Reclusive Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter can't seem to stay out of the news these days. After going thirty years without having a photo taken of him, Perlmutter has shown up on camera three times since taking a "significant" position in President Donald Trump's administration as an advisor on veteran's health care. Perlmutter, who donated $1 million dollars to a Trump campaign charity event and whose wife, Laura Perlmutter, donated nearly $500,000 to Trump's campaign and served on his inauguration committee, joined Trump for the first "listening session" on veterans affairs.
Perlmutter, who appears to be getting more comfortable with the camera in images of him descending the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base after taking a plane ride with the president that can be seen at The Daily Mail, is getting a lot of face time with the Trump. Veterans, on the other hand, not so much, apparently. Notably absent from the meeting today were prominent veterans affairs groups, including the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who were not invited. But at least the guy who decides whether or not the X-Men get to appear on a t-shirt was there.
A statement from White House press secretary Sean Spicer revealed the guest list:
The President welcomed the group to the Roosevelt Room and expressed his intention to take whatever steps are necessary to improve health care access and quality for our heroic veterans. Ms. Tiffany Smiley, the wife of a veteran who was blinded by an IED, detailed her family's difficulty and experience with the VA health care system, and offered suggestions to how it could be improved. The President, VA Secretary-designate Dr. David Shulkin, and a group of health care experts and veterans advocates, including Ike & Laura Perlmutter, engaged in a wide-ranging discussion on reforming the VA so that the needs of veterans come first.
Some have wondered whether Ike Perlmutter's involvement with the Trump administration might start to cause tension with Marvel's progressive comic book creators, whose political views, often expressed through allegory in Marvel's comics, seem to be the opposite of the company's supreme leader. However, it looks like the opposite is happening, with Marvel planning a "meat and potatoes" style focus later this year and a backing off of political stories. Could a desire not to cause a rift in Perlmutter's close relationship with his new best friend Donald have anything to do with that? It seems like a ridiculous thing to suggest, but the idea of the Chairman of Marvel flying around with the President of the United States regularly would also have seemed pretty ridiculous just a few months ago, so nothing is off the table.