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Adam Strange Reading Order (DC Comics)

As the Space Race was just starting to become a reality, National Comics (aka DC Comics) went back to produce a bit more science-fiction stories. It was 1958 and Space Ranger was created, and rapidly forgotten. That was not the case of another space hero created almost at the same time, Adam Strange.

The idea for the character came from editor Julius Schwartz and the costume design was by Murphy Anderson. Strange first apparition was on the cover of Showcase #17 drawn by Gil Kane, but it was Mike Sekowsky who penciled the story written by Gardner Fox following Schwartz’s direction.

Adam Strange’s origin story is highly inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs’s John Carter of Mars. The character was an archaeologist working in South America who was suddenly transported to the distant planet of Rann by a beam of energy from the Zeta Beam, a device created by a scientist named Sardath. On Rann, Strange discovered that he had gained superhuman abilities due to the different gravitational pull and the planet’s radiation. He also learned that the Zeta Beam technology only allowed him to stay on Rann for a limited amount of time before transporting him back to Earth.

Adam Strange became a hero on Rann, saving the world from tyrants, monsters, and extraterrestrial invaders among other threats. In addition, he developed feelings for Alanna, a Rannian woman, with whom he finally got married.

Adam Strange Comics Reading Order

The Adam Strange’s Silver Age Adventures

Following a short trilogy in Showcase, Adam Strange took his place in Mystery in Space, then in Strange Adventures. You don’t have to track down every issue as they were collected in one omnibus:

Other books in different formats collect some of those issues:

The DC Archive Editions

Following the end of Mystery in Space, Adam Strange came back as an occasional guest star in Justice League of America #96, 100, 120-121, 138-139–see our article dedicated to the JL for the collected editions. He also appeared next to Hawkman in Showcase #100-103 and had short stories in World’s Finest Comics #262-264, before becoming the star of the backstories published in Green Lantern (Vol. 2) #132-147.

The Adam Strange’s Post-Crisis Adventures

Then came the Crisis on Infinite Earths in which he played a small part. After that event, he resurfaced in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and in a few other series before, at the beginning of the 1990s getting a short miniseries.

During the 1990s, Adam Strange was mostly absent. He still appeared in a few issues from Green Lantern (#38-39, 74-75), Superboy and the Ravers (#3-4), and JLA (see Adam Strange: Between Two Worlds Deluxe Edition). Then, he found himself at the heart of a cosmic storyline of the Starman series collected in:

  • Starman Compendium Two
    Collects All-Star Comics 80-Page Giant #1, Batman/Hellboy/Starman#1-2, JSA All-Stars #4, Starman#43-81, Starman #1 (1998), Starman/Congorilla #1, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0, and The Shade #1-12!

Adam Strange played small parts in a few crossover events:

  • Green Lantern: Circle of Fire
    Collects Green Lantern #129-136, Green Lantern/Firestorm #1, Green Lantern/Adam Strange #1, Green Lantern/Atom #1, Green Lantern/Green Lantern #1, Green Lantern/Power Girl #1, and Green Lantern: Circle of Fire #1-2.

    • Adam Strange is also in the 2-issue epilogue in Impulse #68-69.
  • Superman: Our Worlds at War
    Collects Superman #171-173, Adventures of Superman #593-595, Superman: The Man of Steel #115-117, Action Comics #780-782, Supergirl #59, JLA: Our Worlds at War, Wonder Woman #172-173, Young Justice #36, Impulse #77, Superboy #91, and World’s Finest: Our Worlds at War.

Then got a new series! But then the Rann-Thanagar War started and led to another crisis.

We have a full Infinite Crisis Reading Order to help you navigate the event. If you only want to stick with Adam Strange, read the main Infinite Crisis miniseries, the Rann-Thanagar series, and Hawkman #47-49.

  • Infinite Crisis Omnibus
    Collects Action Comics #826, #829, Adventures of Superman #639, #642, Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Day of Vengeance #1-6, Day of Vengeance Infinite Crisis Special, JLA #115-119, Infinite Crisis #1-6, Infinite Crisis Secret Files 2006, The OMAC Project #1-6, The OMAC Project Infinite Crisis Special, Rann-Thanagar War #1-6, The Rann-Thanagar Infinite Crisis Special, Superman #216, #219, Villains United #1-6, Villains United Infinite Crisis Special and Wonder Woman #219.
  • 52 Omnibus
    Collects 52 #1-52.
  • Countdown to Adventure
    Collects Countdown to Adventure #1-8 – Sequel to 52 following Adam Strange, Starfire, and Animal Man now that they’ve returned to their respective homes.
  • Rann/Thanagar Holy War
    Collects Rann/Thanagar Holy War #1-8.
  • Strange Adventures
    Collects Strange Adventures (vol. 3) #1-8. A direct follow-up to the Rann/Thanagar Holy War.
  • Superman: New Krypton Vol. 4
    Collects Superman: New Krypton #6-12.

Following the events of Strange Adventures, Adam Strange teamed up with Captain Comet and others in R.E.B.E.L.S. and became a regular on the series.

The Adam Strange’s New 52 Adventures and Beyond

The following part covers Strange’s adventures from the New 52 to the Dawn of DC eras, as the character hasn’t done a lot in recent years.

As for other heroes, Adam Strange’s entry in the New 52 era came with a reboot. He is now a non-so-heroic Canadian archaeologist who, with his partner/research assistant, Alanna Lewis, became involved in a dangerous situation that led them to the planet Rann and to become founding members of the Justice League United. His origins, his connection with the Zeta Beam, and his abilities were all rewritten.

Next, with The Death of Hawkman series, Adam Strange is once more thrown in the middle of the complex relationship between Rann and Thangar.

Out of continuity, in the DC Meets Hanna-Barbera team-up event, Strange met Johnny Quest in Adam Strange/Future Quest Special #1.

After that, Adam Strange’s apparitions became even more anecdotical for a while. We met him in a few issues, in supporting roles in the following books:

During that period, Adam Strange had his own, out-of-continuity DC Black Label 12-issue miniseries from writer Tom King and artists Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner:

And more recently, Adam Strange appeared in two issues of the 10-issue miniseries Superman: Lost.

That’s it for now. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if we have forgotten something of note or if we made a mistake.


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