Adam Strange – Showcase 18

Invaders From the Atom Universe

The basic premise of every Adam Strange story is of a descending hero, come to rescue a people too smart for their own good. Every time, he shows up in a pillar of light (the zeta-beam) to help the people of the super-advanced planet Rann. Every visit beset by some invading aliens or treacherous Rannian dissident, Adam solves the problem with his basic understanding of the sciences. The super-advanced people of Rann cannot see it and need a stranger from the sky to remind them of the simple solutions.

It is this basic format that all his stories will fit into. Each will have its own distinction, its own nuance on the theme.

In his second comic Adam has another two adventures. In this comic’s first story (his 3rd adventure ever), Adam dives into a canyon to meet the zeta-beam. Talk about faith! He usually faces some dangerous or embarrassing situation when meeting the zeta-beam. Though Adam is the Christ figure in most of these stories, he also can stand for us. (After all, if an allegory matches what it represents point-for-point, it ceases to be an allegory doesn’t it? It’s just the thing itself!) Here, Adam’s faith in his heavenly father (Sardath) is enough to do something foolish – even jumping in a chasm, which I would strongly discourage ever doing. Many Christians do face death or persecution for their death. I imagine anyone reading a blog about comics probably isn’t facing death, at least not today or tomorrow. We still do have to act on our faith in activities that can make us look foolish. I don’t know what it is. Maybe something as silly as praying over your meal at work or in the restaurant can bring ridicule. Believing the Bible in a secular academic context can be pretty embarrassing and discouraging. Our faith is tested (and proven!) in times like this. So, although we don’t have to jump in the chasm to catch a teleportation beam to our adopted alien world – we do have to jump into dangerous situations (physical or social) to show the light that our heavenly Father already put into us when He saved us!

Once Adam gets to Rann, he finds the inhabitants to be quite different. Instead of his sweetheart Alanna and her smart father Sardath, he meets some weird aliens!

He roams around for a bit and they murmur behind his back, clearly confused at the presence of a human.

So they capture him and shrink down down down into microscopic size. He “grows” smaller…if that makes any sense…

In his diminished state, he finds himself on a completely other world – a microworld that exists between the atoms of this universe. This world is desolate, abandoned, and … over the cliff, there are the people of Rann!

Reuniting with the other banished humans, Adam figures out that this was the world of the green aliens who are now living on Rann. They left this desolate world and have assumed control of the big world.

If the green aliens got big, there must be some machine here that did it…

They find plans for an orkinomikron. This is the device they need to build!They find a huge orkinomikron on the planet. All the displaced Rannians wait there while Adam and Alanna form the first wave of returning humans. “An instant after the ORKINOMIKRON has roared into full, pulsing operation,” they get a little bigger.

The enlarging machine was a success! Adam and Alanna shrink back down into the microworld to gather the rest of the Rannians. Only, the green aliens have descended to counter-attack! Now the Rannians are subject to the great destructive beams of the aliens.

The Rannians have already started growing though. As the aliens start firing, their lasers have no effect. Adam and the people of Rann just keep growing, growing and the lasers are like nothing against them!

What does this story show us about God? Christians are not bound by the limitations of the little world anymore. Once saved by the work of Jesus Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living in us! And the way that Spirit works a lot of the time is to remind us that we’re citizens of a bigger world. Just like the Rannians were living in the microworld, so are we still living in the world of our former captivity. But the Holy Spirit reminds us that we’re only here for a time. The Spirit also reminds us that the enemy has no power over us anymore! We’re already growing growing growing to the size that the fiery darts of our enemies can’t really harm us. Even if we still seem to be really small, we’re growing and our skin is getting tougher as we go.

*******

The Dozen Dooms of Adam Strange

The second, shorter, sillier story in this issue finds Adam once again catching the Zeta-beam and arriving on Rann. Alanna reveals a bizarre product that all little Rann kids have been clamoring for:Life size dolls of Adam Strange. Whatever.

Alanna tells Adam about this jerk from another city-state who has been worrying the people of Ranagar. His name’s Dys and she thinks it’d be a good idea to send Adam over to spy on him. So he disguises himself as one of the dolls (easy). And the dolls are then sent to Dys’ city as a gift (a kind of Trojan Horse – both gifts are so useless you’d think the recipients would at least wonder).

Dys wants to test out his new toys and selects one to wind up. Out of the twelve Adam Strange dolls, guess which one he picks? Adam has a nice little existential crisis as he pretends to be a doll likeness of himself.

Dys accepts the dolls and captures the pilot that intended only to drop them off – Alanna! When Dys leaves and everything is quiet, Adam escapes and finds that the dolls are being filled with bombs and being sent back to Ranagar.

Racing to catch the ship with the bombs, Adam’s plan catches a snare: Alanna has been thrown out of the ship into some fire!

But it’s all just a trap. Only the sharpest eyes will probably notice that it isn’t really Alanna at all! It’s just a robot doll made to look like her. If you look very very closely, you can see a wind-up key on her back. See it now?

Adam also notices that this isn’t really Alanna. He doesn’t notice the key though. Instead he reasons that if a real girl were falling into fire, she would perspire and this girl didn’t. It can’t be the real Alanna!

So he lets her blow-up, leading Dys to believe that he also blew up. But Adam was actually removing the fuel from the ship carrying the bombs, so they all blew up harmlessly over some ocean. Dys was taken in front of the Rann Peace Council and Adam and Alanna were free to finally go on a date…wait! The Zeta radiation is wearing off and Adam is fading away back to earth. Til next time…

They sure could pack a lot into eight and a half pages of story in those days!

So what’s the Geeks of Christ angle? Remember I said that Adam is usually the Christ figure in these stories – he’s the stranger from the sky come to rescue his adopted people. So in this story, he simply invades the enemy’s ground, disarms and deposes him, removes his bride, and brings that land and its people under the proper authority.

Simple. Jesus did the exact same thing! He invaded the ground that Satan ruled. He disarmed him by actually casting out demons and by stepping in between His people and the enemy. He deposed Satan and reclaimed earth as His world. He claimed His bride – the Church. And He brought this world and its people under the proper authority – His.

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