Monday, January 23, 2012

CBR Adam Strange: Planet Heist


And we're back with Adam Strange!

Such a seriously underused but fun and original character!

You saw him in his first modern, if more serious, mini-series:
- Adam Strange: Man of Two Worlds
And kicking ass in pure pulp retro fashion in:
- DC Comics Presents: Mystery in Space
Finally, in the 2000s, DC gave him his long overdue modern re-interpretation, an all-new story and sequel of sorts to Man of Two Worlds!

Comic title: Adam Strange: Planet Heist
Art by Pascal Ferry
Story by Andy Diggle

Published by DC Comics
From 2005
Lineup Adam Strange
Format: Trade paperback, collects the 8-issue miniseries epic.

Every now and then, people at DC try to bring Adam Strange back from the drawers.
Sadly, not much is done with such a great character.
Why is that? I mean really?
The character is bright, simple, iconic. The concept is fantastic.

You see,
Adam Strange's sort of like DC Comics' very own Indiana Jones.
Strange is an average guy.
Originally an archeologist (why does all these sort of cool stuff keep happening to these guys??), he was suddenly hit by a Zeta beam one day, which transported him away to the very strange planet Rann...

Adam Strange's just your average Joe. Only he's having the worst day of his life.

On Rann, Strange discovered himself to be a true hero at heart. Equipped with a laser gun and a jet pack, Adam Strange proved himself several times to be quite a reliable savior to the distant planet.
After various uncontrollable travels back and forth, Adam finally settled there and married Alanna, the daughter of the chief scientist, Sardath,  who whisked him away originally.
They had a child, Aleea.

After one quick line-throwaway to the previous series, Adam was finally ready to leave Earth once and for all.
Adam was just about to join his wife and daughter on his adopted homeworld forever with his all-new perfected Zeta beam when suddenly... his transport never came!

He finds himself trapped on Earth...
What has happened to his world? And more important, is his family okay?

Planet Heist is exactly what fans of Adam Strange wished for years.

One massive epic science-fiction story, setting up Adam's place in the larger DCU (where the anterior Man of Two Worlds was clearly isolated from everything and self-contained).

It is simply that, a big scifi epic, bringing Strange into all sorts of places, across all corners of the DC universe.

Adam Strange is quickly confronted with intergalactic bounty hunters, then goes on to explore Rann's solar system, which brings him against Thanagarians, and specially in the clutches of wing commander and fanatic Sh'ri Valkyr. Later on, Strange runs into Tigorr and his Omega Men who decide to help him out find what really happened to Rann and the Polaris star system.
In the end, Strange finds himself a man on the run. Darkstars (sort of unofficial Green Lantern Corps), the Legion...every body wants to arrest Strange for a crime he didn't commit...

It's big.
It goes into all sorts of directions.
The story all fans of Adam Strange always dreamed of!

Andy Diggle depicts one heckuva adventure for Adam Strange.

It quickly mentions previous plot left unresolved.
Alanna originally "died" giving birth to Aleea... Which was later expanded upon in the pages of the JLA (in a little story arc, starting issue #20). Alanna turned out to actually be alive, with a big baddie planning his revenge on our heroes...
In the end, Alanna was reunited with husband and daughter.

The artwork is gorgeous. Easily one of the best I've seen in a while. Fitting for this big colorful space adventure.
Blasters look great, jet packs almost come to life in mention, alien creatures are exotic and strange.

My only complaint (more on that, below!) is that the threat of this evil "Starbreaker" kinda comes cheap and ends abruptly in the end, with this story leading into another one...

Overall, it's a fantastic read!
Fun, gorgeous. This Mystery In Space is one Strange Adventure for sure!
(both of these classic Adam Strange comics names could have been just as good titles and more fitting over Planet Heist)

It's a great revival of the space adventure genre in the DCU.
It reinvigorated Adam Strange.
It also redesigns his costume. Good bye good ol' classic red jumpsuit...and hello modern techno-hitech futuristic red jumpsuit. Purists will hate it, newcomers will love it.
I personally think the book would have been just a good with the old retro pulp outfit.

It works great as an introduction to the large space-aspect of the DC Universe.

My only problem, but it is a tiny one in the end, is that it all leads up to...


In the end, Rann was safe and sound.Sardath only Zeta beamed it away in some dead universe to hid temporary.

Starbreaker is defeated.
But when Rann was moved back to the normal DCU, its coordinates got changed...transporting the planet back into Thanagar's system. A new terrible problem arise, Thanagar got pushed closer to its sun destryoing most of the planet's surface...which resulted in the Rann-Thanagar War!!

Anyway, in itself, it still a pretty good read and an excellent tale for science fiction fans, Adam Strange fans and readers in the search of something different from your usual "urban spandex wearing crime-fighting supermen".

I give it:

  3 / 3 Plastic-trophies!

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