Strange Adventures #1

Strange Adventures #1Most people this week will be going bananas over New Krypton #1, but to be honest, I don’t think I can really afford to commit to a storyline that’ll be going through the Superman titles for the next year. Once the titles decouple a bit I’ll maybe pick up some of the books (I quite like the Nightwing and Flamebird mystery for example), but at the moment, its just too much of an investment to pick up a story that’s coming out 3/4 times a month for the next year. However, I have been really enjoying the Superwoman arc in Supergirl, since that’s been a nice standalone story using the New Krypton basis.

Instead, for me the big DC release this week was Strange Adventures #1.

Replaying the pages seen in the preview, Adam is on (Old) Rann scavaging supplies and technology needed for New Rann, before he and his team level all the cities on the planet to ensure that Thanagarians can get any of their technology. On Rann meanwhile, the vote to bring criminal charges against Adam for Rann’s destruction is shot down by the council, thanks in part to Prince Gavyn’s testimony that Adam had no choice, since Rann’s destruction was unavoidable anyway.

Not long after Adam returns to New Rann, a scavenger ship is tracked entering the system. Knowing that they have to convince people that Throneworld is still populated despite Lady Styx attacking them, Prince Gavyn and Adam use some of the remaining Throneworld ships to head off the scavengers, noting that they hope that once they head off a few more, world will spread that Throneworld was not in fact attacked (whereas we know that it was, and the residents are now the Rannians).

Meanwhile Comet (I still miss the Captain part) is back on hardcore station, but also runs into trouble. He’s approached by some local heavies who saw him at lunch with Tigor the previous day. Sadly it turns out that Tigor was scamming them, and led them to believe Comet was his cohort in obtaining some data for them. They manage to surprise Comet with their telepathic defenses, but fortunately his new teleporting ability allows him to retreat to the Hole once again (I wonder how long its going to take before his teleport power becomes common knowledge? He’s not been that shy in using them). With people tracking him on Hardcore, Comet once again discusses with Tyrone the possibility of heading away from Hardcore to lie low for a while.

Using the same format as Mystery in Space, we also have a backup story, that I’m assuming will dovetail with the main story as things go on. The focus here is on Deacon Dark, who is attempting to locate and learn about the Aberrant Six, as he knows they’re important to Synnar. However, the spell he casts goes wrong, and he instead sends Bizarro to another dimension, who is informed by someone who appears as Superman (I’m assuming its Synnar), that the timelines have been altered and Bizarro must replace Hawkman as the warrior in the Aberrant Six.

Its a great start to the series, and I’m glad to see the cast greatly reduced, as to be honest, Holy War really felt too busy, with its large cast. Here the Mystery in Space backup helps a lot, as it allows Starlin to develop the story as two separate (for now) plots, and keep the cast members separated. Which also means the main story is allowed to focus on Adam Strange and Comet, which I’m very happy about as they were my favourite characters from the previous minis.

It is a bit of a shame to see Comet being chased off of Hardcore so soon however. The same thing pretty much happened in Holy War, but I enjoyed Hardcore as a setting in the Mystery in Space mini, so I’d like to see it being used more. However I can also see that the situation with New Rann is possibly going to offer more story possibilities with both the rebuilding effort, and the attempt to keep the true nature of the population secret (and talking about the rebuilding, that’s a heckuva city that’s already sprung up – I was sure Throneworld had been virtually levelled).

The backup storyline follows up the Holy War threats with Deacon Dark and the Aberrant Six, but is possibly a bit less interesting than the main storyline.  However I expect this to change as the two plots crossover more (in the same way the Weird backups became more significant as he got more involved with the Church, and their prescence was more felt in the Comet main during Mystery in Space).   It is interesting to see how Hawkman has been removed from things however.  I felt Bizarro was much more interesting during Holy War, and the Hawkman special seemed to put off a lot of readers by muddying up Hawkman’s origin once again.  I’m guessing the events of that special will end up as Synnar messing with Hawkman’s head, and quietly forgotten.

So overall, a really good start.  The art’s really nice, and the reduced cast is very welcome.   Looking forward to issue 2.

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