Friday, July 16, 2010

'Adam Strange' is fun sci-fi/pulp comics

Showcase Presents: Adam Strange, Vol. 1 (DC Comics, 2007)
Writer: Gardner Fox
Artists, Carmine Infantino, Murphy Anderson, Mike Sekowsky, Bernard Sachs, and Gil Kane
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

With "Showcase Presents: Adam Strange, Vol. 1", DC Comics has added another great, low-priced book that reprints 500+ pages of some of the best American comics ever published. This time out, it's the earliest adventures of a man who lives in two worlds... an archeologist who every 62 days is transported by Zeta-Beam to the distant world of Rann where he straps on a rocketpack, grabs a raygun, and fights alien evils until the radiation wears off and he returns to Earth.

Originally published in issues of "Showcase" and "Mystery in Space" between 1958 and 1963, from the very first episode writer Gardner Fox spun some great pulp-flavored sci-fi adventures tales that read like a cross classic Flash Gordon and Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter of Mars stories. They're excellent reading that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages, and the adventures are enhanced by the romantic relationship between Adam and the alien beauty Alanna.

The art is passable from the very beginning, but it doesn't become truly great until Carmine Infantino becomes the strip's regular penciller. When Murphy Anderson comes onboard as the inker in the second half of the book, readers are treated to some of the best-looking American comics art ever published. The team of Infantino and Anderson was a truly spectacular one.

If you enjoy well-done comics and sci-fi adventure tales, I think you'll enjoy "Adam Strange, Vol. 1".

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