Review: ‘Strange Adventures,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Strange Adventures #5
Strange Adventures
#5 is published by DC Comics, written by Tom King, art by Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner with letters by Clayton Cowles. As Mr. Terrific returns from his visit to Rann, Adam Strange’s frustration at the ongoing investigation continues to mount. But when a Pykkt probe is spotted in Gotham, the long-rumored invasion my be closing in.  While in the past, we see the struggles made to gain another ally for the defense of Rann.

When stories present mysteries to their readers there is an often-used trick that I cannot stand. And I’m starting to worry Strange Adventures is utilizing it. What is this trick I speak of? It’s having characters behave in a way they wouldn’t behave simply for the sake of fooling the audience. Strange Adventures #5 features several discussions between Adam and Alanna, completely in private. These conversations give every indication that Adam has done nothing wrong in his past. There is nothing for Terrific to find. Now, that could end up being the case. But if it’s not, those conversations are going to look awfully weird. Unless Alanna is also in the dark. But given how this story has made her a stronger and stronger part of Adam’s successes I don’t that will be the case. I hope I’m wrong, but only time will tell.

Strange Adventures #5 continues its slow burn as the first signs of the Pykkt invasion shows up on Earth. This surprise appearance leads to a council of national representatives, along with Martian Manhunter representing the Justice League. Manhunter speaks with confidence in the League. He reassures that, whatever might be coming, the League can handle it. This is an understandable position for Manhunter to take. After all, they’re undefeated on stopping alien invasions. However, Alanna, representing Rann, voices an extremely contradictory opinion. That the confidence of Earth in the Justice League will see the Earth destroyed.

Strange Adventures #5

This moment was easily my highlight from this story. King portrays both characters as speaking from a place of knowledge and experience. Rann believed their vastly-superior-to-Earth’s technology made them invincible. They were proven wrong. Alanna compares this false confidence to Manhunter’s faith in the League. It’s not a one-for-one comparison, but you can see where she’s coming from. But, Manhuter’s position is equally understandable. And that’s why I love how the scene plays out. Both characters’ opinions feel biased based on past results that don’t perfectly match the coming scenario. Neither debates from a truly unassailable position. It usually doesn’t seem to work this way in fiction. But I love it here.

The artistic presentation of Strange Adventures #5 continues to deliver all the story enhancing magic it has since issue one. The one significant change in the art feels like Alanna herself. As the story moves on, her character has become a stronger and more central figure in the narrative. Her visual presentation seems to be moving in a way to enhance this theme. Her outfits feel more commanding. Her poses, more confident. She has begun to tower over her husband in any panel they share.

Lastly, the letter work here provides a nice final touch to Strange Adventures #5. It delivers its story perfectly. Cowles’ classic, measured presentation continues to serve this story well. Strange Adventures #5 delivers some good moments as it continues it’s story’s slow build-up. It will be interesting to see where things go from here.

Strange Adventures #5 is available September 1st wherever comics are sold.

Strange Adventures #5
4

TL;DR

Strange Adventures #5 delivers some good moments as it continues it’s story’s slow build-up. It will be interesting to see where things go from here.