The “strange adventures” of Adam Strange continue in the newest issue of Strange Adventures. The war against the invading Pyykt forces, the war that nearly destroyed Rann, is coming to Earth. Will the Justice League be ready to face it? Only time will tell.
Tom King’s writing has managed to endear me to both Adam Strange and Mister Terrific over the last four issues. Knowing the ultimate fate of Rann, that with triumph there must be sacrifice, is causing Adam and his wife Alanna to thrust further and move faster than they did on Rann. They know all too well what the Pyykt can do, even with the incredible strength of the Justice League. This issue heavily focuses on Alanna, depicting her strength and how she has changed due to the loss she faced during the war. She knows that if the people of Earth believe the Pykkt will pass like every other alien invasion, as Martian Manhunter states, then they have accepted the certainty of death. Alanna rounds out the central cast of Strange Adventures nicely, providing a reasonable and determined voice that Mister Terrific is willing to listen to.
The desperation Adam and Alanna felt when trying to save Rann is made clear by Doc Shaner’s beautiful artwork. Their struggle to recruit allies to their cause has led them through harsh deserts, but it is the darkness of the unknown that forms their greatest hurdle. This more physical struggle greatly contrasts with the political one they face on Earth in the present. With the Pyykt invasion imminent, Adam and Alanna find themselves at odds with the Justice League amid Mister Terrific’s investigation. The people may be on Strange’s side, but the League is not. Despite his friendship with many of its members, the team is keeping its distance from Adam Strange. The complexity of the situation comes through in Mitch Gerads’ art, presenting this rose-colored feel of hope despite his off-putting art style. It seems that Shaner and Gerads have swapped color pallets as the parallel stories reach their supposed second act.
Strange Adventures continues to retain its firm spot as my favorite comic book out right now. The story Tom King is telling feels earnest while still feeling larger than life. Gerads and Shaner’s artwork brings this story to life, presenting the lowest lows and highest highs so far.