Last week, Marvel released this year’s Spider-Gwen Annual, an alternate-reality series that features a black female Captain America as a hero. The villain is known as the Mental Organism Designed as America’s King, or more crisply, “M.O.D.A.A.K.”
M.O.D.A.A.K. screams about “FOREIGN FILTH!” and promises to “crush [Captain America] in my powerful hands.” (Captain America ends up kicking his ass, regardless.)
Many readers immediately noticed the obvious satirical parallels, and physical resemblance, to the 2016 Republican presidential nominee:
Trump candidacy and bigotry have been regular targets for satirists over the past year, including on late-night TV and porn flicks. The comic book’s author, Marvel artist and writer Jason Latour, did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. (As you could guess, the Trump campaign did not respond, either, to an email asking about the GOP nominee’s supervillain analog.)
But judging by Latour’s Twitter feed over the past year, his new character could be coming from a place of genuine political outrage at a figure he has called “a goddamn idiot” who he wishes “didn’t exist.”
“Sometimes I stare at the ceiling & ponder what my job in Trump’s detainment camp for Great American traitors will be?” he pondered in May. “Hope I’m not on steaks.”
“And now I return to a world where Trump is the [GOP] nominee,” Latour also tweeted that month. “Captain America fought the wrong loud mouth billionaire.”
“Can we just build a wall around Trump?” he inquired in February.
Throughout the Marvel rank and file, Trump doesn’t have many friends or allies—though the CEO of Marvel Entertainment, 73-year-old “mystery mogul” Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, is a huge Trump fan.
In January, when Trump ditched a Republican debate to mount his veterans fundraiser in Iowa, Perlmutter and his wife donated a million dollars to their friend’s event. Trump name-checked him on-stage as “one of the great, great men of our country in terms of business and talent,” and the Perlmutters’ representative issued a statement announcing that “the Perlmutters are thrilled to support their friend Donald Trump.”
“A lot of readers were concerned that this was a sort of Chick-fil-A scenario,” comics writer and Marvel freelancer G. Willow Wilson told The Daily Beast in February. “In this particular case, since Perlmutter was publicly linked to Marvel [by Trump]… it sort of raised a lot of fears in the minds of readers about it being very difficult to disentangle the connection between art, politics, and money.”
So in a small way, Latour’s latest creation can be interpreted as smirking revenge on Perlmutter.
“Guy said I shouldn’t give Trump publicity by poking” Latour said in March. “He’s on the news 24 hrs a day. He’s not Voldemort. Ignoring him won’t make him go away.”
Latour is clearly doing the exact opposite of taking that man’s advice to heart.