Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Strange Adventures #12 Review


Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend...

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Evan "Doc" Shaner, Mitch Gerards
Colors By:  Evan "Doc" Shaner, Mitch Gerards
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Art By: Mitch Gerards
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 12, 2021

Strange Adventures #12 ends the grand, strange experiment of lies, spies, and secret deals. In the end, Adam Strange is no longer the same, and readers get very little by way of resolution on any level. The net result is characters moving on with their sad, broken lives.

Was It Good?

This is the last issue in this series, and since it's the capper, it may be more valuable to focus on the effect of the series as a whole rather than this last issue. For its part, this issue is more of an extended prologue to events that don't actually conclude, so what you take from it is up to you.


Adam Strange is really dead, gunned down in a tussle with his wife. That's probably for the best since his war crimes would be irredeemable under any other circumstances. If you're wondering if he deserved to die or should have been given a chance to atone, it doesn't really matter. This isn't an "Adam Strange, The Hero" story so much as Alanna is the central character. While she may not be guilty of war crimes, she's still every bit a murderer, liar, and all-around terrible person. In context, this series is about terrible people doing terrible things in the name of protecting what they love during a war.

I mentioned this is a prologue simply because the entire focus for the current timeline is Alanna's retrieval of her daughter and the aftermath since Adam's backdoor deal with the Pykkts is now broken. Let's just say Alanna exhibits no chill (as the kids today say) when the Pykkts argue about bureaucratic red tape, and she resorts to letting her blaster do the talking. 

When Aleea is safely onboard their shuttle, it's when we see just how manipulative Alanna can be. She pressures Mister Terrific into taking the foster ship over her daughter while Alanna returns to Rann to prepare for the Pykkts to return out of revenge for breaking the deal. Alanna intentionally twists the narrative to blame Mister Terrific for Adam's death and the pending Pykkt re-invasion of Rann because none of it would have happened if Mister Terrific hadn't exposed the truth. when the manipulation is done, we can see that neither believes the argument Alanna makes, but Michale agrees anyway, knowing Aleea is safer with him on Earth.

So, where does that leave the readers and this series? Adam is dead, the war continues, Allea is safe but now living on Earth with Mister Terrific. While the status quo has changed, nothing is really concluded or resolved.

The question you have to ask yourself is "was it worth it?" If you're an Adam Strange fan and love pulp sci-fi adventures, probably not. If you're looking forward to a grittier, more thought-provoking set of Adam Strange adventures going forward, that's definitely out (unless you work under the premise that Alanna takes over as the new Strange "hero"). If you like to see your classic heroes take on new challenges and rise to the occasion, that's definitely out.

What this entire series seems to be saying is "War is Hell and everyone in war is awful." If that's the story you need in your life, this one for you.

Bits and Pieces

Strange Adventures #12 ends the series with an extended prologue that realigns the status quo but ultimately resolves nothing. The war continues, the main characters continue to act awfully towards each other, and readers are left to wonder "what was the point?" I suspect this is one of those series that will receive accolades for technical execution but will ultimately be remembered as the series readers would rather forget existed.


No comments:

Post a Comment