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Look! There in the White House!

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

| It's The Joker! No, it's Batman! No, it's Lex Luthor! No, it's Thanos! No, it's Homelander! No, it's Richie Rich! |

President Obama may have been the self-professed comic book fan - a collector of Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics - but it is President Trump who has engendered far more comparisons to comic book figures. Some of these comparisons - such as to Batman and Thanos - have come directly from the Trump camp.

Others have come from Trump's critics - such as The Joker and Lex Luthor.

The most recent comparisons have come from both sides. In their protests of Joe Biden's 2020 election win, Trump supporters framed the lame-duck president as Homelander from The Boys. In Trump/Homelander cosplay mashup, marchers for MAGA were seemingly celebrating Trump as a patriotic hero. In truth, Homelander is an arrogant and emotionally-needy character who has killed hundreds and inspired xenophobia. ... ... ... There is some remarkable irony in his invocation as Trump-like by MAGA supporters.

Around the same time, former president Barack Obama, in an interview with The Atlantic, compared Donald Trump to Richie Rich- "the poor little rich boy" of Harvey Comics. This is not the first time in recent political history that a wealthy Republican president was compared to the Richie Rich; a 2004 satirical comic book called Richie Bush, the Poor Little Oligarch, cast President George W. Bush in the role of the wealthy, out of touch, child. Obama's comparison suggested that Trump, like Richie, was a "complaining, lying, doesn’t-take-responsibility-for-anything type of figure." Such a comparison is unfair to Richie who, in his comics, animated cartoons, and live-action movies and shows is consistently portrayed as kind and charitable, if a little clueless about the lives of normal people. Perhaps Obama meant to compare Trump to Richie's cousin, Reggie Van Dough - a selfish, spoiled and mean-spirited child who treats people, particularly his servants, poorly.


~Christina M. Knopf

19 November 2020


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