The compilation volume of Strange Adventures in hardcover that collects the acclaimed twelve-issue series by Tom King, Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner with Adam Strange as the protagonist. ECC Comics dons the jetpack and grips the laser gun for this Space Opera that changes everything.
Adam Strange was an archaeologist from the planet Earth of the Solar System who was transported by a Zeta Ray from Alpha Centauri. He arrived in Rann, a planet where he would live incredible adventures and become a true hero, one of those who even conquered the princess and ended up living a fairy tale, not without difficulties, which almost ended with “and they were happy and ate partridges”. Strange’s history is long, although he has not occupied a huge number of pages throughout his publications in the DC Universe, we cannot consider him a heavyweight at the level of Batman or Superman.
Now we have him rehabilitated on his home planet, a member of the Justice League and receiving the highest honors for his deeds, on and off Earth. Even with a brutal marketing campaign that leads him to sign the book that tells his legend, which puts him as an example of overcoming, Rann’s savior from the invasion and conquest by the Pykktos race and author of the greatest of sacrifices, suffering the death of his daughter and even a hard captivity before achieving the final victory and being able to return to the arms of his beloved Alanna. But the question is… What is true in all that?
What the truth hides
While on the one hand we find the glorification of the character, Strange Adventures comes to tell us that there is a dark part of all this, something that must be investigated, that must be uncovered. For that we have the presence of Mr. Terrific, appointed by Batman when he was directly involved with Strange by being partners in arms in the Justice League. Michael Holt is going to use his privileged mind to reveal aspects of the chronicle that are flawed, which represent a huge change compared to what has been sold as the official version.
Little by little, as the action takes place halfway between the past and the present, we understand how the war against the Pykktos unfolded and the cost it had for the people of Rann, not only for the humanoids led by Sardath, Alanna’s father, but for the different races that populate the planet, such as the Hellotaat or the Rock People. A war that has been transformed into a series of heroic acts begins to show its most bitter face, the blood spilled, the enormous efforts and sacrifices that must be made to achieve a victory that on many occasions is pyrrhic and in this case is plagued by of falsehoods, including inconceivable betrayals.
deconstruction of destruction
If something stands out above all else, in this great adventure with constant plot twists, it is that four-handed drawing made by Mitch Gerads and Evan “Doc” Shaner. Their vignettes are intertwined as each one captures different moments in the chronicle of the life and miracles of Adam Strange. Shaner’s cleanliness offers us the superhero that everyone thinks they know, the one who shines with his red uniform and white accessories, with his jetpack and his laser weapons. Instead we have the rudeness of Gerads to teach us what is hidden in the shadows, the facts that had not come to our knowledge as comic readers, the darker side of Strange.
Tom King’s script is outstanding, he moves like a fish in water when he has so much creative freedom in front of characters with whom he is allowed to make a clean slate. This type of maxi series comes in handy to alter everything we knew, before leaving us speechless with the harsh reality. His work with the characterization of the protagonists, the multiple facets that he offers us of both Alanna and Strange, magnify the world of comics. He turns the difficulties of a coexistence into pure harmony in which not everything shines or is perfect. We hope King continues to do such great things to our delight, because Strange Adventures may not hit the highest mark but so many prestigious award nominations and reader feedback can’t be wrong.
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