In what can only be described as an unsurprising turn of events, Donald Trump’s campaign has likened the president of the United States to Thanos, the depraved villain from Marvel’s comics, television series, and film franchise whose whole schtick is wanting to murder billions of people because he’s obsessed with death. To be fair, both people have unhealthy relationships with their respective daughters, but that’s neither here nor there.
Late Tuesday evening, the “Trump War Room” (a verified twitter account managed by his 2020 election campaign) tweeted a video in which Thanos (with Trump’s head superimposed on it) delivers his famous speech from Avengers: Endgame in which he declares himself inevitable before snapping and realizing that Tony Stark’s secretly stolen all of the Infinity Stones, rendering the gauntlet useless. In the Trump team’s edited video, Thanos-Trump’s snap leads to Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats being turned into dust.
Besides being another in a long line of warning signs that this man and those around him are horrible human beings, the entire shitpost doesn’t actually make any sense when you consider what actually happens in the film. Again, this is where Thanos gets his ass summarily beaten once and for all, which you would think whoever made the video would understand.
The larger issue, of course, is the way the video can be interpreted as a threat because Thanos literally murders half of the universe, which isn’t something that Trump or any White House official should be joking about. It’s also notable because the video comes just as Democrats in the House of Representatives are moving forward with impeachment, meaning that Trump’s latest response to the president’s political opponents is essentially: “We will kill you.” io9 has reached out for comment from the campaign and have yet to receive a reply.
Hours after the Trump team posted the video, Jim Starlin came right out and denounced the president for his inappropriate co-opting of his comics creation. Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Starlin said that he found the video distasteful because of what it says about how Trump sees himself.
“After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous fool using my creation to stroke his infantile ego, it finally struck me that the leader of my country and the free world actually enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer,” Starlin said. “How sick is that? These are sad and strange times we are going through. Fortunately all things, even national nightmares, eventually come to an end.”
Bizarre as the tweet is, it’s very much in line with the Trump team’s penchant for attempting to use pop-culturally significant memes in order to push its draconian political agenda. Around this time last year, the Trump White House attempted to cash in on the buzz around Game of Thrones in order to stoke fears ahead of the midterm elections. HBO swiftly came out and let the public know that it wanted nothing to do with Trump’s messaging and his aping of the studio’s intellectual property, but it’s unlikely that anyone working for Trump took the message to heart and understood that things like this make them look like morons. io9 has reached out to Disney for comment on the use of their intellectual property in the campaign tweet but as of this morning have yet to receive a reply.
This is all that much more embarrassing when you remember that in the end, Thanos got his ass beaten by heroes twice, and those coming from a place of good faith don’t usually try to compare themselves to comic book villains who—again—kill people for fun. But this is the kind of disturbing conduct that’s come to define the 45th presidency, and it’s not likely to let up any time soon, unfortunately.
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