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Sunday, July 31, 2016 

What's so special about Justin Trudeau that calls for putting him in the MCU just like Pierre?

Nearly 40 years ago, Pierre Trudeau, one of Canada's prime ministers, made an appearance in Uncanny X-Men 140. Just recently, his son Justin has been featured in the Civil War sequel, and papers like the National Post are making a big deal out of something that takes place in a mechanical tale that's been written as little more than a limp excuse to submerge the MCU in another money-wasting crossover. The paper interviewed cartoonist Steve Murray (who goes by the pen name of Chip Zdarsky) about where they're going with this new time and money waster:
Q: Marvel found box office success with Captain America: Civil War this year, loosely based off the 2007 comic event. Now, we’ve got Civil War II. Why are the Marvel heroes at it again?

A: Well, there’s a new character named Ulysses, who can predict upcoming disasters. The heroes are split on how to use that type of resource. It’s kind of a Minority Report situation. Do you punish people for crimes they haven’t committed? How much faith can you put in a man who relays this information?
In hindsight, the Steven Spielberg movie he's alluding to does reek of the leftist politics the first crossover - and now this one - draw from. It's just another subtle attack on the Patriot Act.
Q: The original put Iron Man up against Captain America. Now, Iron Man is up against Captain Marvel. Why can’t Tony Stark stop squabbling with his colleagues?

A: Smart guys always think they’re right! Which means I never think I’m right.
It's not mentioned here, but the reason Tony and Carol are against each other is over the meaningless death of Jim Rhodes. Predictably, none of this matters to the interviewer. And much as I'd like to think he's admitting he's not a saint, I've got a sad feeling Murray's not.
Q: You’re writing Civil War II: Choosing Sides #5 and Ramon Perez is illustrating it. How did you land this project and why did you decide to include Trudeau?

A: My Marvel editor, Wil Moss, reached out to see if I’d be up for contributing an Alpha Flight story for the crossover. My first thought was to put Trudeau in it, cause I love that Marvel comics take place in real-world places, and it’s fun to take advantage of that, have real-life people interacting with characters like Iron Man and Alpha Flight.
What if it's really because he agrees with Trudeau's questionable politics? In any event, it's getting laughable now, because putting real life figures into these stories so deliberately and obviously only dates the books more quickly. Much like the 2006 crossover already is.
Q: How much of a role will Trudeau have to play here? When world leaders usually appear in comics, we only really see them in suits at a podium. Most of the time, they’ll appear in little more than one page. Is Trudeau actually central to the story or can we expect more of a Stan Lee-like cameo?

A: He’s pretty central to the story! It’s only an eight-pager, but he’s on seven of them, giving advice and throwing punches. I don’t really like those kinds of “walk-on” appearances, so I really wanted to make sure that his appearance was a key part of the story.
Again, what if Trudeau's politics have something to do with this? From what I know about the junior Trudeau, there's not much to impressed by.
Q: Pierre Trudeau actually played a decent role when he appeared in Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men and sent Alpha Flight to capture Wolverine. Alpha Flight is flanking Justin on the cover. Will they still remember their connection to Pierre?

A: Ha! I thought about it, but the downside to having real people pop up in the comics is that it really messes with the timeline. Like, Alpha Flight has not aged since then, so it’s hard to have them talk about working for P.E.T. in the early 80s, y’know?
Well like I said, this too is only bound to age, and not very well. The elder Trudeau wasn't known to have standings as iffy and questionable as the younger one does.

And how many Canadians of either political leaning will shell out their hard-earned money to buy a crossover with such a pretentious tale? The presence of a real life politician is not reason enough to buy something that few will talk about in the future.

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That's why it's unwise to inject real-world politicians and other public figures into comics. It just ages the story. You know that Zdarsky is only doing this to suck up to Trudeau.

I know you didn't say "first appearance," but the elder Trudeau's Marvel debut was the same as Alpha Flight's -- in X-MEN #120.

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