Here he comes again...
When Barack Obama was elected, some of his more fervent supporters
hoped he could ‘fix’ everything at once – be everywhere at once.
Although in real life that’s not possible, in comics, the new President
is coming close. He’s appeared in his own bio comics, satire comics,
toting a gun in Youngblood, and even appeared in various Marvel
Comics. And in an upcoming one-shot from Devil’s Due, he’s making his
stand in a future war against aliens.
In the upcoming June-shipping, 48-page one-shot Drafted: 100 Days,
Barack joins the fray in an intergalactic war between the human race
and a mysterious alien force. The story unfolded in the twelve issue
series Drafted last year, and this new one-shot seeks to
continue the story by showing how the alien invasion affected everyone:
including a up & coming senator from Illinois. For in Drafted,
the invasion took place before the historic 2008 election – before the
campaign even officially started. And with the world’s governments in
ruins, politicians of all stripes are finding themselves looking for a
new line of work.
In Drafted: 100 Days, writer Mark Powers
pens the story of the former U.S. Senator Barack Obama at ground zero
of the frozen, haunted remains of Chicago during the coldest winter in
record. Although his destiny has changed, the story goes to the heart
of Obama’s own character to see where his talents would lead him in a
world like this. For more, we talked with Powers.
Newsarama: Mark, the publisher of Drafted: 100 Days is based in Obama’s hometown of Chicago. Are you from Chicago too – and did that play into involving him in the Drafted story?
Mark Powers: Nope, I'm not from Chicago, though Devil's Due is located
there. The primary reason we set the story in Chicago was because of
the city's personal connection to Obama, and the effect of seeing it
decimated would have on him.
NRAMA: If someone’s picking up this book as their first Drafted experience, how would you set-up the story?
MP: It's pretty stand-alone and really focuses on the core theme
of all customary social divisions having been eradicated, with people
from every walk of life thrown together in a struggle for mutual
survival. It takes place a few months after the end of our first
series, in the aftermath of Earth's first major confrontation with its
enemy. Large swaths of North America have been devastated, including
Chicago. The threat of another wave of attacks looms over everyone and
everything. Amid all that, people are doing their best to survive --
some in ways that are noble, others in ways that are quite the opposite.
NRAMA: What is Barack up to in Drafted: 100 Days?
MP: As our story opens, he's just another grunt assigned to a
survey and construction team sent to Chicago to begin the process of
NRAMA: The title “One Hundred Days” can also refer to Obama’s
recently completed first one hundred days in office. What does it mean
in the scope of this story?
MP: The story occurs over the course of what would have been Obama's first 100 days in office. But in the Drafted
world, he never got to run for President. He's separated from his
family and thrown into a completely foreign and terrifying situation,
no different from anyone else.
NRAMA: In this story, Barack Obama is mute. What led you to do that, and where does it lead you in the story?
MP: My initial reason for taking that approach was pretty
simple: I felt like readers' expectations would be that we'd spend 40
pages on Obama pontificating and rallying his fellow soldiers with
rah-rah speeches. So I wanted to make sure we avoided that. We only
know figures like Obama from afar, and we interpret their actions based
upon our own experiences. To that end, the story-- and Obama -- are
mostly viewed through the eyes of one of his fellow soldiers.
On a character level, I think many people would say his biggest
strength is his ability to communicate, so it was a way of creating a
bigger challenge for him.
MP: This isn’t the first political figure we’ve seen in Drafted
– a George Bush lookalike was in the earliest issues. What do you say
about using real life figures in a sci-fi fictional book like this?
MP: Like I said above, there is something about using real-life
characters in this type of setting that makes me leery -- not because I
think there's anything inappropriate about it, but because (at least
for me), there's a danger of turning them into caricatures.
While we were working on Drafted #1, I'd actually brought
up the idea to Josh of just having the Bush analog be Bush. I mean, we
weren't trying to conceal who Preston Walker was based on, and surely
we'd get some press, so why bother with an analog? Josh thought it'd be
too big a distraction -- and to be honest, trying to write the
character as Bush might have led me down an less interesting path.
Creating Preston Walker from George Bush made it easier to look at him
as a human being, and not as a larger than life, polarizing figure.
NRAMA: Will there be a second collection of Drafted with issues #7-#12 and this?
MP: Yes, I've seen the files, though I'm not sure when it hits the stands.
NRAMA:Drafted: 100 Days follows up from the first twelve issues released in 2007 & 2008. Will there be more issues after this?
MP: Oh, definitely -- Drafted was planned from the beginning as
a three series trilogy. We hint towards what's next at the end of 100
Days, albeit in a very casual-reader-friendly way.