REVIEW: ‘Strange Adventures,’ Issue #10

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Strange Adventures #10

Strange Adventures #10 is published by DC Comics under the Black Label imprint, written by Tom King, with art by Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner and letters by Clayton Cowles. The war is going badly. With Phoenix lost and the superhero community rocked by the war crimes committed by Adam Strange, the situation couldn’t be worse. But even with all this, Mr. Terrific has something he needs to tell Alanna Strange. But what more could there be to say?

Bonds. The stronger the bond, the worse the break. When it is taken away, and the one who once took comfort from this bond is lost, what is left? A hole? A cold space that lingers on like an open wound? And what will one be willing to do to fill that hole again?

It’s all coming together. After a slow start, King has begun to pull the plot together, and it looks like it will land with the force fans have been hoping for. The pace that King delivers the content of the letter from Mr. Terrific to readers is perfect. There is just enough background and exposition to make the revelations feel real, grounded, and irrefutable. What’s more, the script delivers Terrific’s voice in such a way that it conveys no malice or spite. Despite everything that has passed through the previous nine issues, there is only a sense of necessity in Terrific’s voice. That, and perhaps a dull ache.

Just as with all the previous entries in this series, Strange Adventures #10 spends half its time in the past. But as the reader learns more about what is happening, these moments in the past come to look different, despite no change to the book’s excellent artistic presentation. It just helps to highlight the all-important impact of context on the art we consume.

But, even while the past’s visual presentation is delivered with skill, it is the subtle touches of the present half of the story that steals the moment. As Terrific’s letter is revealed, Alanna is seen going through her day. Talking to politicians, rallying the troops, and giving speeches fill her day. But something is different. But exactly what is kept hidden from the reader till the critical moment. What nature the reveal takes for Alanna is not spoiled through the art, though it easily could’ve been. The skill and subtly that has highlighted this book is at their best on these pages.

Rounding out this book’s presentation is Cowles lettering. Cowles adds to the sense of a slow, deliberate tone with Terrific’s message through the choice to use multiple word boxes in single panels when the text could’ve been easily delivered in a single box. By doing this, the message is elongated without adding unnecessary words to it. It’s the perfect final touch to drive the book’s tone home.

So when all is said and done, Strange Adventures #10 delivers on the build-up of the past nine issues. While I had my moments of doubt leading up till now, I will happily acknowledge that King and company have laid any doubts I ever had to rest.

Strange Adventures #10 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

Strange Adventures #10
5

TL;DR

So when all is said and done, Strange Adventures #10 delivers on the build-up of the past nine issues. While I had my moments of doubt leading up till now, I will happily acknowledge that King and company have laid any doubts I ever had to rest.