Strange Adventures #11 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. After the last issue’s revelations, it is time for Alanna to know the truth. But what will the truth bring, and what will be the consequences of its telling?
The penultimate issue. Often, it’s bigger than the finale, with that last issue reserved for the dust to settle and the debris to get cleared away. Well, that may be a bit too cut and dry for some stories, but you get what I mean. And if this isn’t the case with Strange Adventures #11, I cannot imagine what King could deliver in the final issue that could land with greater force than what this issue brings to the series’ narrative. All the conflict, death, and battle of the last ten issues come back to this—to the final confrontation. To a wife, coming to terms with what her husband has become.
Perhaps King’s greatest accomplishment in his delivery of this emotionally charged story is how he says only what must be said. No more, no less. The passionate deliveries of Alanna and Adam are some of the most realistic writing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been in rooms with many fighting couples, and yeah, this is exactly what it sounds like. King never holds back with the verbal attacks and accusations his characters level at each other, nor does he ever push them too far, taking the conversation into the cartoonish. Exactly what needs to be said. Period.
The only mild complaint I have with Strange Adventures #11 is the book’s continued trips to the past. This issue’s focus point in the past didn’t really feel like it brought much to the book’s narrative. Rather, its presence felt like it was afforded due to simple structural inertia. The past has been in every issue till now, so it must be there now. The harm these small breaks bring in the narrative isn’t too great but keeps the book from being the perfection it so nearly achieves. And the final moments do bring something, so they aren’t completely without merit.
The art for the present-day portions of the tale takes all the emotion of King’s writing and delivers it in an up-close and personal way. Just as with the writing, the art always goes only as hard as it needs to deliver an emotional, but real story. Both Alanna and Adam never once feel like comic book characters in the pages of this book. They feel like people. And in the end, that brings far more power to the narrative.
Adhering to the book’s grounded approach to its narrative is Cowles’s work on letters. The lettering captures the story’s charged confrontation in a precise and easy-to-follow manner.
So, when all is said and done, Strange Adventures #11 brings an emotionally charged moment that is one of the most grounded, intense comic book moments I have ever read. It has been a long time in coming, but it was definitely worth the wait.
Strange Adventures #11 is available wherever comics are sold.
Strange Adventures #11
Strange Adventures #11 brings an emotionally charged moment that is one of the most grounded, intense comic book moments I have ever read. It has been a long time in coming, but it was definitely worth the wait.