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10 Future Scenarios Worse than a Sarah Palin Presidency

5 Nov

Does the prospect of Sarah Palin in the White House scare you? Comic books show us it could be much, much worse.

Following gains by the Republicans in the US House of Representatives during the recent mid-term elections, there is renewed speculation that Sarah Palin will emerge as the GOP’s presidential candidate in 2012. While there are many who are elated by this prospect, the possibility of a Palin presidency is causing concern both from within the Democratic Party and the GOP itself.

Relax, people! Let’s put this possible future into perspective. Those of us who have read comic books all our lives are no strangers to disastrous futures. Here’s a list of my favorite future scenarios … all of which are far worse than having a self-described “Mama Grizzly” as leader of the world’s most powerful nation:

10. The Kamandi future

Sometime in the future, most of the human race is wiped out in a calamity known only as the “Great Disaster”. Intelligent animals (who now walk upright like humans) become the dominant life forms, including gorilla, tiger, lion, rat and dog men. Humans regress into a more primitive state and are used mainly as slave labor by their animal masters.

This is the world of Kamandi, the last boy on Earth, first published in 1972 (DC Comics).

9. The Judge Dredd future


Following nuclear holocaust, mankind is forced to live in over-crowded “Mega-Cities” because what’s left of the US is an irradiated wasteland called the “Cursed Earth”. Crime is rampant and the cities are policed only by “Street Judges” (like the hero) who have the power to arrest, sentence and even execute those they deem criminals on the spot.

Judge Dredd first appeared in the British science fiction anthology 2000 AD in 1977.

8. Days of Future Past

A group of mutants assassinate a US Senator, prompting the government to activate the Sentinels, deadly giant robots, who then decide that the only way to eradicate the mutant threat is to take over the government. Thousands of mutants, super-powered humans and ordinary humans alike are slaughtered in the process. The survivors are herded into concentration camps.

We saw a glimpse of this future in “Days of Future Past”, X-Men #141-142, published in 1981 (Marvel Comics).

7. The Hellboy Apocalypse 

The elder gods known as the Ogdru Jahad invade the earth from their hellish dimension and sweep over the planet, killing everyone. Hellboy fulfills his role as the Anung Un Rama (the Beast of the Apocalypse), ushering in the End of the World.

Hellboy’s role in the Apocalypse was first foretold (though not actually played out) in the first miniseries Hellboy: Seed of Destruction in 1994 (Dark Horse Comics). We also got a glimpse of these scenes in the first Hellboy movie.

6. The Dark Knight Returns future

The Cold War never ends, criminal gangs run wild in the cities and the US government is a fascist state with Ronald Reagan as President. All super-hero activity has been declared illegal, except for a certain blue and red-clad Kryptonian who operates in secret on the orders of the government.

This future was seen through the eyes of an elderly Bruce Wayne, forced out of retirement in The Dark Knight Returns, published in 1986 (DC Comics).

5. The Kingdom Come future

Super-human activity reaches its apex. Battles between meta-humans spill out daily onto the streets of America’s cities, without heed to property damage or civilian casualties. The conflict erupts into full civil war, prompting the United Nations to order a nuclear bomb dropped on American soil.

These events were chronicled in the miniseries Kingdom Come, published in 1996 (DC Comics).

4. The Y: The Last Man future

A mysterious plague wipes out every living mammal possessing a Y chromosome — including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. The only survivors are a male New York resident and his pet monkey. The survivors (all women) must deal with what remains of the world, including humanity’s impending extinction.

This future was depicted in Y: The Last Man, published in 2002 (Vertigo / DC Comics).

3. The OMAC future


Sometime in the future, a catastrophe puts an end to civilization as we know it. Cities lie in ruin and zombie-like monsters roam the subways. The world is policed by the Global Peace Agency and its single super-human operative, code name: One Man Army Corps (OMAC).

OMAC: One Man Army Corps was first published in 1974 (DC Comics).

2. A Better World

Lex Luthor is elected President of the United States and then assassinated by none other than Superman. The Justice League then decides to take over the United States government, running the country as a police state. They then change their name to the Justice Lords.

This alternate future was shown in the two-part “A Better World” from the Justice League cartoon TV series in 2003.

1. The Old Man Logan future

In the not-too-distant future, the United States is taken over and divided between a number of super-villains, namely Doctor Doom, Magneto, the Red Skull and the Abomination. (The latter’s territory is then seized by the Hulk.) Most of the population, including the super-heroes, is dead and most of the US is now a barren wasteland.

We saw this future through the eyes of an elderly Logan (aka Wolverine) in the miniseries Wolverine: Old Man Logan, published in 2008 (Marvel Comics).


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Grumpy Fanboy’s Top Super-Heroines in Miniskirts

30 Oct

Recently I read about a town in Italy where the local government is trying to ban women from wearing miniskirts. That got me thinking about how miniskirts – once very fashionable – seem to be in decline in comic books. OK let’s face it, miniskirts may not be the most practical outfit when in a fist fight with a crazed costumed homicidal maniac. But they sure make a great fashion statement and symbolize a woman’s right to wear whatever she wants.

Here’s my list of top five super-heroines who fight for truth, justice and the right to show off their legs:

Arisia

Arisia of Graxos IV is the Green Lantern of Sector 2815. She breaks the rules by not only being the single non-adult Green Lantern I know of (she joined the Corps at the age of 13), she also deviates from the norm in her choice of uniform. Arisia’s suit is strikingly different from the usual green & black other Green Lanterns wear. Sassy and proud. Arisia is an original. You go, girl!

Elasti-Girl

Film actress Rita Farr gave up a glamorous acting career to become the Doom Patrol’s powerhouse. Able to grow to giant size (sometimes to over 100 feet tall), Elasti-Girl must have been an intimidating – and distracting – sight to her enemies as they looked up at her.

Mary Marvel

Mary Batson (adopted name Mary Bromfield), twin sister of Captain Marvel’s alter-ego Billy Batson, is the female member of the Shazam Family. As Mary Marvel, she shared the powers of the wizard Shazam, making her nearly as powerful as “Earth’s Mightiest Mortal”, Captain Marvel. Over the years, she has switched from a red to a white outfit but, thankfully, always kept the miniskirt.

Marvel Girl

When the members of the original X-Men switched from their original black & yellow uniforms to something that better fit their individual personalities, Jean chose this green & yellow number. The costume was dropped when Jean became Phoenix. Years later, she chose to wear it again during the X-Men’s desperate attempt to save her from execution at the hands of the Shi’Ar Empire in my favorite – and now classic – Dark Phoenix Saga story arc.

Supergirl

Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl), in tribute to her more famous cousin, opted to wear his costume but with a decidedly female twist. During the 1970s, Supergirl dropped the miniskirt in favor of the more fashionable (at the time) hotpants. But somehow, she keeps coming back to the miniskirt, from the white & blue outfit of the 1990s to the miniskirt she wears today.