Monday, February 18, 2008

Adam Strange

Oh Adam Strange, the most redundant of all the heroes in comicdom, but also one of the best.

Here's how an Adam Strange story works. Adam speeds to some remote destination on Earth in order to intercept a Zeta Beam that will transport him to the planet Rann (he always makes it with seconds to spare). The love of his life Alanna greets him on Rann, at which point the planet is attacked by some sort of invulnerable menace. Then Adam, armed only with a jet pack and ray gun (that never works) wins the day with some sort of science macguffin. Finally Alanna tries to reward Adam with a kiss, only for the Zeta Beam to wear off, sending Adam back to Earth. Every story then ends with Adam (or occasionally Alanna just for a bit of variety) staring up at the stars and longing for the next time the two will meet.

Yes the stories are hokey (in one issue Rann is attacked by giant fireflies), yes the solutions are a bit forced (Adam once has to lecture an entire planet of scientists on how magnets work), and yes the formula gets old quick. However, these stories are also the purest example of golden age pulp s.f. that you could possibly find (did I mention the jetpack?).

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