The Head Fin

One of my first major projects on this website was to create a page for the Wonder Women of History about the backup feature in golden age Wonder Woman comics which chronicled some of the achievements of famous women throughout history.  As I was recently looking for the first appearance of Space Cabbie in "Mystery in Space" (yes, I have a weird obsession with the character) I ran across a similar backup feature called Giants of the Telescope.  This one detailed the accomplishments of famous astronomers (though none were women but there were some female astronomers in Wonder Women of History).  For those that know me, you know that I like science and so with near compulsiveness I set off to document these feature as much as possible.  At the same time this gave me a sort of crash course in Mystery in Space, a series which has been sitting in my father's comic book collection but one which I never looked at.  As opposed to the hard science of the famous astronomers instead there were series within the series featuring such names as the Knights of the Galaxy and Space Ranger in completely soft science settings.  One of the longer running characters in the series was Adam Strange.  
    

 I also can not stress enough how much cooler Alanna (his wife) looks.  
I of course knew the character before, but having to look through 50 or so issues with him in it reinforced to me how stupid it looks to have a fin on your helmet (incidentally the Rocketeer does the same thing.)  I am not sure how it would really help with flight.  First of all I would think when flying that you would need to be looking down most of the time so you actually knew where you were going.  Secondly, I don't see how breaking up air resistance around the head is going to do much when a bunch of air is getting sucked into the jet pack on your back (again also applying to the Rocketeer.)  Yet through all the character re-designs that other people have had Adam still has the dorky looking fin on his head.    
She seems to doing all right without a head fin, despite their present predicament.   
11 Comments
11 Comments
Posted by xerox_kitty

I think it's some sort of kitsch idea of aerodynamics. As if in the 50's there was the idea that moving the head-fin would help direct you in flight... but that would put too much pressure on the neck ;)

I like it for nostalgia value. It's quirky & very quaint in a B-Movie way. But that is DEFINITELY one suit in need of a revamp ;)

Moderator
Edited by GundamHeavyarms

You have to understand that characters like Adam Strange are modeled after old school science fiction characters like john carter, buck rogers, and flash gordon.  The outfit, including the headfin says, "adventuring spaceman."  His costume was designed to look as out there as possible.  Same way as the rocketeer.  Does it help him fly, no, if anything the headfin would probably increase drag slowing him down.  Yes, it is dorky, it makes about as much sense as wearing a scarf while riding a motorcycle but some things just are the way they are.

Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir
I love the headfin. It's so bad. 
Posted by InnerVenom123
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
I love the headfin. It's so bad. 
EPIC REFERENCE IS EPIC. 
Posted by ryu_talkative_batman

Congrats on getting featured, you deserve it, good article

Posted by Nova`Prime`

Definitely a throw back to the classic golden age of scifi adventure heroes.

Posted by MrSeaman70

Only the Star Wars clone troopers can make the fins look cool and bad @$$ :D 
 
Posted by Billy Batson

I like the fin... 

BB

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

you cant take away Adams headfin    its iconic (kinda) and it works for him. 
 
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Posted by fodigg

I love the headfin. Very ray-gun gothic.

Posted by thechessclub

@xerox-kitty said:

I think it's some sort of kitsch idea of aerodynamics. As if in the 50's there was the idea that moving the head-fin would help direct you in flight... but that would put too much pressure on the neck ;)

I like it for nostalgia value. It's quirky & very quaint in a B-Movie way. But that is DEFINITELY one suit in need of a revamp ;)

This.