REVIEW: ‘Strange Adventures,’ Issue #6

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Strange adventures 6

Strange Adventures #6 is published by DC Comics, written by Tom King, with art by Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner with letters by Clayton Cowles. Having gone to confront Mr. Terrific in person, it’s time for Alanna Strange to have a heart to heart talk with her investigator. What does she hope to gain from this talk? Does she really think she can deter Terrific from continuing his investigation? Will Mr. Terrific learn some new information? Or perhaps, will she?

Many stories have a tipping point. When the parties on both sides of the story’s conflict are in equilibrium. The story could go either way, and then, just like that, the balance is gone, and the descent begins. I think Strange Adventures #6 has set up this sort of descent for the coming narrative.

As with every book in this series to date, it’s time is split between the past and the present. The past is dominated by Rann’s full-scale conflict with the invaders. The time of alliance-building has ended and war is upon them. And the war is just as bad as previous issues had built it to be.

By utilizing the back and forth flow between past and present King does a magnificent job of allowing the lapsing of time to feel natural. Every time the story returns to the past the troops are more battered, the casualties being reported are higher, and the Stranges look more broken and run down. They are truly in the “meat grinder”, as they say.

This savage brutality plays in stark contrast to the tension-filled panels of Strange Adventures #6 other half. As Alanna and Mr. Terrific have a long walk and talk about their pasts, their motivations, and their lost loved ones. This issue long discussion is some of the best, low key tension-filled dialogue I have ever read in any medium. It is devoid of anger, or resentment. It’s mostly just cold. TWo people, so detached from each other. At direct odds with each other, and yet, there is also a spark. A small flame of some sort of commonality between them. Perhaps it is their losses. Perhaps it’s something else.

The artwork in Strange Adventures #6 continues to present both sides of its narrative splendidly. As the situation in the past worsens, the colors and imagery as a whole darken with it. It emphasizes the hardness of the conflict with skill fullness.

This is equaled to the present as well. The majority of the story there takes place outside in the chill of winter. Heavy blues are used to grant the images a sense of pervasive cold that compliments it’s setting. This is contrasted sharply by the vibrant orange hues that take over the imagery when the pair move inside for part of their discussion. That this moment is when the duo opens up a bit about events in their pasts feels in perfect sync with the visual presentation.

Rounding out the comic we have the continued skilled letter work of Cowles. The story continues to flow smoothly, as his dialogue placement works both to deliver the narrative cleanly, as well as balance itself with the artwork.

While I had been enjoying the moment to moment writing of Strange Adventures up to this point, I had started to garner some reservations about where the larger story might be headed, and how it would get there. With the final pages of this issue, I can confidently say many of my former concerns are abated and I am fully back on board.

Strange Adventures #6 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 


Strange Adventures #6
5

TL;DR

While I had been enjoying the moment to moment writing of Strange Adventures up to this point, I had started to garner some reservations about where the larger story might be headed, and how it would get there. With the final pages of this issue, I can confidently say many of my former concerns are abated and I am fully back on board.