After a somewhat disappointing start and numerous art changes, “Strange Adventures” headed into its final issue with a lot of promise, but too much story to be contained in one 30-page issue. With Synnar back in control of his near-unlimited powers, ready to challenge the creator of the universe, he requires the aid of the much-mentioned Aberrant Six to fulfill his plans, but that’s only if the six chosen agree to help him. Most of this issue has Synnar attempting to convince various characters that following him is the smart thing to do, and, ultimately, goes nowhere.
Beginning with the conclusion of the Bizarro back-up story that’s been running throughout the course of the series, Synnar manages to win over the monster by giving him what he’s always lacked: intelligence. The changes to characters don’t stop there as the Prince Gavyn version of Starman is given a personality shift at the hands of Synnar and a makeover that looks straight out of the pages of 1993. Not that his previous costume was a winner, either, so, at best, it’s a lateral move.
Since Starlin won’t be continuing his story in the foreseeable future, this issue treads water, not able to advance the story beyond the point of Synnar regaining his powers and beginning to assemble the Aberrant Six. Comet and Adam Strange are left in very much the same position they began the series in, wondering when (if ever) they will have to deal with Synnar’s schemes again, a position that readers are left in. Obviously Starlin’s story was meant to extend far beyond this mini-series (considering this is the third series he’s penned in this story) and the rush finish leaves everything up in the air.
The two art teams here don’t blend well together since the usually set apart Bizarro story flows right into the main one, meaning we go from Scott McDaniel’s blocky, thick-lined, cartoony art to Jim Starlin’s classical, thin-lined, realism-based art. It’s a little jarring. That said, fans of Starlin’s art will not be disappointed here as he depicts the ‘talking in space’ scenes very well, adding drama and flair to the proceedings. The slow scene where Eye confronts her past and makes a big decision is very compelling. Though, Starlin does have a weakness when it comes to some of the male characters, unable to draw Comet, Strange, or even Bizarro in a consistently good fashion; he does much better with Synnar and Eye.
Those who’ve stuck with Starlin through “Mystery in Space,” “Rann-Thanagar Holy War,” and, now, “Strange Adventures” receive little payoff as the story is left in limbo for a possible return in the future or for some other writer to pick up.