Review by Woodrow Phoenix
Adam Strange is an archeologist who is accidentally struck by a beam of light that transports him to the planet Rann in the Alpha Centauri system. He becomes a jet-pack-wearing hero, who defeats alien menaces because of his logical scientific approach to solving seemingly impossible problems. He falls in love with Alanna, daughter of Sardath who invented the beam that teleported him to Rann, but he cannot remain there with them because the beam’s effects are only temporary. When it wears off he is returned to Earth, where he must wait weeks for the next beam to strike again.
Very obviously inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars, Gardner Fox’s romantic blend of science fiction and fantasy was introduced in 1958, and the nine to fifteen page stories continued through to 1965. Initially drawn by Mike Sekowsky, Adam Strange is mostly associated with Carmine Infantino and inker Murphy Anderson. Infantino’s modernist, angular graphic style brought an elegant dynamism to these strips that was especially distinctive in the 1960s, making each episode a study in design and contrast. Most of the Adam Strange run was reprinted in three volumes of The Adam Strange Archives,which presents the series in full colour in a deluxe hardcover format. The stories are also available in Showcase Presents Adam Strange, an affordable softcover volume in black and white.
Adam Strange: The Silver Age Omnibus is a single extra-large 848-page book that not only presents all the material from those three Archive volumes in one place on bigger pages, but adds even more content. It includes eleven more stories drawn by Lee Elias, Murphy Anderson and Gil Kane between 1964 and 1970, all the covers of Strange Adventures, a reprint title featuring both previously seen and new Adam Strange stories, plus a real curio: ‘The Magic-Maker of Rann’, an eight page text story written by Fox with illustrations by Anderson. This is the most attractive presentation of this material available and a great purchase for those interested in a minor but influential series that linked in an interesting way to several bigger titles, including the Justice League, Green Lantern and Hawkman.
This collection is introduced with some background info by Jim Amash and includes small biographies of Fox, Infantino, Anderson, Sekowsky and the other writers and inkers who contributed to this series.