As the 2020 presidential election heats up in the universe of comics, a not-so-savory character has joined Donald Trump’s campaign: the Joker.
Trump isn’t named in the comic, but his image appears on a number of pages — and the comic character’s speaking style mimics the president’s (“You’re gonna love it! I’m talking streets so safe you can let your kids go play and not even think about ’em!”). The Joker’s American flag jacket also sports the same infamous message that appeared on Melania’s coat last year: “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg makes a cameo appearance among a group of protesters.
The comic, created by Frank Miller and drawn by Rafael Grampá, presents a new generation of characters — the children of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batwoman — as they battle to thwart the dark duo’s scheme backing Trump, who turns out to be a puppet of the Joker.
In the tale, Darkseid has recruited the Joker as an “agent of chaos” to promote Trump’s election with the goal of destroying humanity’s faith in itself so people can be more easily conquered by the forces of evil.
One review dinged the new comic for dodging any real political commentary. Instead, Trump and his “villainous co-conspirators” present little more than a “vague sort of evil.”
DC Comics pulled an early promo for the comic that showed Batwoman about to throw a Molotov cocktail — though the Trump portion of the comic plot was not revealed at that time. Some media reported that the social media scene was removed after Chinese officials complained that it appeared to express support for Hong Kong protesters.
Earlier this week, the real Trump appeared in an actual campaign ad as Avengers supervillain Thanos. Character creator Jim Starlin on Tuesday ripped the campaign for comparing the president to the Marvel bad guy.
“After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous dang fool using my creation to stroke his infantile ego, it finally struck me that the leader of my country and the free world actually enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer. How sick is that?” Starlin, who created the character in 1973, said in an Instagram post.