last November on the White House’s “We the People” website by
Anakin S. from Tatooine John D. from Longmont Colo. He wanted the infamous space station built by 2016, noting “By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.”
Paul Shawcross, chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, said a Death Star wasn’t in the government’s future, noting its potential cost, moral reasons (“The Administration does not support blowing up planets”) and design issues — “Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?” — but he left out the potential maintenance issues or copyright issues Disney might raise. Shawcross went on to tout the International Space Station, which already exists and probably isn’t in imminent danger of an X-wing strike anytime soon, as well as other aspects of the space program.
“Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe,” Shawcross said. If that new Hubble Telescope doesn’t have a monster-inhabited trash compactor, I think it’s time for another petition.
Even the Leader of the Free World (and Time magazine’s Person of the Year) is no match for the cuteness that is pint-sized Spider-Man, as demonstrated in this photo from White House photographer Pete Souza. The wall-crawler famously met then-President-Elect Barack Obama in January 2009’s The Amazing Spider-Man #583, where he foiled a plot at the inauguration by Chameleon. However, I don’t recall a showdown outside the Oval Office. Clearly, the Secret Service has a lot to answer for.
(via HuffPost Politics)
Given the amount of publicity surrounding the “Special Inauguration Day Edition,” it’s not surprising that The Amazing Spider-Man #583 was the most-ordered comic of 2009 in the direct market.
But who would’ve guessed that those President Obama covers would make it the most-ordered comic of the decade?
Charts wizard John Jackson Miller places the commemorative issue, with all of its variant covers and reprintings, more than 183,000 copies ahead of the No. 2 comic of the decade, June 2006’s Civil War #2 (issues of the Marvel miniseries claim six of the Top 10 spots).
Captain America #25, the March 2007 issue that featured the “death” of Steve Rogers, comes in at No. 5. DC Comics debuts at No. 8 with — brace yourselves — All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1. (On a related note: The Dark Knight Strikes Again #1 appears at No. 37.)
Just five publishers are represented in the Top 300 comics of the decade: Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image and, in a blast from the past, defunct Canadian company Dreamwave Productions, which charted with seven issues of Transformers.