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Obama, Spider-Man on the same comic-book page

21. Januar 2009

Superheroic fist bump: Barack Obama and Spider-Man.

Superheroic fist bump: Barack Obama and Spider-Man.


By David Colton, USA TODAY
In a growing world of Barack Obama collectibles, one item soon may be swinging above the rest.

On Jan. 14, Marvel Comics is releasing a special issue of Amazing Spider-Man #583 with Obama depicted on the cover. Inside are five pages of the two teaming up and even a fist-bump between Spidey and the new president.

„It was a natural after we learned the new president is a Spider-Man fan,“ says Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada about reports that Obama once collected Spider-Man comics. „We thought, ‚Fantastic! We have a comic-book geek in the White House.‘ “

The White House transition team did not respond to a question about the extent of Obama’s comic-book geekiness, but Obama did mention Spider-Man during the campaign, primarily at children-oriented events. And during an Entertainment Weekly pop culture survey, Obama said Batman and Spider-Man were his top superheroes because of their „inner turmoil.“ (John McCain picked Batman.)

In the story by Zeb Wells, Todd Nauck and Frank D’Armata, Spider-Man stops the Chameleon from spoiling Obama’s swearing-in. At one point, Spider-Man says he mistook Vice President-elect Joe Biden for the Vulture (a vintage Spider-Man villain).

The issue, selling for $3.99 at comic-book specialty shops (find one at comicshoplocator.com), is expected to be an instant sellout, especially because the Obama cover, by Phil Jimenez, is limited to half the run.

„This issue will have a lot of heat and go for premium prices. I already have people calling about it,“ says Alan Giroux, owner of All About Books and Comics in Phoenix. „I expect this will be on the collectors‘ market for $20 by the first day.“

Presidents have been supporting characters in comics before: During World War II, superheroes fought Hitler as FranklinD. Roosevelt cheered them on. John F. Kennedy appeared in Action Comics #309 in 1963, when he helped protect Clark Kent’s secret identity.

„If I can’t trust the president of the United States, who can I trust?“ Superman tells Kennedy.

That issue appeared a week after Kennedy was assassinated. DC Comics had to explain later that it was too late to recall the book.

Presidents have appeared as more shadowy figures in recent years.

„We do our best to be completely non-partisan and treat presidents with respect,“ Quesada says.

„This is not so much a pro-Obama statement but a tip of the hat to having a Spider-Man fan in the White House.“

Would McCain have gotten a special issue had he won?

Says Quesada: „If McCain was a Spider-Man fan, I’m sure he would.“

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