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Introduction to Adventure

The late 1970s and early 1980s saw a rebirth of the adventure comic strip. The successful syndication in 1977 of The Amazing Spider-Man saw a number of action strips getting real estate on newspaper funny pages. The smash box office of Star Wars saw that property adapted to the three panel format, along with more science fiction properties.  A number of other movies also got daily space. Of course more superheroes crashed Spidey’s friendly newspaper neighborhood. The trend also revived comic strips and cartooning careers.

Recently came across a debut strip that I thought was a great introduction to the series and wondered how others stacked up. So here’s what readers had as a first look at some of those adventure strips. (Clicking on the strips will embiggen, clicking again will supersize some of them.)


Latigo had separate daily and Sunday stories

note: Batman appeared in 1989 while Terry and The Pirates and Zorro gave adventure continuity a shot in the 1990s, well after all but Spider-Man had fallen victim to the short attention span of readers and editors. Rip Haywire has survived since 2009 as a 21st Century comedy-adventure strip.

A little exposition by way of narration or activity is great as I realize that not all the readers are as acquainted to the characters as we are. But I find a distaste for talking heads in introductory strips, especially when characters are so well known (Star Trek, Star Wars). The never sold Jonah Hex strip (see below) would be an exception as it is a great introduction to the not-so-famous bounty hunter.


all characters are © their respective copyright owners

Would any of the above lure you into getting the next day’s newspaper to follow the story?

Community Comments

#1 Darryl Heine
August/19/2021
@ 12:37 pm

I sure wish newspaper adventure comic strips would make a comeback if a syndicate offered based on a famous video game a Sonic the Hedgehog newspaper comic strip.

#2 Jim Garrett
August/19/2021
@ 6:47 pm

Great stuff. Interested if there is an online resource to find any of these to read.

#3 D. D. Degg
August/19/2021
@ 8:41 pm

Jim, most of the above have been collected at least partially in book form, some even have the complete series bound between covers (those three “Star” strips for example).
As for online sources – those are much rarer.
The complete syndicated Rip Haywire can be read at GoComics – https://www.gocomics.com/riphaywire
Comics Kingdom has The Amazing Spider-Man from October 1998 to the end of the strip in March 2019 (sub required) – https://www.comicskingdom.com/amazing-spider-man/archive
Paul Kupperberg has put his Superman (neé: The World’s Greatest Superheroes) scripted strips online at his blog along with some Superman comic strips from 1958 –
https://kupps.malibulist.com/category/superman-saturday-or-sunday/
There are places to get some stories from some of the others, but since these comics are copyrighted and registered properties I don’t feel comfortable revealing those bootleg sites.
Of course a subscription to newspapers.com will get all of them to your monitor – https://www.newspapers.com/

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