Overview

Strange Adventures #1

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Strange Adventures #1

Credits

  • Words: Selwyn Hinds, Talia Hershew, Peter Milligan, Lauren Beukes, Jeff Lemire, Ross Campbell, Kevin Colden, Paul Cornell, Brian Azzarello
  • Art: Denys Cowan, Juan Bobillo, Sylvain Savoia, Inaki Miranda, JEff Lemire, Ross Campbell, Kevin Colden, Goran Sudzuka, Eduardo Risso
  • Colors: Cris Peter, Sylvain Savoia, Eva de la Cruz, Jose Villarrubia, Lee Loughridge, Patricia Mulvihill
  • Story Title: Case 21, The White Room, Partners, All The Pretty Ponies, Ultra The Multi-Alien, Refuse, Post Modern Prometheus, A "True Tale" From Saucer Country, Spaceman
  • Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
  • Price: $7.99
  • Release Date: May 25, 2011

Vertigo's decided to go the anthology route for the return of Strange Adventures, a title that has bandied back and forth between DC Comics proper and the Vertigo imprint, decided primarily by the content. This relaunch gives everyone from new writers and artists a chance to shine alongside more established ones, as well as being  a launching pad for the reunited team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. While all the adventures may be strange, is it worth the high cover price?

"Case 21" starts the book off well, with an entertaining dystopian future that's rife for future possibilities. In a world where tattoos are everything you need, a tattoo artist is asked to remove one, but returning flesh to its original form may bring up some scars from his own past.
"The White Room", likewise, shows a dystopia where everyone's obsessed with their version of "holodecks" from Star Trek, and vividly paints true love endearingly.
"Partners" takes an odd turn, twisting a "coming out" story with a different life revelation.
"All The Pretty Ponies" shows a world where the rich can take a mind ride with celebrities, porn stars, and even meth-addicted pregnant women… whatever spins your wheels.
One of the highlights, Inaki Miranda's art coupled with Eva de la Cruz's coloring seems to take certain highlights from Amanda Conner. Looking into DC's history with this title,
"Ultra The Multi-Alien" is a vignette about one of DC's oddest heroes, and gives someone from the pulp era of space adventures a new outlook and take that should be explored more.
Ross Campbell's "Refuse" combines an indie art style with a Hoarders-inspired monster tale, but even thoughCampbell needs more art jobs, the story doesn't really hit any notes and lacks any memorability, unlike his previous work, Water Baby, for Minx.
"The Postmodern Prometheus", in comparison has some true sadness to it, with script, art, and colors all by Kevin Colden.
"A 'True Story' From Saucer Country" has a nice bit of mystery to it, entertainingly written by Paul Cornell.

Wrapping up the book is "Spaceman", reuniting the team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. Risso's art thrives in the shadows, and Azzarello's script always works well with realistic dialogue. On the surface, the book would be guaranteed to be another success from the 100 Bullets team. Once you get into it, the story doesn't appear to be more than world-building and set-up. While the other titles in the book succeed at the "done in one" mindset, Azzarello appears to be in  more of a "prologue" state of mind. As the cover advertises that it's the first chapter, hopefully this is just growing pains that'll be appropriately dealt with.  

The art bounces from entertaining and stylistic to standard grim fare. Juan Bobillo stands out amongst the pack; eschewing his traditional style that highlighted She-Hulk when Dan Slott restarted her a few years back for a painted style with much more lithe characters than previous. While his older style was great and stood out amongst the artists on that title, this one focus more on storytelling than pin-up work. Ross Campbell's indie work is definitely appreciated, bringing a true weight and form to characters that could otherwise be stylistically shown by angles and definitions..

Stories such as "Case 21" and "All The Pretty Ponies" have the potential for miniseries or ongoings. Some stories, such as "The White Room", are perfect as is, and while you may desire more out of this creative pairing, you'd be afraid of ruining the magic.

Strange Adventures is not perfect, but there are some beautiful works in this anthology though, and you'd be remiss to miss out on them.

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