Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blue State Versus Red State 2014 !

Another year, another round of elections, oh but 2014 could be a real game changer; it is the year of The Battle for the Senate. It has come to pass that control of the US Senate is up for grabs, and the Republican Party has a good chance of wresting control of the US Senate from the Democratic Party.  As you can see from this cover, sometimes civility takes a backseat in ! According to Nate Silver of  fivethirtyeight.com Republicans have a 63.3% chance of winning a majority and Democrats have a 36.7% chance of keeping a majority.

One particularly contentious race is in Kentucky where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is running against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in his bid for re-election. Mitch seems poised to win but it’s a hotly contested seat, who wins won’t be a certainty until election day. The polls seem to change daily. McConnell figures if the GOP takes the Senate, he gets to be in charge and maybe he’s right.   

This means nothing less than one party, the GOP, will control all of Congress, and they oppose President Barack Obama, so he will have to compromise with Congress or nothing will get done in Congress-just like Congress got nothing done in the last four years!

In the 1990’s President Bill Clinton had a Republican controlled Congress but the cooperation between the Executive and Legislative branches in those days, many felt, led to the prosperous economy of the 1990’s. Clinton certainly had to compromise with Congress on numerous occasions but together they accomplished plenty. However there were also other “achievements” of dubious value like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, NAFTA, and the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which kept commercial and investment banking separate-some say this last move was responsible for The Great Recession of 2008.

Grimes Versus McConnell, like a cartoon race

Still, Clinton worked with his GOP Congress and the nation ran smoothly enough. If, as some are predicting, the Republicans take the US Senate, then maybe Obama should look at those times, study those times and see if there are lessons to be learned there; I believe there are.  We can all only hope that Congress might finally start earning their paychecks! Crazy idea, huh?  

The Fastest Man Alive!

Here at the Strangest Adventures, we have mentioned our fondness for DC Comics super-hero The Flash, The Fastest Man Alive, a few times in the past here and here. Police scientist Barry Allen has a lab accident with chemicals; a bolt of lightening hits them and splashes them on Barry. This gives him the power of super-speed!

The big news about The Flash is beginning this year, 2014, he’s in a brand new TV show. It stars Grant Gustin and airs Tuesday night at 8 P.M. on The CW Television Network. The Flash is actually a spin off of the CW show Arrow, featuring a Green Arrow for the 21st Century.  Arrow is…ok, I watch it any time a new episode comes on. It’s a bit too much drama for my taste. But The Flash is what I’m excited about. In my opinion the world of super-heroes on both the small and large screen tend too much towards the grim and gritty now. However, The Flash returns the viewer to the days of wonder, dare I say it, it feels like The Silver Age-this is as faithful to the source for a modern interpretation of Flash that we’ll ever likely see.

Nice try, 1990 The Flash TVseries; the uniform was more faithful to the comic but it seemed a bit off; the villains seemed to be watered down versions of themselves except for an over the top performance by Mark “Luke Skywalker” Hamill as The Trickster. In that series, The Flash was played by John Wesley Shipp, who by the way plays Barry Allen’s father in the new series!

In this new Flash series, Barry Allen actually enjoys having super powers unlike, say, the Hulk or the X-Men. The Flash likes helping people and has already fought four foes straight from the comics, Weather Wizard, Multiplex, The Mist, and Captain Cold. There’s a lot of foreshadowing and some characters have familiar names. This seems to be aimed to fan boys as well as casual viewers. Firestorm The Nuclear Man has been cast and will be featured and one character could potentially be Killer Frost. Crisis on Infinite Earths will occur in his future, we’ve already seen a newspaper from 2024.  And there was a scene featuring a broken cage with a plaque reading “GRODD”. Oh Gorilla Grodd, you simian genius!

I was inspired to recreate Showcase #4, from 1956, which introduced The Silver Age Flash but using the modern Flash in his stead. I’ve seen spoiler images of Professor Zoom, The Reverse-Flash so I thought he and the Grant Gustin Flash should appear on the cover of Flash #139 which featured Zoom’s first appearance. I dislike how Zoom's costume is no longer merely a yellow version of Barry's costume however I made the logo match Zoom's color scheme!  I haven’t forgotten the “real” Flash either; here he appears in issue #21 of Secret Society of Super-Villains being attacked by Blackrock, while The Calculator, The Shade, Black Hand, Lex Luthor, and Black Manta look on.  The SSOSV was another favorite of mine but that’s a story for another day.