Saturday, April 30, 2005

Spider-Man & Captain America Team With Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld teamed up with two other heroes April 28 to show support for American troops wherever they are stationed. Rumsfeld appeared with Marvel Comics action heroes Captain America and Spiderman, who visited the Pentagon to distribute an issue of “The New Avengers” bearing the logo of the DoD “America Supports You” program, designed to recognize American military members for their service and sacrifice. A throng of fans of Marvel Comics lined the main concourse of the Pentagon for the event. “This is about supporting the troops who are supporting our country all across the world,” Rumsfeld said. “I present to you – Spiderman!” Spiderman and Captain America greeted guests, distributed copies of the new comic book in which they are featured, and had their picture taken with numerous fans of their previous adventures. Rob Steffens, vice president of operations for Marvel Comics, told the crowd he was “humbled” by the opportunity to help American troops. “I work for Marvel Enterprises – I have the privilege of doing something frivolous for a living,” he said. “At Marvel, we create comic books and movies and intellectual properties to entertain people. I’m thankful to live in a country where we have the freedom to produce something frivolous as a means of entertainment.” Steffens said the issue of the “The New Avengers” will be distributed to more than one million U.S. troops. “In addition to that, we’re putting the ‘America Supports You’ logo on three million copies of the issue that we will sell through our normal distributors. The proceeds from those sales will go to the Fisher House, which provides housing for the families of wounded Soldiers,” Steffens said. The story line of the new comic book includes numerous superheroes from the Marvel Pantheon, including the Fantastic Four, Iron man, Wolverine, The Sentry, and Spider woman. Soldiers are featured on its opening pages. The story is complete with the combination of illustrated action and humorous banter for which Marvel Comics are known. Advertising in the issue features Army and Air Force Exchange Service products and other organizations and products and items of interest to uniformed service members. The book’s masthead features a special thanks to AAFES and the Department of Defense.