- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: DC Comics; 01 edition (1 Jan. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401201482
- ISBN-13: 978-1401201487
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.9 x 26.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,974,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Adam Strange, the - Archives, Vol 01 (DC Archive Editions) Hardcover – 1 Jan 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
This volume is presented with the usual highquality, glossy finish of the DC archives, complete with the originalcovers. If you liked the comics you'll like this.
Note to DC: AtomicKnights next please!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
This first volume includes Adam Strange's first appearances in Showcase 17-19 (1958) as well as his regular run headlining Mystery in Space (#53-65, 1959-61). The Zeta Beam is an awesome plot device, challenging our hero to intercept its mysterious rays to be transported 25 trillion miles from Earth to Rann, where his love awaits. Each episode a new danger menaces Rann and each episode, Adam, through his wits, his science and a little bit of skill with a jetpack and a ray gun, manages to save a world.
Mike Sekowsky pencils the first few appearances. This is some of Mike's best work, though there are a few uneven patches. Carmine Infantino pencils the remainder of the issues with amazing work and is definitely a step up. Infantino especially shines on landscapes, both Terran and alien, as well as his many water scenes. Carmine draws a stunning Alanna, beautiful and strong, courageous and yet vulnerable. The love between the two is transcendent and heart-warming. In the early stories, just as Adam is about get his heroic embrace, the radiation from the Zeta Beam wears off and he's teleported back to Earth.
Gardner Fox writes all the adventures and inking is split between Bernard Sachs, Joe Giella, and Murphy Anderson, all providing excellent finishing work.
These stories are simply fun and a highly engaging to read. I've read through three times already and I'm looking forward to my next pass through them. The novelty doesn't wear out for me. Highly recommended.
While his uniform was straight out of pulp SF magazines of the '30s and '40s (sort of 'Flash Gordon Meets the Rocketeer'), he never looked ridiculous, particularly when illustrated by the legendary Carmine Infantino (who, with his pioneering work on the Flash, proved that superheroes didn't have to look like overweight wrestlers). While Mike Sekowsky's earlier work lacks the simplistic grace of Infantino, there is no doubt that Adam Strange was cut from a different cloth than Superman and Batman. He was a thinking man's hero, lean and graceful, and willing to rely on his wits rather than on unbelievable powers, or an overstocked utility belt. That his intellectual exploits would earn him the title of the planet Rann's 'Champion' became an inspiration to me to study harder, and to understand that nearly any problem could be solved if you simply "used your head".
And oh, the bittersweet irony, when, after saving Rann, Strange would always be returned to Earth, before he could get more than a kiss from his beloved Alanna! Hokey, maybe, but what a hook for the next issue of "Strange Adventures"!
I never forgave DC Comics for yanking Gardner Fox and Infantino away from Adam Strange and using their talents to 'juice up' the "new" Batman of the mid-sixties. Perhaps the 'Adam Strange Formula' was a limited one, but even the lesser efforts of the creative 'dynamic duo' were a cut above anything else of the period. Certainly, under new hands, the Strange stories quickly lost their magic, and the series died. Subsequent 'limited' reappearances have only served to reduce Adam Strange's stature even further, as if DC, in turning the hero into a tragic figure, hoped to justify earlier abandoning him. Certainly, the 'Adam Strange' of recent years is NOT the hero I grew up admiring!
So treasure this first volume, when Adam Strange was pure of heart, and a whole planet believed in him...You have a treat in store for you!
What more could you want?
Well, there is a LOT more. The stories, for the most part, are fantasticly scripted by that master Gardner Fox. And the artwork-- ah yes, the artwork! As the series evolved so did the art! It started with covers by Gil Kane and interior pencils and inks by Sachs and Sekowsky, (later of Justice League of America fame). Then in came Carmine Infantino. While this improved the artwork immensely while his pencils were being inked by Joe Giella and sometime Bernie Sachs, it was when the brilliant Murphy Anderson stepped in to embellish the flamboyish Infantino that comic book art hit it's zenith. Once those two also started doing the covers, Adam Strange adventures became something to treasure whenever they hit the comic book racks. It was, and is to this day, inspirational.
This first archive of Adam Strange starts with his appearances in Showcase, and then his evolution as the recurring and starring character in Mystery in Space. For the most part in this archive, all of the stories are about nine pages in length, so there are a LOT of stories here. Gardner Fox practically drove many youngsters to desire previous issues they may have missed, because it would seem that each story had at least ONE back reference to a previously published story; and if you missed it, you were not getting the entire idea of what was going on! This only made us youngsters collect every Adam Strange story they could, and may have been the start of the comic-collecting days in our society!! So to have these first stories collected in one place is like finishing a puzzle you put down 40 years ago because you lost a few pieces. Very satisfying.
Towards the end of the archive you will see Adam Strange as what he will be remembered as; heroic, brave, smart, well-drawn, and always under control. Not one of those 'retcon' figures.
Here's hoping that the DC Archives publishes volume two soon! Many of us have been waiting YEARS just for this one; don't make us wait too much longer for the next one!!!