When it comes to politics, there have been few years as weird as 2016. This year has seen one of the strangest presidential elections in American history, and election fever only continues to grow as November nears. Countless celebrities and politicians have made their thoughts about the race known, but now two unexpected characters have dipped their toes into the debate. DC Comics has transformed Selina Kyle and Fred Flintstone into political lightning rods in two of their latest comics.
The Flintstones #5 and Catwoman: Election Night have drawn inspiration from this year’s presidential campaigns to flesh out compelling stories. Mark Russell and Steve Pugh are the men behind the former comic while Meredith Finch stands behind the latter with Shane Davis. In Flintstones, the four-part political story explores leadership in a fairly primitive society. On the other hand, Catwoman delves into seedy political gambling and distrust within Gotham’s borders.
But, there is at least one common thread tying the two comics together, and that is their use of Donald Trump-esque figures. Russell and Finch spoke with Entertainment Weekly about their stories and how they used caricatures of Trump figures to bolster their issues.
“I have a theory about Trump, which I worked into the Flintstones story,” Russel said. “My theory is most people growing up have been bullied by someone like Donald Trump, and they’ve developed a weird kind of Stockholm Syndrome. They’ve been bullied all their lives, they’ve lost their jobs, they’ve been increasingly marginalized by the market and people like Donald Trump, and this is some sort of strange attempt to get on their side. The bullying will somehow stop if they can curry favor with the bully. That’s kind of my theory on Trump, and I put that in Flintstones as the bully running for class president of the middle school that Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm go to.”
Finch had a bit of a different take for her Catwoman character. The Canadian creator said she used Trump’s antics as comedy and slapstick humor. Finch explained,“I really wanted to use Trump in kind of a comedic way, and that’s what I tried to do with having Penguin be that Trump-like character. Penguin is such an outrageous character, and I felt like he’s the best DC universe person to be that crazy. Penguin does a good job appealing to the worst of us, in the same way that Trump appeals to the worst of ourselves. I think everybody has secret fears and Trump seems to have that ability to hit on things that people don’t want to look at. Penguin’s doing that same thing in Gotham, trying to resurrect stuff.”
Clearly, these issues are situated to provoke a response from readers. The madness of this year’s election continues to prod voters, leaving many apathetic to the event. If there is one thing these comics can do, it is light a fire of interest within readers that ultimately brings them into polling centers.
Just - If you see Penguin on your voting ballot when you go to ‘rock the vote,’ you might want to alert someone ASAP.
[H/T] Entertainment Weekly