TITLE: Strange Adventures – Vol. 24, Issue #241
YEAR: March-April 1973
COMPANY: DC Comics
Story by Gardner Fox
Art: Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson
In 1950, DC Comics released their first science fiction title “Strange Adventures”.
The series would be known for superheroes such as Captain Comet, Star Hawkins and the Atomic Knights.
Meanwhile, in 1951, DC Comics would release their second science fiction title “Mystery in Space” which would last 110 issues from 1951 to 1966 (and revived with seven issues in the ’80s and an eight-issue limited series in 2006).
As “Mystery in Space” would focus on adventures in uncharted worlds and also featured a variety of heroes such as Knights of hte Galaxy, Hawkman, Space Ranger, Star Rovers, to name a few, the series would be known for publishing stories featuring Adam Strange. A character who made his first appearance in “Showcase” issue #17 (November 1958).
While “Mystery in Space” would end in 1966, DC Comics would reprint the Adam Strange stories in “Strange Adventures” from issues #217-#244 (with a new story featured in issue #222 and text stories in issue #226/227).
Adam Strange is a character who is an intelligent archaeologist who was suddenly teleported from Peru to the planet Rann through a “Zeta-Beam”. In a new planet, he is attacked but is rescued by a woman named Alanna (who would become Adam Strange’s love interest throughout the series).
The Zeta-Beam was a beam transmitted to Earth for the purpose that intelligent life would trace it back to the Planet Rann, but the Zeta-Beam was altered by space radiation and now has become a transportation beam.
Using Rann technology, Adam Strange would protect Rann from threats. But despite meeting the love of his life, the Zeta-Beam is not perfect as the Zeta-Beam is temporary and when it departs, Adam Strange is automatically returned back to Earth. But eventually Adam would figure out how to determine where and when the Zeta-Beams would arrive on Earth and he can continue to defend Rann and be with Alanna.
For “Strange Adventures Issue #241” (Originally published in “Mystery in Space” #81, February 1963), as Adam Strange is driving through New York City, he sees Alanna walking through the city. He runs after her and he is excited that Alanna has finally come to Earth and now, he doesn’t have to go to Rann.
What Adam Strange is unaware is that Alva Xar, a dictator of Zared, an enemy of Rann over a thousand years ago, used technology and put him to sleep for centuries.
When Alva Xar awakes, he realizes the planet has changed and learns about Adam Strange and Alanna through his computer. Knowing he needs to take over Rann by making sure Adam Strange does not go back to Rann, he comes up with a plan. Find a look alike of Alanna and input Alanna’s memories into the Earth woman.
So, Alva Xar goes back to Earth to use his technology but also head back to Rann with his Cyberay weapon to defeat Rann and have his enemies kneel before him.
Back on Earth, as things were thought to go well for Adam, (the fake) Alanna and everyone on Earth have become motionless. Worried about what has happened on Earth, Rann goes to investigate. But what he finds in his investigation is a powerful cloud menace.
Overall, “Strange Adventures #241” is an entertaining story that concludes the whole storyline in one issue. As a silver-age storyline, you get some of that ’50s zaniness and dialogue but for the most part, the storyline is a lot of fun and it’s hard to believe that Adam Strange is a man who fights his foes with his intellect, a ray gun and a jet pack.
He may not be powerful, nor does he have a lot of special attributes as other DC superheroes but he manages to get the job done.
Now, for most people, they may have read a few stories in the last 25 years that have featured Adam Strange, but in July 2017, DC Comics will be releasing “Adam Strange: Silver Age Omnibus” which consists of his first appearance (and two other issues) from “Showcase” (issues #17-19), the original “Mystery in Space” stories from issue #53-100, 102, “Hawkman” issue #18-19, “Strange Adventures” #217-218, 220-222, 224, 226. 235. 241-243, “Showcase” #101-103 and “World’s Finest Comics” issues #262-263.
With over 940 pages, the fact that Amazon has it for over 50% off via pre-order is fantastic!
Definitely check it out!