Marvel Team-up: Obama and Spider-man

Marvel Comics is releasing a special issue of Amazing Spider-Man #583 with Obama depicted on the cover.

Amazing Spider-Man #583 Barack Obama Cover Variant

Amazing Spider-Man #583 Barack Obama Cover Variant

Spider-man and Barack Obama are teaming up to fight crime.

In a growing world of Barack Obama collectibles, one item soon may be swinging above the rest. On Jan. 14, Marvel Comics is releasing a special issue of Amazing Spider-Man #583 with Obama depicted on the cover. Inside are five pages of the two teaming up and even a fist-bump between Spidey and the new president.

“It was a natural after we learned the new president is a Spider-Man fan,” says Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada about reports that Obama once collected Spider-Man comics. “We thought, ‘Fantastic! We have a comic-book geek in the White House.'”


In the story by Zeb Wells, Todd Nauck and Frank D’Armata, Spider-Man stops the Chameleon from spoiling Obama’s swearing-in. At one point, Spider-Man says he mistook Vice President-elect Joe Biden for the Vulture (a vintage Spider-Man villain).

Clever. It’s a smart move from a marketing standpoint but annoying from a continuity standpoint. This firmly establishes Spidey in 2009. Given that high school student Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1963, that makes him 60-something. Perhaps the various reboots Marvel has done since I’ve fallen off the collecting bandwagon explains that away, but still.

The issue, selling for $3.99 at comic-book specialty shops (find one at, is expected to be an instant sellout, especially because the Obama cover, by Phil Jimenez, is limited to half the run. “This issue will have a lot of heat and go for premium prices. I already have people calling about it,” says Alan Giroux, owner of All About Books and Comics in Phoenix. “I expect this will be on the collectors’ market for $20 by the first day.”

Presidents have been supporting characters in comics before: During World War II, superheroes fought Hitler as Franklin D. Roosevelt cheered them on. John F. Kennedy appeared in Action Comics #309 in 1963, when he helped protect Clark Kent’s secret identity. “If I can’t trust the president of the United States, who can I trust?” Superman tells Kennedy. That issue appeared a week after Kennedy was assassinated. DC Comics had to explain later that it was too late to recall the book.

I did not know that, even though I collected Superman books for many years (granted, I was born two years after the Kennedy assassination). I’ve got some issues of both Superman and Action from that era but am pretty sure I don’t have that issue.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. PD Shaw says:

    IIRC Obama collects Spider-Man and Conan Comic Books. Maybe Obama could team up with the Governor to fight the housing bubble!

  2. Presidents have been supporting characters in comics before…

    But President-Elects? Not so much.

  3. carpeicthus says:

    Bush was frequently shown to be president in Marvel comics. In DC, the president was Lex Luthor, (whom we call Dick Cheney).

  4. carpeicthus says:

    More fun facts: In Marvel time all origin stories happened “about seven years ago.” It’s a rolling timeframe.

  5. Bithead says:

    There is something particularly apt about Obama in a comic book, I must admit.

  6. Floyd says:

    I “Marvel” at this infringement into what is clearly “DC” territory!