Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Adam Eterno was one of the great british comic heroes of The Bronze Age, appearing between 1970 & 1976 in 'boys weekly' Thunder, which then joined with Lion to become Lion & Thunder, which then joined with war weekly Valiant to become Valiant & Lion, which then joined with Vulcan to......Is it any wonder we preferred American comics?
Anyway, Adam Eterno was a great character. A medieval sorcerer's apprentice with super strength & indestructibility, he's cursed to wander the corridors of space/time, appearing throughout history whenever & wherever his help is needed. He's sort of Dr. Who, Highlander & Quantum Leap all rolled into one ( though obviously predates those last two ), and visually is very odd & unheroic looking, resembling Elric on a bad skin day.
Adam's adventures took him everywhere, from the American Civil War to The French Revolution to Ancient Egypt to WW2 and all points inbetween. As was the norm for British comics, there's not much in the way of characterization, but that doesn't matter when you're having this much fun.
Adam's origin was tweaked more than a few times over the course of his career, but the major points are basically the same. Here's one retelling from 1971.
The strip had many writers & artists during it's run, but the artist most people remember is Argentinian Francisco Solano Lopez, whose dark, grim style defined the look of British heroes for me, ( just as Jesus Blasco did on The Steel Claw. ) It's funny to think that all those characters we grew up on ( The Spider, Janus Stark and so on ) that seemed so quintessentially English in their gloomy, pitch black adventures, were pretty much all drawn by Spaniards & Argentinians. Here's Lopez again, as Adam finds himself taking on '30's gangsters during prohibition.
Interestingly, not only did Adam look like Elric, he swore like Conan, constantly calling on Koth, Crom & Mitra during his time trips. Somebody up at IPC ( maybe frequent writer Tom Tully ) must've been a serious Sword & Sorcery fan.
Finally, here's the first part of the story where Adam travelled back to The Stone Age. If you want to read more stories, or find out how this one pans out, then hie thee over to: http://adamerternoforever.tripod.com