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‘Strange Adventures': Vertigo’s Sci-Fi Anthology, Debut of ‘Spaceman’ by ‘100 Bullets’ Team

This week sees the release of Vertigo’s Strange Adventures anthology, featuring eight eight-page standalone sci-fi stories by creators like Paul Cornell, Peter Milligan and Jeff Lemire, plus an eight-page prelude to the next creator-owned opus by the 100 Bullets team of Brian Azzarello/Eduardo Risso, Spaceman, scheduled to start this fall. If you like sci-fi brain-teaser short stories by a murderer’s row of creators old and new alike, this is a solid $8 investment. We’ve got several teaser pages and a table of contents for the included stories.While Strange Adventures is a mixed bag — as anthologies tend to be — the highs are high, and the art is superb throughout. Particularly excellent are Kevin Colden’s disturbing and chilling “Postmodern Prometheus,” Jeff Lemire’s gorgeously laid out “Ultra the Multi-Alien,” Peter Milligan and Sylvain Savoia’s Twilight Zone-esque “Partners” (previewed below) and, of course, the prelude to the new Azzarello/Risso joint, which takes eight pages to perform an act I’m not used to from Azzarello: sci-fi worldbuilding.

Particularly notable is Azzarello’s manufactured future lingo, reminiscent somewhat of the Mutant dialogue in Dark Knight Returns, and oddly reminiscent (at least to me) of the culture shock I (and many other readers) experienced when reading the street lingo in the first arc of 100 Bullets. Sample text: “I’m AWED, tho, bubba, you unawares of the satee ’bout to go junk on the city. Was WEB-wide.”

The dialogue is clearly intentionally obtuse in a way that mirrors the first arc of 100 Bullets; however, after his fantastic work on that series, I’m willing to put in the effort to immerse myself in the world he’s building. By the second or third arc, I imagine reading the dialogue will be second-nature, and it’s certainly a testament to the effort Azzarello’s putting in.

Table of Contents:

  1. “Case 21″ by Selwyn Hinds and Denys Cowan
  2. “The White Room” by Talia Hershewe and Juan Bobillo
  3. “Partners” by Peter Milligan and Sylvain Savoia (previewed below)
  4. “All the Pretty Ponies” by Lauren Beukes and Inaki Miranda
  5. “Ultra the Multi-Alien” by Jeff Lemire
  6. “Refuse” by Ross Campbell
  7. “Postmodern Prometheus” by Kevin Colden
  8. “A ‘True Tale’ From Saucer Country” by Paul Cornell and Goran Sudzuka
  9. “Spaceman” by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso

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