Is Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter trying to slink off quietly into the night? Bleeding Cool has long reported on Perlmutter's donations to Republican political candidates, in particular to the campaign of President Donald Trump. But in our latest routine check of who Perlmutter is giving money to, we found an interesting entry in the "employer" column, listing Perlmutter as "retired."
The well-known Trumpbrony has long been a close friend of President Trump's, even joining the President for Thanksgiving dinner. Ike and Laura Perlmutter have donated millions to Trump's campaigns, with Laura Perlmutter serving on Trump's inauguration committee and Ike Perlmutter serving as an unofficial advisor on the subject of veterans' healthcare. The reclusive Ike Perlmutter was photographed for the first time in decades meeting with the President at Mar-a-Lago shortly after winning the election. During Trump's early presidency, Perlmutter was seen flying with the President on Air Force One. The Perlmutters were present at a televised VA bill signing in 2017, with Trump presenting Ike Perlmutter with the pen used to sign the bill.
After Perlmutter reportedly played a key role in ousting VA chief David Shulkin back in March last year, with Perlmutter and other members of Trump's Mar-a-Lago club reportedly holding up medical record reform in May, 11 members of Congress sent a letter calling out the Marvel Chairman and other Trump pals from Palm Beach for wielding undue influence at the government office with any official authority or government experience. The government has since announced plans to investigate Perlmutter's involvement with the VA.
But as Perlmutter's influence in the United States government has grown, so has his influence at Marvel waned. After losing control of Marvel Studios with the dissolution of the Marvel Creative Committee in 2015, Perlmutter soon found competing forces at Marvel gaining more power. Sometime around 2017, Perlmutter's Lieutenant Alan Fine quietly left his role as President of Marvel. Last year, Perlmutter's Marvel Studios rival Kevin Feige was given complete creative control of Marvel, including the comics, though Perlmutter's division still led the company's financial and business decisionmaking. Soon after Feige's ascent, another Perlmutter Lieutenant, Jeph Loeb, was ousted.
Around that same time, October of 2019, the deadlines for the latest round of FEC filings hit, and from those filings, we find Perlmutter's latest donations, to Idaho Republican Senator Jim Risch, but with a big change since Perlmutter's previous Republican donations, which were listed from April. See for yourself:
So has Perlmutter's status at Marvel changed? A Marvel spokseperson tells us it has not. So why is he listed as retired on the FEC filing?
One thing we can note is that Perlmutter doesn't need to actually work at Marvel to make money. In the Trump era, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire Index, Perlmutter's net worth has increased y $1.25 billion. Looking at the charts, it appears that Perlmutter's net worth grew by half a billion simply because of the announcement of Disney Plus, due to the fact that Perlmutter remains one of Disney's largest individual stockholders. With all of the drama between Perlmutter and Feige, Bob Iger dissing Perlmutter in his book last year, and the promise of increasing amounts of wealth on top of an already enormous amount of wealth, might it be time for the 77-year-old Perlmutter to kick back and focus on his charitable causes and VA ambitions?
This article was updated to include a response from a Marvel spokesperson.