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When Alan Moore Made Adam Strange’s Background Super Disturbing

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When Alan Moore Made Adam Strange’s Background Super Disturbing

This is “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking,” a feature spotlighting notable examples of retcons that don’t fit into the framework of Abandoned an’ Forsaked, which is specifically about stories that outright “overturn” older stories. There are many examples of “retroactive continuity” that do not actively abandon the works of the past. Some of them are minor, some of them are major, all of them are interesting enough to me that I figure that they are worth writing about.

Today, we look at how Alan Moore changed Adam Strange’s back story fairly dramatically.

Adam Strange debuted in 1958’s Showcase #17 (by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, Frank Giacoia and Joe Giella). He was an archaeologist who ended up being pulled to another planet via a weird beam…

In the second story in the issue, he gets an outfit…

Adam Strange kept the winning streak of Showcase well by getting his own lead feature in Mystery in Space. Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson joined Fox on the series and they KILLED IT…

Here’s the thing, though, as good as these stories were (and they were EXCELLENT), they were not really all that popular with the public as a whole. I mean, they were popular enough, but it is not like Adam Strange even got his own series, ya know? He was much more critically approved than he was popular. Man, in the late 1960s, everyone was hoping that he would get his own series again. There were multiple fan awards where he was picked as the character people most wanted to see get his own feature again. However, over in Strange Adventures, they instead just reprinted those classic early stories.

However, Adam Strange hung around the DC Universe even when he lost his lead feature.

He even got married to his alien girlfriend in the pages of the Justice League of America…

So he was a general character who would pop up from time to time.

That’s when he had things turned upside down by Alan Moore in the pages of Swamp Thing…

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