Strange Adventures #1 (September 1950)
Art by Howard Sherman
|Publisher||(vol. 1, 3 & JSA...)
(vol. 2 & 4)
Bimonthly (#1-2, #212-244
(vol. 2 & JSA...)
(vol. 2, 3, and JSA...)
|No. of issues|
|Written by||Neal Adams, Arnold Drake, Gardner Fox, Jack Miller|
|Artist(s)||Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Bernard Krigstein, Mike Sekowsky, and Alex Toth|
Strange Adventures ran for 244 issues and was DC Comics' first science fiction title. It began with an adaptation of the film Destination Moon. The sales success of the gorilla cover-featured story in Strange Adventures #8 (May 1951) led DC to produce numerous comic book covers with depictions of gorillas. The series was home to one of the last superheroes of the pre-Silver Age of Comic Books era, Captain Comet, created by writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino in issue #9. A combination of the "Captain Comet" feature with the "gorilla craze" was presented in issue #39 (December 1953). Other notable series included Star Hawkins which began in issue #114 (March 1960) and the Atomic Knights which debuted in issue #117 (June 1960).
In 'The Strange Adventure That Really Happened' in issue #140 (May 1962), real life comics creators editor Julius Schwartz and artist Sid Greene struggle to make writer Gardner Fox recall a story he has written that holds the key to saving the Earth from alien invasion. In a rare acknowledgement of the rest of the DC universe in Strange Adventures, one panel mentions Gardner Fox having previously met the Flash in the iconic Silver Age story "Flash of Two Worlds".
Strange Adventures #180 (September 1965) introduced Animal Man in a story by Dave Wood and Carmine Infantino. The character was revived by writer Grant Morrison in 1988. Writer Bob Haney and artist Howard Purcell created the supernatural character the Enchantress in Strange Adventures #187 (April 1966). The Enchantress appears in the 2016 live-action movie Suicide Squad, portrayed by Cara Delevingne.
Initially a science fiction anthology title with some continuing features starring SF protagonists, the series became a supernatural-fantasy title beginning with issue #202, for which it received a new logo. Deadman's first appearance in Strange Adventures #205, written by Arnold Drake and drawn by Carmine Infantino, included the first known depiction of narcotics in a story approved by the Comics Code Authority. The "Deadman" feature served as an early showcase for the artwork of Neal Adams.
With issue #217, the title gained another new logo and began reprinting stories of Adam Strange and the Atomic Knights, among other stories. Several Strange Adventure stories were also reprinted in some of DC Comics' later anthologies, such as From Beyond the Unknown.
In 1978, DC Comics intended to revive Strange Adventures. These plans were put on hold that year due to the DC Implosion, a line-wide scaling back of the company's publishing output. When the project was revived a year later, the title was changed to Time Warp and the series was in the Dollar Comics format.
Continuing features in Strange Adventures included:
- Chris KL-99 (issues 1-3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15)
- Darwin Jones (issues 1, 48, 58, 66, 70, 76, 77, 79, 84, 88, 93, 149, 160)
- Captain Comet (issues 9-44, 46, 49) (cover feature many times)
- Space Museum (issues 104, 106, 109, 112, 115, 118, 121, 124, 127, 130, 133, 136, 139, 142, 145, 148, 151, 154, 157, 161)
- Star Hawkins (issues 114, 119, 122, 125, 128, 131, 134, 137, 140, 143, 146, 149, 152, 155, 158, 162)
- Atomic Knights (issues 117, 120, 123, 126, 129, 132, 135, 138, 141, 144, 147, 150, 153, 156, 160, with reprints in 217-231)
- Faceless Creature from Saturn (issues 124, 142, 153)
- Star Rovers (from Mystery in Space, issues 159, 163)
- Animal Man (issues 180, 184, 190, 195, 201)
- Immortal Man (issues 177, 185, 190, 198)
- Enchantress (issues 187, 191, 200)
- Deadman (issues 205 to 216)
- Adam Strange (reprints in #217 to 244; new stories in #222, 226/227 text stories with illos)
The series was nominated and awarded several awards over the years, including Alley Awards in 1963 for "General Fantasy", in 1965 for "Best Regularly Published Fantasy Comic", in 1966 for "Best Fantasy/SF/Supernatural Title", in 1967 for "Best Cover" (for issue #207 by Neal Adams), in 1967 for "Best Full-Length Story" ("Who's Been Lying in My Grave?" in issue #205 by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino), and the 1967 for "Best New Strip" ("Deadman" by Drake and Infantino).
It featured stories written by Brian Azzarello, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, Bruce Jones, Joe R. Lansdale, John Ney Rieber, Robert Rodi, Doselle Young and Mark Schultz. Artists included Edvin Biuković, Richard Corben, Klaus Janson, Frank Quitely, James Romberger, and John Totleben. The miniseries is cover-dated November 1999 to February 2000.
JSA Strange Adventures
In 2004, Strange Adventures was again revived, in modified format, as the six-issue limited series JSA Strange Adventures, which presented a new Golden Age Justice Society of America story incorporating fantasy-fiction themes. It was written by Kevin J. Anderson, with art by Barry Kitson and Gary Erskine. The miniseries is cover-dated October 2004 to March 2005, and was collected in trade paperback in 2010.
Strange Adventures (2009)
Jim Starlin wrote an eight-issue limited series called Strange Adventures which focused on Adam Strange, Bizarro and Captain Comet, which started in May 2009. This series continued the "Aberrant Six" storyline, as well as plot developments from the Rann/Thanagar Holy War and Countdown to Adventure. This series was collected in trade paperback in 2010.
Strange Adventures (2011 Vertigo one-shot)
An 80-page Strange Adventures #1, an anthology one-shot, with short science fiction and fantasy stories was released with a July 2011 cover date. Contributing writers and artists include Peter Milligan, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Paul Pope, and Paul Cornell.
- Captain Comet Archives Vol. 1 collects Captain Comet stories from Strange Adventures #9-44, 46, and 49, 400 pages, August 2013, ISBN 978-1401241087
- Showcase Presents: Strange Adventures Vol. 1 collects Strange Adventures #54-73, 512 pages, December 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1544-0
- The Steve Ditko Omnibus Volume 1 includes Strange Adventures #188: "Don't Bring That Monster to Life" by Otto Binder and Steve Ditko and Strange Adventures #189: "The Way-Out Worlds of Bertram Tilley" by Dave Wood and Ditko, 480 pages, September 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3111-X
- The Deadman Collection hardcover collects Strange Adventures #205-216, 356 pages, December 2001, ISBN 1563898497
- Deadman Vol. 1 trade paperback collects Strange Adventures #205-213, 176 pages, July 2011, ISBN 0857684175
- Deadman Vol. 2 trade paperback collects Strange Adventures #214-216, 160 pages, February 2012, ISBN 1781160546
- JSA: Strange Adventures collects JSA: Strange Adventures #1-6, 200 pages, February 2010, ISBN 1401225950
- Strange Adventures collects Strange Adventures volume 3 #1-8, 256 pages, April 2010, ISBN 1401226175
- Irvine, Alex; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1950s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
DC picked up on renewed public interest in science fiction by launching its first comic in the genre, the anthology series, Strange Adventures. The series kicked off its 244-issue run with an adaptation of the first color science fiction movie, Destination Moon (released that same month), written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Curt Swan.
- Daniels, Les (1995). "A Tour of Tomorrow Science Fiction's Fabulous Future". DC Comics : Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. New York, New York: Bulfinch Press. p. 103. ISBN 0821220764.
The eighth issue of Strange Adventures achieved some sort of classic status. The cover showed a gorilla in a zoo holding up a slate that read 'Please believe me! I am the victim of a terrible scientific experiment!' This 'Incredible Story of an Ape with a Human Brain' had strong sales, and [editor Julius] Schwartz recalls that 'Irwin Donenfeld called me in and said we should try it again. Finally all the editors wanted to use gorilla covers.'
- Strange Adventures #8 at the Grand Comics Database
- Irvine "1950s" in Dolan, p. 67: "In an attempt to revive readers' interest in super heroes, writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino introduced 'Tomorrow's Man of Destiny', Captain Comet, in Strange Adventures #9"
- Irvine "1950s" in Dolan, p. 71: "'The Guilty Gorilla', by writer John Broome and artist Murphy Anderson in Strange Adventures #39, was a foray into the intelligent-gorilla craze that flourished in DC comics in the 1950s."
- Broome, John (w), Sekowsky, Mike (p), Sachs, Bernard (i). "The Case of the Martian Witness" Strange Adventures 114 (March 1960)
- McAvennie, Michael "1960s" in Dolan, p. 100: "'The Rise of the Atomic Knights', ushered in by scribe John Broome and illustrator Murphy Anderson, transported fans to a post-World War III Earth ravaged by atomic radiation."
- McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 115: "Although it would be several months before Buddy Baker would take on the moniker of Animal Man, it was in this issue that he developed animal powers...[in a story by] writer Dave Wood and artist Carmine Infantino."
- Markstein, Don (2010). "The Enchantress". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on December 6, 2015.
- Kroll, Justin (December 2, 2014). "Suicide Squad Cast Revealed: Jared Leto to Play the Joker, Will Smith is Deadshot". Variety. Archived from the original on November 1, 2015.
- Nattrass, JJ (October 27, 2015). "That old black magic: Cara Delevingne is unrecognisable in her dark bondage-style costume as the evil sorceress Enchantress in DC's Suicide Squad". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on October 30, 2015.
- McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 125: "In a story by scribe Arnold Drake and artist Carmine Infantino, circus aerialist Boston Brand learned there was much more to life after his death...Deadman's origin tale was the first narcotics-related story to require prior approval from the Comics Code Authority. In addition, Neal Adams, the artist who succeeded Infantino with the second issue, would soon become an industry legend."
- Cronin, Brian (September 24, 2009). "Comic Book Legends Revealed #226". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on December 22, 2011. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
One comic that I know preceded the 1971 amendment [to the Comics Code] was Strange Adventures #205, the first appearance of Deadman!...a clear reference to narcotics, over THREE YEARS before Marvel Comics would have to go without the Comics Code to do an issue about drugs.
- Wells, John (October 24, 1997), "'Lost' DC: The DC Implosion", Comics Buyer's Guide, Iola, Wisconsin (1249), p. 134
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 183: "DC wanted to bring back Strange Adventures (last published in November 1973) as a Dollar Comic-sized anthology...the series was eventually green-lit, though under a new name - Time Warp - that evoked more of a sci-fi feel."
- Anderson, Kevin J.; Kitson, Barry; Erskine, Gary (2010). JSA: Strange Adventures. DC Comics. p. 200. ISBN 1401225950.
- "Exclusive DC Preview - Strange Adventures #1". Newsarama. March 4, 2009. Archived from the original on February 1, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- Starlin, Jim (2010). Strange Adventures. DC Comics. p. 256. ISBN 1401226175.
- Guerrero, Tony (February 14, 2011). "Vertigo Announces Strange Adventures #1". Comicvine. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2012.