Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter’s recent $1 million donation to a charity associated with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sparked controversy. Some argued that this contribution from a top Marvel executive benefited a candidate whose politics do not reflect Marvel Comics’ ongoing efforts to be diverse in its content and appeal to comics readers. The controversy also generated interest in Perlmutter and his wife’s $2 million contribution to a political super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
While the controversy focused on the politics of the candidates who benefited from Perlmutter’s contributions, one troubling aspect of these donations remains unexamined: the influence that wealthy individuals like Perlmutter can have on the U.S. election process, particularly through contributions to super PACs.
To explore this influence, just imagine that the Marvel Universe has the same U.S. campaign finance laws that we have in the real world, and let’s see how this impacts the hypothetical political activities of our favorite comics characters.