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Review – Strange Adventures #1 (DC Comics)

Strange Adventures #1
Overall
9.2/10
9.2/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 9.8/10
    9.8/10
  • Overall - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
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Strange Adventures #1

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner”
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: DC Comics/Black Label
Release: March 4, 2020

Adam Strange is a war hero on the planet Rann, helping the people live happy free lives. Or is that just what he wants us to think. Is he a war hero or a war criminal?

 

Never Meet Your Hero’s in Strange Adventures #1

Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s are at it again in Strange Adventures #1. The team that brought you Sheriff of Babylon and Eisner Award Winners Vision and Mr. Miracle add the talent of Evan “Doc” Shaner to an all new title in DC Comics Black Label imprint. Adam Strange is a regular Earth Man but once transported to the Planet Rann he became a hero. Or that is how he tells the story in his biography. But is what Adam Strange says all true? Is he the golden boy hero he seems to be? What really happened on Rann? With intrigue, murder and mystery abound we learn about what truth is and what it means. What and who do we trust in Strange Adventures #1?

Writing

Strange Adventures #1 (DC Comics) main cover by Mitch Gerads
Strange Adventures #1 (DC Comics) main cover by Mitch Gerads

Look if you read Vision and/or Mr. Miracle it is not like you are not going to check out Stranger Adventures #1. The creative team just kind of demands a look. Tom King has entered “super stardom” as a writer now (whatever that means in comics). Though is work is highly praised it has been a bit wavered with titles like Heroes in Crisis and his Batman run had fans a bit divided. So, it always is not a hit for King. And I, for one have mostly dug King’s writing and the thought and perspective he brings. That shines forth in Strange Adventures #1.

King always has a bit of a nice skewed view that he brings into series. Adam Strange is a character I am not super familiar with besides the major details. King did a good job bringing this classic character into the spotlight. You do not have to worry about knowing anything about Adam Strange as King delivers all you need in the 1st issue. This being a “Black Label” book lets King go off a little bit more as he “messes” with how we view Adam Strange.

It is a bit hard to judge this by the first issue as it is building up through twelve issue. What King does do well is build up intrigue and invest us in the character of Adam Strange from the start. There are a lot questions raised by the end of the issue. King brings up interesting topics like, trust and truth and who to believe and it makes you want the rest of the story. That connection with Strange is key and King does a great job with it.

Art

Strange Adventures #1 boast the talents of two of the industry’s best artist in Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner. Gerads is a constant collaborator with King. With his vivid, realistic styling always bringing a bit of serious note to the work. Gerad’s brings a bit of “dirtiness” to the world.

A lot can also be said about his panel work; using more “simplistic” panel structure to wonderfully visually tell a story advantage. The sequencing is perfectly done once again as Gerads uses placement and angles to fully grasp what the characters are doing or thinking throughout the story. With his realistic style all this adds up to great visual story telling.

Evan “Doc” Shaner’s style fits perfectly in with the story being told in Strange Adventures #1. As Gerads handles the current day more real world parts of the story, Shaner handles the flashbacks to Rann. His classic animated styling is perfect for a hero like Adam Strange and the fantastical story. Tom King gives the best explanation of Shaner’s style in an interview in the back of this issue. He say’s “Doc Shaner has that rare gift, that insane ability to draw comics the way people imagine comics to be”.

From the layouts to the colors and styling Mitch Gerads and Doc Shaner do an incredible visual job on the series. Working tremendously well as a story telling method switching back and forth between these two and helps show contrast in the story unfolding in-front of us. With that it brings that extra little bit of depth into the world of Strange Adventures #1.

Conclusion 

There are some similar notions in Strange Adventures #1 that you can find in Vision and Mister Miracle. But if you think it will all be the same then this issue has some nice surprises up its sleeve. While it is hard to judge a series such as this on one issue alone, it is off to a pretty good start. King is toying with the idea of trust and belief. It is a fun concept to look at especially through the lens of such a hero as Adam Strange. I can’t really say enough god things about the art. When you have Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner on a book then you know you are in for a visual treat and they do not disappoint in the least.

To sum up, Strange Adventures #1 is a solid start to this twelve issue series. It brings up some different themes and tones yet to be explored by King. King and Gerads seem to thrive in this twelve issue story telling method and they may have struck gold once again. Bringing Evan “Doc” Shaner along only sweetens the pot. As his classic styling are always a visual treat to see.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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