For this week’s RETRO REVIEW, I’m going way, way back to the beginnings of the Silver Age and bringing out Mystery In Space # 53. this comic was published by DC Comics, at the time National Comics. It is cover dated August 1959 and features the new star of the comic, Adam Strange.
Adam Strange had originally been introduced earlier, the year before within the pages of Showcase. He actually made three try-out appearances within Showcase, before being given the lead slot in Mystery In Space. His issues were numbers; 17, 18 & 19. Gardner Fox wrote these issues, and they were drawn by Mike Sekowsky, with the inks provided by Bernard Sachs for the first two issues and then Joe Giella for the third issue.
But when the character was moved to Mystery In Space, Fox still wrote the stories, but there was a new artist on hand, Carmine Infantino. Sachs was back as the inker, but only for a couple more issues, before Giella took over the inking job for good.
Here is the cover for issue # 53, drawn by Infantino and Sachs.
The Adam Strange story this issue is entitled; “Menace Of The Robot Raiders!”. The story is written by Gardner Fox, pencilled by Carmine Infantino and inked by Bernard Sachs.
The story begins with Adam Strange in the Praca Floriana in Rio De Janeiro (DC’s spelling not mine). He bribes a couple of young boys to leave a park bench that they are sitting on, as that is where the zeta-beam is set to strike momentarily! And before the boys can turn back to him he has disappeared, having been struck by the zeta-beam which teleports him from Earth across 25 trillion miles to Rann, a planet of the star system Alpha Centauri.
Upon finding himself once again on the planet of Rann, he encounters a giant robot coming towards him. He attempts to flee but the robot pursues him and eventually scoops him up in a giant hand, only to find his love, Alanna, piloting the robot.
She explains that Rann has been gifted these robots when a spaceship from a far solar system. After changing into his action togs (which he always wears on Rann). Alanna and Adam go to visit the aliens, called Griks and find the giant robots attacking Ranagar, the capitol city of Rann.
Battle between the the people of Rann and the alien Griks begin, but Adm is invited into the Griks ship, where they explain that a robot revolt is impossible and that they had nothing to do with their malfunction. They too have lost control of their own robots.
Adam and Alanna do some detective work and track the possible culprit to a building, where they swoop in and confront, Vor Kan, the mechanic in charge of the robots given to Rann. Then in just three panels, Adam overcomes Vor Kan and as Adam is explaining Vor Kan’s confession to Alanna, Adam fades away from Rann and returns him to earth.
And as we leave our hero, he is already plotting the time and place of the next zeta-beam strike and his return to Rann!
That’s a lot of action for just ten pages. Fox does a good job setting up the plot and Infantino’s art is excellent throughout the story. The only issue I have with it was that the ending seemed a bit rushed, but that would be the only fault I find. I definitely recommend the Adam Strange series to anyone that might be interested in non-super-hero comics.
That’s it for this RETRO REVIEW,but please return next week for a new Fabulous Find. Til then, be seeing you …