The “Amazing Science Fiction?” continues with this week’s issue of Strange Adventures. The deep dive into emotional trauma and depression that was so present in Mister Miracle has finally made its way into Strange Adventures. Let’s just say that after this issue you may need to read one of the lighthearted books DC is putting out right now because the beats this issue tackles are not for the faint-hearted. Spoilers for the first six issues of Strange Adventures ahead.
The Pyykt invasion has come to Earth and Adam Strange is doing his best to ensure that the people of Earth are prepared to face it. We have seen Adam butt heads with the other members of Justice League on their unwillingness to treat the Pyykt threat with the violent force he believes is necessary. The question is whether Adam’s methods are truly necessary, or if his actions are based on an unquenchable desire for revenge over what the Pyykt did to him and his family when they invaded Rann.
King does a fantastic job transitioning from modern day Adam Strange’s actions to the likely reason for them. Doc Shaner’s psychedelic artwork excellently portrays Strange’s erratic mental state as he is tortured by the Pyykt, with his mind transported painfully throughout the universe. The chill attitude of his torturer, a former war prisoner who was converted to the Pyykt after enduring the same torture, only adds to the unease of Shaner’s panels. The crazy visuals make this issue stand out among those previously, while proving to me that Shaner should definitely work on Doom Patrol at some point.
Meanwhile, the present, as illustrated by Mitch Gerads, showcased how this torture affects Strange’s mind as he faces a similar conflict on Earth. He reveals a deep truth to Alanna that is likely the reason why the Justice League have been investigating him so heavily. The moody, stark color contrast once again showcases just how dire Strange’s situation is, even with comfort from Alanna.
The consistently great art combined with King’s talent for dissecting the inner psyche of DC’s heroes have made Strange Adventures my favorite book on the shelves. This issue was no exception, providing more insight into Adam Strange and focusing heavily on what drives him and how that has affected his actions in the present. This issue delivered on exactly what I expected to see in this series and I loved every second of it.