Friday, April 11, 2014

Chris Christie-Hero or Heel?

We’ve featured New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as The New Jersey Angel here before. Right now, he’s under investigation for what the media has dubbed Bridgegate, the deliberate closing of lanes of travel on the George Washington Bridge with the purpose of causing traffic problems. There is no proof so far that this Republican governor perpetrated this petty act, so petty that I would be shocked if Christie was involved, but he is still under investigation by the New Jersey Legislature, the Port Authority and the Justice Department. This is particularly interesting as he made his fame, which propelled him to the governor’s mansion, as a federal prosecutor.

Still, several of his employees were involved in Bridgegate; four people are now jobless so far over this. The other day I saw Christie on TV talking about how an investigation had cleared him and thought “well that’s nice”, BUT it turns out it was his own investigation! I was tricked! The real investigation has yet to conclude, but whatever conclusion, I believe it will be decided favorably for Christie.

 Chris Christie can still be a contender in 2016 for the GOP nomination for President of the United States. After all, he is the chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association and that role is considered by some to be a stepping-stone to the presidency. In the first quarter of 2014, he set the RGA record for fund raising with $23.5 million, which beats the previous first quarter record of $9.1 million set in 2010. This serves to make him less comical than most politicians we profile here at The Strangest Adventures. It’s a safe bet that he’s far superior to most of the Republican candidates that ran in 2012!

Speaking of perspective, Christie looks pretty shrimpy compared to Shaquille O'Neal!

Batman Turns 75 Years Old!

Batman, arguably the world’s most famous superhero, was first published in 1939, which was 75 years ago this year. Batman has not only been published as several titles of comic books since then but has been a serial, a series of cartoons, movies, a TV show, video games, and so much more. It would be almost impossible to estimate his influence on popular culture. The Strangest Adventures spoke of Batman’s future last time, now it’s time to talk about his beginnings. 

The first appearance of Batman was in Detective Comics #27; one unrestored copy of it went for  $1,075,000 in February 2010.  As you an see, he looked just a bit different in those days, but even then he was recognizable as the Dark Knight Detective we know today. I can only imagine the amazement a child of that time must have felt, seeing him for the first time. 

As a child growing up in the 1960’s, I was always fascinated by Batman. Unlike other comic book heroes, he was just a human, no super powers, no magic ring; Batman relied on his detective skills, his athletic training, and of course, his utility belt with his wonderful gadgets. He had one thing in common with Superman, who had come out the year before, in 1938, both of them had dead parents but Superman’s parents died on an alien planet while he was a baby while Batman, as a young Bruce Wayne, saw his parents gunned down in front of him! From that trauma, Batman emerged. Here is his origin story from Detective #33, which was published on November 1939.

One thing I have always liked about Batman was how he never killed and never used guns, after all his parents had been killed by a gun. However, in the beginning, he not only used a gun, but also had no problem with using deadly force. That was quickly toned down though, and he took on a kid sidekick, Robin, the Boy Wonder. He evolved into the ethical hero now known and loved around much of the world. Here at The Strangest Adventures, Batman is one of our favorites. You can be sure we’ll have more to say about him next time!

Hey look! Batman is letting Robin drive the 1940's Batmobile!

Disclaimer- this is the first post where I created none of the images! Batfart is from the September 1974 National Lampoon, and was illustrated by famed comic book artist Nick Cardy and written by conservative humorist P.J. O’Rourke and the whole story can be read here. The other illustrations are from long time Batman artist Bob Kane and property of DC Comics.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Paul Ryan’s Same Old Same Old!

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, you might remember him as the failed Republican Vice President candidate in 2012, just released a “new” budget on April 1st (Ha!) which you can judge for yourself. Yes the same day Obamacare was going into effect, Mr. Ryan was, once again, calling for it to be repealed. Four years later Paul, give it a rest man. Repealing any current law would take a 2/3rds majority in both houses to defeat a presidential veto, call me crazy but I do believe President Obama will veto any attempt to repeal his landmark legislation.

Furthermore, Paul Ryan wants to replace Medicare with vouchers. Vouchers! Oh and this budget includes tax breaks, how original. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Ryan is trying to create a Kochtopia, that is, a give away to republican financiers the Koch Brothers, which would be clever, if Harry didn’t totally botch his delivery. I’ll let you judge for yourself the worthiness of this budget. Here at The Strangest Adventures we like it because it makes us laugh!

Allen West in 2016?

It's not too early to look at possible presidential candidates for 2016. Former Representative Allen West of Florida is something that is often hard to find in the Republican Party, a highly decorated veteran! He failed in 2008 the first time he ran for the House of Representatives but succeeded when he tried again in 2010, a banner year for tea partiers like West. However, in 2012 West ran for reelection in Florida's 18th District but lost to a bland Democrat that won for not being Allen West! West seems to hate Muslims, he’s often angry and he’s a favorite son of the Tea Parties.

A day after receiving a ringing endorsement from horny embarrassment Herman Cain, who suggested that West would be a great choice for Vice President, West addressed a group of 100 supporters at a meeting in a community center in Jensen Florida on Tuesday April 10, 2012. He had something shocking and delusional to say.

“I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

The Democrats got angry about this but Allen West felt no regret, he referenced his words in a fundraising e-mail. This all seems to have been planned.

"You know I am not afraid to speak the truth. That's why I’m the number one target of liberals and their friends in the media who are going completely nuts about my comments at a recent Townhall meeting, I need your help to fight back and stand up against the corrupt liberal media as they attempt cover for their left-wing allies."
The email directed readers to a page on West's campaign website and asks people to help support his "conservative army."

This was not the first time West had made headlines for provocative remarks.  December 2011, he said the Democratic Party's spin machine would have made Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels proud. At a dinner speech in January 2012, West told a crowd that President Obama and other top Democratic leaders should take their campaign message and "get the hell out of the United States of America." Allen West seems to be a stereotype, an angry tea partier!
Ex-Representative West could bring some passion to the 2016 Republican platform; he has “positives” such as his tea party connections, veteran’s status and a cult following that other candidates lack. Here at The Strangest Adventures we love it when politicians speak their minds. Pure Comedy Gold!

Ben Affleck as Batman!

Should Ben Affleck play Batman?  He has been confirmed to be the new movie Batman. To be honest I rarely like updated versions of long existing characters, like Batman for instance. Adam West is still my favorite Batman. I was not that impressed by the Christian Bale Batman movies, and missed the new Henry Cavil Superman so far, waiting for the discount bin. Ben Affleck was said to have ruined the 2003 Daredevil movie, plus he’s already “played Superman” in 2006 in Hollywoodland, when he played George Reeves, the 1950’s TV Superman. 
In any case, at this point I’m beyond caring. Maybe Matt Damon can be his Robin!

So this Defective Comics cover depicts Christian Bale as American Psycho character Patrick Bateman, as the Batman of the recent past versus Ben Affleck, who will play the Batman of the Near Future. Bateman is screaming one of his lines from that movie. I CAN recommend America Psycho and urge you to watch it. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cuccinellimania! Ken Cuccinelli-Crazy to Run!

It seems the current scandal of Governor Bob McDonnell accepting unreported money and gifts from Star Scientific is having it’s affects on the candidacy of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli; both are Republicans, both currently serve, both have received gifts and money from dietary supplement company Star Scientific

I’ll let my image and my links speak for themselves. There’s been so much already written about Ken Cuccinelli, I’d like to link to some articles this time. Here are some of my favorites!

Needless to say, I’m urging everyone to vote against Cuccinelli for Governor of Virginia. He's cuckoo for vaginal ultrasounds! If anyone has any other suggested articles, you can post them in the comments section. 

50 Shades of Orange!

Despite being a radioactive  orange rock man, The Fantastic Four’s Ben Grimm, The Thing, appealed to a range of ladies over the years but by the 1970’s, The Bronze Age, he had fallen on harder times. He lost his solo title by 1974 and outside of his FF appearances, he had to guest star in other comics, usually to raise the sales of those books. Here he is in Marvel Tales #6; this is the beginning of his steamy romance with Moondragon, bald Space Vixen.  Their relationship had heavy elements of S&M (which was very popular in the 1970’s) to it but because it often occurred under the guise of brawling the censors never noticed! Later they broke up and eventually Moondragon became yet another Herald of Galactus. 

Most fans agree though, the lowest Ben has sunk when he became dance partner to Dazzler, Marvel’s Disco Diva. Dazzler was planned to be a multimedia star; an album, comics, and a movie were in the works in 1979 but she arrived on the scene just as the popularity of disco began to wane. So no one wanted to create a Disco record, still The Dazz, as her millions of fans called her, lingered on in comic book form until she was abruptly canceled. Later when  she died during the Secret Wars it seemed like a mercy killing. 

However, getting back to Ben’s Ex, Moondragon, here is what I consider her most embarrassing cover. By the way, Spidey Super-Stories take place on Earth-57780. This cover shows how far Marvel will sink in an attempt to exploit any cultural phenomenon. A Star Wars rip off starring Spider-Man, Moondragon and Dr. Doom? Sure, why not? You can’t make this stuff up.  Marvel had a well-known tendency to jump on fads. ‘Nuff said! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Strangest Adventures-80 Page Giant!

At the recent 2013 CPAC, a casually attired Sarah Palin gave a speech that was as much or more Redneck Comedy Tour than political speech. Of course, in my opinion Sarah Palin will never run for office again, (too much work and she’s much too thin skinned) so perhaps this new stand up routine is a good new direction for her. At one point she drank a Big Gulp, made a joke about NYC Michael Bloomberg and his attempted large soda ban, holding her hefty beverage aloft, like the torch of Lady Liberty. Hey, sure, why not, Sarah

I don’t have much to say about Canadian born Latino from Texas Ted Cruz yet; he seems a bit delusional and, ahem, unpolished. Ted Cruz is  under 50 and is being proclaimed by some pundits as the future of the Republican Party. Sarah Palin claims he won entirely because of her support. Not sure if that’s good or bad, bad I suspect. Of course, it’s even more likely that his connections with several tea parties and Freedom Works and the out of state money they brought to his campaign were greater factors in his win for office in 2012.

Rand Paul is the son of Ron Paul, a favorite candidate for many that have read this blog. Rand is another devotee of Ayn Rand, but he seems less affable and not as wise as his father, however all indications are he will be running for president in 2016. He won the straw poll at the recent 2013 CPAC, but the winner of that poll has only won as president twice since the 1980’s. Ooops.

The fourth story illustrates a longstanding belief of the Republican Party that higher taxes destroy the economy and only low taxes build the economy. Only in reality, there’s not so much confirming data there. Sometimes the economy does well during a time of high taxes and sometimes doesn’t, the same for times of low taxes. The economy, it seems, it a lot more complex than a few black and white answers.

I always loved the old DC Comics 80 Page Giants of my childhood because the 80 Page Giant had more content per issue; They were released annually, this is my attempt to create one on my own. 

Spider-Man in the Fantastic Four ! Part 2

In Part 1, I showed the early days of Spider-Man being a member of the Fantastic Four. By the late 1970’s, sales of the Fantastic Four began sagging again, so once again, Stan Lee brought in Spider-Man again, to stimulate sales. Only this time, Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, stayed, so for a time, they became known as the Fantastic Five! In the first issue, Spider-Man wore his traditional costume but with the spider logo replaced by a 5. 

Later Peter Parker went back to his blue and black “Fantastic  Spider-Man” suit only this time with a 5 instead of a 4 on the chest. By issue Five they had the ultimate foe when they fought the planet devourer Galactus, after that, there was seemingly no place else to go with the series, which is why Fantastic Five only lasted 10 issues. Despite that, Marvel has continued to treat Spider-Man as the fifth member of the team, in an off again, on again basis. 

In 2010, for issue #600, with the Human Torch currently dead, Spider-Man once again filled in. Shortly afterward the FF change to white costumes. He continues for another 20 issues; then Johnny Storm comes back to life–which always seems to happen in comic books–and returns to the team. 

Marvel Comics has gone to the Spider-Man well so often, it’s only a matter of time before Peter Parker once again becomes a member of the Fantastic Four. One thing is always certain about Marvel, they keep pulling the same tricks over and over again. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Donald Trump!

Normally I make a number of observations about the subject at hand, 2013 CPAC speaker Donald Trump, but in this case I'd rather present his words, as he said them, and let other people describe Donald Trump. 

"The point is that you can't be too greedy."

“The beauty of me is that I'm very rich”

"I have a great relationship with the blacks."

"I don't like the crying." – on House Speaker John Boehner

“This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!” – On President Obama’s reelection

"I could never have imagined that firing 67 people on national television would actually make me more popular, especially with the younger generation."

"Let me tell you, I'm a really smart guy. I was a really good student at the best school in the country. The reason I have a little doubt, just a little, is because he grew up and nobody knew him." – On why he thought Obama wasn't born in the United States

“Donald, you’re making a fool of yourself”- Barbara Walters

"Donald Trump said that he was running for president as a Republican. That's funny, because I thought he was running as a joke"- Seth Meyers

"Donald Trump has driven well past the last exit to relevance and veered into something closer to irresponsible"- Brian Williams, NBC News

“I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but nobody is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like: did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”- President Barack Obama 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spider-Man in the Fantastic Four ! Part 1

The last time I told you about several of Spider-Man’s enemies and then on how he first encountered The Fantastic Four; this time I’ll discuss his relationship with them over the years. Johnny Storm, The Human Torch came to get his own title, Johnny Storm and the Inhumans, so they needed to have a new fourth member, so for the sake of sales, Stan Lee picked amazingly popular Spider-Man to fill that gap.

From the beginning, Reed Richards insisted that Spider-Man wear the official uniform, so Peter Parker donned one of Johnny Storm’s old suits and used a paper bag to hide his identity. He wore that makeshift uniform until issue 30. In that issue featuring the story “The All New Spider-Man!” Reed gave Peter advanced versions of his web shooters and a cowl that matched the suit as well as boots that allowed Spider-Man’s powers to function.  

Here’s the cover to Fantastic Four #49, where you can see Spider-Man’s “official” FF uniform–this was the first issue to feature The Watcher, and the beginning of The 3 part Yancy Street Saga.   Johnny Storm returned to save the team in issue #50 and Spider-Man departed the team in issue #51. Next time, I’ll point out a few future efforts by Marvel Comics to reunite Spider-Man with the Fantastic Four!