Strange Adventures #1

Story by
Art by
Rob Hunter, Jim Starlin, Manuel Garcia, Al Milgrom
Colors by
John Kalisz
Letters by
John J. Hill
Cover by
DC Comics

From of the pages of "Rann-Thanagar Holy War" comes "Strange Adventures," a book that no one seems to have demanded. While "Holy War" was a mess of a comic most of the time, it actually has lead to an interesting status quo for the cosmic-themed characters in this series.

With Rann made uninhabitable at the end of "Holy War" and Throneworld's population taken by Lady Styx, the citizenry of "Old Rann" have begun new lives on Throneworld, or "New Rann." Expeditions head to Old Rann to retrieve technology and personal mementos, but those are at an end since the planet is so unstable. What to do with the man responsible for Rann's destruction, Adam Strange, is addressed, as Strange is found to have acted the only way possible, sacrificing Rann to stop Synnar.

Comet, meanwhile, resumes his life on Hardcore Station, trying to earn a quick buck and finds himself in the middle of a sticky situation thanks to the Omega Men's Tigorr. Remember, this is Captain Comet in a younger body and though "Holy War" went a long way to making this newly energized hero regain his heroic perspective, he's just a selfish screw-up here.

This new status quo is interesting, but nothing is accomplished here beyond setting it up. No real problems or reason for this series to exist arise. It's all very "a day in the life of," which is fine for an ongoing series, but for the first issue of an eight-issue mini, it's too slow and unfocused.

After Ron Lim's stilted work on "Holy War," Manuel Garcia is a joy with fluid and expressive line work. His art is basic, but does an able job of conveying emotions and what's going on at any given moment. Garcia won't make anyone's top ten list soon, but the basic, consistent, easy to understand art here is just what the book needs.

Joining the 20-page main story is a ten-page secondary story written and illustrated by Starlin. With Synnar missing in action, Deacon Dark goes about contacting the Aberrant Six, who Synnar has plans for. First on the list is Hawkman, but thanks to his assistant's screw-up, events are altered and Bizarro takes Hawkman's place. The idea here is pretty absurd and obviously tongue-in-cheek since it begins with a "Forrest Gump" reference. Starlin makes an odd choice not having Bizarro talk, but considering how old Bizarrospeak gets, I'm not complaining. While his writing has a bit of wit, Starlin's art looks rough and rushed. With extremely thing line work, most of the images here barely look fully conceived.

"Strange Adventures" is an odd book, lacking in direction and purpose, and, seemingly, demand. Why does this book exist? Is it just to feed some of our Starlin addiction or is there more? Sadly, this first issue doesn't answer those questions.

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