Strange Adventures continues to be my favorite book from DC Comics. The story Tom King, Mitch Gerads and Doc Shaner are crafting within each page of this book is enthralling. Additionally, if you are a Justice League fan, you will not want to miss this issue.
The third issue picks up shortly after the end of the last one. Mister Terrific has finished his interview with Adam Strange and his wife Allana, and from their reactions, it did not go well. The split story between the Justice League’s investigation into Adam Strange on Earth and Strange’s past intergalactic escapades help endear us to him. Seeing everything he has fought for to achieve his notoriety across the galaxy paints the image of a hero who will do anything to help those he loves. However, this same reasoning is why the Justice League is so skeptical of him. How far would Strange go to protect his wife’s people?
Seeing Strange’s various interactions with the Justice League, particularly his conversation with Superman, paints a good picture of how the other heroes of the world view Strange. Superman is the gleaming beacon of hope in the DC universe, so if he says you are a good man, you probably are. However, with everything Strange has gone through after returning to Earth, I imagine he is not inclined to agree with the Big Blue Boy Scout.
The artwork from both Gerads and Shaner is fantastic. Gerads artwork of the morally ambiguous present paints a mysterious and uncomfortable picture of the stress Strange and Allana are enduring. Between protecting Earth from an oncoming alien attack and being scrutinized by the League and the ambiguous Mister Terrific, Strange has his hands full. The distraction by the press is only making things more uncomfortable for the space adventurer.
To contrast, Shaner’s artwork presents a classic space adventure, full of strange worlds and the creatures that inhabit them. To help protect Rann from war, Strange and Allana seek the aid of the Hellotaat Tribe. To prove they are worthy of the Hellotaats, Strange must battle their strongest warrior in single combat. The fight is brutal and Shaner does not shy away from it. The morality of the fight is clear as day, and the art shows this with clear color contrast, as opposed to the more moody colors in Gerads’s panels. King’s writing is intriguing, but it is the art that truly sells this story.
Strange Adventures contains everything I want in a comic book story. Dramatic tension, intriguing character interactions and entertaining space escapades. King’s writing balances the two stories well, and the stark contrast in Gerads and Shaner’s art styles illustrate this perfectly. I am excited to see what they have in store for the next issue.