Sometimes, becoming a superhero is a matter of training hard, practicing your craft and honing your skills. Sometimes, it's all about using the gifts you were born with. Sometimes, it runs in the family.
Other times, it's just sheer, dumb luck.
Adam Strange was an archaeologist who was suddenly teleported away from a dig site on Earth to another galaxy, finding himself thrust into a world of high-flying cosmic adventure in the process. The planet he ended up on was called Rann, and the tech that had transported him was something called a Zeta Beam, sent by a Rannian scientist out into space in hopes of locating help. Rann needed protecting, and its people were getting desperate—desperate enough to apparently take help from all comers, even confused humans who didn't actually know where they were or how they got there.
Still, as a man who had always craved adventure, Adam was pretty quick to put aside his shock and disbelief to befriend the Rannian people and step into the role he found himself selected to fill. Of course, this new task didn't come without a price. For starters, there was the little fact that Adam didn't have any superpowers. As a scientist, he was pretty intelligent, but beyond that, he had to rely on whatever Rann's scientists and engineers could outfit him with. (They wound up giving him a space suit, ray guns and a jetpack that would allow him to fly through the vacuum of space.) In addition, the teleportation effects of the Zeta Beam weren't permanent. Their effects would slowly wear off over time, and when they had completely expired, Adam would find himself teleported instantaneously back to Earth.
Luckily, Rann's engineers and scientists came up with a solution for that too. They gave Adam a device that could track the approaching Zeta Beams and pinpoint their location as they entered Earth's atmosphere, meaning that should Adam ever want to return, all he'd have to do was put himself in the right place at the right time and he could catch a Zeta Beam back to Rann like it was the coolest, trippiest intergalactic bus imaginable.
Sure, it may not have been the most convenient way to get from one place to the other, but it worked, and it made sure Adam was never traveling on a one-way ticket from either planet, which definitely had its benefits.
From a historical perspective, all of this went down about sixty years ago. Adam's introduction came in SHOWCASE #17, all the way back in 1958. If you're a comics history buff, you'll recognize those dates as being smack dab at the start of what's known as the Silver Age—an era of comics history where cosmic ray flinging, jetpack wearing sci-fi and fantasy were extremely popular. That's really where Adam really got his legs. As a perfect blend of pulpy space ranger and spandex-clad superhero, he was tailor made to fit the spirit of the times that birthed him.
Over time, Adam fell in love with a Rannian woman named Alanna who eventually joined him on some of his adventures. The two of them started a family and Adam's loyalty to Rann grew even deeper. Of course, the stronger his ties to his adoptive home became, the less frequently he found himself needing to return to Earth. Soon enough, Adam's other life as a relatively normal archeologist was all but ancient history.
Eventually, Adam was granted some metahuman abilities of his own in the form of a genetically modified pair of eyes that would allow him to see the electromagnetic spectrum (pretty helpful when you need to catch energy beams to get around) and later was given a device which would let him summon Zeta Beams at will so he could come and go as he pleased. As an active and predominantly space-based superhero, he's worked with the Justice League, members of the Teen Titans, the Green Lantern Corps and even the Omega Men fighting from one corner of the galaxy to the other. He's the sort of guy who you can expect to find just about anywhere and everywhere once you leave Earth's atmosphere. With those Zeta Beams at his disposal, there's really no place that’s off limits for him.
Even the past isn't totally out of the question for him in some cases. Of course, hopscotching through time has its own set of unique challenges, as anyone who’s read FLASHPOINT or watched DC’s Legends of Tomorrow can tell you. This is especially true when you're trying to save the world’s greatest superhero before he's even been born. And no, that's not just some extremely specific hypothetical—that's exactly what Adam has got to do in his brand new, live action incarnation on Krypton, a show about Superman's home planet decades before Kal-El was even a glimmer in his parents' eye. Adam's as much a part of the show as Superman's Kryptonian forebears, albeit without his trademark suit and ray gun. (Fingers crossed they'll be arriving later!)
Needless to say, Adam has got his work cut out for him this time around. But as a viewer, you won’t. At least not when it comes to knowing everything you need to know about him before tomorrow’s premiere.
Krypton premieres tomorrow, March 21st, at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. CST) on Syfy. Look for more on Krypton tomorrow here at DCComics.com.