Back when THE ULTIMATES first came out, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch fashioned what was one of the best books on the rack, month in and month out (when it wasn’t delayed). In many ways, the cinematic, broad, and modern reboot of all these familiar characters provided a template and vision for what the Marvel Universe could look like on screen and helped start the ball rolling that ended with Marvel Studios taking over Hollywood. The biggest evidence of the influence is that Nick Fury, a previously white character, was modeled after Samuel L. Jackson and shepherded these Avengers into existence. Sound familiar?
Well, THE ULTIMATES is making waves again, for an entirely different reason. Apparently, Captain America is being sworn in as the President of the United States in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics The Ultimates #15 and #16, which will be coming out in consecutive weeks, on September 19th and 26th, in the heart of election season.
Writer Sam Humphries explains: “We wanted to dramatize an extreme version of what we see in America today…In the face of all [this] divisiveness, what do we have in common? What does it mean to be an American? What can we agree on? And what makes America the place that it is?”
Marvel Entertainment EIC Axel Alonso: “This is a metaphor for what goes on in real life, but on steroids.” Greeaaat.
Humphries again: “Are we going to see 12 issues of Captain America behind a desk? No, that’s not exciting to anyone.” I’d find it riveting.
Alonso: “Captain America is not going to behave like any other president behaves. He takes the oath of office and barely takes a breath as he goes to hot spots. . . . Cap is out there because he’s so concerned about the state of the Union that he doesn’t have time to think about the State of the Union.”
Series editor Mark Paniccia: “It’s a fantasy world where everything outside the window is amped up — not to 10, not to 11, but 30…People will make connections where they want to make connections.” Up to 30?!
Marvel, however, will not be overtly political. Alonso: “…we avoid taking a party stand…There are essential truths about leadership and dignity, and we certainly have an opinion on that. Cap’s ultimate statement about the presidency is elegant. . . . What America wants and what America needs may not be the same thing.”
When compared to the Obama, Biden, Romney and Paul, Alonso had this to say: “All four candidates would lay claim to what Cap thinks the presidency is and should be. The candidates, in some shape or form, all aspire to be like Cap and what he stands for.” What President is Cap most like? Humphries: He is Abraham Lincoln…if Lincoln had had access to a jet plane and a devastating right hook.” Now that’s a way to end an article.
This all sounds like gimmickry, pure and simple, and I have no interest in it. That said, I’m surprised something like this hasn’t been done before.