Thanos' co-creator Jim Starlin, for one, wasn't laughing about the clip

By Sean Neumann
December 11, 2019 12:21 PM
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Donald Trump‘s re-election campaign may have learned the wrong lessons from Avengers: Endgame.

On Tuesday, a Trump 2020 Twitter account posted a clip from Endgame that turned the president, 73, into the purple-skinned genocidal maniac Thanos — aka the supervillain, who is defeated.

Not so in the Twitter clip, which had Trump-as-Thanos use his reality-warping powers to turn leading Democratic lawmakers into dust.

“House Democrats can push their sham impeachment all they want,” the campaign wrote.

Playing off of one of Thanos’ favorite boasts, the campaign added, “President Trump’s re-election is ??????????.”

While the tweet was in keeping with Trump’s love of trolling memes, it quickly boomeranged once other users began pointing out Thanos is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s mass murdering antagonist … who ultimately fails, despite his claims of “inevitability.”

“Y’all realize that Thanos loses? He wipes out half the universe’s population before the Avengers can defeat him and reverse the snap, and you think that he’s the good guy? Good grief,” one user wrote.

“Did you, uh…. did you happen to watch the rest of that movie?” another asked.

Thanos’ co-creator Jim Starlin wasn’t laughing either.

On Tuesday, he posted a critical response to the Trump campaign on Instagram for using the clip, saying he felt “violated” that they edited his work for their own purposes.

“After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous dang fool using my creation to stroke his infantile ego, it finally struck me that the leader of my country and the free world actually enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer. How sick is that?” Starlin wrote. “These are sad and strange times we are going through. Fortunately all things, even national nightmares, eventually come to an end.”

In the Avengers film, Thanos kills half of the universe’s population in a twisted bid to achieve harmony for living things and the resources they need. However, he is eventually outsmarted and killed by The Avengers, including Captain America and Iron Man.

“Thank you for making it clear that Donald Trump is a murderous villain who must be defeated to save humanity,” television writer David Slack responded. “Very inspiring.”

The campaign’s Twitter video includes a clip of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi from Tuesday, when she and a group of Democratic House leaders announced two articles of impeachment against Trump in connection with the Ukraine scandal.

Trump has been under investigation by the House for months after he lobbied Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. He is accused of allegedly pressuring Ukraine’s government to do his bidding while withholding American support, including some $400 million in military aid for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

The president steadfastly maintains he did nothing wrong. On Tuesday, following the Democrats’ announcement, he tweeted, “WITCH HUNT!”

President Donald Trump
| Credit: Noam Galai/WireImage

The 21-second clip has been viewed more than 3.5 million times since it was posted Tuesday, with more about 10 thousand retweets and a well of joking responses.

“So Trump is Thanos and the Democrats are the Avengers trying to restore democracy that evil Republicans have nearly destroyed,” a user tweeted back. “Glad we’re on the same page.”

Another user wrote: “Thanos was the bad guy who was eventually defeated by the good guys. So great meme, idiots.”

Garbled pop culture references aren’t new for Trump. Earlier this year, the president posted a meme referencing Game of Thrones, which showed his face looming over a picture of his proposed border wall with text that read, “The Wall is Coming” — a play off the show’s tagline, “Winter is Coming.”

Users quickly pointed out that The Wall in Game of Thrones was dramatically destroyed in the Season 7 finale.

The president also had a campaign video removed from Twitter for copyright issues after he posted a re-election clip using music from The Dark Knight Rises.