Marvel is asking a New York City council member to stop dressing up as Captain America for fundraising purposes. Ben Kallos, the council member in question, knows the same thing that a lot of public figures do: If you’re looking to get people’s attention, then you have to think outside the box sometimes. Leaning into pop culture relevance, and choosing a superhero that most everyone admires, Kallos certainly succeeded in getting attention. But not all of it has been positive.
It’s understandable that the councilman would want to be linked to Captain America. Worthy enough to wield Thor’s hammer, Captain America’s humble beginnings make him an aspirational figure. The fact that he was willing to sacrifice himself, remaining frozen in the Arctic, highlights how he is willing to put others first when it matters most. His devotion to Peggy Carter, give or take an odd lapse in judgement, suggests the kind of family man image that many politicians still strive to achieve. Sure, Captain America has his dark moments. But, overall, he’s precisely the kind of patriotic pop culture persona that would make for a perfect statesman. At least that’s what Kallos thought.
After dressing up as The First Avenger and sending out what he deemed to be a Superhero Alert, in which he asked for donations, Kallos received a cease and desist letter from Marvel. Kallos, with amusement, showed the letter to his followers on social media. Check out the so-called Superhero Alert, and the letter, in the tweets below.
Kallos represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which has its own significance in Marvel canon. To the credit of the councilman, and whoever else might have helped, the Superhero Alert is littered with comic book references. Loki gets a namecheck, so do other baddies like Ultron, Thanos, and Hydra. Making sure to highlight the fact that "he can do this all day," Kallos is clearly committed to the gimmick. The letter from Eli Bard, the Deputy Chief Counsel of Marvel, notes the politician’s obvious fandom. It’s kind of hard to miss, which may have been Kallos’ idea all along.
When asked by Fox News if he intends to comply with the letter, the council member did not give a definitive response. But it’s likely he already achieved his goal. Kallos capitalized on his affinity for the world of Marvel to get some headlines. It’s an out of the box approach for a politician, in any case, and it will be interesting to see if he tries to come up with another.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022