Writer: Tom King
Artists: Mitch Gerads & Evan “Doc” Shaner
Strange Adventures continues to be a slow burn, but a well-calculated one. Although not much seems to happen in this issue, the conversations between the central characters make for a worthwhile inclusion in the story. Alanna keeps growing as a character as the focus slowly shifts to her, and her motivations are still clouded in mystery.
With Mr. Terrific’s ongoing investigation, the character has been shown for the most part in this series in an analytical, professional setting. This issue instead shows a personal, more laid-back Mr. Terrific, as he goes on a walk with Alanna. Amongst all the commotion going on with Adam Strange’s allegations, it’s nice to see both of these characters be casual for a moment. Although they share a calm moment together, it’s hard not to think that there are some ulterior motives for either of them. Alanna is becoming a fascinating character to watch. As the reader slowly discovers the kinds of things Alanna is capable of, it’s hard not to question what she knows and what she’s withholding from us.
The series continues to cross-cut between the current events on Earth and the ill-fated war against the Pykkts on the planet of Rann. While I usually enjoy both stories being told in this series, this time the inclusion of both feels rather unneeded. You see the heroes fighting as the war begins, but there’s not much more substance to it. The flashbacks typically show a significant moment or at least draw parallels with the events going on in the main story, but it felt more like distracting filler in an otherwise down-to-earth, quiet issue.
The art in this series remains exceptionally strong. Mitch Gerads and Doc Shaner continue to provide widely-different yet uniquely-beautiful art styles that fit the respective locations perfectly. Gerad’s detailed faces really add to the personal moments between Alanna and Mr. Teriffic. Along with that, the heavy uses of blue to depict the cold and yellow to depict the warm interior make you feel like you’re just coming inside from the cold. I also spotted him placing Seth Meyers in one of the panels, which is a small nod to the late-night host for mentioning Strange Adventures in an interview. Shaner’s art is just as strong, with his greatest contribution to this issue being two full-page spreads depicting the landscape of Rann before and after the beginning of the war.
Strange Adventures provides a quiet installment at the midpoint of the series. Hints of further difficulties are touched on here, but nothing major is currently set up. The second half of this series can go in any direction now. The story is open for a number of twists and turns, and it’s almost impossible to predict where the story will take us next.
Strange Adventures (2020-) #6
While the series is taking its time and winding down for a moment, the characters are becoming more developed and the mystery grows more intriguing.