Her parents didn’t hail from the planet Krypton, and she was never bitten by a radioactive spider, but that hasn’t stopped Elizabeth Warren from starring as a comic book hero.
“Female Force: Elizabeth Warren” tells the true-life story of Warren’s rise from Oklahoma schoolgirl to U.S. senator and champion of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
The 22-page comic is the brainchild of Portland, Oregon-based publishers Storm Entertainment and is part of a larger series designed to celebrate the lives of notable women. Past subjects include Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Madonna, Sarah Palin, Condoleezza Rice, Facebook executive Cheryl Sandberg, Nancy Reagan, Tina Fey and Caroline Kennedy.
The most popular comic in the series told Michelle Obama’s life story, and sold about 75,000 copies. There have been about 70 titles in all.
Publisher Darren Davis said he was drawn to Warren’s story because of the role strong women have played in his life.
“She’s a woman that has it all. She has the family. She has the career. She has a strong work ethic,” he said. “We thought she had a really strong story.”
Instead of leaping over tall buildings in tights and a cape, or battling mad jokers and villainous penguins, Warren’s political superpowers are focused on something she sees as even more threatening: the Wall Street and Capitol Hill power brokers she holds responsible for hollowing out the middle class.
The bulk of the book steers clear of ideological battles and instead zeroes in on Warren’s personal and professional struggles, from hardscrabble childhood and young mom to law student, law professor and candidate for Ted Kennedy’s old U.S. Senate seat.
“We really want to showcase these people’s lives and where they came from rather than making some political statement,” he said.
Warren had nothing to do with the book, and learned about it only after publication. She hasn’t commented publicly commented on her turn as comic book hero.
Matt Reyes, manager of New England Comics, said there’s a niche audience for a biographical comic book that tells Warren’s story, especially in her hometown of Cambridge.
“I have customers who teach politics and ethics across the street” who would be interested in the book, said Reyes, whose store is in Harvard Square opposite the Ivy League campus and its Kennedy School of Government. Warren taught at Harvard Law School.
“It’s a fairly specific audience,” added Reyes, who said he has spotted Warren in the neighborhood. The store is about a mile from Warren’s home.
Some would just as soon paint Warren as a comic book villain instead of hero.
Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Kirsten Hughes said Warren “would raise taxes faster than a speeding bullet and ... her big government agenda would trample small business with a single bound.”
“A comic book seems like the perfect way to tell the story of a politician so detached from reality,” Hughes said.
Davis — whose other biographical comics range from Donald Trump to Pope Francis — has high hopes for the Warren comic. He said there’s huge interest in the Massachusetts Democrat.
“She’s trending better than the pope,” he said.