Strange Adventures issue 1:
Writer: Tom King
Artists: Mitch Geralds
and Evan "Doc" Shaner
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Tom King is an interesting writer, who is well beloved for his work on Grayson, Vision, Omega Men, and Mister Miracle. Yet despite his great work on each of those series, his Batman run wasn’t as well received as some people loved it while others felt the opposite. Now Tom King returns with a new mini series focused on Adam Strange called Strange Adventures which focuses on Adam Strange, a space faring hero who has fought on Rann and has fought for earth! But a question lingers over his very being, Is Adam Strange a war hero or a war criminal? Something from his past is plaguing Adam Strange and how will the world receive this information? And what will become of him?
In regards to the writing, Tom King does a great job at writing Adam Strange and the world around him, and unlike Mister Miracle, the book feels more cohesive and linear as a story. The dialogue between Adam Strange and his wife Alanna is pretty sweet, and is a nice contrast from Mister Miracle and Big Barda despite the similarities being that Adam Strange and Mister Miracle are both war heroes of far off worlds. The story itself is interesting as this specific story is more or less a murder mystery that asks the question to whether the story that we hear on the headlines is true or false. In regards to the stories that Adam Strange has published for his book tour, in contrast to the actual events that he experienced, is also to be questioned. There are elements in this story that King writes that had me appreciate the choices that he made for this first issue, such as who Strange contacts to investigate the murder of a fan, and how ones narrative can be shifted through the lens of social media.
It’s interesting seeing Mitch Geralds handle the present day scenes while Doc Shaner handles art duties centered on Adam Stange’s past. They both provide a great contrast as to who Adam Strange is and the lense that we the reader are seeing him in. Unlike Mister Miracle, Geralds and Shaner deliver the art in a three panel grid format, giving the book a cinematic that is widescreen in scope, while also feeling claustrophobic and personal. Clayton Cowles provides wonderful lettering for this first installment, making the comic feel like a documentary with the text, cementing the tone that King aimed for. As a first issue, it seems that King may just have more to offer given that he is writing a character that doesn’t have as much as continuity baggage and clout as Batman, which is perfectly suited for him. If you liked his work on Mister Miracle, then you’ll enjoy this first issue.