Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and US president Barack Obama have a special relationship. Some call it a bromance. Trudeau prefers “dude-plomacy.” Whatever you want to call it, the pair of North American leaders have at least one more thing in common now.
Trudeau, like Obama before him, has been immortalized in the pages of a Marvel comic book. The prime minister appeared in an issue of Civil War II—Marvel’s big summer event series—that was released today (Aug. 31).
In the issue, Trudeau counsels Canadian superhero squad Alpha Flight when they step into morally murky waters while defending the planet—and inadvertently make an enemy out of Iron Man.
Apparently, things get physical with the American superhero later in the issue. “You have to read the story to find out the exact circumstances, but yes, Prime Minister Trudeau DOES box in this story—with none other than Tony Stark!” said Will Moss, a Marvel Comics editor, in an email.
The issue’s author Chip Zdarsky, who is based on Toronto, had the idea to work Trudeau into the storyline, Moss said. Zdarsky allegedly asked the prime minister’s office to sign off on the appearance, but was told that the office, as policy, doesn’t approve or disapprove of things like this. (Trudeau’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.)
Two covers were produced for the issue. The regular cover features Alpha Flight, while Trudeau appears on the other variant. Variant covers are typically hot items for collectors.
On the variant cover, illustrated by Canadian artist Ramon Perez, Trudeau appears in the corner of a boxing ring with an ambiguous smile on his face. He’s wearing boxing gloves and a shirt adorned with the Canadian flag. The ensemble resembles Trudeau’s look during a 2012 charity boxing match in Ottawa, Canada. As during the match, his tattoo of the earth inside of a Haida raven is clearly visible on his left arm. The members of Alpha Flight are also on his side, and Iron Man is illustrated ominously in the background.
In 2009, then president-elect Obama appeared in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man, which was allegedly met with “unprecedented demand.” It had three print runs in the first 24 hours of its release. Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, also appeared in an issue of The Uncanny X-Men in 1979.
Here’s a preview of the new issue featuring Trudeau