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The Adam Strange Archives, Volume 1 Hardcover – March 1, 2004

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The latest vintage comic-book character reprinted in the lavish, hardcover DC Archives series was born when the 1950s "sci-fi" craze was grafted onto the superhero genre. Adam Strange, a scientist from Earth, was transported by a "Zeta Beam" to the distant planet Rann. Acquiring a colorful spacesuit and a jetpack, he became his adopted world's champion, saving it from space invaders, when he wasn't romancing his beautiful Rannian sweetheart, Alanna. His comic-book hit its stride with the fourth issue, when Carmine Infantino came aboard as illustrator; his sleek, modern designs and streamlined figures were perfect for the futuristic milieu. Adam's approach to conflict generally saw him overcome foes scientifically rather than physically, like his super-powered peers. His adventures were aimed at a somewhat older comics readership, presumably the adolescents who keep the sf magazines in business, and they hold up well today, despite their naivete. Adam never achieved major success but is fondly remembered by many longtime comics fans, who will welcome this handsome volume. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401201482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401201487
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on September 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If, as I was, you were born when everyone "liked Ike", and Captain Kangaroo was the nation's babysitter, if you read comic books, you knew Adam Strange! An adventurous archeologist long before Indiana Jones made the profession fashionable, he would experience a kid's ultimate fantasy, at the dawn of the Space Age...transporting to a distant planet, fighting incredible enemies armed with only a 'ray gun', a rocket pack, and a keen intellect, and winning the heart of an exotically beautiful alien girl. It was Edgar Rice Burroughs, updated, and it was IRRESISTABLE!

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"!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By F. Scott Valeri on March 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best Archive Editions of DC's secondary characters. Rereading these wonderful stories starting in 1958 Showcase and moving into a long run in Mystery in Space brings a real appreciaton for the creative team of Julie Schwartz, Gardner Fox, and Carmine Infantino. Adam had no superpowers other than a cool jetpack and raygun. He generally overcame the threats to his adopted home of Rann by outhinking his opponents in clever and unusual scripts by Fox. The relationship with Alanna is unique because she is an equal partner with him in his battles-way ahead of the 1960s womens lib movement.Their relationship is integral to the stories and always bittersweet because Adam inevitably returns to earth when the Zeta-beam wears off. Infatino's artwork is elegant and lyrical with beautiful futuristic cities and alien landscapes. This book shows the effect of different inking styles on Infantino's pencils with Murphey Anderson stealing the show. Even though Adam owes his heritage to Buck Rodgers and Flash Gordon, there is a unique cold war post-sputnik tinge to these stories that is interesting to ponder from the vantage of 2004. Quirky, wonderful scripts, art by Infantino at his best, and one of the best Silver Age love stories ever-Please get volume 2 out fast!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Carlos A on September 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Amazing! D.C., thanks for for bringing back an authentic comic book hero and a sentimental favorite. Gardner Fox, Adam Strange's creator, was an icon for those of us who came of age in the late 50's and early 60's.

Other reviewers feel the same way about the Fox-Infantino collaboration that I do: A first rate comic with incredible and tantalizing covers, imaginative drawing, and entertaining stories.

Indiana Jones meets Buck Rogers meets Casablanca. Adam Strange, an earthman and archeologist, used no superweapons to defeat his superior foes. All he used were his brains (Wow! This guy rivaled, or surpassed, Batman in the sheer use of brainpower without the benefit of a utility belt!), a rocket pack, and an semi-useless ray-gun (considering the impregnable quality of the aliens.). His alien girlfriend and equal, Alanna, seldom left his side. At the very least she inspired Adam Strange to persevere in the face of hopeless odds, so she shares the glory.

On an aside, I agree that this was formula-writing; so was the original "Star Trek" for the matter(which in my opinion cribbed the Adam Strange "endings" quite a bit), but I also second the reviewer who said that Adam Strange was an inspiration and role model for the rest of us. Brains counted! Gardner Fox, an attorney and prolific writer, projected a lot of his ideals and values unto Strange. This character made a difference in my life. Too bad Fox is no longer around to receive my praise and gratitude.

Adam Strange managed, issue after issue, to save an entire civilization/planet using his powers of observation and quick wits.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alex Toth Fan on April 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wow.
i was waiting and hoping that someday DC would do right for this character and these stories and they have.
i first ran into Infantino stories from reprints in late 60s/early seventies Strange Adventures.
i used to buy beat up copies at the local flea market on the cheap purely for reading material and became hooked by Infantino's slick, fine lined, modernistic style- which for once perfectly complements the characters and milieu, as well as for the tight, fast paced, and very creative scripting.
i quickly realized that Adam Strange stories were just plain fun to read with oodles of wit and a refreshing lack of the usual cheese found in DCs pre-Denny O'Neil/"relevant" work.
While a good chunk of the book (the first 87 pages) features the first stories illustrated by Mike Sekowsky, the Sekowsky on display here looks a little more refined than the Sekowsky that i know from Justice League.
he seems to be operating in a Ross Andru/Al Toth mode, and his page breakdowns look a tad more sophisticated, and his anatomy less clunky.
not bad, but once the Infantino work kicks in the book really soars.
i've purchased about 10 of the archives so far- there is a ton of great work reprinted in these from Jack Cole to Joe Kubert, CC Beck to Gil Kane, Reed Crandell, Jack Burnley, etc but the work here- both story and art, puts this book at the top of the heap for me.
i agree- Vol 2 can't come soon enough!!!!!
just one request, if anyone from DC is listening- how about collecting the Gil Kane Batgirl back-ups form the late 60s/early 70s Detective Comics?
great work in there, would be a shame to let them gather dust in the vaults.
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