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  1. #1
    Always Rakzo
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    Default Strange Adventures #4 Discussion/Spoilers

    Things are getting more interesting but also offer some problems.

    Tom King brings a new chapter where he continues the investigation surrounding Adam. The focus goes to Mister Terrific for the most part once again and I must say that I really dig the way King portrays him. Yes, yes, I have complained a lot of times in the past about "Tom King's themes over characterization" but I feel he gets a good handle at Michael here by depicting him as extremely intelligent, competent and driven which is pretty much how I see him.

    The story progresses at a nice pace due that we explore more of the planet of Rann and how they're not going to tell Michael everything he needs to know which allows for a compelling look at how their society works and how war has changed their vision. It wouldn't be a Tom King story without depicting classic superheroics with a bleak look and this continues to be rather obvious with the parallels between the past and present segments except that this time the past is getting closer to the dark reality of the present and things are getting clearer about what's actually happening.

    There are some issues as mentioned though and this comes with the portrayal of other classic characters. Hal Jordan appears here and King portrays him as someone who accepts too quickly the Guardians' commands and if you know something about his history is that this is completely wrong, especially because this is about him helping a friend and especially because King already wrote Hal before in an one-shot and I think he got him fine there (Repetition notwithstanding). Even worse is the portrayal of Superman though since King comes with the excuse that Clark can't help Adam because "He needs to save the most people in every planet" without realizing that Superman ALWAYS finds a way to help everyone, this doesn't come much of a surprise though considering how badly King handled Clark in, ugh, Heroes in Crisis.

    Mitch Gerads and Doc Shaner remain in art duties and their work is still fitting during their respective segments with their realistic and semi-cartoony styles contrasting perfectly with the different perspectives.

    Good read aside from the issues, hope the next one arrives soon.

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Mr. Terrific continues to be great here. Loved the page where he takes out the Rann soldiers with his T-spheres and then when he backhands Adam’s father in law when he thinks he can slap Holt and get away with it.

    Don’t have a problem with Superman’s characterization. Superman doesn’t and can’t save everyone, people die every day under his watch. He has to pick and choose who to save every day.

    The way this series is going, either Adam is a duplicitous dick who did something terrible or Alanna is.

  3. #3
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Mr. Terrific continues to be great here. Loved the page where he takes out the Rann soldiers with his T-spheres and then when he backhands Adam’s father in law when he thinks he can slap Holt and get away with it.

    Don’t have a problem with Superman’s characterization. Superman doesn’t and can’t save everyone, people die every day under his watch. He has to pick and choose who to save every day.

    The way this series is going, either Adam is a duplicitous dick who did something terrible or Alanna is.
    Yeah...I don't think this is a story for me.

  4. #4
    Spectacular Member orionblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Mr. Terrific continues to be great here. Loved the page where he takes out the Rann soldiers with his T-spheres and then when he backhands Adam’s father in law when he thinks he can slap Holt and get away with it.

    Don’t have a problem with Superman’s characterization. Superman doesn’t and can’t save everyone, people die every day under his watch. He has to pick and choose who to save every day.

    The way this series is going, either Adam is a duplicitous dick who did something terrible or Alanna is.
    I am beginning to suspect that it is Alanna being duplicitous and controlling Adam and his persona/image to the world. It’s making it seem as if she is a Machiavellian and conniving not-so-nice person.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    I'm reading this for the art (Shaner AND Gerads?!) and Mr. Terrific, but damn if King isn't doing great work on here.

    There's certainly something up with the Strange family. So far, Alanna is being treated heavily as a femme fatale and everything about Adam is being treated as a massive coverup. Doesn't help that we've seen his zeta ray beam him out at the most convenient moment during war, what, twice? I don't know if he's behind that, if it's Alanna or her father, or perhaps I'm just following a red herring or lead that isn't there.

    Michael absolutely proved why he's one of DC's best heroes in this book. Damn, what a fine display for him.

    Solid book. Can't wait for the next issue and I hope Adam, Alanna and Aleea aren't too mangled by the end of this. I'll be disappointed if the reveal is that Adam and Alanna are monsters.
    Last edited by Robanker; 08-04-2020 at 01:32 PM.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Ra-El's Avatar
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    Well, I see Mr. Terrific getting a lot of new fans because of this series. Adam Strange, for what is already published, will not be getting any more popular, on the contrary, he probably will go from a character that not a lot of people know, to the guy in that "great Mr. Terrific story".

    King is really good in 12 issues maxi-series, but I really don't see Adam coming out looking good out of it, maybe he will be a sympathetic figure in the end, but not a hero some casual fan will want to read more about. Alanna will probably appear as a villain in some years in a story inspired by this take.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member HsssH's Avatar
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    This might be me reading too much into things, but considering that Batman launched an investigation + Hal and Superman refusing to help Adam... might it be that Justice League suspected all along that something is wrong with Adam's story and thats why they were reluctant to help him?

    I think that Adam Strange will be okay after this, so far it looks like he didn't really do anything bad on his own and he was likely manipulated. Alanna on the other hand is clearly being built up as the villain of the story.

  8. #8
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    Thereís so much to digest (and love) in this story. Must say King has shifted gears and successfully draws readers into the mystery. I generally find stories that make readers question ďthe truthĒ interesting.

    Iíve seen other comments not liking Supermanís depiction. That said, I think it makes perfect sense and the only difference here is he explains his thought/ decision making process. After all, he canít be everywhere at once.

    Mr Terrific. Iím liking him more and more. Truth be told Iíve never been able to get into the character so canít say if his appearance here is true to form but I like it!

    The ďfair playĒ moment was gold. Reminds me of the scene in Robin Hood Men in Tights where RH is challenged to a duel with a leather glove and accepts with a gauntlet.

    All in all - loving the series. Just pray King sticks to landing at the end.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HsssH View Post
    This might be me reading too much into things, but considering that Batman launched an investigation + Hal and Superman refusing to help Adam... might it be that Justice League suspected all along that something is wrong with Adam's story and thats why they were reluctant to help him?

    I think that Adam Strange will be okay after this, so far it looks like he didn't really do anything bad on his own and he was likely manipulated. Alanna on the other hand is clearly being built up as the villain of the story.
    Possibly, but I think a big part of Hal, Superman and Batman's portrayals so far is that they take their roles very seriously and understand that they need to let Mister Terrific work or else their complicating the matter can cast doubt on the investigation. Moreover, Michael has noted he's going to be hated regardless so the last thing his colleagues need to do is give his opponents any room to discredit his work. If there's one thing I've been enjoying about all the guest spots, it's the level of professionalism they all seem to show for their friends and colleagues when one is under investigation. It's refreshing to the usual "we take care of our own" pack mentality that cape comics pedal at times.




    In particular, I don't think the Superman moment was out of character, but just plain blunt because he respects Adam as an equal. He can't do both, and above all else he's Earth's protector, so he has to make a choice and trust Adam can come through for Rann as he traditionally finds a way to. It's no different than how all these characters trust each other to handle their cities, but I suppose he's just drawing attention to it. King is uneven with characterization at times, but Superman: Up in the Sky has shown that he does get Clark, or at least he did at one point. Heroes in Crisis wasn't exactly just unkind to Superman in particular, so it's more an outlier on his characterization for the Man of Tomorrow as far as I'm concerned. He wrote Superman very well in Up in the Sky, his Action #1000 story and pretty well in the Batman double date issues.
    Last edited by Robanker; 08-05-2020 at 04:40 AM.

  10. #10
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    I have been loving this series so far, but King burned me too badly with Heroes in Crisis for me to have a lot of faith that Strange Adventures isn't going to leave Adam and Alanna in an unusable state as heroic characters.

    Hope I'm wrong though

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I have been loving this series so far, but King burned me too badly with Heroes in Crisis for me to have a lot of faith that Strange Adventures isn't going to leave Adam and Alanna in an unusable state as heroic characters.

    Hope I'm wrong though
    It doesn't look good for Alanna right now, sadly.

  12. #12

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    The series reminds me more of King's earlier story "Sheriff of Babylon". The scenes set on Rann embodied that in this issue to me.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Robotman's Avatar
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    Last issue was a bit slow but this one was great. Mr. Terrific has been amazing in this series. His intelligence is just cutting through Rann’s BS like a laser. He kind of reminded me of Rick from Rick and Morty at times. He’s so smart and his tech is so good that he’s rather insulted when someone tries to pull a gun on him.

    Sardath and the Rannians are obviously trying to cover up the truth. Alanna playing the straight up villain seems too obvious at the moment. I’m really hoping that there is some twist or great explanation for her actions. I would really like to see Adam have a few good moments before this story is over.

    Hal and Superman must know about Mr. Terrific’s investigation. Seems like it’s very public. Having a rogue GL or freaking Superman enter into an already complicated political situation would just make things way worse. Wouldn’t be surprised if Batman asked them to back off and let the investigation play out. Charging in head first is kind of Hal’s thing but I’m sure an experienced Green Lantern knows that some conflicts caused by sociopolitical disagreements can’t just be punched away.

    Gerads put some cameos from a number of his comedian friends in the Mister Miracle book (Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tomkins, Adam Scott and a few others were in the audience at one of Miracle’s shows). Was that actor/comedian Randall Park in the Rann records building?

  14. #14
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I have been loving this series so far, but King burned me too badly with Heroes in Crisis for me to have a lot of faith that Strange Adventures isn't going to leave Adam and Alanna in an unusable state as heroic characters.

    Hope I'm wrong though
    Well, Booster Gold survived...

  15. #15
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    It doesn't look good for Alanna right now, sadly.
    This is still awfully early in the story for actual motives to be made clear. I'm not sure if Alanna has a hand in wrongdoing or if she's just being protective of her political family with an elitist attitude.

    That being said, I so want someone to publish translation of the Pykkt word balloons. From Michael's "It ain't that impossible" lines, it is a cryptogram with letter for letter coding. But the Pykkt characters are too da*n small for me to differentiate and copy.

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