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President Barack Obama was last year’s hottest comic-book guest star, appearing in Amazing Spider-Man, Savage Dragon, Youngblood, and Bomb Queen as well as biographical comics from Bluewater, and Barack the Barbarian. This year? You can find the hardcover collection of the Spider-Man issues for as low as $3 at some conventions, which is $1 less than the comic book originally cost.
But the President hasn’t been completely forsaken. Robert Kirkman used him in faux ads as a member of a new superhero team, The Guardians of the Globe, in which the President says, “I’m not as popular as I used to be. How much is Amazing Spider-Man 583 going for on eBay?”
He has a larger role in Archie Comics’ Veronica No. 199. The cover by Dan Parent shows the President saying to rich girl Veronica Lodge: “Veronica, we need to get this economy rolling!” Veronica salutes and responds, “I’ll do my best, Mr. President!” The actual story, written and drawn by Parent, begins with Veronica and the other students, including Archie and Betty, taking a field trip to D.C. Veronica’s excited by the thought of the National Mall, as so many tourists have been before her, but adapts well to the disappointment of finding only hot dog and T-shirt vendors. The kids quickly check out the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Albert Einstein statue, and the National Archives, and name check the FDR and Jefferson Memorials before visiting Lincoln. They must have borrowed some superspeed from a superhero comic, because they also see the Smithsonian and the Capitol before they end up at the White House. Thankfully, online photo references have greatly improved cartoonists’ ability to depict these sites, and they’re all recognizable.
Returning to the story, in another apparent failure of the Secret Service, Veronica crashes the President’s press conference. Called upon by a smiling Obama, Veronica asks, “What will be the main component to a full economic recovery?” The President replies, “What a great question! Job creation will be a big part of economic recovery! When people are working, the system works!” Veronica soon returns home determined to be part of the engine of economic recovery, with the usual hilarious results you expect in an Archie comic book.
Is this a great comic? No. But it’s fun, and it’s a nice, responsible way to give kids a little taste of what adulthood may hold for them. The issue, cover-dated May, is on sale now.