Alex Ross Captures Galactus In All Of His Glory

After how many days straight of blogging about politics, I need a break.  How about you?

Galactus has always been one of my favorite Marvel characters and it’s a shame that his only film appearance was botched in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.  Now that the Fantastic Four are once again free to be a part of the MCU, my sincere hope is that we’ll get a worthy Galactus film.  If Marvel Studios could bring Thanos to life, why not the Planet-Eater?

Below is Galactus (and the Silver Surfer) as imagined by Alex Ross.  All four of these images are from Marvels #3 and they really capture Galactus in all of his glory.

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Captain America: The People’s Choice

In 1980, John Anderson was briefly a viable third party presidential candidate so it made sense that Marvel would follow with a storyline in which a group of activist attempt to convince Captain America to make a third party bid of his own.  Ultimately, Cap turned down their offer.

A later issue of What If… revealed that, if Captain America had run, he would have easily been elected President.  Then, he would have been assassinated because every issue of What If… ended with everyone dead.  It’s a good thing he didn’t run.

Could Captain America win the election if he ran today?  As an unwoke fictional character whose costume would be considered triggering, it might be difficult for him to do so.  Still, who better to make America great than America himself?

Twice the Van Damme: Double Impact (1991, directed by Sheldon Lettich)

For Through the Shattered Lens, I reviewed Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Double Impact.

Through the Shattered Lens

Twice the Van Damme means double the damme trouble in Double Impact!

In this low-budget action flick, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays twin brothers, Chad and Alex Wagner.  When they were just six months old, their parents were murdered in Hong Kong and the brothers were separated.  Chad grew up to become a goody-goody martial arts instructor in Los Angeles.  Alex grew up to become a part of the Hong Kong underworld.  Under the direction of the parent’s former bodyguard, Uncle Frank (Geoffrey Lewis), the twins are reunited and team up to take down the gangster who killed their parents.

When it comes to second-tier 90s action heroes, Jean-Claude Van Damme was never as good as Dolph Lundgren but he was still a thousand times better than Stephen Seagal.  The secret of Van Damme’s success was that, in real life, he was capable of doing all of the thing that…

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332 to 95

For the record, that’s the vote count on the latest attempt by House Democrats to impeach President Trump.  194 Republicans, 137 Democrats, and Justin Amash voted to table Al Green’s impeachment resolution.  95 Democrats defied Speaker Pelosi and voted to proceed with impeachment.  1 Democrat, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, voted present.  2 Democrats did not vote at all, probably because they were somewhere running for President.

Donald Trump may very well be voted out of office, though even that seems less likely the more time you spend watching the Democrats competing to be the one to take him on in 2020.  But he is never going to be removed from office through impeachment.  Even if the House did vote to impeach him, the Senate has the final say.

In other words, it ain’t going to happen.

The (Possible) Return of Mark Sanford

Mark Sanford, the former governor and congressman from South Carolina, says that he’s going to decide in the next 30 days whether or not to challenge President Trump in the Republican Primary.

Today, if Sanford’s remembered for anything, it’s for disappearing for 6 days in 2009.  Sanford was governor of South Carolina at the time.  His aides said that the governor was “hiking the Appalachian Trail.”  It turned out that he was actually in South America, visiting a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.  Sanford did manage to survive an impeachment attempt but, at the time, it was assumed that his political career was over.

In 2013, Sanford proved the naysayers wrong by winning a seat in the U.S. House.  (He had also previously served in the House before running for governor.)  Sanford’s race got a good deal of national attention because he was running against Stephen Colbert’s sister.  In hindsight, Sanford’s easy victory, despite his personal baggage and an overhyped opponent, was a precursor to the eventual election of Donald Trump.

Speaking of Trump, Sanford was an outspoken critic of the President’s travel ban.  That led to Sanford losing his primary in 2018.  Again, it seemed like his political career was over and again, Sanford is considering attempting a comeback.

Before he went off to South America, Mark Sanford was someone who was frequently mentioned as being a future president.  If not for the scandal, Sanford probably would have run in 2012 or 2016.  Challenging an incumbent President is almost always a fool’s errand.  Ronald Reagan came close to denying the nomination to Gerald Ford in 1976 and then he went on to become President himself but he’s the exception to the rule.  A more typical example is Ted Kennedy, who was seen as being a real threat to Jimmy Carter in 1980 but whose bumbling campaign destroyed his future presidential prospects.

If Sanford does run, he’ll be joining former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld in challenging Trump.  The last time that a Republican incumbent was challenged by two “credible” candidates was in 1972, when Pete McCloskey challenged Nixon from the left while John Ashbrook challenged him from the right.  Nixon easily swatted away both challengers and, despite many perceived weaknesses, went on to win in a record-setting landslide.  Why did Nixon win?  It wasn’t because Nixon was a popular President.  Instead, by nominating George McGovern, the Democrats went so far to the Left that they alienated the traditional members of their base.

It’s starting to feel like 1972 all over again.

George Will on Michael Bennet

George Will has a new column out where he makes the case that Michael Bennet is the Democratic candidate who has the best chance to defeat Trump.  Will argues that Bennet is progressive enough for the Democratic base while, at the same time, not being so crazy that he would turn off the swing voters.  Though Will doesn’t specifically say it, his column portrays Bennet as being Joe Biden without all of the baggage and the distracting Bidenisms that are currently threatening the latter’s front runner status.

It is debatable how much influence George Will’s endorsement is going to do anyone running in a Democratic primary.  At this point, it probably wouldn’t do that much good for someone running in a Republican primary either.  Will, like many intelligent people, is currently stuck in the political limbo of being insufficiently liberal for Democrats but also not enough of a Trump booster for the GOP.  For the record, I was not impressed with what I saw of Bennet at the debate but, whether you agree with his conclusions or not, Will’s column is still worthwhile because it reveals far more about Bennet’s background and character that we’re going to see in a news cycle that’s dominated by Biden, Harris, Warren, and Sanders.  Underneath that bland facade, it turns out that Bennet has an interesting story to tell.

What truly struck me, as I read Will’s column, is that Michael Bennet is the type of blandly competent politician who probably would have been a strong candidate in the days before the office of the presidency was elevated to quasi-religious status.  Times have changed, though, and now the President is expected to be transformational figure.  Simply having the potential to be good at the job is no longer enough.