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Review: Strange Adventures #9

Strange Adventures #9

Most of the cards are on the table as the Justice League releases a statement and a part of their report on Adam Strange and his past actions. Strange Adventures #9 is what things have been leading up to in a rather blunt manner for some time now. It’s the “official” word as to what’s been pretty clear. Now, where do things go from here?

Writer Tom King as been building to this and in one issue delivers an interesting debate and the spin that comes out from it. It’s been pretty clear for some issues that Adam Strange and his allies committed horrible acts in their war against the Pykkt, a war that has come to Earth. The issue also gives us a pretty clear example of the horrors inflicted during the war including mass murder. But, how does it go over?

King also gives us an interesting reaction from the media and elsewhere as to the revelations about Adam Strange and his actions. It’s a washing over the horrors of war as if there is only one way to fight. It also echoes safety at all costs, a talking point we’ve heard many times in the 20 years we’ve been at war. We also see the frustration of those who worked on the attempting to find the truth. King doesn’t deliver an “all sides”, he instead shows us a reflection of our reality. This is something that has played out as crimes have been washed over in real life in our battles and elsewhere. As is said by one of the characters, “justice” isn’t enough in the public’s view.

Mitch Gerads and Evan Shaner continue to deliver solid art as they jump between the two time periods. You can feel the tension, drama, and horror oozing off of the pages. The frustration by Superman, Batman, and Mr. Terrific is clear. Adam Strange’s protesting his innocence delivers a punch, especially in what happens next. Clayton Cowles‘ lettering helps add the punch to the dialogue helping to emphasize each emotional beat.

Strange Adventures #9 is a reminder that even heroes can do horrible things and that reality is dirty. It shows us some of the horrible acts committed by Strange in his battle against the Pykkt. It also teases that there’s so much more to it all. Strange Adventures #9 shows that even just wars can be fought unjustly. There’s a debate left for the reader as to what lines can and should be crossed in battle. There’s still a lot to go in the series and where it takes us from here should be an emotional ride.

Story: Tom King Art: Mitch Gerads, Evan Shaner Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Strange Adventures #9

Strange Adventures #9

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Evan “Doc” Shaner, Mitch Gerads

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.

Strange Adventures #9

Infinite Frontier Expands Into a Six-Issue Miniseries

Future State offered a glimpse of the near and far futures of DC‘s heroes and villains, But, what’s next and the CURRENT status of the DC Universe? That question was partially answered in today’s Infinite Frontier #0 which sets the stage for new stories, mysteries, and surprises.

As a result of Dark Nights: Death Metal, everything was put back where it belonged in the DC Multiverse… everything! All the damage from all the Crises was undone, and heroes long thought gone returned from whatever exile they had been in.

Infinite Frontier #0 is just the beginning!

DC has announced Infinite Frontier, a six-issue miniseries by Joshua Williamson and Xermanico. It features covers by Mitch Gerads and begins June 22. Get ready to explore more of DC’s rapidly expanding Multiverse!

In this summer event, Alan Scott, the Green Lantern from the Justice Society of America, has noticed some of his allies are still missing in action, and he’s determined to find them. There are others, though, that would rather remain hidden than explain themselves, like Roy Harper, a.k.a. Arsenal, a man who should be dead now is not. Plus, what does all this mean for the DCU’s place in the Multiverse? On opposite sides of a dimensional divide, both Barry Allen and President Superman ponder this question. Not to mention the Darkseid of it all! Or a team of Multiversal heroes called Justice Incarnate!

This brand-new event from DC has one foot in the past, but both eyes looking forward to a future that they hope will remain as bright as it seems!

Infinite Frontier #0 art by John Timms and Alex Sinclair
Interior artwork from Infinite Frontier #0 by John Timms and Alex Sinclair

Review: Strange Adventures #8

Strange Adventures #8

We’ve been waiting for it for some time and Strange Adventures #8 begins to really start showing the cracks in Adam Strange’s world. The battle with the Pykkts continues on Earth. The heroes do what they can to stop the first wave before it overruns the planet and it gets impossible to stop the second wave. But, the attack reveals some of the truth that Adam Strange has been hiding and running from.

Tom King continues his interesting exploration of the horrors of war and how history is written by the winners. It’s a series that begs for a deeper exploration and examination. King, a former CIA operative, has spent time in warzones and his writing has you wondering what he experienced during this time. What experiences led to this particular writing?

The story is an interesting one as it bounces back and forth between the war on Earth and what Strange experienced on Rann. This is the issue before the big reveal as it becomes clearer that Strange has done some horrible stuff that’s being covered up.

But, there’s a underlying theme to the series as a whole, that there are no real heroes in war. Horrible things happen. Individuals make terrible decisions. People die. Crimes are committed. It’s some of what makes up war and to come out of it with a romanticized look at it all is a false narrative. We do these things to make use get past to the horrors of war. As they say, in war, there are no victors.

Despite the serious nature of the comic, King delivers some humor. Mr. Terrific and Batman attempting to interrogate a Pykkt soldier is fantastic. Batman’s attempt at the language and Mr. Terrific’s response are classic. That’s juxtaposed with how Adam Strange approaches a similar situation. That’s not so humorous.

The art by Mitch Gerads and Evan Shaner is fantastic as always. Along with lettering by Clayton Cowles, the comic visually is amazing. There’s an interesting mix of pages with only a few panels and pages packed in with nine of them. The comic changes things up as far as that but sticks mainly to traditional box layouts. It brings a stiff and proper feel to it all in some ways. But what’s really interesting is there’s a tense aspect to it all. There aren’t really horrible things within the comic but you can feel tension in every panel on every page. You’re waiting for that moment and by the time it ends, the comic delivers exactly that.

Strange Adventures #8 is the issue that launches us into the final third of the twelve issue series. It’s a sweeping story that examines wars and the mythology that spins out of them. Where the creative team takes this all should be interesting. How it will reflect on our modern times even more so.

Story: Tom King Art: Mitch Gerads, Evan Shaner Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Strange Adventures #8

Strange Adventures #8

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Evan “Doc” Shaner, Mitch Gerads

The battle against the Pykkts continues! The Justice League-including Green Lantern, Doctor Fate, Batman, the Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman-has scattered across the Earth, pushing back the marauders wherever they appear. Even Mr. Terrific takes a break from investigating Adam Strange’s alleged war crimes to land a punch or two in their stupid alien faces. But Adam Strange has made his decision: to save Rann at any price-even if that price is the Earth itself!

Strange Adventures #8

Preview: Batman: Black & White #2

Batman: Black & White #2

Written by: Corinna Bechko, Gabriel Hardman, Dustin Weaver, David Aja, Tom King, Sophie Campbell
Art by: Sophie Campbell, Dustin Weaver, David Aja, Mitch Gerads

The all-new anthology series continues with new tales of mystery, mayhem and madness from all levels of Gotham City by some of the finest talents in comics. In this auspicious issue: • Eisner Award-winning collaborators Tom King and Mitch Gerads (Mister Miracle, Strange Adventures) tell a tale of Batman administering a form of last rites to a dying priest. Or is it the other way around? • Eisner-nominated storytellers Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko (Green Lantern: Earth One) find the Dark Knight facing certain death-with The Joker his last lifeline. • Multiple award-winner for his innovative work on Hawkeye, David Aja writes and draws his first DC story, in which Batman is set on the trail of a deadly cult preying on Gotham City-and it’s one you’ll be talking about all year! • The brilliant Sophie Campbell (Jem and the Holograms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wet Moon) returns to DC after a 10-year absence to follow Batman and Catwoman on one of their greatest chases ever. • Celebrated artist of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers and the creator of Paklis, Dustin Weaver makes his DC debut as Batman takes to the sky in a stunning aerial battle against one of the most unsettling foes he’s ever faced.

Batman: Black & White #2

Preview: Strange Adventures #7

Strange Adventures #7

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Evan “Doc” Shaner, Mitch Gerads

Adam Strange was right! In this issue guest-starring Batman, the Pykkts have come to Earth, and they plan to claim the planet as their own. Earth’s greatest heroes have faced alien invasions before, but they’re about to learn that the Pykkts are more formidable, more determined, and more deadly than any invading force they’ve faced before. Only Adam Strange has ever defeated them, but it nearly cost him everything-including his own sanity! How did he survive? Mr. Terrific will need to uncover that secret if humanity is going to survive!

Strange Adventures #7

Preview: Strange Adventures Director’s Cut #1

Strange Adventures Director’s Cut #1

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Evan “Doc” Shaner, Mitch Gerads

Pull back the curtain on one of 2020’s most compelling new miniseries in this special Director’s Cut issue. This special gives readers a peek at the black-and-white art by Evan “Doc” Shaner and Mitch Gerads-highlighting how they switch back and forth, and showcasing their individual techniques-and also presents the script so you can see how writer Tom King lays it all out. It’s an unprecedented look at how a comic comes together.

Strange Adventures Director's Cut #1

Baltimore Comic Con is Virtual? You Can Still Get Autographs!

Baltimore Comic Con

This coming weekend is the 1st annual Baltimore Comic-Con Live, a FREE ONLINE EVENT streaming the weekend of October 23-25, 2020! Come check out retailers, exhibitors, artists alley, programming, and the Ringo Awards live! While we won’t gather together in Baltimore and meet our favorite creators, get autographs, or get books certified in person, the convention has enabled some options for a set of this year’s guests that you’ll want to check out for yourself, including autographs, CBCS Authentic Grading, and CGC Autographs and Remarks!

Head to the Baltimore Comic-Con Live website to see what the latest options available to you are. Currently, the following guests are offering options:

  • Chris Cantwell (Iron Man)
  • Howard Chaykin (Marvels Snapshots: Spider-Man)
  • Evil Ted Smith (Cosplay creator)
  • Lloyd Kaufman (Troma Entertainment film studio)
  • Donny Cates (King in Black)
  • Tom King (Strange Adventures)
  • Mitch Gerads (Mister Miracle)
  • Ryan Stegman (King in Black)
  • Charles Soule (Death of Wolverine)
  • Matthew Rosenberg (Uncanny X-Men)
  • Evan “Doc” Shaner (Strange Adventures)

Check out the Autographs page for all of the latest details!

Review: Strange Adventures #6

Strange Adventures #6

Strange Adventures has been an interesting comic series examining war and the lies we tell ourselves surrounding heroism. War is messy. It’s dirty. And, even when the reason is just, it involves horrors and acts that haunt those who commit them and may seem to be evil to those judging from the outside. History may be written by the victors but it doesn’t mean that those writers don’t feel guilt or know they’re spinning fiction from fact. Strange Adventures #6 examines the internal guilt of war and more in a haunting issue that’s emotionally raw.

Writer Tom King continues to explore his experiences in war through comics and this issue might be one of the most truthful and honest things written. Strange Adventures #6 features Mr. Terrific, Michael Holt, talking with Alanna, wife of Adam Strange. They discuss their actions and the loss they’ve both seen and suffered bonding to some extent over the loss of a daughter.

Through each character King examines different aspects of being a person. Alanna admits the actions she and Adam took during the battle with the Pykkts at times were over the line and horrific acts. Though their battle was “just” and in defense, they still went on to commit what was likely crimes. Alanna admits what they did was “cruel.” They were the “good guys who weren’t always good.” The cheering on of Adam and his adventures are tainted though the masses are unaware since Strange and his allies were the victors and the ones writing the history.

Through Holt, King explores fatherhood. We know he lost a child and his wife and here we get a stunning admission. We learn the truth about the loss of both and how they impacted Holt to become Mr. Terrific. To some extent the guilt drives him but the guilt isn’t of the loss, it’s the loss of the responsibility. Holt admits the coldness we’ve been seeing concerning the topic is real, he never wanted to be a father. The loss of his child was a relief to him. What’s interesting to me though is Holt’s slide in his discussion. In the beginning he refers to his child as “the kid,” then “the baby,” then back to “the kid,” and finally “it.” Not a “they,” he uses “it.” There’s an emotional distance to this event that King uses towards the end.

What King has put together is a dance between the two. As we get flashes of the Strange’s battles Holt and Alanna we get another battle, a battle of wits. Alanna hides her intelligence and we know Holt is one of the smartest individuals in the DC universe. In their sharing their scars they’re also playing a game with each other. Alanna is attempting to manipulate Michael while Michael is interrogating Alanna. That becomes clear with Michael’s final questions to Alanna as they depart from their get together. It’s a pointed question that takes an touching issue and delivers the cross-examination question that’s like a dagger.

As expected, Mitch Gerads and Evan Shaner deliver gorgeous art also dancing between the two settings. The cold discussion between Alanna and Michael is juxtaposed with the heat of war. The colors reflect the flicker of the dance between reds and blues depending on the setting. The shift of colors are interesting as well as Michael and Alanna’s discussion goes from a warm yellow to eventually a cold blue. It’s all well worth examining and contemplating as each detail feels thought out as to their deeper meaning.

The lettering by Clayton Cowles continues to stand out too. The text changes between the civil conversation and the yelling of battle. The language of the Pykkts takes center stage too during one scene. Again, like the art itself, the lettering feels like it’s well thought out and every decision was thought of as far as how it fits into the greater meaning and impact to the story.

Strange Adventures #6 is the high point of the series showing of the cerebral nature of it all. Like discussed above, it’s a dance between two highly intelligent people as they figure each other out. The investigation continues as Michael still searches for the truth and we the reader are continued to be forced to question everything we’re shown in the past.

Story: Tom King Art: Mitch Gerads, Evan Shaner Letter: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

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