Strange Adventures #4
Mr. Terrific seeks after answers, but finds only problems — and a sh*t-ton of propaganda — on a war-torn planet.
This issue was largely dedicated to furthering the plot. There wasn’t much focus on character or psychology. Such cogs are necessary, but considerably less interesting than other aspects of storytelling, since we’re watching dominoes being set up, rather than learning anything particularly new about the characters. So, since there isn’t much to say about the characters (beyond the fact that Alanna is more loyal to her country than her husband, and her daughter has clearly defected) let’s look at the dominoes. We see Adam protesting his innocence entirely too much (which acting as guilty as a dog, caught with his snout in the garbage), we see Mr Terrific being jerked around by a government with little interest in capital-letter Truth, and we see a bunch of JLA members excuse one of their members from all but shouting ‘He Guys! I’ve Done War Crimes!’ It’s all pretty by-the-book stuff. Strange is absolutely as unlikeable as a delusional just-following-orders soldier could be. Alanna is conniving and about as evilly manipulative as King believed he could get away with without rendering his sexism overt. Mr. Terrific is probably the only truly interesting character in the book, and I must admit that I’m reading largely only for him. He has a horse in this race, and he’s jockeying well.
The art is pretty spectacular, honestly. It alternates between almost saccarine, golden age colors and lines to a gritty, post-modern pseudo-realism that generates an effect, almost, of visual whiplash. Mitch Gerrads’ artistry is almost unequaled in the current DC Pantheon and looking at it is almost (if not quite) worth the cost of the issues themselves.
Adroit art is, in this issue, unfortunately shackled to a grinding cog of a story. Let's hope that this is merely a workmanlike pause in the artistry, rather than the whole of the story.
Strange Adventures #4: Cheers To the Wish You Were Here, But You're Not
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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