Justin Trudeau has been a teacher, actor, boxer, political leader and, most recently, a comic book character.
Trudeau graced the covers of two comic books in the last few months: Chapterhouse’s 2016 Summer Special, released Canada Day, and issue No. 5 of Marvel’s Civil War II: Choosing Sides, released Aug. 31.
“The Marvel comic is definitely more popular,” said Andrew Johnston, a sales associate at Another Dimension Comics in Kensington.
“People react more to Canadians being in Marvel comics because Marvel is an American company much larger than Chapterhouse, which is based in Toronto.”
Civil War II: Choosing Sides depicts a smiling Trudeau clad in boxing attire, sitting in the boxing ring surrounded by members of the Canadian super hero team, Alpha Flight.
Chapterhouse’s 2016 Summer Special features Trudeau alongside Captain Canuck on the cover. Included inside the issue is a letter written by Trudeau on behalf of the Captain.
Johnston said the comics gained a lot of popularity from pre-release news coverage, which led to many purchases by customers ranging in age from children to seniors.
However, feedback on the comics has been mixed.
“Since we’re in Western Canada, there are a lot of people who come in and say, ‘What is this? Whoever drew this should be shot,’ which is actually a direct quote from one of our regulars.”
Lana Milikic, a second-year business administration student, does not agree with featuring Trudeau on the comic.
“Whoever drew the comic is a little bit biased, politically speaking,” said Milikic.
“It is still pretty early in his term to gauge what kind of impact he’s going to leave on our country, and with many varying opinions on his policies so far, I think it’s difficult to say whether he should be depicted as a hero or villain quite yet.”
Milikic suggested Trudeau was chosen to appear on the cover because he’s currently a very prominent Canadian figure, on account of both his political position and his looks and charisma.
Lian Malubay, a first-year electronics engineering technology student, agreed that Trudeau’s popularity, and perhaps the choice to feature him on the covers, has a lot to do with Trudeau’s appearance rather than his leadership skills as a prime minister.
“He’s a good looking guy,” said Malubay.
“He looks great on the covers.”
Johnston is unsure as to why Trudeau was featured.
“There wasn’t any real reason why the storyline had to spill over to Canada, so I guess they just chose him because he’s popular right now,” said Johnston.
I think it’s difficult to say whether he should be depicted as a hero or villain quite yet. – Lana Milikic
“His dad [Pierre Trudeau] was actually in an issue of the X-Men with Alpha Flight back in the 70’s, so it kind of feels like comics are cyclical.”
Milikic said that although Trudeau’s recent comic book appearances may help raise his profile, it will not change the way Canadians feel about him.
“The people who love him will continue to love him, and those that hate him will continue to do so as well.”