Friday, June 19, 2020

Strange Adventures #2 Review

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads, Doc Shaner
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: June 16, 2020

Tom King is back with another sideways look at superhero life, and the first issue was pretty much what I expected.  We got some death, some juxtaposition between the fantastic and the mundane, more death, and some pretty impressive art from Mitch Gerads and Doc Shaner.  I was looking forward to seeing Mr. Terrific in this issue and maybe get cracking on this mystery.  Is that what we get, and is it any good?  Let's find out...

We open this issue seemingly back in time a bit since Mr. Terrific is buying Adam's book, but ended the last issue saying he had already read it.  I love seeing Mr. Terrific here, but the constant quizzing from his T-Sphere gets old real quick.  

Most of the Adam Strange parts take place on Rann, so we get incredible Doc Shaner art, which I am always down with, but the story of Adam and Alanna here isn't that gripping.  I understand that Tom King is slowly showing you his characters and how much they care for each other and what they would do and have done for Rann; there isn't much here.

Yea, this is all starting to remind me of reviewing Mister Miracle.  It's hard to review a series like this when everything is supposed to build issue by issue.  I am considering this as one issue in what is now a two-issue partial run of an eventual twelve-issue maxi-series.  I can only guess at what comes next, but I can't base my review on guesses.  As far as trusting Tom King, I didn't think he nailed the landing in Mister Miracle, but if you did, you might feel better about this issue than me.  However, when I think I see clues, I remember Barda's eye color changing and pause a bit before I go down that rabbit hole again.

While I said the "T-Sphere Jeopardy" gets old, but the Mister Terrific stuff is the best part of this issue.  King gives a slow build-up to show us why Batman picked him to investigate the whole Adam Strange mystery, and we get two bombshells that change everything.  We also get the "classic" Tom King trope of using other's writing in a chunk of the issue, this time it's the story of Gawayne and the Green Knight.  Boy, he likes to show he learned he is!

The issue ends with the same scene as the first, but the dialogue is different here.  Is this meaningful, is it because it's from another point of view, is it a fuck up?  Like how many licks it takes to eat a tootsie pop, the world may never know.

Bits and Pieces:

While this issue is hard to rate as it's own isolated thing, I found it a mixed bag between good and boring.  I love both Gerads and Shaner's art, and I hope that this will be a book I can recommend by the end.


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