MARTHA THOMASES: Hot Fun in the Summertime
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin, and the cotton is high. Or so I’m told. Living in a major metropolitan area in the twenty-first century, I have to take such things on faith.
This summer, the fun times for someone like me are largely political. The presidential election is over a year away. The first primaries are six months away. Nothing is going to be decided any time soon, so I can pretend it will all turn out for the best.
I spent the summer I was 15 going “clean for Gene,” campaigning for Eugene McCarthy, who was running against Lyndon Johnson for the Democratic nomination on an anti-war platform. Four years later, I ran as an alternate delegate for George McGovern. Four years ago, I nearly got arrested outside the Republican convention up the street from here. Presidential campaigns are fun!
Which is not to say they couldn’t be much more fun. The problem is that presidential candidates tend to be politicians. They spend all their time hustling campaign funds, writing policy, and meeting the public. They go on the Sunday morning news shows and show how serious they are. They go on Oprah or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to show they’re regular folks who can take a joke.
They don’t save the world from alien invasions. They don’t even fight crime.
Presidential campaigns would be a lot more fun if, instead of Republicans versus Democrats, it was Marvel versus DC. For example debates between:
Captain America and Superman on immigration reform.
Luke Cage and John (Green Lantern) Stewart on affirmative action.
Thor and Wonder Woman about the separation of Church and State.
Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne on the inheritance tax.
Storm and Aquaman on global warming.
The Punisher and Batman on prison reform.
Professor X and Green Arrow on family values.
The Avengers and the Justice League on national security.
Characters from other companies would be, effectively, third party candidates. No matter if they are super-heroes like the characters in Invincible or depressed schlemiels like Harvey Pekar, they’ll get treated like the lunatic fringe, just like third party candidates are now.
Until then, the best we can hope for is endorsements of presidential candidates by super-heroes. When I was at DC, I sent Superman comics to the first Clinton campaign, hoping they would use Jimmy Olsen’s then-recent job lay-off from the Daily Planet as an example of what was wrong with George H. W. Bush’s economic policies. That didn’t happen, although Bill was kind enough to speak at Superman’s funeral a few weeks after the election.
I’ve always thought Superman was a New Deal Democrat. He probably likes Edwards.
Spider-Man, being a New Yorker and part of the media, is probably also true Blue. He and Reed Richards are likely to be big Hillary supporters.
The Punisher? Giuliani.
Green Arrow would back Kucinich, unless his Western locale makes him more of a Richardson guy.
Martha Thomases, Media Goddess of all things ComicMix, votes as often as she’s allowed.