The first issue of Tom King, Mitch Gerads and Doc Shaner’s newest comic, Strange Adventures, is my favorite single issue of 2020 so far. Due to recent events, the second issue was delayed by over two months. I waited eagerly for the next issue and, with it finally here, I can already tell that Strange Adventures will likely end up being my favorite new comic of 2020.
Issue 2 contains two parallel stories. The first one follows space explorer Adam Strange as he and his wife trek across the desert of the alien world of Rann to negotiate with the vicious Hellotaat Tribe. The tribe have been antagonizing peaceful villages, including the one Strange and his family inhabit.
The second story follows Mister Terrific as he goes about his daily routine. King shows off Terrific’s incredible intellect by having the T-Spheres test his knowledge. Terrific is able to answer each question correctly, even in the freezing cold. Over the course of the issue, we see him question Adam Strange’s character and allegiance due to the recent release of Strange’s biography on Earth (as seen in the first issue). He contacts Batman multiple times throughout the comic to discuss his impression of Strange.
Mitch Gerads is probably my favorite artist in the comics industry right now. While I loved the nine-panel grids of Mister Miracle, it is refreshing to see his art represented in larger panels. The three-panel structure perfectly interweaves the two stories. However, the best usage of this grid-type is on page five. I am a sucker for split images, and Gerads nailed it here.
The difference in art style between the panels with Adam Strange and the panels with Mister Terrific convey a visual difference in tone. Strange’s adventures are more vibrant and exciting, with him discovering new worlds and interacting with the people that inhabit them. To contrast, Mister Terrific is grounded, with him going through his normal everyday schedule. His life is not nearly as interesting when compared to that of Adam Strange. The art reflects this by obscuring the outlines of the characters, making the panels feel messy, much like life. The two styles then combine and become one at the end of the comic when the two stories merge.
Strange Adventures #2 introduces the conflicts Adam Strange faces, both in space and at home on Earth. His time away from his home world leads many to question his character. I am interested to see how Strange will interact with Mister Terrific. Hopefully we will not have to wait three months for the next issue this time.
Buy the comic: https://www.comixology.com/Strange-Adventures-2020-2/digital-comic/851886?app=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=listing&utm_campaign=Product%20Listing&utm_content=%7Bifpe:pe%7D%7Bifpla:pla%7D&utm_term=%7Bkeyword%7D&tid=1209000000