Prime Minister Boris Johnson – From Hulk To Iron Man?

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Boris Johnson MP  once liked to compare himself – and Britain as a whole – to the Incredible Hulk, in quite geeky detail. In 2019 in an interview with the Mail On Sunday, he talked about Brexit saying that "Banner might be bound in manacles, but when provoked he would explode out of them. Hulk always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be – and that is the case for this country. We will come out on October 31st and we will get it done." And reminding us that "The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Gets Smashed By Hulk References
Mail On sundey front page from 2019

As Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo added his own take.

In response, British citizens were invited to sign the Parliamentary petition , started by cartoonist Sean Mason, to wit "We should put Boris Johnson "Hulk" in a rocket and fire him into space. Boris Johnson has recently compared himself to The Hulk. Bruce Banner/Hulk is a reckless monster haunted by his destructive actions & BoJo is the worst Hulk personality since Joe Fixit. With Boris recklessly smashing our democracy we should do as the Avengers did and fire him into space. 'Nuff said."  And when the EU gave their own responses, the media got to do their front pages again…

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Gets Smashed By Hulk References
Metro front page from 2019

Well, since then, the geekiest Boris Johnson has gotten was over his choice of reading material when recovering from COVID, getting bound collections of Tintin delivered to his hospital bed. A few years ago, when Foreign Secretary, he was spotted by the Daily Telegraph going jogging in a T-shirt emblazoned with insults in French used by Tintin's Captain Haddock, interpreted as a dig at the EU. The phrases were translated into English as "Thundering typhoons", "blistering barnacles", "scoundrels" and more. Last year, the back of his car was photographed, which included a discarded copy of Tintin And The Blue Lotus in the original French. But it has been too long without a Boris geeky reference with his former aide Dominic Cummings having to step in with Spider-Man references. It was noted on the Channel 4 Brexit drama The Uncivil War starring Benedict Cumberbatch, that comic book references were all the rage in the Leave Camp, of which Boris and Dominic were both major players. Indeed, the title referred more to Captain America: Civil War than any actual civil war.

But bereft of geeky references of late, today the tabloids today stepped in. Given a Conservative Party Conference speech criticised by business for not offering a coherent plan, for being all bluster and no detail, the loyal Daily Express reached for another geeky allegory.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson - From Hulk To Iron Man?
Daily Express front page

There was no mention in the speech of Iron Man, Tony Stark, The Avengers, or any other such figure. Nevertheless, Brexit might be seen as Boris wanting to put a suit of armour around the country. Probably means an uptick in arms sales as well…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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