Monday, September 12, 2005

Favorite Costumes, MYSTERY IN SPAAAAACE

Previous Favorite Costumes: Deadshot - Blue Beetle - Alan Scott - Mister Miracle - The Creeper - Dr. Strange - Dr. Doom - Iron Man

Adam Strange, Man of Two Worlds.

You know how much cooler manned spaceflight would've been if NASA had thought "the traditional depiction of spacemen is guys with rockets on their backs dressed to fight some kind of Rio de Janeiro version of the Spanish Armada, we should just go with that"? Honestly, Buzz Aldrin is cool, but Buzz Aldrin wearing a hat with a big useless fin on the top is, like, exponentially cooler.

Strange is a great little distillation of about a million early-space-age cliches: a man from earth taken to a world far more advanced than his own (ostensibly because everyone there was an infertile sissy) becomes an adventurer and, eventually, marries the princess. Yeah, so he's pretty much Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. But did either one of them kidnap the JLA in a ridiculously circuitous plan to stop an alien invasion?

I didn't think so.

Aside from looking like he should be the hood ornament on some kind of absurdly classy 1930's automobile, Strange also managed to get one of the most heroic moments in James Robinson's Starman, appearing on top of a building in full crazy space navy regalia, ready to laser gun the holy Hell out of a whole bunch of people he doesn't know just because they were attacking his buddy, Jack Knight. It could've been anyone coming to the rescue. It's the kind of moment where you fully expect to see Superman fly in and save the day. But it was Adam Strange, man of two worlds, hero of half that many, utterly unknown on earth, flying around 1950's-style and saving the day because he owed Jack a favor.

Adam Strange is awesome.

Honorable Mention: Jack of Hearts. Another man of two worlds. It's just that his character design looks like the penciler was kidding. Like he got the script and said "Jack of Hearts? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard! I'll just draw the guy straight off a playing card, they'll see how stupid this idea is, and maybe put, I don't know, Adam Warlock in this issue instead!"

And the editor was like "why, that's brilliant! Put him on the back burner for twenty years and then have him join the Avengers as a foil for Scott Lang!"

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