Sunday, March 4, 2012

CBR Countdown to Adventure


And we're back with the Man of Two Worlds, Adam Strange!

This one's a continuation of both the space opera-crossover of the DC Universe The Rann–Thanagar War as well as a direct sequel to DC's year-long epic storyline 52.

Building up upon both stories, it teams-up everyone's favorite space-based adventurer with Animal Man and Starfire from the Teen Titans.
The trio had formed a friendship over the past stories.

This book is also a tie-in and one of these stories building up their events Infinite Crisis and Countdown - took you can skip both of these if you're not a big fan of these kind of comic books.

Don't miss out my previous Adam Strange-related reviews!

Comic title: Countdown to Adventure
Art by Eddy Barrows, Allan Goldman with Julio Ferreiro and others
Story by Adam Beechen

Published by DC Comics
From 2007-08
Lineup Adam Strange, Animal Man, Countdown
Format: Trade paperback, collects the 8-issue miniseries.

This book can be simply summed like this:
It's the continuing adventures of Adam Strange, Animal Man and Starfire as they face down a returning threat and meet down with the mysterious Forerunner.

It's also a direct continuation of their subplot from 52. If you missed that, let me recap for you:

Previously in 52:

After preventing the infamous Rann–Thanagar War, our heroes find themselves stranded in space.
Adam Strange - Man of Two Worlds, archaeologist on Earth and space hero on the planet Rann, Animal Man - family man who is able to tap into the animal life on Earth to channel super powers, and Starfire - Tamaranean slave princess turned superhero thanks to the Teen Titans.
After meeting with the legendary intergalactic merc' Lobo [link], helping out a revolution and saving some dolphins while they're at it, our trio end up at odds against a certain Lady Styx, a would-be universe conqueror.
Adam loses his sight (but it becomes all better at the end), Buddy Baker, Animal Man, misses his wife and two children quite a lot and Starfire starts thinking seriously about herself and making a life of her own away from the Titans.
They face down Lady Styx's armies, avert her rise to power and defeat this powerful new empire.

Finally they return to their respective lives after a year long adventure in space.

Their Mystery In Space resolved, Buddy gets back to his family, Ellen Baker and their two kids, Cliff and Maxine.
But a 5th wheel follows the Bakers at home, Starfire now left powerless is brought to home as well.
First unconscious, trying to regain her energy after the traumatic confrontation in 52, she then awakes and decides to stay a bit with the family until her powers either come back or she makes peace with herself and thinks about her future new life.

Meanwhile Adam Strange gets back to Rann to his own family.
The threat of Lady Styx averted, he is able to return full time to his newly repopulated world (who houses the population of the planet Thanagar, extinct now -> see Planet Heist).

Long story short, an actor from Earth gets Zeta Beamed away to Rann as well, from a movie Buddy Baker was working on as a stuntman.
Adam finds himself replaced by this Champ Hazard guy.

While on Earth, people in San Diego start to get more and more agressive near Starfire and Animal Man. First Buddy's own son Cliff gets quite possessive around the exotic princess. Then people they meet in the street, at the school, etc.
Did Starfire bring back some sort of alien virus back to Earth with her?

Can they prevent the city from being overrun by this hysteria?
What are those mysterious Healers guys doing around the place?
Can Adam stop Champ before he gets too far, having no regard for any life whatsoever and totally irresponsible?
Is Lady Styx back from the dead?!?

Adam Beechen crafted one interesting fun story. Perhaps nowhere near as good and well crafter as the above mentioned 52, but a decent follow-up nonetheless.
The art is sort of uneven throughout the book.
Mostly good and decent, but there's lot of various rushed faces, weirdly proportioned figures (the kids specifically).. I mean no disrespect, but this looks half rushed by the middle of the series.

A mysterious madness plague is infecting both Earth and Rann, Lady Styx did lots more than our heroes thought before defeating her.
Earth is slowly succumbing to this plague while Rann sees one third of her population causing riots and "believing in her"...

A fun serial, in true fashion to the ol' genre from the 60s-70s.
(only, stretched through the course of a whole book instead of a simple short issue!)

Overall, it's a pretty fun book.
Simple enough.
Nothing more.

For fans of the genre and characters!

Adam tries to escape to Earth with his family..only to find out it has already succumbed to the same plague as his adopted world.
One of the so very few times DC has let the spotlight on these so underused underrated cast of characters.
Animal Man gets to shine throughout the tale, as well as Starfire.

Will they be able to restore the infectees and return the people to normal? Read on!

I give it:

  2 / 3 Plastic-trophies!


  1. This series made me a fan of Adam Strange.
    Unfortunately, I haven't read much with him...

    1. Well, in that case, you can have a look at "Mystery in Space " and "Man of Two Worlds" which I have links to above, in the intro. Pretty solid Adam Strange comics!