Comic books have always allowed creators to reflect their political opinions in various ways, going all the way back to seeing Captain America punch Hitler in the jaw on the first issue of his series. Taking on the President of the United States, however, is sometimes easier said than done, with a new issue of Marvel Two-in-One walking back a joke about Donald Trump that was included in previews that emerged earlier this year.
As seen in the image from the preview above, Spider-Man refers to Thing as the world's second most well-known orange monster, with many people regularly referring to Trump as an orange monster due to his dark tan.
In the finished product of Marvel Two-in-One, which hit shelves today, the dialogue has been altered.
Not only has the joke been modified, but it has completely cut anything close to being a dig at Trump.
It's unclear if the joke was cut due to the insult seemingly feeling out of place or obvious, as anyone reading the comic would immediately know who it was referencing and potentially take the reader out of the scene.
Another possibility is that the higher-ups at Marvel took a second glance at the joke and didn't want to politicize the characters in any context, hoping to omit any political reference.
Possibly the most interesting details about the joke's omission is that Marvel Comics chairman Ike Perlmutter is a massive Trump supporter, both in donating to his campaigns and meeting with the former reality show host on multiple occasions. Perlmutter is also part of the Trump Administration, working on Veteran Affairs, and reportedly spent Thanksgiving with the President-elect.
With Perlmutter being at the top of the food chain at Marvel, one might think controlling one line of dialogue in one comic would be beneath him, yet he regularly takes an active involvement in all facets of the company.
The Fantastic Four have virtually been absent from Marvel Comics over the last few years, reportedly due to Perlmutter's decisions to ignore them while Fox possessed theatrical rights to the characters. Were they to appear in books, they would potentially serve as publicity for any movies relating to the characters, which Perlmutter was vehemently against.
With the recent deal being struck between Disney, who owns Marvel, and 21st Century Fox over the rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, Marvel Two-in-One helps reintroduce Marvel's first family back into the comics ahead of their appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel Two-in-One is on sale now, written by Chip Zdarsky and with art by Jim Cheung.
[H/T Bleeding Cool]