Review – Strange Adventures #6: Casualties of War

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Strange Adventures #6 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Strange Adventures #6 – Tom King, Writer; Mitch Gerads, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Artists

Ray – 9.5/10

Ray: As Strange Adventures reaches the halfway point, we’re given our most brutal and intimate look yet at the war with the Pykkts that devastated Rann and turned Adam into public enemy #1. Split between the past and the present as always, this issue focuses on an unlikely pair—Mr. Terrific and Alanna Strange, who have had the most adversarial dynamic of the characters in the series. But while they’re on opposite sides, they’re also bonded by grief, and this issue is a fascinating look at the way they’ve both processed their losses. Mr. Terrific’s confession of the mixed feelings he had towards his unborn child before he lost his wife is the issue’s most painful scene, but Alanna is still significantly more cagey. She only gives a small hint of what happened to her daughter, and it seems to center around a moment at the end of the war when Adam disappeared—taken by the Pykkts as a hostage, only to return somehow different.

War is coming. Via DC Comics.

The Gerads segments, as usual, are gritty and compelling, but it’s the Doc Shaner segments on Rann that are the star of the issue. After all the prelude, this is the issue where we finally see the Pykkts invade and wreak havoc. I have to say they’re not as terrifying as they’ve been built up to be—they have a unique appearance, but I wouldn’t blink if they showed up as Star Wars mooks. But the best part of this issue is watching as the war slowly wears Adam and Alanna down. One close call leads to another, a victory only gives you moments of peace, and death is waiting around every corner. By the end, they’re broken down and desperate, and just when they think the war is won, there’s one last unpleasant surprise waiting. What actually happened to their daughter? I have a feeling the answer is still a long time in coming, but this bleak sci-fi series is making the journey to get there incredibly fascinating.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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