Barack Obama - Alien Fighter?

Barack Obama - Alien Fighter?

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.

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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?

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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 rebuilding.

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.

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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?

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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.

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