Slap Fight: Spider-Man & Obama vs. Bad Dudes & Reagan
Listen here, we're hijacking the Cinema Slap Fight column to talk about something short on cinema, but long on slap fights! In all the years we've been tiptoeing through the tulips of pop culture, we've seen a lot of presidents rescued by a lot of heroes in a lot of different mediums.
That being said, it always seems to be an original character playing the president, not any of the actual leaders who have held the office. In fact, we can only think of two specific incidences that involved actual historic presidents needing rescue. The first is our own incumbent commander in chief Barack Obama. A comic book fan, Marvel inserted him into Amazing Spider-Man #583 as a tribute. He's been the official president in the Marvel universe since then.
We have to go way back to 1988 before we get another similar presidential rescue. In Data East's Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja arcade game, Blade and Striker are recruited to rescue Ronald Reagan using only their fists, cans of Coke for energy, and the occasional nunchuck. Which rescue was the greater? That's what we're here to find out.
In This Corner: Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Peter Parker gained spider-based superpowers after being bitten by a mutated spider. Driven to become a hero after the death of his uncle by a mugger he failed to stop, he is one of the world's most popular superheroes. His quick wit and acrobatic fighting style make him a dangerous force to be reckoned with.
His tag-team partner is Barack Obama. Your friendly neighborhood president gained executive superpowers after being bitten by a mutated constitutional law book (Editor's note: Change this. You're an idiot.) While he lacks Spidey's abilities, he is a fair athlete, cool under pressure, and has access to advanced marshmallow cannon technology. A look at his campaign trail restaurant choices indicates he may be immune to heart disease.
And in This Corner: Blade and Striker seem to be identical twins with impressive physiques and fighting skills so amazing that the FBI, CIA, Secret Service and U.S. Military don't even bother getting up to help once they're on the job. They're agile, have a powerful charging punch attack, and are masters of knives and nunchucks. Their game has gone down as a classic of the 8-bit and arcade era, whereas Spider-Man's outings at this time were simply embarrassments.
His tag-team partner is Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States. Near deified by conservatives and maligned as a devil by liberals, he remains a towering figure of history. The great communicator presided over the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War and even survived being shot. Reports that he cheated death to become an ax murderer prowling for hippie victims are unsubstantiated.