|First Appearance||1950 (Khoroshij Polkovnik)|
1954 (own book)
(Khoroshij Polkovnik book)
(Altun Adam book)
|Home City||Mobile throughout Turkestan|
Defender of Turkestan
Altun Adam (Rus. "Золотой Человек"; Eng. "Golden Man") is a Turkestani comic-book superhero created originally as a guest character for the Khoroshij Polkovnik books of Timely Comics. The character was brought into his own and given his own book when Timely were permitted to open a corporate division in Turkestan.
Despite obviously being set in the same fictional universe and sharing several guest characters with the Good Colonel, the character of the Altun Adam books was always somewhat different from the Russian book. Altun Adam (the comic) was often more mystical and magical, with much more in the way of overt superhuman abilities than the Good Colonel regularly showed. The book was also much more sensitive to nuances of Turkestani culture and history; making the character an archaeologist rather than a military man was a radical departure from the Russian book, but it was used to teach children and young adults something of the ancient history of not only Turkestan, but also other surrounding nations - admittedly all from a Snorist point of view, though.
Altun Adam's first appearance was not in his own book, but in the Good Colonel's, in 1950. He was introduced as a villaionous character with evident second thoughts about his career path, who was being employed as a mercenary assassin by General Malice in order to try to kill the Colonel. Khoroshij Polkovnik was able to use his moral superiority to win Altun Adam over to the cause of righteousness, and the two of them together were able to defeat General Malice and stop his scheme to take over the world.
When Timely Comics opened their Turkestan division in 1954, it was decided to give Altun Adam his own book, written by Turkestanis of proven loyalty to the new regime and produced in Buxara. The early issues of Altun Adam are a good example of early pro-Russian propaganda by the Government of National Unity.
In the first issue of Timely Turkestan's Altun Adam comic book, the character's origin and background were explained.
Kärim Bardaysan-ulı was a young, up-and-coming archaeologist who had been victimised for most of his childhood because of his intellectual bent and physical weakness.
At a dig in one of the qurgans (ancient burial mounds) that dot the Central Asian steppes, he awoke in the middle of the night feeling a strange pull to the central mound of the complex. In that mound's central chamber, which had been partially excavated, he stumbled on a secret door into a new chamber.
Entering this second chamber, Kärim was confronted by a tall woman who claimed to be the embodied spirit of the Scythian warrior queen Tamırıs. In a scene obviously cribbed wholesale from Khoroshij Polkovnik's encounter with the shade of Ivan the Terrible, Tamırıs gifts him with a golden bow and "the power to overcome all those who would oppose the cause of Right, so long as your heart remain pure."
On taking the bow from the legendary queen, he found himself transformed physically into the stature of a great Scythian warrior-prince of the past, clad in golden armour which was stronger than Russian steel and able to move and react with the speed of thought. The bow itself, he found by experiment, shot "light-arrows" of pure energy that exploded on impact; during the production run of Altun Adam he would discover other effects: stun, electrical disruption and others.
Altun Adam and the Good Colonel
Khoroshij Polkovnik is always portrayed, in both books, as being physically stronger than Altun Adam. The Colonel is also less morally compromised or ambiguous; it was this that enabled the Good Colonel to engender Altun Adam's self-redemption. Kärim Bardaysan-ulı is somewhat driven by a felt need to atone for his original nefarious ways; something referred to many times but never properly explained was how he came to be working for General Malice.
The Good Colonel is also somewhat resistant or immune to the worst effects of Altun Adam's light-arrows; this was one of the key factors in bringing about the crisis of conscience in Altun Adam that led to his betrayal of General Malice and restoration to the side of light.
- Şii An Fu is a Chinese sorcerer who is Altun Adam's main nemesis.
- Shadow is a Persian villainess who tries to use her great beauty to ensnare Altun Adam.
- General Malice is usually fought in conjunction with the Good Colonel, but once Altun Adam had to overcome General Malice without the aid of the Colonel.
- Spartak is a self-aware kawar built by CSDS military scientists.
- The Living Skull appears as a skeletal warrior in Scythian/Turkic war gear. He was designed as Altun Adam's equal and opposite; he has a sword rather than a bow, and shoots bolts of darkness and pain, not of light, and he regenerates, given enough time. Undead sinews reconnect and whatever dark power he serves reanimates him again.
In the mid 1980s, Turkestani State TV sponsored an animated children's TV series featuring Altun Adam. It was a huge hit in Turkestan, but viewing figures even in other Central Asian nations such as Uyguristan were disappointing. The series was cancelled after the fall of the EBÜK regime.
The post-SNOR era
After the collapse of the various Snorist regimes, Timely Comics' Turkestan division went bankrupt due to an increasing decline in sales and no further state sponsorship of the company's pro-SNOR message. In 2006, however, Tiger Comics bought the rights to the character and have been reinventing him for the post-Snorist age.
The new Altun Adam is much the same as the old in background and powers, but a lot of the pro-SNOR and pro-Government of National Unity propaganda is gone. General Malice and most of the Good Colonel's foes have yet to make an appearance. The Living Skull has been elevated to become Altun Adam's chief enemy, and several new villains have been introduced.