Ever since taking office as prime minister of Canada last November, Justin Trudeau has emerged as one of the most pop culture-savvy world leaders to emerge since the early days of Barack Obama. He’s the first Canadian prime minister with a tattoo. The Liberal Party PM once appeared as an actor in a CBC miniseries called The Great War. And he’s a frequent star of memes, some of which are hoaxes and some not.
Trudeau’s popularity has seen him appear places where few political leaders have, and now he’s taking that a step further, by appearing in the pages of Marvel Comics. The book in question is Civil War: II Choosing Sides No. 5, by Chip Zdarsky and Ramón Pérez, both of whom are Canadian.
According to THR, Trudeau appears in one of three short stories contained in the issue, and is accompanied by three members of Canada's superhero team Alpha Flight (Sasquatch, Puck and Aurora). The issue even has the Prime Minister appearing on the cover, depicting Trudeau in the corner of a boxing ring, wearing a uniform adorned with the Canadian maple leaf.
In Civil War II: Choosing Sides No. 5, Trudeau appears in his office, telling the members of Alpha Flight of the importance of getting along with other superheroes. Later, he’s shown sparring in a boxing ring with none other than Iron Man himself, Tony Stark, an exchange of which the prime minister appears to get the better of. At one point, Trudeau gives Tony that sounds like a political speech, tying into the basic concept behind Civil War II:
“Look, above all else civil liberties must be protected, and there are so many holes in your process that even the ’84 Leafs could get through them… I think imprisoning people for crimes they may not have even thought of yet is wrong. I think these methods are flawed, and I think it’s a dangerous path you’ve embarked on… I’m putting my faith in you, and your judgment, here. This is your call to make. You’ve earned that level of trust. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a country to run.”
Real-life political figures appearing in comics is nothing new. The newly elected President Barack Obama met with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man No. 583, back in 2009. Dropping politicians into comic books seems an ideal way to humanize them, while making them more palatable to comic book fans who might not follow politics. Then again, doing so runs the risk of turning off comics fans who are staunch opponents of the politicians included -- or would rather see them depicted as villains.
Civil War II: Choosing Sides is available now.