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03 April 2013

Little Bobby and his obsession with Adam Strange since comic books cost 10 cents a pop

Click image to enlarge.

Dear Merciful Lord, help me. I have been unhealthily obsessed with Adam Strange and his trips -- about 4 or 5 a year is my hazy recollection -- on the Zeta Beam from boring old Earth (where he is an architect or an archeologist, I forget which) to Rann, a planet on the far side of our Melkweg Galaxy, where resides his intergalactic sweety-pie Alanna (she's hot, he ain't zapping to the far side of Melkweg for any meiskeit), since -- 

Well, okay, here's how long. Since comic books cost 10 US cents each. Does that give you some idea how long I have been hung up on Adam Strange? I would give the store guy 10 USA cents -- one thin dime, 10 copper Lincoln pennies -- and he would give me the latest issue of "Mystery in Space" featuring Adam Strange.

Why isn't really a particularly profound Mystery in Space. I grew up and was imprisoned in Washington DC USA, and spent about 18 years screaming GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE NOW at the top of my lungs, but no one listened sufficiently closely, and there were Laws about how long I was The Property of Older People, and Laws about how soon I could stop going to school, and there was no whaling industry in the USA anymore, so I didn't even have the traditional & historical option of running off to New Bedford, Massachusetts and asking helpful whalers and sailors if they could get me a Cabin Boy gig on the next wooden sailing ship heading for Polynesia or The Southern Oceans or Post Office Bay in the Galapagos/ las Encantadas. Historically, that ship had sailed; running away to sea was no longer an option for Little Bobby.

Now let me tell you about Adam Strange. He was stuck on this dumb boring one-horse planet just like Little Bobby. He had a good job, a career, professional respect, he probably drove a Mercury or maybe a Studebaker -- he was doing perfectly okay on Earth.

Then one day in the middle of the Gobi Desert, or in a laundromat, or a parking garage (strolling toward his Studebaker), he gets zapped bigtime by some incredibly powerful blinding energy blast and the next thing he knows he is hurtling across the Melkweg a gazillion times faster than light, and finally wham! he is on this other planet, Rann.

He doesn't know how it happened, he didn't even ask for it to happen, he never expected it to happen,

But HE HAS GOT THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. He is Somewhere Else. REALLY Somewhere Else. This ain't no laundromat, this ain't no parking garage, this ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around *. Adam Strange is OUTTA HERE. Earth is major bigtime grossezeit In His Rear View Window.

He ain't got no idea what the hell goes on on this Rann place **, but he groks instantly that whatever's going on, this is the place he got to make all future deals with, pretty much on Rann's terms, Rann Rules, Rann Customs & Traditions, Rann Laws of Physics & Sportsmanship, Rann Sex & Romance Customs & Taboos ... He very wisely makes his new mantra: When in Rann, do as the Rann Humanoid Entities Do.

Rann et environs is a pretty rough neighborhood -- sort of a mix of Tiajuana, Kaliningrad, Hamburg, Marseilles, Tallin, Bangkok, Montserrat during and after the Surprise Volcano Eruption, and that big meltdown part of Somalia which in recent decades has adopted Ocean Piracy as its chief economic activity. 

Rann turns out to be a real Eat Or Be Eaten kind of place, and there's a new and unexpected Monster Krazy Life-Threatening Planet-Extincting Krisis every goddam new issue (10 cents!).

Adam Strange is up to it.

I don't know where he went in Ranagar (the capital of Rann) to get that awesome nifty new red soot he flies around Rann on his jet pack in -- he first landed on Rann wearing his regular laudromat or archeologist threads, maybe penny loafers -- but he gets the new red soot, and some sort of blaster sidearm which is useful when confronted by a Znarg, or a Vermicious Knid, and he starts keeping company with this E-Ticket Hot Number babe Alanna

(She's the daughter of the whack boffin Sardath what invented the Zeta Beam and for its first test, aimed it at Earth, and specifically the laundromat where Adam Strange was doing his laundry.)

Look, I would REALLY appreciate hearing from you if YOU have a previous, long-standing relationship with either Adam Strange, Alanna, Rann, or the Zeta Beam. 

(I don't care if you have a long relationship with laundromats, or, as I finally figured out when i had a backpack full of filthy clothes in Amsterdam, a wassallon. You can Leave A Comment about your experiences in the laundromat, but I DON'T CARE.)

I think they've made maybe one or two crappy cheap movies-made-for-TV of Adam Strange. They sucked.

HOLD PAGE 1!!!! STOP THE PRESSES! Leonardo DiCaprio seems to have an Adam Strange feature theatrical release movie in development! The buzz is release date 2013 or 2014! BSMH!***

Adam Strange doesn't suck. And Rann on the Zeta Beam with a red soot and a blaster sidearm and a flying jet pack -- well, I mean -- that just beats the living shit out of running away to sea on a whaling ship to las Encantadas!


from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia


Adam Strange

is a fictional superhero published by DC Comics. Created by editor Julius Schwartz with a costume designed by Murphy Anderson, he first appeared in Showcase #17 (November 1958).

In May 2011, Adam Strange placed 97th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.

Publication history

In 1957, DC Comics editorial director Irwin Donenfeld held a meeting with editors Jack Schiff and Julius Schwartz in his office, asking them each to create a new science fiction hero: one from the present, and one from the future. Given first pick, Schiff chose to create one from the future (Space Ranger). However, Schwartz was happy with the pick, feeling that readers would more readily identify with a hero from the present. He conceived the idea of an Earth man repeatedly traveling to a planet in the Alpha Centauri star system using a Zeta-beam altered by space radiation, and named his character Adam after the first man on Earth, since Adam Strange was the first Earthman on another planet.[1]

Adam Strange debuted in issues #17-19 of the tryout series Showcase, published November 1958-March 1959. The first artwork of the character was a cover for Showcase #17 by Murphy Anderson; though Schwartz rejected the drawing and commissioned a new one by Gil Kane, Anderson's costume design was retained.[1] Schwartz then assigned the scribing of the stories to Gardner Fox and the penciling to Mike Sekowsky.[2] Schwartz and Fox devised the plots for the stories in Schwartz's office, and Fox would write the scripts at home. A science major, Schwartz specialized in giving Fox scientific pointers that gave the Adam Strange tales a plausibility that made them stand out from most science fiction of the time.[1]

Sales on the three-issue Showcase tryout were enough to justify giving Adam Strange a slot in Mystery in Space, which ran in isssues #53-100 and 102. Though Schwartz and Fox continued their work on the character, Schwartz gave the penciler assignment to Carmine Infantino instead of Sekowsky. Most issues were inked by Murphy Anderson (although Bernard Sachs, Joe Giella and Sid Greene did a few issues each). In the Justice League of America comic book, the Flash mentioned Adam Strange as a possible new member for the Justice League. When a letter to the editor pointed out the group had not met Adam Strange and could not have heard of him, as all his heroics took place on Rann, Schwartz and Fox wrote a story showing how the Justice League came to Rann and how Adam Strange saved them from Kanjar Ro. The story was published in Mystery in Space #75 and won the Alley Award for the "Best Book-Length Story" of 1962.

As of #92, Jack Schiff replaced Schwartz as editor of Mystery in Space and Lee Elias became the artist for Adam Strange. Following the discontinuation of the Adam Strange stories, reprints were presented in Strange Adventures #217 through 244 (except for #222, which instead has a new story with Strange, written by Denny O'Neil, while #226 has a new Strange text story, by Fox, with illustrations by Anderson).

Through the 1970s, the character was a regular presence in the DC Universe despite having no series of his own. In the 1980s, Alan Moore wrote a retcon of Adam Strange's reason for his visits to Rann. In this retcon, the population of the planet, the majority of whom view the Terran with contempt, is sterile, and Adam Strange is there to be a breeding stud. In a 1990 limited series, The Man of Two Worlds, Adam learns of the population's opinion of him and Alanna dies giving birth to their daughter Aleea. In JLA #20 (July 1998), Alanna is revealed to be alive, and is briefly reunited with her husband and daughter before Adam is transported back to Earth.
Fictional character biography

Strange is an archeologist suddenly teleported from Peru, Earth to the fictional planet Rann through a "Zeta-Beam". Upon his arrival, he is attacked by one of the planet's predators and rescued by a blue-haired woman called Alanna. She takes him to her father Sardath, who explains that the Zeta-Beam was transmitted at Earth in the hopes that whatever form of intelligent life lived there would trace it back to Rann, and theorizes that in the 4.3 years it takes the Zeta-Beam to reach earth, it was altered by space radiation into a transportation beam. Called on to protect the planet from extraterrestrial threats using Rann's technology, Strange grew to care for the planet and its inhabitants, especially Alanna. Eventually, the effects of the beam wore off, automatically returning Strange to Earth at the exact point of departure, but not before Sardath had given him a schedule of beam firings allowing him to periodically return to the planet. Using mathematical calculations, he was able to determine the exact time and locations the Zeta-Beams would arrive at. He travels the world and intercepts them, to defend Rann and be with Alanna.[3]

Justice League of America

During Grant Morrison's revival of the Justice League of America series, Mark Waid featured Adam Strange when he filled in for Morrison. Adam Strange kidnaped the entirety of the Justice League and put them to forced labor to reconstruct Rann, as part of a ruse to rescue Alanna and her father. Strange returned to Rann in JLA: Heaven's Ladder (2000) and presumably reunited with his family shortly after.

Planet Heist

Planet Heist, a 2004 eight-issue limited series, written by Andy Diggle, penciled by Pasqual Ferry and colored by Dave McCaig, replaced Adam Strange's costume with a spacesuit that allows for interstellar travel. 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. Adam, with the help of the Omega Men and the Darkstars, among others, saved Rann and defeated the evil being.

Rann-Thanagar War
Main article: 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- Strange working with Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Kyle Rayner and Kilowog to try to end the conflict-, a six-issue precursor to DC's 2005 to 2006 limited series and DC crossover event, Infinite Crisis. Strange was eventually able to end the war when he discovered evidence of Superboy-Prime's role in Thanagar's relocation.

Main article: 52 (comic book)

Adam was stranded on a paradise-like planet with Animal Man and Starfire. As a result of a teleportation accident involving the Zeta-Beam, he lost both of his eyeballs but in spite of his injuries, he tried to fix a damaged spaceship so that they may return home.[4] After being attacked by Devilance the Pursuer, they eventually escaped having realized that the entire planet is a trap.

This ragtag team made a stand against the villainess Lady Styx, whose undead legions were ravaging planets across the galaxy. With Styx presumably defeated and Animal Man seemingly killed, Strange and Starfire continued 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 was saved by Mogo and a rookie Green Lantern. Brought to Rann, Strange was equipped with new eyes, cloned by Aleea and genetically engineered to grant him vision of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. He was 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 issue #1, 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." Adam and his family escape to Earth, where he enlists the aid of Animal Man and Starfire, eventually discovering a way to cure the plague and restore the infectees to normal.
Rann-Thanagar Holy War

Adam Strange, along with many of the DC space heroes including Hawkman, Starfire, The Weird, and the Prince Gavyn Starman , battles Synnar the Demiurge. Adam Strange's actions in this story result in the depopulation of Prince Gavyn's Throneworld at the hands of Lady Styx. Later, to defeat Synnar and Lady Styx, Rann's atmosphere was explosively discharged into outer space with Rann's entire population Zeta-beamed to Throneworld. Strange also discovers in this story that he is a member of the so called Aberrant Six.

Strange Adventures

With Throneworld renamed New Rann, Adam Strange once more teams up with the DC space heroes to investigate why some of the galaxy's stars are disappearing. It is discovered from the future spirit of Synnar that he is destined to be one of 'The Aberrant Six', a group critical to preventing the Synnar of today (trapped in The Weird's body) from destroying the universe. Ultimately the Aberrant Six did not form and the future Synnar was forced to leave, but not before Captain Comet's mercenary friend Eye was killed by Synnar's supreme god-enemy to prevent the forming of the Six. Comet was entrusted with Eye's robot companion Orb until she returns, told by Synnar that when that happens he will "continue his negotiations - All has changed, but remains as it was". Adam Strange realizes that one day Synnar will return and force him to join his Aberrant Six.

Adam Strange then found himself joining up with Vril Dox as part of his R.E.B.E.L.S.. Adam Strange helped to save the Vega system and several galaxies by defeating Starro the Conqueror. It was also around this time that Adam Strange visited New Krypton to protest the accord that their Council reached with the Thanagarians. Explaining that the Rannians have recently been on the losing end in a war with the Thanagarians, Adam questions the judgment of the Council in reaching this accord. Whilst there he aided Superman who was investigating a murder.

The plight of Rann's people was soon resolved by Vril Dox, seeking to restore his reputation after Starro the Conqueror stole L.E.G.I.O.N. from him and used it to enslave its client worlds. Dox Zeta-beamed Rann into the Vega system, in the orbit previously held by the now destroyed planet Tamaran, and proceeded to terraform Rann and make it suitable to sustain life again.

The restoration of the planet Rann wasn't Dox's only reason for relocating it into the Vega system. First, by putting Rann into Tamaran's orbit, it restored the gravitional balance to the Vega system, which had been thrown off by Tamaran's destruction. Secondly, in exchange for restoring their planet, the people of Rann agreed to let Dox rebuild L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters on Rann.

Tamaranian refugees, led by Blackfire, attacked Rann believing that since the planet was in Tamaran's orbit they had claim to it. The violence was ended when Vril Dox, who was off-world at the start of the conflict, arrived with Thanagarian warships and stopped the fighting without bloodshed on either side. As it turned out, Dox was off-world negotiating an official end to the Rann-Thanagar War, using Rann's new-found distance from Thanagar and change in leadership on both sides as leverage.

Dox then went on to mediate the tension between the Rannians and the Tamaranians by proposing that the Tamaranians live on Rann's uninhabited southern continent.

Adam Strange as well as protector of Rann would also become a senior commander of L.E.G.I.O.N. ensuring peace with the Green Lantern Corps. He also helped create an alliance between Rannians, Tamaranians and L.E.G.I.O.N. after defeating Starro the Conqueror, ensuring security for Rann, the Vega System and the galaxy.

Other versions

    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).

    The Silver Age Adam Strange is one of the "ghosts" in the empty "Planet Krypton" restaurant in The Kingdom: Planet Krypton #1.

    Adam Strange made a brief appearance in Elseworlds' JLA: Another Nail when all time periods meld together. In the original series JLA: The Nail, he is found dead in Earth orbit by Hal Jordan after the Zeta Beam taking him to Rann was blocked by a force field surrounding Earth.

    In Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier, Adam Strange is confined in Arkham Asylum because of his belief he has traveled to another world. It is also revealed this was done so the government can keep an eye on him. When the Centre appears off the coast of Florida, Dr. Leslie Thompkins returns his jet pack and energy weapon to him. It is Adam's idea to use Ray Palmer's shrinking device to destroy the threat, having read an article about his work while confined.

    The 2009 weekly comics broadsheet Wednesday Comics featured an interpretation of Adam Strange by artist and writer Paul Pope that drew much more directly from the John Carter stories which inspired the character, casting the planet Rann as a much more fantasy-like world, and Alanna as a scantily clad warrior princess.[5]

In other media


    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 appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Mystery in Space" voiced by Michael T. Weiss. Batman is called over to Adam's home planet and he brings Aquaman as well. All three alongside Adam Strange's wife Alanna go in to stop the Gordanians led by General Kreegaar from obtaining the Eye of Zared from the bottom of Rann's oceans. Before he can get his wife away from the Gordanians, the effects of the Zeta Ray wears off sending him to Earth. He had to trace another one to get back to Rann only to find out that Rann is now in danger. After the enemy successfully gets the Eye of Zared and starts attacking, Adam Strange starts to have his doubts. His confidence is rekindled by Aquaman, and he goes in to save Alanna, and buy Aquaman and Batman some time to create a solar eclipse to stop the Eye of Zared forcing General Kreegaar's army to surrender. In the series' third season, Adam appears in one of four vignettes in "Four Star Spectacular!", titled "World's War." He is preparing to return to Rann with an anniversary present for his wife when he witnesses dozens of Zeta Beams strike Gotham City. Adam allows himself to be teleported and discovers that Kanjar Ro plans to intercept a Zeta Beam, teleport a negaton bomb to Rann, wipe out the population, and use the planet as a base of operations. The hero manages to teleport Kanjar Ro and his bomb to a swamp world, and the space pirate disarms the bomb just in time, only to run afoul of an alien monster.

    Adam Strange appears in Young Justice: Invasion episode "Happy New Year" voiced by Michael Trucco.[6] Besides his history of ending up on Rann, he tells the team that Rann has a bounty on all Justice Leaguers after some of them were controlled by Vandal Savage to attack Rimbor. He and Alanna are also in "Earthlings" where they help Superboy, Miss Martian, and Beast Boy in their efforts to find the rogue Kroloteans and their Zeta Ray technology by distracting Rannian authorities and fighting the armored Kroloteans. In "Salvage", Adam activates a Zeta Shield to cover Earth and protect it from future alien invasions.


    Adam Strange appears briefly in 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, but has no speaking role.

    A film is currently in development hell, but the film is being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and is expected to be released either 2013 or 2014. [7]

Video game

    Adam Strange appears in the DC Universe Online video game.

Awards and reception

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. IGN ranked Adam Strange as the 97th greatest comic book hero of all time stating that "If by fluke we were given the chance to ride a Zeta Beam[sic] into space, meet a sexy alien princess[sic] on the planet Rann, and fight extraterrestrial threats with high-tech weaponry, I[sic] wouldn’t want to go back to mundane Earth-life either. That makes us completely sympathetic to Adam Strange’s plight."[8]


    Justice League #25–26 – "Strange Days" (Part 1 of 2)
    Justice League Unlimited #4 – "Local Hero"


    ^ a b c Amash, Jim (2003). "Foreward" in The Adam Strange Archives: Volume 1. Pages 5-8.
    ^ Irvine, Alex; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1950s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Adam Strange debuted in a three-issue trial starting with Showcase #17, which was written by Gardner Fox and featured art by Mike Sekowsky."
    ^ Showcase #17.
    ^ 52 Week Seven
    ^ Pope, Paul and Jose Villarrubia "Strange Adventures"
    ^ "'Young Justice' heads into sci-fi direction in new season –". 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
    ^ "Leonardo DiCaprio to Produce Aquaman and Adam Strange Movies". TheHDRoom. 2009-07-20. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
    ^ "Adam Strange as number 97". IGN. Retrieved May 5, 2011.

External links

    DCDP: Adam Strange - DC Database Project
    Brief History of Adam Strange on Sequart
    Adam Strange at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012.
    Adam Strange Planet Heist, extensive look at 2004–05 mini-series
    Alley Awards main page at Comic Book Awards Almanac


    Comics characters introduced in 1958
    DC Comics science fiction characters
    DC Comics superheroes
    DC Comics titles
    Fictional archaeologists



    This page was last modified on 2 April 2013 at 11:25.


* some of what this ain't is from "Life During Wartime," recorded by The Talking Heads in 1979, written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth, produced by Brian Eno.

** Is there life on Mars?

Well, maybe a little on Saturday night.

This joke was found carved on a ziggurat in Uruk circa 4300 BCE.

*** BSMH = Be Still My Heart


Landscape Windscreen said...

Brian Eno Is God. Period.
(Oh, and He has a new record out called Lux which I highly recommend. He had a massive influence on ma as an Artist so I better stop raving and drooling.....He also recorded a brilliant Album with David Byrne later on if anyone cares.)

Anonymous said...

I love Adam Strange so much, and I totally agree with you on just about everything you said! Although due to my obesssion with him I HAVE to point out (or it will drive me nuts!) that he's wasn't walking down the street when he got hit by the zeta beam, in was running away from the natives in Paru after he had just made an amazing discovery, they chased him to the point he jumped off a clif to escape when he got hit =)

Vleeptron Dude said...

Hiya Anonymous, Happy Reformed Gregorian Solar Calendar New Year!

Yeah, yeah, it's coming back to me now, Adam Strange did the Leap Off A Jungle Cliff thing the first time he got hit by the Zeta Beam.

How much did comic books (now called Graphic Novels) cost when you first got hit by the Zeta Beam?

Who are you, where are you, what are you, what other comic books were you habituated to? I'm an obsessive fan of the Carl Barks duck & assorted poultry stories in "Walt Disney Comics and Stories."

If you bounce around Vleeptron a lot, you will discover that I travel back and forth between Earth and Planet Vleeptron on the Zeta Beam. I got a holiday condo near the Shoe Mirrors Underway station in Ciudad Vleeptron.