Let us begin a week of celebrating the Presidents of the Marvel Universe. And what better President to start with than numero 37—Richard Milhous Nixon!
In Fantastic Four #103, the Atlanteans attacked New York City—again! As this was 1970 and early in Nixon’s administration, naturally he’d be concerned about a city full of liberals getting overrun by mermen. The Thing is pretty excited to see the commander in chief on Reed’s big screen TV. I suspect Ben’s really elated to have a device that is decades ahead of its time!
You’re going to see one line over and over again in these Nixon appearances: “Let me make one thing perfectly clear!” This was Nixon’s signature line in speeches and press conferences. The Thing’s pretty sure this will be over as soon as he gets his hands on Namor. Only the problem isn’t just “fish-face”, it’s the evil mutant Magneto behind the attack on NYC!
When the Fantastic Four fail to defeat Namor, Nixon gets on the horn a few hours later. He’s pretty quick to smackdown Reed for his failure to stop the armed hordes running around Manhattan. “This is a sad day for Amahrica!” Love how Stan Lee writes that Nixon accent. I have to admit, seeing the Sub-Mariner lining up his troops in the Big Apple, that Nixon may have been justified in his frustration.
Nixon lets Reed off the hook one last time. What’s he gonna due, nuke New York? He might prefer getting rid of those liberal voters.
My favorite Nixon line seems to be a prophetic one: “We’ve never lost a war before—and I don’t intend to lose one now!” That’s a not-so-subtle reference to the real-life Vietnam war, which we did lose under Nixon.
The Thing’s reply is classic: “Why worry? There’s lotsa wars! Ya lose one—ya find another!”
I’ll bet anything that Stan voted for Hubert Humphrey. Nuff said.