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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 312

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at the Julie Schwartz tribute issue, DC Comics Presents: Mystery in Space, featuring two stories written by Elliot S! Maggin and Grant Morrison, with artwork by J.H. Williams, Jerry Ordway and Mark McKenna!


The idea behind each issue of DC’s tribute to Julie Schwartz was that first, each issue would be based on the Silver Age tradition of coming up with a story to match a cover. So the two writers per each book would come up with a story each based on the cover.

Secondly, each issue would have one “classic” writer who had worked with Schwartz with art by a “modern” artist and then a “modern” writer with art by a “classic” artist.

In this issue, the cover being used is Mystery in Space #82, the classic dilemma posed by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson…

Alex Ross drew the homage cover of the book.

In the first story, Elliot S! Maggin is teamed up with the art team from the later issues of Promethea (J.H. Williams and colorist Jose Villarrubia) to show what happens when Adam Strange gets his backpack (with all of his Rannian stuff) stolen while on vacation with Ralph and Sue Dibny. Essentially, his stuff is traded to terrorists to use to make a bomb – Adam has to decide what to do with the bomb…is it a matter of Earth versus Rann?!!?

In the second story, Grant Morrison, Jerry Ordway and Mark McKenna show a rogue military black ops team who have kidnapped Adam Strange and are pumping him for information while also using his body to allow the whole squad of soldiers to be transported with Adam to Rann on the Zeta beam.

Morrison does a great job here of highlighting the various misconceptions people have of Adam Strange and why a heroic archaeologist is actually an awesome thing.

This was a great issue and a very nice tribute to Schwartz. I don’t recall if these were ever collected (I don’t believe so), but they’re readily available on the ‘net.


I recently flipped through this again after finding a review Chad did of it here. Great stuff. Although you didn’t point out the “metafiction” aspect of the GMozz story (I guess that’s a given with him, though, right?)

I like how you showed the original cover and not the Ross one, because, as Chad said, the original works much better than the Ross one.

Daniel O'Daniel

November 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Between Strange, The Halls, The Nelsons and Rex Mason; DC is full of heroic archaeologists. As opposed to Marvel which mainly seems to have heroic inventors. This is probably due to the time period in which these characters debuted and the idea of a “heroic” occupation at the time.

It’s been a while since I read those oneshots. I’ll have to give ‘ema spin one of these days :)

It took me a while to figure out what “Strange” Daniel was talking about (DUH!).

Since I was thinking Hugo Strange, why hasn’t some anal retentive continuity obsessed fanboy writer (either Roy Thomas or Geoff Johns, I’m thinking) written a story telling us that Hugo and Adam are distant cousins, or some such? It’s SO necessary.

Oh, yeah, it ISN’T.

I like the sound of these comics. We need a TPB now dammit!

JHW III is solid as always but the Ordway art is just gorgeous here.

I agree with Ian…this looks like some of the stuff Ordway has done in a while.

Er, some of the best stuff…

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