Strange Adventures #5 – Tom King, Writer; Mitch Gerads, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Artists
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Strange Adventures continues to be the most fascinating look at the bleakness of war DC has done in a very long time, even if it’s coated in a fantasy/sci-fi veneer. While last issue was all about Mr. Terrific hitting a key milestone in his investigation, the detective barely even appears this issue. Instead, the story focuses on Adam and Alanna as they face their most critical test in the war against the Pykkt. Attempting to broker a deal with the mysterious underground rockmen, they find themselves sealed inside a cavern while their potential partners debate—only to discover that a day for the rockmen is a month on the surface, setting them up for an ordeal they can’t survive as humans. The segments of their battle for survival in inches and drops is some of the most gripping material Tom King has ever written, with a great, cathartic ending as drawn by Doc Shaner.
The present-day segment is just as strong, as Earth comes to a horrific realization—the Pykkt army has noticed them, likely due to Adam’s status as a hero of two worlds, and they’re plotting an invasion. The Pykkt have remained mainly off-screen during this series, serving as a symbol of terror without ever being revealed. When they do get revealed, the creative team will have a big task ahead of them because they’ve been built up so much. The scene where Alanna gives a speech about how Earth doesn’t know what’s about to hit it is one of her best moments, and it syncs up with how she’s been given a new, much harsher outlook on life since whatever happened to her daughter. The last page is a massive gut-punch, although we already know not everything is what it appears to be there. It’s not quite on the level of last issue’s series-best showdown of Terrific vs. Sardath, but it’s a strong installment in what’s sure to become a classic.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.