Strange Adventures # 1: What The Wild New DC Comics Book Is Really About

Tom king and Mitch Gerads, the team that brought you Sublime from DC Comics Mr miracle series, is back, and this time they have brought one more team member with them. Strange adventures is DC’s latest epic of intellectual and intellectual maceration comics, and its first issue comes out this week.

Who is working on Strange Adventures?

King and Gerads are a well-oiled team. King has a long history of highly successful superhero character studies, including Marvel. Vision and DC bat Man. And the two have teamed up numerous times before, with Gerads lending his inventive colors and realistic visuals to King’s numbers. bat Man, like The Sheriff of Babylon miniseries and, the most famous, Mr miracle.

For Strange adventures, the duo has become a trio with the help of Evan “Doc” Shaner. Shaner is known for displaying his clear retro style in retro style projects such as Convergence: Shazam, The Terrifics, and Future mission; and in Strange adventures he is drawing the part of the comic that takes place in the past, while Gerads draws the panels set in the present.

It is especially appropriate for Gerads and Shaner to divide the artistic tasks, because the Adam Strange story is about dividing between two places.

Who is Adam Strange?

Created in 1958 by Julius Schwartz and Murphy Anderson, sporting a jetpack, ray gun, and dorsal finned helmet that he still wears today, Adam Strange is one of the clearest sci-fi throwbacks to still bounce back in the comics. modern. He’s a little John Carter from Mars and a little Flash Gordon.

Adam and Alanna in 1962.
Image: Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino / DC Comics

Adam divides his life between Earth and the planet Rann, traveling between the two by using Zeta-Beam teleportation, which is a rather inconvenient form of travel that appears periodically at a random point on Earth for a brief moment. And sure, Adam has learned the science of predicting Zeta-Beams, but even then the effect eventually wears off and he’s teleported back to Earth, usually at the exact point to increase narrative tension.

But Adam is always quick to get back to Rann as soon as he can – he is the planet’s beloved superhero and has also found a deep mutual romance with Alanna, a Rannian woman.

What is Strange Adventures about?

Strange adventures is a venerable title in DC Comics, dating back to the days when comic book shelves could house a whole swath of sci-fi anthology titles without a superhero in sight. But this time, the 12-issue story is about Adam Strange. (Ironically, Adam Strange did not debut in Strange adventures, but makes a pungent use of a classic title).

After he alone led Rann to victory in an interplanetary war, Adam and his wife Alanna have retired to Earth to enjoy fame and peace. But Adam’s past comes back to haunt him, and he calls in another dark DC superhero to clear his name: Terrible lord, the third smartest man in the world. According to DC’s official synopsis, Mister Terrific’s investigation will force him to choose between “saving Adam Strange or saving the world.”

Are there any required reading?

No! This is totally independent.

Is Strange Adventures # 1 good?

The idea that Gerads and Shaner divided artistic tasks into Strange adventures it corresponds to how well the two of you are delivering that art. Gerads has always balanced the realism of his style with a knack for comedy and character expression, and placed alongside Shaner’s cleaner lines and more striking colors, which are primarily used to showcase events at Rann, only highlights the contrast. It has an effect like juxtaposing live action images with animation, and is perfect for the nature of Strange adventures‘ history.

Adam Strange lays in a hotel bed in his costume and talks about an imminent appearance on a talk show with his wife, Alanna, drawn by Mitch Gerads.  In the second panel, drawn by Evan

Image: Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Evan “Doc” Shaner / DC Comics

But so far, the story of Strange adventures # 1 looks a lot alike Mr miracle – The classic yet dark DC superhero navigates fame, trauma, family, and grand adventure in an ironically mundane setting, and that might or might not be really cool. The problem frames Adam’s battles on Rann as if he was participating in a war in a foreign place, actions that he believed were helping the people of Rann, and for the Earth, which would have been threatened had Rann not won. And now the morality of his actions is questioned.

Strange adventures it will be far from the first time that Tom King has written a hero who questions his participation or complicity in a war (or mission analogous to war); This was a major theme of Omega Men, who first put it on the map, Sheriff of Babylon, Grayson, Mr miracle, and even parts of his career in bat Man.

And while I would call many of those titles electrifying successes, I was hoping I was reading a new King story that wasn’t all that familiar to me. Especially so soon after Heroes in crisis, his last great story of 12 numbers that, although promising ambitiousUltimately, he seemed to bite into more intoxicating subjects than he could handle. The eventual appearance of Mister Terrific, an outside observer searching for an external truth, could be the beginning of that unfamiliarity.

King has said that Strange adventures It is not a story about “the anguish of a man”, but “the nature of truth and how our assumptions about that nature can tear us apart.” And I look forward to seeing more of how that plays out in the next installments.

A panel that appeared

On a rooftop on a starry night, Adam Strange Hands tries to hand over his ray gun to Batman, saying “I think I did.  I did not do it.  None of that ”, in Strange Adventures # 1, DC Comics (2020).

Image: Tom King, Mitch Gerads / DC Comics

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