Eye on Comics

Comics criticism and commentary from Don MacPherson

I Wonder If Norman Osborn’s Middle Initial Is Dubya

Posted by Don MacPherson on January 22nd, 2012

Ever since Norman Osborn, AKA the villainous Green Goblin, emerged as an American “hero” in the climax of Secret Invasion in 2008, some comics fans and pundits have considered what or Osborn was meant to represent. Many speculated he and a darker tone in the Marvel Universe represented George W. Bush’s U.S. presidency. Marvel writer Matt Fraction confirmed the analogy outright in an interview about his work on Invincible Iron Man (in which Osborn figured prominently for a time), but the last word really ought to be with writer Brian Michael Bendis, who seems to have used Osborn as a corrupt political and law-enforcement official in his various Avengers comics and events more than anyone else.

Bendis is at it again with his latest storylines in Avengers and New Avengers, bringing back Osborn and his “Dark Avengers” to oust the legitimate heroes. And in New Avengers v.2 #20 earlier this month, he and artist Mike Deodato seem to take a step closer to confirming the analogy. Just look at the following panel near the end of the issue in question…

And here’s a photo of the former U.S. president…

I see the resemblance. Of course, the Deodato-drawn panel above made my wife think of Tommy Lee Jones at first, so your mileage may vary.

Still, the comparison might make some Republican comics fans have a nucular meltdown.

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7 Responses to “I Wonder If Norman Osborn’s Middle Initial Is Dubya”

  1. gorjus Says:

    Deodato’s been explicitly drawing Osborn based on Tommy Lee Jones for years now. This isn’t a new slant on his depiction.

  2. Don MacPherson Says:

    Gorjus wrote:
    Deodato’s been explicitly drawing Osborn based on Tommy Lee Jones for years now.

    Hmm, maybe my wife was right. Has Deodato confirmed this model?

    I still see Dubya in the panel above, though.

  3. Don MacPherson Says:

    After Mike Deodato tweeted a link to the above post, I asked him on whom he was basing his take on Osborn. He answered: “Tommy Lee actually, but I’ve heard a lot about the resemblance to the president, Don.”

    Apparently, I was wrong, but not nuts.

  4. Dwight Williams Says:

    I was leaning towards Nixon rather than Bush II myself.

  5. Sean Limbaugh Says:

    So Don, slow comic news? Almost everyone knows that the artist based Obsorn on Tommy Lee Jones, but I guess you just want to rile up some of us Republicans by bringing something as unimportant as this. Anyway if Obsorn is based on W, it’s better than those ridiculous comics that were sucking up to the “messiah” Obama. Is there a comic super-villain based on Obama or is that considered racist? Anyway, just before you delete my post, just like you do with those who disagrees with you politically, I just want you to know that I hope you feel proud of yourself with this piece.

  6. Ismael Garcia Says:

    Whoa!!! Somebody drank waaaay too much coffee today!!

  7. Joseph Says:

    I’m very conflicted politically. I’m more of a conservative independent. I’ve mostly voted for who I thought would do the best job and help the people in this country the most. I voted for Bush twice and Obama the last time. Right now I see little reason to vote next. Obama has been a massive failure and the Republicans running are a joke to say the least. That all being said.. I think I have a fair perspective.

    When reading Dark Avengers, Invincible Iron Man and the whole Osborn story the narration and policies of Osborn in those books seemed very reflective of what Bush did while in office. I dropped both books not because of those things — although they did leave me rolling my eyes — but because all of Bendis’ Avengers work has sucked and Fraction’s “Most Wanted” story in IIM and pretty much all of those stories have been lackluster.