Strange Adventures #9
DC Comics Black Label 2020
Written by Tom King
Interiors & Cover by Mitch Gerards & Evan “Doc” Shaner
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
The Pykkts are attacking Earth. As the only warrior in all the cosmos to ever defeat them, Adam Strange leads the planet’s mightiest heroes in all-out war! The only thing is, evidence is mounting that Adam’s victory on Rann may not have been everything he says it was. There is time unaccounted for, circumstances left unexplained. Even Batman has started to wonder about his friend. Sure, they are fighting side by side right now, but who will answer for all the things that got them here? Why, Alanna Strange, of course! It’s time for the Rannian princess to go out and set the record straight. The hit series continues on a bimonthly schedule.
This is one of those series that is not only utterly amazing but it says a lot about what some folks think of the Justice League. They put themselves on a pedestal and if you don’t live up to what they consider are their standards than you are fair game to go after. Nevermind the fact that hardly any of them go into space and understand the dynamics that work within the cosmos or on other planets. Self-righteous, self-proclaimed gods who wouldn’t stand a chance fighting on their own under the exact same circumstances let alone what gives them the right to police what folks do on another planet that’s not under their jurisdiction.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. The character development is utterly extraordinary to witness and it really is Alanna who benefits the most from it. Though in all honesty the exchange between Adam and Superman says a lot about both of them. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story along with daytime’s most popular talk show, Ellie & Bryan, thoughts on who the world needs more well it really is about public opinion isn’t it.
How we see this being structured with the layers within the story being showcased throughout the main arc moves the story forward beautifully. Also how we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow is incredibly well done.
The interiors here are phenomenal! The linework is exquisite and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level and quality of detail work is mindbogglingly brilliant stuff. The way we see the faces and facial expressions and body language help to further the characterisation. How we see backgrounds being utilised or don’t depending works within the composition of the panels so we get depth perception, a sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masters eye for storytelling. The colour work is completely and utterly divine. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is brilliantly rendered. How we see the colour utilised to create such depth in the facial structure or musculature of the body that we see really showcases someone who understands how to use colour effectively.
These are the stories that remind us how the gods see the mere mortals, or how the A-Listers see the C-Listers and below. They aren’t nice, kind of forgiving of all the previous times they’ve worked together and now after raking him over the coals the Earth is under attack from the very enemies they chastised him about and Earth’s mightiest heroes aren’t faring very well against them. Nothing like being forced to eat a little crow. This is brilliant storytelling from every single facet you can imagine and it’s why DC tends to lead the way when it comes to premiere storytelling.