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2012 ABA Journal Blawg 100

We are proud to announce that Law and the Multiverse has been named to the ABA Journal Blawg 100 for the second year.  Thanks to everyone who nominated us!  As with last year, the ABA Journal is taking votes on the best law blogs in each category (we’re in the “For Fun” category).  Unlike blog nominations, voting is open to everyone.

Election Day Special

Here at Law and the Multiverse we take no position regarding the various elections being held today in the United States, but we thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the fictional candidates that have appeared in comic books over the years.  If you don’t like your choices this election, you might like them better after looking at some of these turkeys.

I. Thor Odinson (Earth-20604)

In this alternate reality, almost everyone on Earth has superpowers, and Thor is President of the United States.  Apparently this alternate United States also lacks the natural born citizen requirement to be president, since Earth-20604 Thor was born on Asgard to Asgardian parents and wasn’t a US citizen in 1783 when the Constitution was adopted.

Vice President: Reed Richards

Platform: Superpowers for everyone!  Just take these handy Skrull pills.  Side-effects may include superfast aging.

Legacy: Killed by invading Skrulls.  Who would’ve thought that Skrull technology could backfire?

II. Anthony “Tony” Stark (Earth-20318)

In this alternate reality, Tony Stark is President and the Exiles serve as his Secret Service detail.

Vice President: Unknown

Platform: Laissez-faire capitalism and a strong defense policy, presumably.

Legacy: Assassinated.  Apparently the Exiles weren’t such great bodyguards!

III. Tin Man (Earth-8)

An obvious DC analog to Tony Stark, Tin Man becomes President in an alternate reality that is an homage to the Marvel Civil War storyline.

Vice President: Americommando (Captain America, basically)

Platform: Metahuman registration.

Legacy: Assassinated (that seems to happen a lot with these guys).

IV. Alexander “Lex” Luthor (New Earth)

The only one of our fictional Presidents in a mainstream continuity, Lex had an initially successful (if duplicitous) presidency eventually undone by his maniacal obsession with defeating his enemies.  Very Nixonian.

Vice President: Peter Ross

Platform: A better tomorrow through technology (“A flying car in every garage”).

Legacy: Declared Batman and Superman to be public enemies, injected himself with Venom and kryptonite in order to fight Superman, went insane, and was impeached.  Succeeded by his Vice President.

V. Clark “Superman” Kent (unnamed alternate reality)

After Superman saves presidential candidate Peter Ross from an assassination attempt, his secret identity is revealed.  Ross lives but asks Kent to run in his place.  Kent wins in a landslide, though his eligibility for the presidency is questioned.  Ultimately the Supreme Court decides that Kent is a natural born citizen, since in this continuity he was sent to Earth as an embryo in a Kryptonian birthing matrix and ‘born’ after the rocket landed in Kansas.

Vice President: Sarah Hemming

Platform: “My friends, it is time to reject the politics of exclusion and, instead, embrace the politics of unity!”  “It will be a major goal of this administration to weed out the corruption and white-collar crime that drain our economy.  And on the matter of the economy…we must begin an all-out war on the deficit!”

Legacy: Reducing the national debt, rescuing a captive diplomat, founding the Civilian Ecology Corps, establishing an orbital solar energy program, creating low cost housing in Gotham, uniting the world’s superheroes in the pursuit of world peace, and eliminating the global arms trade.  Clearly a one term President if there ever was one.


Lucid is the graphic novel series by Michael McMillian, best known for his role as the delightfully creepy quasi-evangelical-pastor-turned-cult-leader Steve Newlin from the second season of the HBO series True Blood. McMillian also worked on the True Blood graphic novel put out by IDW.

Lucid doesn’t have anything to do with vampires. Not yet anyway. It’s the story of a world where magic is real, where Merlin was a historical figure that did some pretty important stuff, and where combat mages are employed by Majestic Intelligence, a super-secret branch of… the Secret Service? Certainly the federal government, though this particular agency is so black that it makes the NSA look like a FOIA processing center. Continue reading

Reddit: AMA

James and Ryan will be hosting a Reddit AMA starting at 9:00 AM, EST today, October 31. We hope you drop by!

Revere: Revolution in Silver

Revere: Revolution in Silver is another American Revolution period piece, this one by Ed Lavallee and Grant Bond, published by Archaia. We do like our indie publishers here at Law and the Multiverse. The premise is that since Paul Revere was a silversmith, he must have also been a werewolf hunter! Because: why not?

This one is even more fantastical than Sons of Liberty, which we discussed last week. No surprise there. But either as a result or simply because the authors care more about awesomeness than historical accuracy, this one’s a bit less strictly realistic than Sons of Liberty, which is saying quite a bit. Continue reading

Graphic Justice

Dr. Thomas Giddens, a Lecturer in Law at St. Mary’s University College in the UK, has informed us of a new research project called Graphic Justice, centered on the crossover between comics/graphic fiction and the concerns of law and justice.  We think this may be of interest to our academic readers.  Here is some additional information from Dr. Giddens:

Themes of public protection, justice, and punishment are widespread in mainstream superhero narratives (think Justice League of AmericaSuperman, or Spider-Man), but there is also a wealth of graphic literature beyond the spandex-wearing mainstream that, like other artistic media, deals with all walks of human life (the work of the Hernandez Brothers, for instance, or Ghost World, or the Pulitzer prize winning Maus).  Indeed, from the mainstream western comics that inspire Hollywood films, to the diverse and multi-layered world of Japanese manga, or the rich history of French-language bandes dessinées, comics have permeated our global culture (consider the huge cultural impact, for example, of Batman or Tintin).  Moreover, the blending of words and images in the very form of the comics medium itself may pose important questions about the limitations and interpretation of textual language—fundamental issues for the highly text-dependent discipline of law.  Add to all this the complex intellectual property issues involved in this collaborative and methodologically varied medium, and the lack of interest seems clearly to be one that is in need of a remedy.

The remedy is this: Graphic Justice.

Whether you work in legal studies, philosophy, cultural studies, penology, law enforcement, art, criminology, sociology, imprisonment/corrections, or literary studies, if you’re interested in comics and the concerns of justice—this call is for you.  An international and collaborative space has been set up where interested parties can submit ideas and post articles, where contacts can be made and networks built up, understanding can be nurtured, and the intersection of comics and justice can be mined, examined, questioned, and developed.  Depending upon levels of interest, the project may include seminars or dedicated conference streams, or even a full Graphic Justice conference.  The aim is to gather together academics and practitioners, interested parties and artists, and to promote discourse and engagement on this expansive and under-researched area.

The international and collaborative space can be found at, and you can contact Graphic Justice via the comments sections on that website, or via email to

Labor Day 2012: Surrogates

Surrogates is the five-issue 2005-2006 graphic novel by Robert Venditti (author of The Homeland Directive, which we discussed about this time last year). It was made into a 2009 Bruce Willis movie. The basic premise is that sometime in the next ten-odd years, a company called Virtual Self, Inc., perfected the technology to permit people to operate what amount to robotic avatars. So instead of physically going to work, an operator can “link” to their “surrogate” body and drive their surrogate as if they were physically present.

This obviously has enormous social, economic, and political implications, and Venditti knows it. There’s a lot to look at here, but today we’re going to focus solely on the labor issues. Specifically, Vinditti suggests that surrogates would revolutionize gender and race relations and touches on (without explaining in great detail) the role of organized labor in the widespread adoption of surrogates. Continue reading

Under the Dome

Under the Dome is Stephen King’s 2009 novel about a small Maine town—Chester’s Mill, Maine, located approximately here—which is shut off from the outside world after an invisible, semi-permeable barrier slams down around it one October morning. It’s an extended (1,100 pages certainly counts as that) look at what happens to human society when it is completely isolated. If this is sounding a little like the setup for Lord of the Flies, there’s a reason for that. Turns out the how and why of the Dome aren’t really the point so much as what happens to the characters as a result.

There are two things we’re going to look at here. One has to do with martial law, the other with municipal government. There are some spoilers here. Continue reading

2012 ABA Journal Blawg 100 Nominations

Last year we were honored to be named one of the ABA Journal’s top 100 legal blogs.  The Journal is now accepting nominations for this year’s awards.  If you are a lawyer, law professor, or a law student, we invite you to consider nominating Law and the Multiverse.

Death and Taxes and Zombies in the NYT

The New York Times has published a great story about Adam Chodorow’s article on Death and Taxes and Zombies, previously featured here on Law and the Multiverse.  The same reporter also interviewed us back in 2010.