The Trump campaign has a storied history of stealing images from pop culture, usually to depict the sitting president doing some kind of violence to his critics. On Tuesday, the official Trump campaign Twitter — which boasts the handle @TrumpWarRoom and a threatening bio (screenshot below) to boot — shared a video of the president’s head photoshopped onto the body of one of Marvel’s most genocidal maniacs: Thanos. You know, the guy who wiped out half the population so he could retire to a farm in the middle of nowhere.
In the video, when Trump-Thanos snaps his fingers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and chairmen of the impeachment inquiry committees are turned to dust; the tweet appeared just hours after House Democrats introduce two articles of impeachment against the president. His campaign’s accompanying tweet text says Trump’s reelection is “inevitable,” which matches the Thanos clip. At time of writing, the video has racked up over 1.5 million views according to Twitter’s counter, as well as more than 4 thousand retweets and 11.8 thousand likes.
Two things of note: Trump is, yet again, threatening violence against a group of people, this time aimed at the Democratic Party and the impeachment committee. His campaign also seems unaware — or maybe they are aware, and hope other people aren’t? — that Thanos is killed by the Avengers not once, but twice in the MCU. He’s scary, sure, but he’s also thoroughly defeated, and in the end he’s pretty pathetic.
Amid outcry on social media that threw “Thanos” into the trending topics for the first time since Avengers: Endgame hit theaters, Thanos creator Jim Starlin released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter about the parody. (Is this a parody? Can it be called that if it’s not really poking fun but actually threatening violence?)
“After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous 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,” Starlin said in his statement to THR. “How sick is that? These are sad and strange times we are going through. Fortunately all things, even national nightmares, eventually come to an end.”
Marvel and Twitter both have yet to respond to the tweet.