Adam Strange


Adam Strange

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Adam Strange
 Adam Strange
Art by Pasqual Ferry.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Showcase # 17, (November 1958)
Created by Gardner Fox
Mike Sekowsky
In story information
Alter ego Adam Strange
Place of origin Rann,
formerly Earth
Team affiliations Justice League
Seven Soldiers of Victory
Abilities Wears a jet pack spacesuit that allows for sustained flight and interstellar travel; Carries energy blast guns; Generates solid-light equipment via spacesuit; can see into the whole electromagnetic spectrum

Adam Strange is a fictional superhero published by DC Comics. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Mike Sekowsky, he first appeared in Showcase #17 (November 1958).

Contents

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  • 1 Publication history
  • 2 Fictional character biography
    • 2.1 Planet Heist
    • 2.2 Rann-Thanagar War
    • 2.3 52
    • 2.4 Countdown to Adventure
  • 3 Awards
  • 4 Other media
  • 5 Trivia
  • 6 Bibliography
  • 7 External links

Publication history

Created by Gardner Fox, Adam Strange is reminiscent of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars series. Both characters have origins in which they are chased by threatening aboriginal peoples only to find themselves mysteriously transported at the last moment to distant planets where they become heroic figures. In Carter’s case this was to Mars, while Adam Strange was transported to Rann, though the John Carter stories depicted a more raw sort of adventure that included swordplay, physical action, nudity, and bloodletting. These are absent from the Adam Strange stories, however both characters shared a longing to travel to a strange world with alien opponents to fight and to be united with a beloved woman who resided there.

Like most other comic book science fiction stories of the 1950s, the problems and their stories were contrived, the solutions often based on haphazard application of simple scientific principles. After the initial run in Showcase, they moved to Mystery in Space (#53-100, 102), drawn by Carmine Infantino and inked by Murphy Anderson. He later appeared in Strange Adventures (reprints in #217 through 244; new stories in #222, 226/227 text stories with illos).

One spectacular, even award-winning, story, however, resulted from a continuity gaffe in the Justice League of America comic book, in which the Flash mentioned him as a possible new member for the Justice League, a group he had not met. When a letter to the editor reported this, Gardner Fox wrote a story showing how the JLA came to Rann and how Adam Strange got them out of the traps that Kanjar Ro set for them there.

For years, the character was a regular presence in the DC Universe. By the 1980s, the acclaimed author Alan Moore provided a more cynical reason for his visits to Rann. Apparently, the population of the planet, the majority of whom viewed the Terran with contempt, is sterile, and the real reason for Adam’s presence is to be a breeding stud. This new situation was further illustrated in a 1990 limited series where Adam learned of the population’s opinion of him and Alanna died giving birth to their daughter Aleea. In JLA #20 (July 1998), Alanna was revealed to be alive, and at the end of the story, she was reunited with her husband and daughter, albeit briefly as Adam was transported back to Earth soon after Alanna’s arrival.

Fictional character biography

Strange is an archeologist suddenly teleported from Peru, Earth to fictional planet Rann through the “Zeta Beam.” Called on to protect the planet from extraterrestrial threats using high-tech weaponry, Strange grew to care for the planet and its inhabitants, especially the blue-haired Alanna. Independently wealthy, he traveled Earth, intercepting the regular patterns of the Zeta Beam to defend Rann and be with Alanna. Strange’s adventures were published in several anthology series in the 1950s and 60s and, although never a headlining character, he has had a consistent presence in the DC Universe.

Planet Heist

A 2004 eight-issue limited series, written by Andy Diggle, pencilled by Pasqual Ferry and colored by Dave McCaig, updated Adam Strange’s appearance and abilities by giving him a new costume, a spacesuit that allows for interstellar travel. In the series, Adam was prepared to relocate to Rann permanently when he was informed that the planet was destroyed and that he was blamed for its destruction. In fact, Sardath transported Rann to another dimension to save the planet from the cosmic being, Starbreaker, intent on destroying the planet. Adam, with the help of the Omega Men and the Darkstars, among others, saved Rann and defeated the evil being.

Rann-Thanagar War

Rann-Thanagar War

When Rann was moved, its orbit was believed to have pushed the planet Thanagar closer to its sun, destroying much of the surface (it was later discovered that the actions of Superboy-Prime moved Thanagar). Many Thanagarians were relocated to Rann, but enmity between the two races resulted in a war, depicted in Rann-Thanagar War, a six-issue precursor to DC’s 2005 to 2006 limited series and DC crossover event, Infinite Crisis.

52

52 (comic book)

Adam is featured as one of the main characters in DC’s weekly event 52. Adam is stranded on a paradise-like planet with Animal Man and Starfire. As a result of a teleportation accident involving the zeta beam, he has lost both of his eyeballs but in spite of his injuries, he is trying to fix a damaged spaceship so that they may return home. After being attacked by Devilance the Pursuer, they eventually escape having realized that the entire planet is a trap.

Encountered by Devilance again, they’re saved by the intervention of Lobo. Having renounced violence and his career as a bounty hunter, Lobo agrees to serve as the group’s guide. They are soon also joined by Ekron, a member of the Green Lantern Corps nicknamed the “Emerald Head” for his unique mode of transport. This ragtag team makes a stand against the villainess Lady Styx, whose undead legions are ravaging planets across the galaxy. With Styx presumably defeated and Animal Man seemingly killed, Strange and Starfire continue their journey back to Earth and Rann, still pursued by angry Lady Styx followers. With Starfire wounded in one of such battles, and their ship breaking apart and malfunctioning, Adam is forced to fly blindly in open space. When he’s about to crash into a sun, he is saved by Mogo and a rookie Green Lantern. Brought to Rann, Strange is equipped with new eyes, cloned by Aleea and genetically engineered to grant him vision of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. He is briefly questioned by the Green Lantern Corps about the secret of 52, but when an emergency arose during the interrogation, the Lanterns offered to respond in Strange’s stead so he could be reacquainted with his wife.

Countdown to Adventure

Adam Strange joined Animal Man and Starfire in the series Countdown To Adventure written by Adam Beechen in August 2007.

In #1 of the series, Adam finds himself replaced as Rann’s protector by Champ Hazard, a former actor from Earth. However, Hazard has no regard for any life and is responsible for ending his battles in a horrifically bloody way. It appears Champ was infected by a madness plague created by Lady Styx before leaving Earth, and has infected one third of the people on Rann, causing them to riot and say “Believe in Her.”

Awards

The character and series of the same name have received several awards over the years, including the 1967 and 1968 Alley Awards for Strip Most Desired for Revival.

Other media

  • Adam Strange appears briefly in the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier. He is glimpsed in one of John Jones’ news clippings early on in the film. During the climax, he is one of the heroes who answers the call to fight the Centre.

Trivia

  • In the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century , during the episode “The Plot To Kill a City: Episode 2” (written by Alan Brennert, who had also written comics for DC) an announcement over a spaceport’s loudspeaker system asks for “Doctor Adam Strange from Alpha Centauri” to “please report to the reservations desk.”
  • Adam Strange has a descendant, also named Adam Strange, in the future of the Space Ranger, as seen in Mystery in Space #94 (September 1964).

Bibliography

  • Justice League (TV series) comic books issues # 25-26 – “Strange Days” (Part 1 of 2)
  • Justice League Unlimited comic books issue # 4 – “Local Hero”



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