Comic Review: Adventureman #4 (Image Comics)

“On the eve of the rise and return of the greatest evil the world has ever seen, only Claire Connell and her family can save us as the mantle of […]

“On the eve of the rise and return of the greatest evil the world has ever seen, only Claire Connell and her family can save us as the mantle of ADVENTUREMAN passes between generations.” So goes the official description of Adventureman #4, from Image Comics.

“The story of beloved pulp hero Adventureman ended with a never-resolved cliff-hanger for his legion of fans as their hero faced execution at the vile hand of his ultra-nemesis Baron Bizarre. And now, eighty years later, single mother Claire and her ‘Adventurefan’ son Tommy seem to be the only two people alive that remember the thrilling Adventureman sagas — but from that memory burns the spark of resurrection. What if it was all true? What if it all really happened? And what if it was happening again? Where his story ended… her story begins!” So goes the original intro description, to help us see the original concept.

This fourth issue of one of the most stunningly GORGEOUS comic titles on the market today is constructed in a labyrinthian manner. There are stories nestled among stories, time, and space continuums that bring up parallel universes between fiction and alternate fiction. There are story characters who transport and inform. It is maddeningly attractive, but opaque enough to require slow and thoughtful involvement. Just sayin’.

As I attempted to recall the previous issues (my bad I guess), I marveled at the astonishing artwork. Matt Fraction’s story, with its ‘story-within-story’ style, is the perfect setting for the visuals provided by Terry Dodson, with inks by Rachel Dodson. The attention to detail, the lush art deco/Pulp magazine/storybook influences abound. This work is simply without parallel, no matter what universe we’re visiting.

Simply repeated, the narrative is (to me) impossibly complicated yet intriguing, and the periodic nature of the release of single issues is doing it no favours. When these issues are collected in November, the trade version will be astoundingly satisfying!

Contains 32 pages of story content, plus additional pages of sketches and character description, plus two pages of American political voting information.

Image, Adventureman #4, $3.99 for 32 pages of story.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!