Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: Adam Strange

  1. #1

    Default Adam Strange

    I feel kind of sheepish about this because in retrospect it seems pretty obvious, but Adam Strange, the archaeologist who travels between Earth and Rann, via Zeta Beams and has adventures there, is a pretty blatant ripoff of John Carter, who mysteriously travels between Earth and Mars, and has adventures there. I had always thought of Adam Strange as a pretty bland character (as a lot of characters created in the late 1950s were), and one who never developed into something greater. (BTW, why did DC believe being an archaeologist was a profession that led members of that profession to become super heroes -- Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Adam Strange?) I'm not sure what Adam Strange's current status is, given various reboots, but is there a possibility at looking more deeply at his Burroughs roots and making him something better? Or is he destined to be a Z-level hero.

    I am currently reading a book on Edgar Rice Burroughs's work, and was wondering if Cave Carson has the same link with David Innes of Burrough's Pellucidar books that Strange has with John Carter. I have never read the Pellucidar books so I am not sure, but from what I've read in Lupoff's Master of Adventure: The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs, there seem to be some parallels. At any rate, the Young Animal line seems to have raised Cave Carson from another bland character to something unique.

    Sandy Hausler

  2. #2
    Fantastic Member Hawkgirl_70's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    SE Missouri, USA
    Posts
    495

    Default

    I bought his Silver Age Omnibus as I only knew him appearing with the Justice League here and there in the 80's comics.

    Even though they are some VERY REPETITIVE stories in the book, I still like the stories. I'm about half way done with it as I read all my GA and SA Omni issues in a rotation.

    I never knew he was a ripoff of John Carter. Interesting.

    I like all the old classic comics, it's a getaway from the real world for me.
    Reliving my second childhood.... Making my TPB's take a back seat.....I'm now a new DC Omnibus and Hard Bound Book Collector: Batman: The Golden Age Omni V1 / Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Vol. 2 / Gotham Central Omni / Justice League of America Silver Age Omni's V1 & V2 / Superman: The Golden Age Omni V1/ Green Lantern Omni V1
    with many more purchases soon to come.....

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Jekyll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,602

    Default

    The comparison to John Carter is very interesting indeed and you make valid points.

    I've always thought Adam was a cool character and concept. I just don't think he has ever been explored to his fullest potential, which is why he remains as a Z list character. Recently, he was the JLU leader in the New 52 and he will be appearing in the Syfy show "Krypton" so that could bring out some interest for the character.

  4. #4
    all cops are bastards Elmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Sesame Street
    Posts
    1,729

    Default

    I'm going to argue against this claim. The fact of the matter is he is an amalgamation of several pulp heroes. The very intention was a character that was a mix of John Carter, Buck Rogers, Perry Rhodan, and tons of other characters from the 40s and 50s and 60s. So while the element of him travelling to and from Rann is definitely similar to the John Carter books, it isn't a rip off. It was intentional as the character of Adam Strange represents that whole genre.

    I will also argue that he is not as obscure as you claim. Despite not having any live action appearances until this year's Krypton and not many animated appearances, he still gets his due and has had some appearances in the New 52 and Rebirth including a starring role in Lemire's Justice League United. Planet Heist and Rann/Thanagar war are still entertaining storylines.

    In conclusion, I would say there isn't really a way to look at his "Burroughs" roots because the premise of his character borrows elements from numerous science fiction stories and sagas, but there is a flare of originality to it as well. A brilliant scientist, sworn to protect a foreign world, in love with one of its inhabitants. There's loads you can do with that premise without it being a ripoff
    i'm always online and i'm nice on there

  5. #5
    Mighty Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,171

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Hausler View Post
    I feel kind of sheepish about this because in retrospect it seems pretty obvious, but Adam Strange, the archaeologist who travels between Earth and Rann, via Zeta Beams and has adventures there, is a pretty blatant ripoff of John Carter, who mysteriously travels between Earth and Mars, and has adventures there. I had always thought of Adam Strange as a pretty bland character (as a lot of characters created in the late 1950s were), and one who never developed into something greater. (BTW, why did DC believe being an archaeologist was a profession that led members of that profession to become super heroes -- Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Adam Strange?) I'm not sure what Adam Strange's current status is, given various reboots, but is there a possibility at looking more deeply at his Burroughs roots and making him something better? Or is he destined to be a Z-level hero.

    I am currently reading a book on Edgar Rice Burroughs's work, and was wondering if Cave Carson has the same link with David Innes of Burrough's Pellucidar books that Strange has with John Carter. I have never read the Pellucidar books so I am not sure, but from what I've read in Lupoff's Master of Adventure: The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs, there seem to be some parallels. At any rate, the Young Animal line seems to have raised Cave Carson from another bland character to something unique.

    Sandy Hausler
    Good points here but don't forget John Carter merged with Buck Rodgers/Flash Gordon especially Buck. I'm surprised you are unaware of the recent Dynamite comic that teamed Carter with an earlier character that Burroughs ripped off to create John Carter. I think the drop off of interest in the space program and growing ground swell of anti science sentiment in the US may have played into the disuse of SF related heroes as well as DC's overuse of Superman/Batman. Since Guardians exploded big time I think the way to relaunch AS is with a new Hardcore Station storyline. Also check out American Mythology comics and Mike Wolfers sequel Land That Time Forgot/At Earths Core/Pellucidar comic. Very slow to come out but hopefully will wrap up soon.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Soubhagya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    3,054

    Default

    I think the reasom why archeologists were a go to way to be superheroes has an easy answer. You can find an ancient artifact or something like that by which you can get powers. That's a way to give superheroes powers.

    I will have to look up more about who Adam Strage is. I know his name and look. But i don't know much. To develop him you need to put some focus on him. Work on his character. Simply an archeologist and such powers and what you do isn't enough. That kind of broad strokes worked 60 years ago. Now you have to have some character.

    What's his backstory? What is his motivation? What his personality is like? And so on. You need a writer with an inerest in him who could go deeper then the broadstrokes like archaelogist, power, etc.

    Put him in a young animal title or get him to appear in some other books. If he's taken care of i can see him go from Z-list to something higher.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmo View Post
    I'm going to argue against this claim. The fact of the matter is he is an amalgamation of several pulp heroes. The very intention was a character that was a mix of John Carter, Buck Rogers, Perry Rhodan, and tons of other characters from the 40s and 50s and 60s. So while the element of him travelling to and from Rann is definitely similar to the John Carter books, it isn't a rip off. It was intentional as the character of Adam Strange represents that whole genre.

    I will also argue that he is not as obscure as you claim. Despite not having any live action appearances until this year's Krypton and not many animated appearances, he still gets his due and has had some appearances in the New 52 and Rebirth including a starring role in Lemire's Justice League United. Planet Heist and Rann/Thanagar war are still entertaining storylines.

    In conclusion, I would say there isn't really a way to look at his "Burroughs" roots because the premise of his character borrows elements from numerous science fiction stories and sagas, but there is a flare of originality to it as well. A brilliant scientist, sworn to protect a foreign world, in love with one of its inhabitants. There's loads you can do with that premise without it being a ripoff
    I would agree that one could argue that parts of other characters are arguably a part of Adam's makeup, but the John Carter influence goes far beyond that. I had not read the Carter books until long after I had read the Adam Strange stories, which explains why I did not notice the parallels, but once I did, the similarities between the two are really striking. It's more than common tropes found in one character being found in the other. In my opinion, of course.

    Sandy Hausler

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmo View Post
    In conclusion, I would say there isn't really a way to look at his "Burroughs" roots because the premise of his character borrows elements from numerous science fiction stories and sagas, but there is a flare of originality to it as well. A brilliant scientist, sworn to protect a foreign world, in love with one of its inhabitants. There's loads you can do with that premise without it being a ripoff
    He's an archaeologist, not a brilliant scientist, by the way.

    Sandy Hausler

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4,807

    Default

    I think what they did with him in Lemire's JLU series actually did more harm than good because it really messed the character up. Pre-Flashpoint Adam Stange had been slowly been built up into an amazing character. Adam Strange: Planet Heist was a fantastic book and really set the tone for the modern Adam Stange.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member MRP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,820

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Hausler View Post
    I would agree that one could argue that parts of other characters are arguably a part of Adam's makeup, but the John Carter influence goes far beyond that. I had not read the Carter books until long after I had read the Adam Strange stories, which explains why I did not notice the parallels, but once I did, the similarities between the two are really striking. It's more than common tropes found in one character being found in the other. In my opinion, of course.

    Sandy Hausler
    There's a whole sub- genre of sci-fi known as planetary romance, which Burroughs Barsoom tales were not the first example, that build on the trope of adventures on a strange world often with the hero transported there from somewhere else. Adam Strange is firmly in that subgenre of sci-fi (as is John Carter, Gulliver Jones, Robert E. Howard's Almuric, a bunch of Leigh Brackett stuff, some Moorcock tales, some Clark Ashton Smith tales, etc. etc.) Most of these types of tales share similar tropes and display a lot of outward similarities without necessarily being rip offs of each other because they are borrowing from a common set of tropes, language, archetypes, etc. . It was a very popular sub-genre of sci-fi, especially in the pulps and magazines of the early to mid 20th century but has lessened in popularity over the last half century or so. I'm sure Gardner Fox (who was a veteran of the pulp sci-fi market as well as working in comics and who wrote a few planetary romances in prose form) and Julius Schwartz (who was a literary agent for many of the sci-fi writers of the pulp era before becoming a comic editor at DC) who were the editor and writer responsible for the creation of the Adam Strange strip were well aware of the planetary romance sub-genre and its tropes without having to directly copy from Burroughs since Burroughs was drawing from the same pool of tropes and ideas when writing John Carter.

    -M
    Comic fans get the comics their buying habits deserve.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    There's a whole sub- genre of sci-fi known as planetary romance, which Burroughs Barsoom tales were not the first example, that build on the trope of adventures on a strange world often with the hero transported there from somewhere else. Adam Strange is firmly in that subgenre of sci-fi (as is John Carter, Gulliver Jones, Robert E. Howard's Almuric, a bunch of Leigh Brackett stuff, some Moorcock tales, some Clark Ashton Smith tales, etc. etc.) Most of these types of tales share similar tropes and display a lot of outward similarities without necessarily being rip offs of each other because they are borrowing from a common set of tropes, language, archetypes, etc. . It was a very popular sub-genre of sci-fi, especially in the pulps and magazines of the early to mid 20th century but has lessened in popularity over the last half century or so. I'm sure Gardner Fox (who was a veteran of the pulp sci-fi market as well as working in comics and who wrote a few planetary romances in prose form) and Julius Schwartz (who was a literary agent for many of the sci-fi writers of the pulp era before becoming a comic editor at DC) who were the editor and writer responsible for the creation of the Adam Strange strip were well aware of the planetary romance sub-genre and its tropes without having to directly copy from Burroughs since Burroughs was drawing from the same pool of tropes and ideas when writing John Carter.

    -M
    I was talking more about the mysteriously being spirited away to another planet, becoming that planet's savior and disappearing at the end, all of which was part of John Carter. Sure, it wasn't so mysterious in Adam Strange -- we know about the Zeta Beams -- but it's generally the same story. I didn't mean that science fiction romance was created by ERB.

    Sandy Hausler

  12. #12
    Mighty Member MRP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,820

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Hausler View Post
    I was talking more about the mysteriously being spirited away to another planet, becoming that planet's savior and disappearing at the end, all of which was part of John Carter. Sure, it wasn't so mysterious in Adam Strange -- we know about the Zeta Beams -- but it's generally the same story. I didn't mean that science fiction romance was created by ERB.

    Sandy Hausler
    But that element was part and parcel of several planetary romances, not just John Carter and Adam Strange. It wasn't original to Burroughs work, so again, boh are drawing form the sub-genre tropes.

    -M
    Comic fans get the comics their buying habits deserve.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,171

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    There's a whole sub- genre of sci-fi known as planetary romance, which Burroughs Barsoom tales were not the first example, that build on the trope of adventures on a strange world often with the hero transported there from somewhere else. Adam Strange is firmly in that subgenre of sci-fi (as is John Carter, Gulliver Jones, Robert E. Howard's Almuric, a bunch of Leigh Brackett stuff, some Moorcock tales, some Clark Ashton Smith tales, etc. etc.) Most of these types of tales share similar tropes and display a lot of outward similarities without necessarily being rip offs of each other because they are borrowing from a common set of tropes, language, archetypes, etc. . It was a very popular sub-genre of sci-fi, especially in the pulps and magazines of the early to mid 20th century but has lessened in popularity over the last half century or so. I'm sure Gardner Fox (who was a veteran of the pulp sci-fi market as well as working in comics and who wrote a few planetary romances in prose form) and Julius Schwartz (who was a literary agent for many of the sci-fi writers of the pulp era before becoming a comic editor at DC) who were the editor and writer responsible for the creation of the Adam Strange strip were well aware of the planetary romance sub-genre and its tropes without having to directly copy from Burroughs since Burroughs was drawing from the same pool of tropes and ideas when writing John Carter.

    -M
    Dude you gotta write a book on this. I have only scant knowledge of a fraction of this topic but I want to learn more. How much of Fox's output is even available these days let alone Brackett's? Would you consider Norton's work or at least some of it influenced by planetary romances?

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    But that element was part and parcel of several planetary romances, not just John Carter and Adam Strange. It wasn't original to Burroughs work, so again, boh are drawing form the sub-genre tropes.

    -M
    I'm not aware of this trope in planetary romances pre-dating ERB, though I certainly don't say that that can't be the case.

    Sandy Hausler

  15. #15
    Mighty Member MRP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,820

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alton View Post
    Dude you gotta write a book on this. I have only scant knowledge of a fraction of this topic but I want to learn more. How much of Fox's output is even available these days let alone Brackett's? Would you consider Norton's work or at least some of it influenced by planetary romances?
    Paizo Publishing (who do the Pathfinder rpg) did a whole line of planetary romance books called Planet Stories about 10 years ago that included some of the Brackett stuff...





    the line started circa 2006 I believe and ran for 3-4 years, and are still out there int he wild at used book stories and such.

    As for Gardner Fox, I have a handful of his sword & sorcery and planetary romance stuff that he did that I have found in used book stores and such over the years. I don't think much is currently in print (maybe as e-books?) but it's not that hard to find. The Kothar stuff is the best of the s&S stuff by him, but if you want planetary romance by Fox, check out The Warriors of Llarn...



    complete with hero wakes up on strange world, fights to save it, disappears when the crisis is done trope.

    But yeah, if you want to immerse yourself in planetary romance, do look for those Planet Stories books by Paizo, they pretty much cover the gamut of that stuff which originally appeared in the pulps except for ERB (who I know Erik Mona wanted to include but couldn't work out a rights deal with ERB enterprises) and a few folks like Gardner Fox who never became big names in the prose business the way he did in comics.

    -M
    Comic fans get the comics their buying habits deserve.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •