Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Return of Adam Strange #1 (of 8)

writer: Andy Diggle
artist: Pascal Ferry
published by DC Comics

I'd be arsed to name something Andy Diggle has written, but I'm sure I have before. His name is too damn unique not to remember. Diggle. He's one letter way from Diggler. You can tell where my mind is...
Anyhow, DC's decided to reboot Adam Strange. Who the fuck is Adam Strange? Well, he was DC's answer to John Carter of Mars and Flash Gordon...A normal, average Earth archaeologist who was accidentally transported to the alien world of Rann by the Zeta Beam and became that alien world's hero. With a funky retro sci-fi outfit, a ray gun and a jet pack, Strange defended his world from peril, wooed a princess, settled down and had a kid. The one problem was, the Zeta Beam transport was temporary, and Strange kept returning to Earth.
Gee-whiz retro adventures seem to be maybe coming back into vogue, what with Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and the upcoming A Princess of Mars. There's even rumors that they're bringing back 'ol Flash Gordon himself.
This series doesn't so much seep itself in the traditions of the serial/pulp sci fi heroism schtick as it lets the real world seep into Strange' least so far. Strange's apartment building has been destroyed, and he's been taken into custody by the police. Our hero's hit rock bottom. He believes that Rann's been destroyed and his wife and child are gone. The Zeta Beam to take him back never arrived...and when Superman checked where the planet was supposed to be, he'd found one of Rann's suns had gone nova.
The police are having none of this, of course. How could this average Joe know the JLA? High adventure on alien planets? Pshaw... Strange escapes from custody and runs smack dab into an incoming Zeta Beam...which was dropping off, not picking up. A bigass ugly alien called a Zeta Hunter wants to know where Rann went to. Adam has no idea, but the hunter's having none of it and before you can say golly gee willickers, they're having a jetpack fight over Gotham City.
This ish is all setup, and now apparently, Adam Strange has to avoid the cops, fight aliens AND find his adopted homeworld again. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.
Before I get to praising Pascal Ferry's art, let me mention the colorist's name. Dave McCraig. He splashes the page with pastels and cartoony brilliance and it just accentuates Ferry's clean, mangaesque art. Great stuff. I know I've seen HIS work before, too...and I can't remember where (the senility is really kicking in, I guess). I hope to see more of it in the future.
Fun fun fun. Looking forward to the journey.

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