REVIEW: ‘Strange Adventures,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Strange Adventures #4

Strange Adventures #4 is published by DC Comics, written by Tom King, art by Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner with letters by Clayton Cowles. In order to continue his investigation into Strange’s past, Mr. Terrific takes the long journey to Rann to see what he might find. And while his welcome is initially warm, he quickly learns there are questions they really don’t want him asking. Which begs the new question, why?

It is an odd reality that something that seems like it should  be the most natural thing to do is often the hardest. That thing is to tell the truth. It feels weird that it is that way. At least till you really think about it. The truth almost never paints anyone in a shining light. It will almost always tarnish a person. Whether their intentions were good, or not. Especially in war. As battles blur together, and death tolls rise, one can almost understand how, in the heat of a moment, a person may decide something is warranted that others might look back on with a less than favorable gaze. It is always hard to admit errors. To admit one was wrong. Especially if your admission could call into question the validating of your actions. So, all too often, people instead decide to hide the truth. To bury it deep under a pile of half truths and “white lies”. But, as the saying goes, the truth will come out.

Strange Adventures #4 surprised me with a sudden change in scenery. When we meet up with Mr. Terrific he is arriving on Rann to continue his investigation. He hopes to study first hand accounts of Adam Strange and see if their is any validity to the accusations against him. But, while his arrival is initially welcomed, the local government begins to grow difficult quickly. Terrific is asking the wrong questions about their hero, and the government is not happy about it. And nothing fails convincing someone there is nothing to see like refusing to show it to them.

Strange Adventures #4

The entire manner King portrays the Rann government’s actions feels completely believable. As Mr. Terrific’s requests are blocked by completely transparent excuses the reality of the government’s need to defend its champion is obvious. After all, their victory was built on Strange’s victory. If he is called into doubt, won’t they be too?

When Strange Adventures #4 isn’t following Mr. Terrific’s attempt to get the Rann government to cooperate it takes us back to the past with Strange. This time, we find Strange on Earth and desperately trying to get back to Rann to help with the war. But no one will help him. Whether it’s due to political complications, or preexisting conflicts holding people up, no one can lend Adam the help he needs. His frustration is palpable. His sense of failure is portrayed excellently. This sense of failure will undoubtedly play a part into some of the decisions Strange will make throughout the war.

Gerads and Shaner’s artwork continue to compliment the narrative wonderfully. The heavy noir style atmosphere both works wonderfully for the modern day portion of the narrative it is used for, as well as serving as a great contrast to the more classic comic style art used in the sequences that take place in the past. It highlights how people remember “the good old days” and makes one wonder if they could’ve been as squeaky clean as people claim.

Strange Adventures #4 wraps up it’s delivery with another solid lettering performance from Cowles. As always, Cowles provides a clear and easy to follow lettering here.

The story continues to deepen with Strange Adventures #4. As the narrative follows the same slow burn style of story telling as King’s other maxi series offerings, readers can still clearly expect a long way to go before any real answers are given. But, as they await those answers they continue to be treated to great character moments, and a story about the search for truths. Whether anyone wants them found or not.

Strange Adventures #4 is available August 4th wherever comics are sold.

 

Strange Adventures #4
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TL;DR

The story continues to deepen with Strange Adventures #4. As the narrative follows the same slow burn style of story telling as King’s other maxi series offerings, readers can still clearly expect a long way to go before any real answers are given. But, as they await those answers they continue to be treated to great character moments, and a story about the search for truths. Whether anyone wants them found or not.