Despite appearing on the cover of Savage Dragon #226, U.S. President Donald Trump will likely not appear in the comic book itself, according to series creator Erik Larsen.
Larsen, in an interview with The Savage Fincast (listen here), told the hosts that Trump sets the story in motion with an executive order, and that a number of his supporters are present in the issue, but that Trump himself is not a key player in the comic.
The cover to Savage Dragon #226 is an homage to a classic Daredevil cover by Gil Kane, and based on context, it sounds like Trump was simply the figure that made the most sense to be looming above the mob chasing down Malcolm, Maxine, and their children.
The story flows out of an executive order outlawing extra-terrestrials in the U.S. following the events of the last three issues of Savage Dragon. Those issues told the story of "The Merging of Multiple Earths," in which Savage Dragon's multiverse was collapsed into one universe, leaving the Earth's inhabitants with memories of several timelines.
Both the "curator" of the multiverse (Darklord) and the culprit responsible for its destruction (Mister Glum) were aliens. Both were originally enemies of Dragon, the original title lead of the comic and father to its current main character, Malcolm Dragon. Dragon was an alien, and while Malcolm's mother was from Earth, he doesn't "look" human enough for a lot of people.
It also likely doesn't help that one of the timelines people remembered was one in which Dragon himself remembered that he used to be an alien dictator named Kurr, and attempted to take over Earth, killing millions in the process. Time-travel had "fixed" that for readers of the comic but even at the time they were warned that they weren't actually repairing their universe but creating an alternate timeline where things played out differently.
In Savage Dragon #218, Erik Larsen's long-running creator-owned series became the first major American comic book to address the election of Donald Trump to the office of the President of the United States, with series lead Malcolm Dragon saying "we're f---ed."
At the time, Larsen told us he didn't know whether Trump would play a major role in the comic.
"I’m in a 'wait and see' mode on that. Definitely in the run up to the election there was some serious race baiting and tensions were super high. The guy has been on nearly every side of every issue, so it’s really hard to know what to expect from him as a commander-in-chief," Larsen said. He said that if he perceives Trump as a particularly poor President, he would feel obliged to address that in-story, but if the next four years are relatively unremarkable they probably won't make it into the comic, concluding, "You never know. If Trump’s presidency is at all significant I might touch on it again."
The protests and riots that followed Trump's election made its way into Savage Dragonas well, and Malcolm struggled to deal with both Trump supporters and detractors having problems with him (because he's an alien and a police officer, respectively).
While the cover to Savage Dragon #227 has Malcolm and Maxine leaving the series' longtime setting of Chicago and moving to Toronto, Larsen was noncommital as to how it would affect other characters in the series.
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