"Welcome to the gun show, America!"
"Michelle Obama would just be learning the full extent of her powers."
"One little bug bite and she could be crawling the White House walls and slinging webs at Joe Biden."
If the cover of the Bluewater Comics issue isn't enough of a giveaway, you certainly get slung with the message (and the above narration) by the end of this "origin story": This brand-new bio-comic (released this week), despite its disclaimer to the contrary, is the first lady as superhero in the flesh.
"Michelle Obama, Year One" is part of Bluewater's "Female Force" line, which previously has also featured such women as Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and Caroline Kennedy. The purpose of "Female Force," says publisher Darren Davis, is to offer "a broad examination of strong and influential women who are shaping modern history and culture."
It's no surprise that Bluewater decided to do a "year one" comic for the first lady. Its previous Michelle Obama issue sold out, prompting a second printing. But the new issue occasionally paints the first lady in such superheroic tones -- literally and figuratively -- that by the end, even writer Robert Schnakenberg must tease his own lofty tone, ultimately depicting Michelle Obama aloft in red-and-yellow cape and catsuit, donning an eye mask, her rippling "guns" a-blazin'. The very picture of health care.
(Note: I showed nine of these educational Bluewater issues to a tween female relative -- the seeming heart of the "Female Force" demographic. The other comic-bios included Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. None for her, however, had a comic-book tone quite as compelling as Michelle Obama, can-do mom. Then again, aren't most modern mothers all but superheroic?)
Comic Riffs should also note that the Obamas have proved to be good comic fodder in general -- and not just the Michelle Obama sell-out for Bluewater. After Barack Obama acknowledged his Spider-Man fandom, Marvel Comics had Spidey give Barry a fist-bump (No. 583).
And then there's TV comic Jimmy Fallon's memorable line from last year: "There will be a new comic book featuring Michelle Obama. ... She'll play a superhero who fights her archenemy: sleeves."