There is an evil man in New York who preys on the gullible. He’s a flamboyant showboat. He lacks scruples. He cares for nothing but his own gain. I speak, of course, of Annoying Orange progenitor Donald Trump—so let’s meet the Marvel villain who shares the same name.
Marvel’s Trump—real name Carlton Sanders—is a delightfully lame bad guy from the ‘80s who had no superpowers to speak of, and very few skills. He’s a former small-time stage magician who turned his non-considerable powers to committing crimes. I should specify that When I say he’s a magician, I do not mean he does magic like Dr. Strange does; I mean he performs basic, standard magic tricks that you’d see someone perform on stage at a small club.
While it may seem that the comic book criminal and the real estate mogul have little in common—although Donald has been investigated for bribery and racketeering (no charges filed!)—the two Trumps have some striking similarities that you may not have realized.
1) They Both Have an Overinflated Sense of Self-Worth
If you are a breathing human being—even if you’re living under a rock—you have been forced to acknowledge Donald Trump’s ego in some way. The fact that he’s running for president is omnipresent, as is his sense of self-entitlement about leading the free world despite a platform based entirely on bloviating, lies and hate.
Marvel’s Trump isn’t as hateful, but he does have a similarly high opinion of himself. Witness what happens in Captain America #371, where he barged into a small magic club where Captain America happened to be going on a date with the in-the-middle-of-reforming Serpent Society villain Diamondback.
If the outfit didn’t give it away, only an asshole would say “legerdemain” instead of the infinitely less pretentious “magic” or “tricks” or even “slight-of-hand.” Trump not only deems himself “ultra-stylish,” but that his appearance in this club is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” as if he was performing at Carnegie Hall instead of some craphole where the current act is dude who is literally juggling three apples on stage (which is an indictment of the club, but an even more severe indictment on where Cap takes his dates).
2) They Have No Real Solutions
Despite his strident claims to the contrary, Donald Trump offers no realistic plans to combat crime, racism, the health care crisis, illegal immigration, pay discrepancy, income inequality, etc. He simply says he has these solutions for these things, and then offers nonsense with asked for details (or, more often, simply ignores the request).
In his debut in Daredevil #203, in which he and his gang tried to steal some weapons for some criminal enterprise, Trump fought the Man Without Fear but was having his ass handed to him. Trump’s solution? Use flash paper to blind Daredevil:
If you know anything about Daredevil, you know he’s already blind, and thus Trump had the least effective possible solution to his dilemma.
Just as Trump the comic character did not realize his plan to defeat Daredevil was worthless, Trump the presidential candidate’s plans to fix the country’s ills are even less tenable. Trump wants to keep illegal immigrants out by building a giant wall on the Mexican border, but offers no clue as to how such a monumental structure could possibly be paid for (besides asking Mexico to pay for it, which they’ve already declined). He wants to create a mandatory database for Muslims, apparently unaware this is incredibly fascist. He wants to force Apple to relocate all of its operations to America, even though that this is not something the president can order, and is one of the most insanely anti-capitalist ideas ever espoused by a presidential candidate.
To be fair to the comic Trump, it was not public knowledge at the time that Daredevil was blind, so the magician couldn’t have known. If Donald Trump has any knowledge of finance, the law, the powers of the position he is trying to gain, or even just basic common sense, he should know his grand plans are impossible and stupid.
3) They Have No Real Substance
While Donald Trump fails to have coherent plans to “make America great again,” he sometimes also fails to have coherent thoughts as well. There are an embarrassment of examples of his gibberish in his speeches, although the most terrifying is his answer when asked about the “nuclear triad,” a phrase a man who wants to be in charge of the U.S.’s arsenal of nuclear weapons should know. That he doesn’t know is upsetting; that his response during a live debate doesn’t even approach a complete thought is horrifying.
The comic-book Trump isn’t as grandiose with his claims, but he equally fails to meet them. After his grandstanding to the crowd, Trump is unable to perform a single trick... because unknown to Trump or Cap, Diamondback had asked her pal from the Serpent Society, Black Mamba, to watch over the date and make sure it didn’t get ruined. When Mamba spied Trump, she not only assumed he was getting ready to fleece the audience, but also recognized him as someone she once went on a date with and stuck her with the check. She immediately used her superpowers to hypnotize the jerk and lead him off stage before he accomplished a single trick.
Both Trumps talk big, and yet have nothing to offer. (Also, I’m not sure what is more concerning: That Cap is dumb enough to believe this is part of the show, or his utter wonder at seeing a deck of cards that smokes. I know he’s from the past, but come on.)
4) They Both Believe Violence Is a Solution
After the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Donald Trump’s “solution” to gun violence in America is for more people to have guns, which is like a solution for obesity is to give more people pop tarts.
The two-dimensional Trump is equally pro-guns, especially Trump’s magic tricks fared somewhat better here than in Captain America, although one might argue Daredevil was having an off day:
Donald Trump thinks this problem would have been Daredevil should have carried a gun.
Sadly, Donald Trump’s chance of winning the Republican nomination for president far exceeds the chance of comic Trump making his appearance in Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite the fact both should be equally impossible. However, Marvel’s Trump has one advantage over the real-life mogul, and that’s the fact that he has more realistic hair, despite the fact it is a two-dimensional drawing done in ink and four-color processed dots.
Trump image: AP Photo/Paul Sancya.