War has come to Earth! The first wave of the Pykkt invasion force has made its way to the surface and the Justice League are the only hope of stopping it. How will the knowledge Mister Terrific gained on Rann help the Justice League? Is Rann telling the truth about Adam Strange’s heroics? Even if the Pykkt say otherwise, should they be believed?
As the Justice League’s heavy hitters, such as Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern, fend off the first wave of the invasion, Mister Terrific and Batman are busy interrogating the Pykkt they have managed to capture. However, Adam Strange is nowhere to be seen. Where could he be, and why is he avoiding the fight?
This issue delivers on the “end of the world” style conflict that had been teased in previous issues both by Adam and Allana Strange in the present and the war between Rann and the Pykkt. Tom King is doing an excellent job showing just how intelligent Mister Terrific is. This is displayed most effectively with how fluent Batman is in the Pykkt language compared to Mister Terrific. Batman often confuses Pykkt phrases and misuses their grammar. Terrific, on the other hand, speaks their language perfectly, as if he had known it his whole life despite only recently learning it. The Pykkt prisoner’s reaction to Terrific understanding what he says shows just how much they had underestimated him. The whole interrogation leads to confirmation of something the Justice League have been suspicious of since the very first issue.
In the past, we see Adam and Alanna Strange shortly after escaping from the Pykkt prison, reuniting with their daughter, Aleea. Aleea insists on ventuing into the world with her father. Due to knowlege of the present, we know that Aleea is destined to die at the hand of the Pykkt, as it is the primary reason Adam and Alanna resent them so much. I imagine we will likely see this in the next issue.
Much like the previous issues of this series, the art by Mitch Gerads and Doc Shaner continues to be the best of any current title. Gerads draws the Pykkt as these dirty disgusting monsters, compared to their more space opera-esque designs from Shaner’s panels. The dirty reds and browns create a clear contrast between them and the bright colors of most of the Justice League’s costumes, especially that of Adam Strange. The black and white costumes of Batman and Mister Terrific do not have such clear contrast as they would have in Shaner’s panels either, showing how messy and unclear the situation is. It is not just “black and white.”
Shaner’s artwork is the opposite, displaying a wide range of vibrant colors. Rann feels peaceful, with Adam and Allana new character designs contrasting greatly with their dirtier appearance in the previous issue. Unlike in the present, Adam is out in the open, enjoying the serenity of Rann with his daughter while he still can. However, we also see how twisted his psyche has become due to his prolonged imprisonment by the Pykkt. His morals have been twisted, and this is shown in how relentless he is toward the Pykkt. He sees them as monsters, and the design of the Pykkt throughout this issue only furthers that idea.
The eighth issue of Strange Adventures draws us even closer to the truth behind the conflict between Rann and the Pykkt. It seems that Mister Terrific was right; Adam Strange is not the hero that Rann says he is. I am scared to see what awaits us in the next issue.