Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has emerged as an unlikely international celebrity to a degree that's largely unprecedented for Canadian politicians. A flamboyant personality noted for his unapologetic Liberal policies, youthful persona and propensity for photogenic publicity appearances, he's become a favorite subject of the international press.
Trudeau is now gracing the cover of an entirely different sort of publication. The Canadian Prime Minister will appear alongside a trio of Canadian superheroes on a variant cover to the fifth issue of Marvel Comics' Civil War II side-series, "Choosing Sides".
Due for release on August 31, the fifth issue of Civil War II: Choosing Sides will feature members of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight (Sasquatch, Puck and Aurora) wrestling with whether to support the use of future-telling powers to prevent super-crime - the primary conflict at the heart of Marvel's second Civil War comic book event. In the narrative, they will seek out Prime Minister Trudeau for advice; hence his appearance in the story and the idea for the special cover. As explained by Canadian writer Chip Zdarsky (via National News Watch):
"It's a little tricky just because once you start to put words in the prime minister's mouth, we acknowledge that this is basically Trudeau fan fiction. I had to kind of think about where he would stand on something like that and how he would handle it. Hopefully, I did a good job. Maybe I'll get a call from him saying: 'How could you have me saying that to ... Iron Man?'"
Trudeau is also famous for his natural media savvy, frequently engaging in the type of publicity-friendly activities that helped to turn him into a political celebrity - particularly with younger voters. Capitalizing on this, the cover depicts Trudeau flanked by Alpha Flight in the corner of a boxing ring, wearing a Canadian Flag shirt and laced-up boxing gloves. Added cover-artist and award-winning Toronto-based cartoonist Ramon Perez:
"I didn't want to do a stuffy cover — just like a suit and tie — put his likeness on the cover and call it a day. I wanted to kind of evoke a little bit of what's different about him than other people in power right now. You don't see (U.S. President Barack) Obama strutting around in boxing gear, doing push-ups in commercials or whatnot. Just throwing him in his gear and making him almost like an everyday person was kind of fun."
At 45 years of age, Trudeau is the second youngest person to hold the position of Prime Minister in Canada - along with being the first to also be the son of a former PM himself. His father, Pierre Trudeau, was famously the Liberal Party's vanguard through the so-called "Trudeaumania" era of Canadian politics. Trudeau the younger's 2015 ascension has been viewed (by both supporters and opponents) as a return to prominence for Canada's political Left-wing, for related reasons. Amusing, Pierre Trudeau also appeared as a character in the Marvel Universe in his day - showing up to personally dispatch Alpha Flight (then employed as official agents of the Canadian Government) to battle the X-Men in 1979's Uncanny X-Men #120.
Civil War II: Choosing Sides will be available on August 31st, 2016.
Source: National News Watch