The Original American Superhero

July 9, 2009

GW2!

My friend Justin  does web work for the George Washington Masonic Memorial , and we were just conversing over Skype. I was trying to help him find some portraits of GW to use on the web when I suddenly remembered Horatio Greenough's 1840 sculpture. It was commissioned by Congress to commemorate the centennial of Washington's birth. It was pretty much ridiculed once it was displayed. Greenough modeled GW after Zeus, but people were scandalized by the father of our country's lack of clothing. It is now on display in the Smithsonian's Museum of American History.

I remember seeing the statue as a little kid (I used to live near DC, so trips to the Smithsonian were a regular thing) and thinking how weird it was, especially the idea of GW's sandals. Now I find the sculpture hilarious, mostly due to the cognitive disconnect between GW's 18th century old-man hair and his unbelieveably buff body. This father of our country works out! 

I thought it would be cool to have a comic book superhero based on GW. In the story, Washington is placed under a curse and returns to the earth righting wrongs, fighting for freedom and generally embodying the spirit of 18th century Enlightenment values in a 21st century world. He is assisted by his vast network of Masonic brethren, who command the kind of resources (think huge underground intelligence complexes and submersible rocket planes) found only in episodes of the Thunderbirds. Of course all he wants is to be left in peace to farm his land, but there are Al Qaeda butts to kick and drug cartels to disrupt. 

Martha
He has a love interest in Martha, a reincarnation of his beloved wife (see the new Michael Deas portrait of her as a young hottie) who now works for the Justice Dept. in Washington as an attorney:
Martha is kind of in love with Super-George, but thinks his hair and vocation of superhero is seriously weird, so it is a slow-burn romance. I thought of all this in the space of a few minutes, and quickly mocked up my vision of GW as a superhero. Anyone interested in collaborating on a GW comic book? It could be hilarious!!!

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