Trump’s Space Force
Written by Chuck Dixon
Illustrated and Lettered by Timothy Lim
Colored by Brett R. Smith
Cover by Dave Dorman
“Winners don’t leave. That’s how they win.”
If that sounds like a parody of something Donald Trump might say, I can’t honestly verify your guess. As a line uttered by the character President Donald Trump in the comic Trump’s Space Force — which started life as the result of an Indiegogo campaign and is now kept alive by this Antarctic Press edition — it certainly seems like a parody. But writer Chuck Dixon is well-known conservative and the book itself has been portrayed as a Comicsgate work, so maybe this isn’t a parody of something Trump might say, maybe this is meant to reflect on some level of admiration?
I don’t know, but that conundrum hangs over the entire comic, a pretty silly science fiction and political parody that almost makes no sense as a work by people who admire or support the central figure in the comic.
The plot riffs off Trump’s space force suggestion last year and posits that there’s a real invasion about to happen and Trump’s lark is the one thing standing between us and the aliens, prompting the kind of thing anyone, left or right, would agree is a complete fantasy — prompt action by our government to prevent an actual threat. This means the speedy building of the Space Force with advanced technology and the portrayal of clowns like Newt Gingrich and Sebastian Gorka as crack agents of science and forward-thinking while Nancy Pelosi is comically concerned about the state of our infrastructure and the education of our children just prior to being revealed as one of the aliens hiding amongst us. Sure, okay.
Lots of pages are milked showing off the new tech and depicting space battles with the sort of glee that seems more appropriate to kids, which, honestly, reveals the general tone of the work, this is not a sophisticated parody, but somewhat south of a tepid Mad Magazine effort. If it’s aimed for kids, then maybe this qualifies as propaganda?
I guess you could argue that, but it seems more like a satire of propaganda aimed at children than an actual effort to shape minds. Real propaganda would take the effort, no matter how absurd, to cast Trump’s space patrol ramblings as a great idea, but Dixon is making up justifications by piling on old-timey science fiction cliches and recasting Trump as Captain Kirk, which seems like a great way for Dixon to have fun, but a poor choice if trying to recast Trump as a visionary. So while it seems obvious that Dixon is going for the former — I’m sure he had a blast writing this — I’m less clear who the result of his having fun is meant for.
What’s most surprising about this effort is how tame it is. There are little jabs that qualify as coded examples of Comicsgate talking points — using the word “xir” at one point or having Trump declare the Space Force is for “men and women” with special typographical emphasis — and it’s not lost on me that the aliens are meant to be liberals, which means the comic laughingly portrays the left as outsiders trying to destroy the American way of life for which the only solution is mass murder delivered with lots of bravado. But it’s all so facile in its presentation of these notions. And that’s okay since I suppose even fascists like to have silly fun.
My preference would be for this to be whittled down to six pages. I think it would work much better like that, and the breeziness of the story itself would be better represented by a page count that matched it with pacing. But that’s just nitpicking when weighed against the enormity of the struggle for a glorious American tomorrow. Trump’s Space Force is destined to be a curio regardless of anything. Whether it’s a curio in a world where Trump didn’t leave and heralded in the Great Trumpian Dynasty, kept afloat by sham elections and puppet presidents, or whether he shrivels into the great sweep of history that astonishingly lucky scumbags like him deserve, it’s still too early to tell.
One thing is for certain — everything Trump is portrayed as doing in this comic, while laughable, wouldn’t be as funny if it was about Putin instead. You ever seen that guy without a shirt? Man of action. Puts our pudgy, orange leader to shame. Putin’s Space Force? I’d have a lot more faith in that to save the universe than one conceived of and led by this American Caligula.
Hmm … American Caligula … anyone can feel free to use that for the next Trump comic book. As for Putin’s Space Force … that’s mine.