Strange Adventures #10 – Tom King, Writer; Mitch Gerads, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Artists
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: How do you write a review about a book that left you with your jaw on the floor, while making sure everyone can have that same experience? I’m not referring to quality per se—this is an excellent book, but it’s not even the best Tom King book released this month. I’m referring to a twist and a reveal that is one of the most genuinely shocking I’ve ever read in a comic book, and leaves me genuinely conflicted about whether it’s a good idea. What it is, though, is fantastic drama that leaves me curious what the hell is planned for these last two issues? Because this is one of those things where there really is no going back.
So, without spoiling anything, this is one of the best comics I’ve read in a while in terms of setting a mood. The main story seems deceptively simple—Alanna Strange, in the present day, going about her day as she dresses, makes phone calls, and prepares to give a big speech on the war effort on Earth. This is interspliced with scenes on Rann, as Adam Strange slips deeper into madness, chases death, and commits horrible war crimes against Pykkt soldiers. While it’s very much in the realm of fantasy violence, it’s still stark and brutal in a way that could only come from a creative team with a military background.
At the same time, this issue is framed by a letter from Mr. Terrific to Alanna. He’s reached the end of his investigation, and we’ve already seen Adam condemned by the Justice League for his crimes. But that’s not the conclusion Michael found. He found something far darker, a horrible devil’s bargain made back on Rann that explains just about all the missing context of the story so far. I’m not convinced that everything is what it seems, because it is it feels like the end of the road for a major DC character. But if it is, it’s one of the boldest story twists I’ve ever read and a true testament to why King is one of comics’ best writers—but is best left to do stand-alone masterpieces where anything goes.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.