For some, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been the superhero that’s rescued a lackluster Canada and thrust it dynamically onto the world stage. Now, the tattooed, boxing leader is a superhero for real.
A muscled Trudeau is featured in a new Marvel Comic, “Civil War II: Choosing Sides #5.” The story was written by a Canadian artist and writer, Chip Zdarsky, about Alpha Fight, a group of Canadian superheros. He said he wanted to bring the star prime minister into the story in a meaningful way, so Trudeau is enlisted to give advice to the crew on a moral issue.
“I liked the idea of him actually engaging them in an ethical debate,” said Zdarsky. “I didn’t want this to just be like a walk-on ... rescued by superheroes and he thanks them and that’s the end of the story.”
Trudeau, a young, charismatic leader, has energized Canadian politics since his election last October.
"I kind of figured to do a story about Canada right now and not take that opportunity to put Trudeau in seemed like a waste,” Zdarsky said.
While Trudeau’s office hasn’t officially endorsed his comic counterpart, it hasn’t objected either.
“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?”’ Zdarsky said. “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.”
And this isn’t the first chapter: Trudeau is following in the footsteps of his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, who appeared in “Uncanny X-Men” in 1979.
The younger Trudeau appears in on the alternate Marvel cover with red boxing gloves and a tank top with the Canadian maple leaf. Cartoonist Ramon Perez, who is also Canadian, said he didn’t want the prime minister to be “stuffy.”
“I wanted to kind of evoke a little bit of what’s different about him than other people in power right now,” Perez said. “You don’t see [Barack] Obama strutting around in boxing gear, doing push-ups in commercials or whatnot.”
The comic is scheduled to be released at the end of August.