I'm thinking of reading a few Adam Strange comics from over the years, but I'd like to know what was the best representative story in which he appeared in the 70s?

 

I know he didn't star in his own stories in the 70s, but perhaps a JLA/JSA crossover, or a Brave and The Bold?

 

Most importantly, it'd have to be a story that I could reasonably get my hands on, so one that is available in reprint would be good.

 

Has Adam Strange's first appearance in Mystery in Space #53 - 'Menace of the Robot Raiders!'  been reprinted anywhere?  What about Mystery in Space #82 "World War on Earth and Rann!" as well?

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A little past the 1970s, but his two-parter in Saga of the Swamp Thing remains my favorite appearance of Adam's.

Man, what I wouldn't give to see a Francesco Francavilla written and drawn one-shot of Adam Strange.

Other than that, I'm pretty darn partial to the Andy Diggle/Pascal Ferry miniseries.

Those issues also turned Adam's backstory around into something different much like "The Anatomy Lesson" did for Swamp Thing.  The menaces, Rann's treatment of him, and even the true purpose of the Zeta-beam were altered and shown in a new, unsettlingling light.

On yet another tangent, it still rankles me that Swampy is still seperated from the main DCU!

Mr. Satanism said:

A little past the 1970s, but his two-parter in Saga of the Swamp Thing remains my favorite appearance of Adam's.

Mr. Satanism said:

A little past the 1970s, but his two-parter in Saga of the Swamp Thing remains my favorite appearance of Adam's.

That's why I didn't ask for 80s examples!  How could I skip a Moore tale?  Moore's was my first Adam Strange story.  It worked well for me even without knowing the continuity.  Were Rann and Thanagar established as being at loggerheads before this Swamp Thing story?

 

My library has Diggle's Planet Heist so I'll read that soon.

 

The Wednesday Comics tale was pretty good, for what it was...

ITEM:  Adam Strange's first appearance wasn't in MiS #53; it was in Showcase.

 

The two Showcase tryout runs were okay - you have to like Mike Sekowsky's art, and I do.  But really, if you hit any Adam Strange Showcases, you're in good shape.  If you can afford the Archives, better yet - because this is one of the few comics that I think look far superior with color.  (Some stories can get away without color - some are improved without it  - but Adam Strange isn't one of those.)

 

ELS

The Hawkman Showcases had Rann and Thanagar heading for war. It was even mentioned in Justice League #200. 

Figserello said:

Mr. Satanism said:

A little past the 1970s, but his two-parter in Saga of the Swamp Thing remains my favorite appearance of Adam's.

That's why I didn't ask for 80s examples!  How could I skip a Moore tale?  Moore's was my first Adam Strange story.  It worked well for me even without knowing the continuity.  Were Rann and Thanagar established as being at loggerheads before this Swamp Thing story?

 

My library has Diggle's Planet Heist so I'll read that soon.

 

The Wednesday Comics tale was pretty good, for what it was...

Figserello said:

That's why I didn't ask for 80s examples!  How could I skip a Moore tale?  Moore's was my first Adam Strange story.  It worked well for me even without knowing the continuity.  Were Rann and Thanagar established as being at loggerheads before this Swamp Thing story?


I don't believe so, but the representation of Thanagar as an aggressor planet had been introduced in Tony Isabella's The Shadow War of Hawkman series and the Hawkman series that followed.

In Justice League of America #109 Hawkman's fact-finding mission to Earth ended and he returned to Thanagar. In #117 he returned to Earth for reasons connected to Thanagar's infection with a plague called the Equalising plague that left everyone with the same physical and mental abilities. In #119 he bought Hawkgirl back to Earth, and she was cured too. (She joined the League in #146.) The Hawkman try-out in Showcase ##101-103 (in which Adam appeared) established that the Thanagarians had been cured by Hyathis (an alien queen who first appeared as one of four alien tyrants in Justice League of America #3) who had thereby become their ruler and was popular, although she apparently ruled as a dictator. Hawkman was exiled because he refused to acknowledge her as his queen.

Subsequently a Hawkman series ran in World's Finest, during which Hawkgirl started calling herself Hawkwoman. In World's Finest Comics #278, in the Superman/Batman feature, Hawkman recruited Superman and Batman to help him overthrow her rule in response to request for help from Thanagar that had been received on Earth in the previous issue's Hawkman instalment.

In the Shadow War of Hawkman mini and the early issues of the next Hawkman series Hawkman had to thwart Thangarian designs on Earth. It's implied at the end of the Swamp Thing story that the Thanagarians want the secret of the Zeta Beam for reasons connected to their designs on Earth.

 

(corrected)

When I was a lad I gravitated toward Marvel Comics. Then, around the turn of the century, I got to the point where I virtually lost all interest in Marvel Comics in favor of DC. (I'm referring to Marvel Masterworks and archival collections here; I still continued to buy, collect and read new comics from both of the Big Two at this time.) The pendulum eventually swung back the other way is 2005 (with the "Death of Captain America"), but for several years my backissue reading consisted almost entirely of DC comics. 

It was during this time (2003) that DC comics published the first volume of Adam Strange Archives. I had read all of the character's JLA appearances, a handful of reprints and Alan Moore's treatment by that time, but otherwise I was largely unfamiliar with Adam Strange. I bought that fist archive edition and loved it! DC was to publish two more over the years, but by that time I had moved on to something else and never got around to reading them. Eventually, in 2017, I applied those three volumes (two still in their shrink-wrap) to the purchase of the Adam Strange Silver Age Omnibus (or The Silver age Adam Strange Omnibus if you prefer). Since then it's been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get in the "mood" to read it. Lately, Alan Stewart's "Attack of the 50 Year Old Comic Books" blog has put me in the mood to read some Silver age DC comics, but I was reluctant to start a discussion with my name on it in case I didn't follow through. Then I remembered Figserello's discussion from a decade ago. 

The first thing I learned about the "Adam Strange" feature is that it was one of two science fiction heroes suggested by DC Editorial director Irwin Donenfeld in 1957 in response to the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. He summoned two of his editors, Julius Schwartz and Jack Schiff, and tasked them with creating one sci-fi hero set in the present, one in the future. Being senior editor of the two, he got first pick, which became Space Ranger. Schwartz was happy with that choice because he preferred a character set in the present day as he reasoned it would be more relevant.

The second thing I learned (actually from reading the archive 14 years earlier) was that Adam strange debuted in Showcase (not Mystery in Space) and was originally penciled by Mike Sekowsky (not Carmine Infantino). Sekowsky had a style that I came to appreciate much more as an adult than I did as a child. Sometimes though, I must admit, I wasn't too savvy early on about identifying different artists' styles. Sometimes I confused an artist's early style with his later one as the work of a different artist. I may not have been ten years old when Sekowsky was penciling JLA, but I was ten years old when he was penciling two of my favorite books at the time: Iron Jaw (inked by Jack Abel) and The Brute (inked by Pablo Marcos). 

Adam Strange was written by Gardner Fox, who co-produced 68 issues of JLA (including three issues of The Brave & the Bold) with Mike Sekowsky between 1960 and 1968. Fox had his own distinctive "voice" when it came to his writing style. A couple of years ago, when I was working my way through the Green Lantern archives and omnibuses, when it got to the point when editor Julius Schwartz would alternate stories between Gardner Fox and John Broome, I purposefully didn't check the credits beforehand in order to guess the writer by his respective style. For one thing, the names Fox invents have a certain lilt to them, such as the "Orkinomikron" in "Invaders from the Atom Universe!" from Showcase #18. Where does one place the accent? Also, he tends to use nouns as verbs, a practice Bill Waterson would later describe as "verbing" (as in, "verbing weirds the language").

At this point there is some inconsistency as to how Adam's costume is depicted. At this point it is (usually) mostly red, with white piping only on the pants. Also, there is some confusion as to whether his shirt is short-sleeved (mostly on the covers) or long-sleeved (mostly in the interiors). As with many series edited by Julius Schwartz, there is a strong indication of attraction between the sexes. When Black Canary and Starman teamed up in two issues of The Brave & the Bold (which I first read as an adult), I got the definite impression there was some hanky panky going on behind the scenes (a suspicion later confirmed in the Starman "Young Romance" annual). I don't think Adam and Alana are sleeping together yet, but I'll keep a eye out for I think that's likely to have happened. 

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