new
archives
faq
links
contact
ISSUE NO. 879
X
X

Secret Origins of Adam Strange
Part 2 of 6: "Infantino and Anderson"

Adam Strange's first few stories had been done by Mike Sekowsky, who depicted what looked like a standard DC alien world. It just didn't stand out. Still, the character's initial adventures had sold well enough to earn him a lead spot in Mystery In Space, drawn by Lee Elias. But with later issues, two different artists, Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson, took over-- and suddenly, everything changed.

At this time, Anderson already had a reputation as one of comics greatest inkers, while Infantino was shaking up the entire industry with his "new look" Batman, so editor Schwartz decided to see what Infantino and Anderson could do when they were let loose in a sci-fi setting. What they did was -- everything.

Seemingly overnight, the Adam Strange series went from an also-ran to something that could truthfully be call the very best in comics reading, as seen in the ad below...

X
With Infantino pencilling and Anderson inking, Adam Strange quickly rose to heights even his Zeta Beam coudn't reach. Let's look at these men, starting with Carmine...
X
ABOVE: Infantino portrait by Neal Adams. BELOW, cover sketch and printed cover.
X
Mystery in Space #90.
X
And finally, the published cover! A magnificent piece of work that has become an iconic symbol of comics Silver Age.
X

Here's Infantino in his rawest form, a rough, uninked pencil sketchof our hero, Earth's First Spaceman.
X

Infantino once said that, "It's weird, but the ones I'm best known for, I never liked drawing. Adam Strange didn't thrill me, Flash was a tough one, and I never liked westerns."

The artist does admit to enjoying working on Detective Chimp and Strange Sports Stories. In the brief video clip below, Carmine comments on the changes in the comic industry.
X
VIDEO: Carmine Infantino (15 seconds)

MURPHY ANDERSON
X
 
X
X
As we all know, murpy wasn't just a superb inker. He was more than capable of doing his own pencils, as seen below in his pencil sketch of Adam...
X
Fan sketch for convention...
X

Here's the splash page of Mystery In Space #72,
penciled AND inked by Anderson...
X

Anderson also penciled and inked the cover of Strange Adventures #221, which has achieved immortality -- not as an Strange Adventures cover, but as a Wonder Woman cover of an entirely different publication.
X
BELOW: Color proof of the cover (notice that the DC logo in the upper left corner is incomplete... a mistake corrected in the final printed version seen above.
X
BELOW: Anderson used the same basic layout for the cover seen above to do a famous 1972 cover of Ms. magazine (pictured below, right), substituting WW for Adam.
X
Does somebody at Ms. like comic books? They must, because the magazine used a variation on Anderson's cover for their 40th anniversary issue (Fall 2012), this time drawn by Mike Allred.
X

Of course, Anderson did hundreds of covers for DC, and on a few of them, he got the chance to portray Earth's First Spaceman, including Hawkman #18, cover pictured below.
X
Now, a few pages from the book's interior, also drawn by Anderson.
X

X

X
 
X

BELOW: Anderson's cover for Flash #210. Look closely, reader, and you'll see an old friend flying high over Flash's head...
X
Did you see him? It's our pal Adam! Looks like he's in such a hurry to meet a Zeta Beam, he doesn't even have time to wave to Barry!
X

X
featuring Murphy Anderson. The audio quality isn't very good, but it is what it is.
Video one minute, 14 seconds

As far as I know, the last time Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson worked together on our man Adam was on a back-up story called "The Secret of Adam Strange," which ran as a back-up story in Green Lantern #37.
X

X
The JSA and the JLA by Infantino and Anderson!
X

X
Adam Strange - Part 3 of 6
X

X