REVIEW: ‘Strange Adventures,’ Issue #12

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Strange Adventures #12

Strange Adventures #12 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 conflict between the Earth and the Pykky has come to a close. With the death of Adam Strange, the Pykkt’s crucial advantage has been denied, leaving their hopes of overcoming Earth’s heroes crumbling. With negotiations completed, all that’s left is to recover Alanna’s daughter from her long captivity.

It’s been a long journey for Strange Adventures. Coming out during one of the most tumultuous 16 months spans in living memory, its story of war, betrayal, and deceit hit far differently for me now than it would’ve had it come out before the countless soul testing events of those months. And just like in real life, Strange Adventures #12 brings a conclusion to its struggle that may not be the happy ending we wish it could be, but rather, it reminds us that even once one storm is past us, there is always another on the horizon.

With the last issue’s confrontation delivering the emotional peak for the series, it would be understandable if this issue landed with a bit of a dull thud as it wraps up the final loose ends to its narrative. Happily, King doesn’t settle for a mere clean-up story. As Alanna and Terrific acquire the long-lost Aleea, Alanna’s mental state takes center stage as the duo runs into some bureaucratic hurdles that threaten to throw a monkey wrench in their mission.  I found a sense of catharsis in Alanna’s response to these final challenges preventing her from reaching her daughter. King’s writing of both Alanna and Terrific delivers a tired and determined voice that feels perfect for the characters.

How Strange Adventures #12 also ties up the past narrative is striking. As I read it, I was constantly left considering how I would’ve interpreted the sequence if it had come just two issues earlier, before I knew everything that I do now.

What is left for me to say about Gerads’s and Evans’s art in this book? Gerads’s depiction of the closing chapter in Alanna and Terrific’s journey brings every moment to life wonderfully. Every tender moment and rage-fueled outburst feels authentic within the panels. Juxtaposing the tired energy of Gerads’s panels are the past moments of apparent hope within Evans’s side of the book. Alanna and Adam look so different as they have so much yet to go through.

Finally, we have Cowles letters. The lettering wraps up its run here, delivering another smooth and flawless presentation. Cowles provides the book’s energy with enough emphasis to get the emotions in the story across without breaking the grounded feel of the story’s narrative.

So, when all is said and done, Strange Adventures #12 brings its narrative to a heartfelt and emotional finale. it manages to deliver far more than simply a clean-up issue, as King’s narrative delivers a couple more opportunities for readers to shed a tear with these wonderfully realized characters.

Strange Adventures #12 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Strange Adventures #12
5

TL;DR

So, when all is said and done, Strange Adventures #12 brings its narrative to a heartfelt and emotional finale. it manages to deliver far more than simply a clean-up issue, as King’s narrative delivers a couple more opportunities for readers to shed a tear with these wonderfully realized characters.