Holy Cow! Jim Steranko’s 1981 Adaption of the Movie ‘Outland’!


CREDIT: Jim Steranko & Heavy Metal Magazine

I was at my Local Comic Shop this past weekend for ‘Batman Day’ and they were having a 50-cent comics sale.  One of the things that caught my eye was a box full of Heavy Metal magazine from the 1980s and 1990s.  Heck, for 50 cents a pop I was game.  I bought 35 issues.  These are super cool and are loaded with work by creators like Richard Corben, Howard Chaykin, Enki Bilal, John Workman, and many more.

I don’t have many issues of Heavy Metal and I’m not really sure why.  I was buying the hell out of Indie comics in the 1980s, and also anything I could find from these creators whenever I saw them, so it must have been that the comic shops and newsstands that I was frequenting just didn’t carry it.


I also loved Sci-Fi & James Bond movies, so I went to and loved the movie Outland in 1981, where Sean Connery portrayed the Marshal on Jupiter’s Moon Io… a movie commonly referred to at the time as “High Noon in Space”.

I never knew there was a comic book adaption of the movie, let alone one done by Jim Steranko!  But what was staring me in the face when I cracked open my 50 cent copy of Heavy Metal from July 1981?  Among other great stories, the 1st part of Steranko’s Outland adaption.  Mind Blown!

A bit of internet searching and I discovered the story was serialized in Heavy Metal magazine in English, but never collected in English, though there was a collection of the 48 page story published in both France (in French) & Spain (in Spanish).  The ‘Bronze Age of Blogs‘ covered it with images of the 1st 24 pages back in 2015, and Steranko has a few pages of it up on his own website as well.

The issues of Heavy Metal with the adaption are as follows:

  • #51 (June, 1981) – Introduction; about the story
  • #52 (July, 1981)
  • #53 (August, 1981)
  • #54 (September, 1981)
  • #55 (October, 1981)
  • #58 (January, 1982)

There’s a lot of other cool stuff in these issues, but the real eye-opener to me was Steranko’s Outland, enough so that I was compelled to come and write this blog entry to share my “discovery” 36 years after the fact.

Bob Bretall: bob@comicspectrum.com
https://comicspectrum.com/ By Fans who Love Comics For Fans who Love Comics

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12 Responses to Holy Cow! Jim Steranko’s 1981 Adaption of the Movie ‘Outland’!

  1. Jonathan says:

    It was collected and released as a graphic novel in English. I have it.

    • Johnny, If you have this, can you provide the name of the publisher and approximate year?

      I was unable to find it on the Grand Comics Database or ComicBookDb in English (except the Heavy Metal magazine appearances).

      The internet search I did does not come up with any English collections either, and several other blogs and articles that do come up on the search also state that it was never collected in English.

      So anything more specific than “I have one” would be greatly appreciated. I’d like to track this down.

      • Pablo Cildoz says:

        I own a copy of the spanish book edition, if you want I can share you some photos.

      • Pablo, if you can send me pictures I’d love it….
        The front cover & especially anything that has the Publisher info (name of publisher, date published, etc) that’s usually written on the inside front cover and/or 1st page
        You can email them to bob@comicspectrum.com

    • Jonathan ROSS says:

      Just saw your question. I’ll dig it out. But it was collected and printed by an American publisher. Might have been Byron Preiss. I’ll check as soon as I get the chance.

      • If you’re going to dig it out snap a picture and send it to me….
        I checked with several other people who have written about this and nobody seems to have ever heard of a collected edition in English.

      • Tony Robertson says:

        Is it possible, Jonathan ROSS (are you the person of U.K. TV fame?), that you have the French edition and never noticed it was in French, as your mind was melted by the images?

  2. Tony says:

    I posted a link to this in the STERANKO facebook group and it got 167 likes and about 20 comments. You are correct, it has not been collected in English, but has been collected in French, Spanish and Italian.

  3. Jay says:

    The original was run partly in Heavy Metal magazine and the full graphic novel was published by the same company.

    • Jay….. I point out in the Blog that it was published in languages OTHER than English by Heavy Metal.
      I can find zero evidence of this having been published in English by Heavy Metal, though a comment above by Jonathan also makes this claim, but he was not able to provide substantiating proof of its existence.
      Do you have any links you can share that provide info on this collection in English?
      If you have the collection in English can you snap a picture of it and send it to me at bob@comicspectrum.com ?? I’ll add it to the Blog that the existence has been confirmed.

  4. zoidbert says:

    It’ll never happen at this point, but I’ll tip in that I would still buy a collected graphic novel at this point. Just about done re-reading Alan Dean Foster’s novelization, and didn’t know Steranko’s comic adaptation existed until today.

    Even if it didn’t make it to print, a collected version available via iBooks, Comixology, Dark Horse Digital; anything would be welcomed.

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