Thanos creator blasts 'pompous dang fool' Trump for mashup video
Composite image of the villainous Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' and U.S. President Donald Trump (Disney and AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
TORONTO -- A campaign video that positively compared U.S. President Donald Trump to the genocidal ‘Avengers’ villain Thanos, who killed half of all life in the universe, received an unfriendly reaction from the character’s creator.
“After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous dang 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,” Jim Starlin said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“How sick is that?” wrote Starlin, who created the supervillain character in 1973.
“These are sad and strange times we are going through. Fortunately all things, even national nightmares, eventually come to an end,” he said.
The official Trump campaign tweet, posted on Tuesday, features a doctored clip from the 2019 Marvel film ‘Avengers: Endgame’ that depicts Thanos’s face being replaced by the president’s.
In the clip, the Trump-Thanos mashup character snaps his fingers, causing various prominent U.S. Democratic politicians to turn into dust.
The video caption reads “House Democrats can push their sham impeachment all they want. President Trump's re-election is inevitable.”
In “Avengers: Infinity War,” Thanos destroys half of all life in the universe as a perverse solution to overpopulation and overuse of resources. But as has been a problem for Trump before, the campaign seems to have used the wrong clip.
As many have pointed out on Twitter, the scene is not the one where Thanos is successful in his goal, but a later one in which he fails.
TRUMP HAS CO-OPTED POP CULTURE BEFORE, SOMETIMES ALSO INCORRECTLY
The U.S. president and his team have previously used pop culture references incorrectly and co-opted intellectual property without the content owner’s permission, including him using material from HBO’s Game of Thrones earlier this year.
After the Mueller report was released, Trump used a Game of Thrones-inspired image that featured the words "No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical left Democrats, Game Over” in a font similar to the show’s, despite the fact that the report did not conclude that.
HBO responded to Trump’s post stating, “though we can understand the enthusiasm for Game of Thrones now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes."
Trump even managed to irk Canadian rock band Nickelback, with one of his doctored videos. From his personal account, Trump tweeted a video edit of the band’s 2005 music video of “Photograph,” which features lead singer Chad Kroeger holding up a picture singing “look at this photograph.”
But the edit featured U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as part of an ongoing effort by Trump to peddle a widely-debunked conspiracy involving the former U.S. vice president. The video was subsequently taken down with the notice: “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”
Marvel and Disney have not publicly commented on Trump’s latest foray into pop culture parody. It is not clear if they gave the president permission to use their copyrighted material.