Alanna takes a winter walk with Mister Terrific in ‘Strange Adventures’ #6 while we once again get to see Adam Strange is action and in flashback on Rann. Alanna revels herself to be one tough nut while I worry for Adam after her discussions with her interrogator. A great issue that contrast the inaction of Earth with the all-out action of war against the Pykkts. Halfway though and I feel that I’m only just getting to how the real Alanna.
“You’re not who I thought you’d be,” may well be the words spoken by Mister Terrific to Alanna Strange, but it’s also a thought the readers may very well be having too. As we reach the midway point of the 12 issue maxi-series, its Alanna who has come to the fore both here on Earth and in the present – as illustrated by Mitch Gerads – and in the flashback sequences depicted by Evan Shaner. Alanna seems the stronger one in this marriage as she reveals to Michael Holt/Mister Terrific how Adam has changed. Possibly for the worse? This Alanna fights next to Adam and it’s this Alanna that seem to be holding it all together for both of them. Indeed, the only time we see Adam is in flashback. In his prime and before his retirement and the death of his daughter.
Tom King one again finds new things to say about classic characters. Adam’s troubles are more than hinted at here as we get closer and closer to the truth. As we follow Alanna and Michael’s slow walk, each time we are transported back to the tars time has marched on and Rann’s forces look more and more shattered, battered and exhausted. But, whatever went down, whatever atrocities that were done in Rann’s name, Alanna can live with it. But, maybe Adam couldn’t? Could he be suffering fro PTSD? Even before the loss of his daughter? Of course, there are parallels to be made between this fictitious war and those King himself was a part of. And this wouldn’t be the first time Kinghas used capes and cowls as a cover for exploring contemporary real life issues such PTSD and the lies we tell ourselves to justify our actions in foreign countries. Both of which seem to be themes being touched upon in this series.
This issue continues to revel in contrast, as you may have noticed is a thing, with each issue sporting two very similar but totally different covers to date. Here it’s the inaction and cold of Earth as Alanna and Michael stroll uncomfortably together contrasted with the heat of Rann and the action of battle. And, a brilliant double page spread at the end that’s a darker reflection of the landscape at the start of this month’s issue and a reminder of the cost of war on people, communities and the environment. The final splash page more than reminded me of the images from Iraq of oil fields burning in the night sky.
As even, King’s dialogue is as much the star as the artwork. The best and most obvious example is the unfolding discussion had between Alanna and Michael which swings from tense at times, to more relaxed toad even flirtatious. But, for me, when we do get that contrasting double pager at the end and the same two words are spoken as they were at the start of the issue, the mining os so very different. Rather than spoilt it here, why not go find a copy?
Strange Adventures #6 is out now from DC Comics/Black Labe