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! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Marco Rubio-Aguaman!

During his Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, Senator Marco Rubio became thirsty but had placed his water bottle too low and too far away, and had to awkwardly reach for it to get a drink from it.  The media ignored the content of his speech because they were obsessing over the optics; I actually felt a little bad for Marco but hey, I think it’s funny, too.

Who is Marco Rubio though? Mr. Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants; he used to tell people that his parents escaped the tyranny of Castro until it was revealed that his parents left Cuba in 1956, three years before Castro! D’oh!  From 2000 to 2008, Marco served in the State House of Representatives in Florida, a state known to be politically hilarious. In 2000 Floridians screwed up filling out ballots, so much to everyone’s embarrassment, they had to recount the votes. The whole affair ended up in the Supreme Court, where the election was decided in the favor of George W. Bush. Some people scream about corruption to this day because George’s brother Jeb was Governor at that time. In another more recent screw up, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott paid more money to drug test welfare recipients than he saved in not paying welfare to those that failed the drug test! How idiotic.  

Marco Rubio is a rising star in the Republican Party because he is well liked by the Tea Parties, despite no apparent ties to any Tea Party, and he’s young and Latino, two demographics the GOP is loosing with. He’ll be speaking at the 2013 CPAC, which will be held about a mile from me, across the Potomac at National Harbor. This is first in a series of 2013 CPAC speakers at The Strangest Adventures. He’s against raising taxes or cutting defense spending-yawn. He’s against Obamacare which he has vowed to defund, and contraception. What’s he’s for is a bit more interesting though.

In January 2013, Rubio proposed a providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. His proposal includes back taxes, background checks, fines, and a probationary period. This is possibly his defining moment in the eyes of the American people. His point of view is diametrically opposed to the Republican Party’s traditional view that offering citizenship to undocumented immigrants is the same as amnesty.

While many of his views are too conservative for many, certainly, voters are known to like politicians that buck the orthodoxy. Most people feel that Marco Rubio will run for President in 2016; he was constantly mentioned as a potential Vice President in 2012. I feel certain that he’s a better choice than most of the Republicans in the 2012 primaries. With no apparent heir to the White House, 2016 could get very interesting. 
Buena suerte Marco Rubio!

Spider-Man, Namor, and Reverse Spider-Man!

I’ve told you about Spider-Man before,  and how Stan Lee “created” him in the Silver Age. He debuted in 1962 in his “Modern” incarnation. Much and/or most of the credit belongs to artist Steve Ditko, a very interesting man. In addition to designing/creating many of comicdom’s pantheon, Spider-Man, The Creeper, Hawk and Dove, Doctor Strange, The Question, and more, Steve Ditko was also known for his very public infatuation with Ayn Randian Objectivism. 

Politics aside, Spider-Man became wildly popular and he was often brought in to a comic book to increase sales, or, a character guest starred in Spider-man as a way for Marvel to promote various other titles. In one instance they featured Namor, The Sub-Mariner before he got his own book. As a child, I enjoyed the concept of Spider-Man but his rouge’s gallery was crap, too many animal based, The Vulture, The Rhino, The Scorpion, The Beetle…

I DID enjoy the 1960’s cartoon, knew the animation sucks even then, but enjoyed the jazzy background music and Spider-Man’s quips.  Much the same reason to watch the current Spider-Man cartoon, where, oddly enough he’s a teen trainee under Ultimate Nick “Samuel Jackson” Fury! In a team with Power Man, Iron Fist, Nova, and White Tiger.

I don’t think Namor will make it to live action, who could believe tiny ankle wings could make a man fly?  Another Spider-Man villain  that will likely never be live action is the nearly completely forgotten Reverse Spider-Man. Just like Spider-Man but evil, with reversed colors! Parker Peters kidnapped a busload of blind orphan kids the first time he appeared in issue #55 .  He was to be known as only interested in bringing life energy back into his Negative Zone so he could build a powerbase there.

This is Spider-Man’s first encounter with the Fantastic Four; he was brought in to raise 

lagging sales.The Fantastic Four were a moderately successful Marvel title, they got their varying powers through exposure to the same dose of the same type of cosmic radiation. Really? Plus, after such a miscalculation no one would consider investing in Reed Richard's company, or whatever he does to make money?

The FF were created in response to DC Comic's Justice League of America but they also had a lot of similarities to  Challengers of the Unknown.  Next time I’ll show you what happened when Spider-Man  joined the Fantastic Four; also, Spider-Man’s  “Custom” FF uniform. 

Remember, it gets worse. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Obama’s Trek Wars!

In talking about the sequester with it’s draconian cuts to the US Budget, President Obama induced a real head slapping moment for nerds everywhere when he said “I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right,”.  “Jedi mind meld”? There's Jedi mind tricks and Vulcan mind melds. This mixing up of franchises caused groans from nerds through out the land.   

He certainly knows better, after all Nichelle Nichols, the actress that played Lt. Uhura on Star Trek, visited him at the Oval Office earlier this year. Interesting story about her; she was unsatisfied with her role and had planned to leave Star Trek in 1967 after its first season, but a conversation with Martin Luther King, Jr. convinced her to continue, telling her that she was a role model for the black community. As it turned out, King was quite a Trekkie. He told Nichelle “Don’t you realize this gift this man (series creator Gene Rodenberry) has given the world? Men and Women of all races going forth in peaceful exploration, living as equals”.  Below is one of my favorites shots of Nichelle; this is the only time she's ever shown to be in a Jefferies Tube. However, I digress.

Certainly, I have issues with Obama over several things, especially the 2012 NDAA, the drone program, and some of his policies and approaches, and I consider the indefinite holding of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without trials to be a stain on the US Constitution, but, I’m going to give Obama a break on this one and chalk it up to the stress of the sequester. I do owe his a serious lampooning soon though. Here I’ve even shown him as Jedi Knight Mace Windu fighting against some imaginary allegations. I ask you, Mr. President, to never mix up Star Trek and Star Wars again, unless you want to face…The Wrath of the Nerds! 

Superman Versus the Avengers!

I told you before what happened when the Avengers met the Justice League of America here and here. Eventually everyone realized you’d reallyonly need one hero, Superman, to defeat the Avengers provided, of course, that the Hulk is otherwise occupied-this was when the Hulk had time traveled to WW II and fought the Invaders! Add the motivation of Superman being mind controlled by Darkseid, considered by many to be the ultimate DC Comics supervillain, and you have an unbeatable scenario.  So again, Marvel “rented” two DC characters; "Menace from Earth-D" referred to DC Comics and/or Darkseid! They got Jack Kirby, famed for his covers, to draw this one. It sold so well it led to other crossovers including this one and this one. The crossovers continue to this day. 'Nuff said!