Hang on a second, some of this doesn't make sen--THE END.
Strange Adventures Vol. 1 presents the book's run from issues #54-73. There are about four stories per issue, which means that they're all really short, coming in at six pages or less.
This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. There are plenty of DC stories from the same time period with good short stories. However, Strange Adventures doesn't even seem to try in terms of narrative. Here's what the process feels like:
WRITER: "Hey, I've got the start of an idea!"
EDITOR: "You have twenty minutes to get the full final copy on my desk."
Almost every single story is a half-thought idea that really doesn't go anywhere. It seems like they threw whatever was left over from other books into this one. The fact that writers come and go every single issue makes the case even stronger.
|Somebody was paid to come up with this "idea."|
I wanted to like this book so bad. I love the goofy Silver Age stories, but there was absolutely no substance to any of these. The only good thing about any of them are the titles. Just by reading some of those, there is so much wasted potential:
The Gorilla who Challenged the World
The Day the Sun Exploded
I Hunted the Radium Man!
The Invisible Masters of Earth!
The Super-Athletes from Outer Space!
The Man Who Remembered 100,000 Years Ago!
I Was the Man in the Moon!
The Man Who Discovered the West Pole!
The Flying Raincoat!
The Talking Flower!
The Man Who Couldn't Drown!
The Man with Four Minds!
Raiders from the Ultra-Violet!
The Man Who Ate Sunshine!
The Skyscraper that Came to Life!
All of the stories end abruptly and unexpectedly. There are so many questions unanswered, and there's usually one panel that desperately attempts to cram in the "explanation" of the entire plot. But there is no plot. Just a huge waste of time. I walked away from each story feeling one of three things:
- Very mild amusement
- Total indifference
|Of course! How could I have been so blind?|
The only counter-argument I find of why these stories are so lame is because they were written for young children. But even if I were eight years old, I would still be pissed at the total incoherency and lack of effort. The artwork doesn't offer much either. All of the people look the same, in the same static poses, never really doing anything.
|Pictured: Logic, apparently.|
Let me walk you through a story. I can do it quite fast, since there's nothing there to begin with:
1. The government is seeking defense against foreign guided missile attacks
2. An inventor creates a ray that will create a force field around a city
3. He tests it out. Inexplicably, gems rain from the sky, and people collect them
4. The gems exert telepathic commands, controlling people to take over the city
5. The inventor disables the evil gem by shooting his ray (in reverse) directly at it
6. THE END
|I just want to punch someone.|
Seriously, that's all there is to it. It's just so stupid. There are blind attempts to clumsily explain why shit is happening, but they never actually clarify anything. In fact, they usually just make it worse. Just thinking about it makes me mad.
|There can be no other explanation.|
Since this book runs smack-dab in the middle of the Atomic Age, nearly every story includes invasion by aliens, some kind of good/bad radiation, or the intense power of America's A-Bomb/H-Bomb. The very thinly veiled Soviet Union fear runs rampant.
|IT'S. SO. SUBTLE.|
Bottom line? Skip it. Just skip it. I am incredibly surprised that not one, but two volumes of Strange Adventures are included in DC's Showcase Presents TPBs. Why, when there are so many other worthwhile things?