Strange Adventures is back this week, mixing war, Mr. Terrific, and propaganda. There are certain things that go without saying, and one of them is that you should be reading Strange Adventures.
This is a series that’s beautiful to look at, deeply complex, and incredibly fun to unpack as each issue brings us a little closer as to knowing the secrets its characters are keeping from us. This book is political — it isn’t about politics, but rather the mechanism of hiding information and making choices for the greater good from a particular point of view. Strange Adventures #6 continues the trend of revealing a little more info as Mr. Terrific continues to close in on the truth Adam Strange and Alanna are keeping from the public.
This issue opens with Mr. Terrific and Alanna basically hanging out for a few hours. It’s an interview being conducted by Mr. Terrific that turns into a sharing of ideas and thoughts on art, life, and death. As usual for this series, the narrative cuts to Adam and Alanna off Earth experiencing amazing and wonderful things, but also horrible war and death around them. They’ve been through hell, and the bond they’ve formed by enduring hellish war and other atrocities is why the secret they’re holding for Mr. Terrific and the world is so locked away.
This is without a doubt one of the best looking books in comics today. Mitch Gerads continues to enhance each scene in the present with incredible realism, forethought, subtle body language, and framing. Doc Shaner continues to make the science fiction life look cool and slick even with all-out war taking place. They blend together like memories, with Gerads offering realism and reality that is more certain while Shaner offers something magical and yet all too real in its own way.
The core message of this book may be that Alanna is capable of letting her guard down. Mr. Terrific is very casual here and not necessarily after anything, but through the right questions and the right reflections, she reveals truths about herself. You see it when she reflects on a quote Mr. Terrific recites from John Dunne. She’s acting natural and answering, but that answer reveals herself to him. By the end it’s quite clear he’s getting new insight, but you wouldn’t have guessed at that while the story pushed forward.
Of course, stories like this do hold their cards so close to the chest that you may find it frustrating. Not knowing where Adam is in the present, for instance, is somewhat strange. Ultimately, you need to make good with the fact that the lack of information is part of the storytelling.
This is yet another good issue in Strange Adventures that builds on previous issues while supplying new insight and direction. Strange Adventures is modern, mature, and mesmerizing as it unfurls its mystery and deep human emotion on every page.
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