A Comic Critique of Domestic Policy

    We all know Richard Nixon as the 37th President of the United States. But did you know he has appeared as a character in more than 184 comics? Ranging from Batman to Superman, shifting from hero to villain, President Nixon has been a central force in many comic book plots. So, it comes as no surprise that director Bryan Singer has included President Nixon as a character in his upcoming film, “X-Men Days of Future Past.”

    Singer tweeted a picture of a scene taking place in the Oval Office, with President Nixon sitting at his desk with a caption that reads “Pivotal meeting”. Without more information, one question came to mind. In the backbone of every comic where the conflict lies between the battle of good and evil, in the new X-Men film, which side will Hollywood have President Nixon on?

    “X-Men: Days of Future Past” will come to theaters in May 2014.

    It’s not polite to talk about someone when they’re not in the room to defend themselves. This small adage of etiquette is certainly not acknowledged by the film industry when they take certain liberties in how they portray the persona of President Nixon.

    One can only hope for the best in X-Men —  a comic series that has a long history of reflecting the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement.

    One can only hope that Director Bryan Singer did his research on President Nixon’s domestic policies that led to the peaceful and successful desegregation of southern schools, more than a decade after Brown v the Board of Education. Or his efforts to make sure that minorities had equal opportunity to obtain government contracts.

    One can only hope that the producers of the film read the story of Barbara Franklin in Lee Stout’s book, A Matter of Simple Justice, and learn about President Nixon’s legacy of promoting women in government.

    One can only hope that the filmmakers do justice to President Nixon’s legacy on such issues, instead of continuing the Hollywood caricature, which has become a cliché of itself.


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