Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Profile: Alanna Strange

Alanna Strange
First appearance: Showcase #17, November 1958

History: the daughter of a humanoid scientist named Sardath on the planet Rann, she later became the wife of Adam Strange, the archaeologist who was transported across the galaxy courtesy of a Zeta ray, an invention of her father's, where Adam became a hero of the peoples of Rann (as the story went for many years, it had the annoying effect of wearing off and teleporting him back to Earth when he wasn't hoping for it). She joined him on many adventures in their galaxy sector, including some team-ups with the Hawks of Thanagar.

Current status: still adventuring, and mother to a young daughter as well.

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: in the miniseries Adam Strange: Man of Two Worlds from 1990, it was revealed that Rann's population had a negative opinion of him, and he'd just been teleported there to serve as a breeding stud (there had already been allusions to this premise first featured in an issue of Swamp Thing in 1987 written by Alan Moore). Alanna died while giving birth to their daughter Aleea. Adam was left feeling disgusted and disillusioned with Rann and went back to Earth where he dated another girl for awhile.

What's wrong with how this was done? Adam and Alanna Strange were more victims of political correctness, and possibly even that DC's writers were ashamed of their own stable of amazing works as supposedly too silly for words.

Was there anything good to come out of this? Thankfully, almost 8 years later, in JLA #20, Alanna's fate was reversed (written at a time when Grant Morrison was relatively better in handling superhero comics), and she and her daughter were reunited with Adam.

Even so, her initial fate was an early example of the kind of political correctness that ruined a lot of 1990s comics.


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