Monday, December 13, 2004

This Comic Is Good - Adam Strange

I figure we could all do one of these, every once in awhile to, as Joe mentioned, sorta balance what some people may see as this blog being too negative.

My choice today is Adam Strange, by DC Comics.

Written by Andy Diggle and drawn by Paschual Ferry, this comic is the kind of book we all want to see.

There's great art by Ferry, possibly the best art of his career (I think this is basically in keeping with his similarly great art on the Super-titles, but I know my pal Tadhg thinks this is his best work ever).

But the main star of this story is Andy Diggle's view of Adam Strange.

Adam Strange, as you may or may not know, is not a superpowered person, per se. He has no visible powers.

His only "power" is his ingenuity.

He is one of the most ingenius people in the universe.

And, if you think about it, that's a pretty damn hard thing to visualize in a comic book.

Diggle manages to pull it off here, and it is great to see. The way he demonstrates Strange's quick thinking is awesome.

In addition, when I first heard the series described, I remember commisserating with Tadhg over what we thought was yet another "Grim and gritty" take on a classic Silver Age hero.

Diggle was quick to note that that was not the case, but still, reading the beginning of the first issue, it certainly seemed to be that way.

Strange is drunk, his planet is destroyed....hard to get more depressing than that, unless your name is Ralph Dibny.

But Diggle quickly shows us that this comic is NOT grim and gritty by revealing a cosmic mystery behind the disappearance of the planet Rann.

Soon, Strange is off on a really fun adventure.

Okay, I'll admit it, I thought it was kind of weak how quick Adam was to kill his opponents, but still, this is a really good series.

Try it out, everybody!

Anyone who read it, feel free to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about, and the book stunk (or, in the alternative, tell me how much you dig it as well).

13 Comments:

Blogger Joe Rice said...

I'm so pissed at you, Brian Cronin. I'm furious. I'm furious like when my kids talk during the math lesson. That's pretty furious. And it's all because you chose a comic I would otherwise choose. Holy hell in a handbasket, Adam Strange is good.

You're right: ingenuity is Adam's "power," and it's EXTREMELY difficult to showcase, AND it's showcased EXTREMELY well in this book. He's like a combination of Han Solo, Chow Yun Fat, and the way you always want Captain America to be. Or something. Witty, fast, super-capable, and unhesitant in the face of anything.

And boy, it looks pretty.

What baffles me are the reports that it is part of this big DC universe thing with Teen Titans, Identity Crisis, and all those other crap Johns/Meltzer/Winnick books. It just doesn't fit in at all. It's all the fun that they should be.

12/13/2004 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I think the "Countdown" will involve something about the alien races in the DCUniverse.

Like maybe another invasion.

And, as you have noticed in Adam Strange, Adam is busy during this series encountering all the alien races in the DCUniverse that we haven't seen in ages.

Like the Thanagarians, the L.E.G.I.O.N., the Darkstars, the Omega Men, etc.

So it looks like Diggle is giving the other writers the framework for the DC outer space universe.

And, of course, the other writers will now butcher his concepts, naturally.

12/13/2004 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

The butchering will be the funnest part. Instead of ripping apart stories that were written twenty or thirty years ago, it'll be a few months. Hooray!

All the more reason to read read read Adam Strange. Put the emphasis on the good stuff.

12/13/2004 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Apodaca said...

I picked up Adam Strange in the comic shop because I didn't know squat about the character or the book, but I liked his name. I know, I know, lame.

But then I read it, and it's, like, REALLY good. Like, holy crap, did God just fart this out or am I just the luckiest boy to ever have trusted his intuition?

Either way, this comic is space-age, in its level of fun-to-read-ness.

Good choice.

12/13/2004 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Lex said...

Yay! A non-negative post! (Not that I have a problem with negative posts in this blog, but I feel you guys should definately post more about good comics everyone should be reading. Like Plastic Man.)

I so totally agree with you you guys have said about Adam Strange. What an amazing book. It makes me sad that it's not an ongoing and will eventually have to end (though I plan to start a fanatical mailing campaign to get Diggle to do another mini-series).

Also, I think it does the "grim & gritty" thing right at the beginning. It shows the hero down-in-the-dumps and quickly gets him out of that situation while insterting a lot of fun. Too many comics spend too much time in the "grim & gritty" part before getting to any fun... if they do at all. Adam Strange is how to do it right.

Read this comic! Hug the pages!

12/14/2004 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

I see your point about it being an ongoing, but I'm frankly glad. I hate ongoings in the long run. No matter what, unless they're purposefully limited, they will become terrible. JLA became terrible and never has recovered. X-Men is terrible again. The way of the story is the way of the mini.

12/14/2004 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Grant said...

You guys need to push good books like Brian just did. Hey with the holidays coming maybe you should make some trade paperback suggestions. I know I like to buy a bunch of trades before X-Mas.

But I have a good vibe from this. We need more people talking about comics outside of thefourthrail.com.

12/14/2004 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Yeah! We should do more!

Look for a "New Frontier" blog entry soonest!

Well, not "soonest," really, but sooner rather than later.

Soonish.

Maybe I'll do one.

12/14/2004 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

I think that you should SHUT UP GRANT!

Ha ha just kidding. The old Joe Rice wit never misses.

12/14/2004 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Grant said...

STOP BEING SO STUPID JOE, YOU'RE SO UH... STUPID!

It's like the Algonquin Round Table here.

12/15/2004 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

STINKY GRANT STINKY GRANT STINKY STINKY. Also you have a bad aroma.

Intellectual zinger.

12/15/2004 09:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diggle's work is a real breath of breath of fresh air these days (at least in Losers and Adam Strange; haven't read his Swamp Thing). The pacing is quick and the cliffhangers work. They really build up the anticipation for the next issue. He's up there with Morrison and Vaughan in that regard. I'm also really impressed by the coloring. Dave McCraig's work is just gorgeous, really augmenting Ferry's art and helping achieve the look they're going for.

12/18/2004 04:18:00 AM  
Blogger Stony said...

Science fiction is overrated.
But I am reading this.

I still don't like science-fiction though.

12/20/2004 05:35:00 PM  

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