After yet another super-spooky cover by Neal Adams, we open with millionaire Jason Phillips, just as he enters his castle home with his new bride. He is troubled to see a mysterious, cloaked man standing inside, pointing at him!
His wife sees no one, but is troubled to see this when they enter the main dining room:
Soon enough, Irina did die, and in her will she intends to leave her millions to charity, unless he takes Irinia with him, wherever he goes, in her custom-made sarcophagus(!). Jason tearfully agrees--and inherits her vast fortune.
The Phantom Stranger appears again, at their dinner, rattling Jason, but seemingly invisible to anyone else.
After the wedding party has ended, Jason makes his way downstairs, and:
His new bride, Wanda, finds him downstairs, and tries to comfort him. It works for a moment, but then Jason sees Irina's ghostly image outside on the balcony!
He chases it, and there again is The Phantom Stranger, demanding that Jason "look inside his soul." Jason responds by punching the Stranger, who plummets off the balcony, only to disappear. Wanda thinks its Irina's coffin that is driving Jason mad.
The next day is no better:
Jason threatens to kill the Stranger with a handy ax, but he reminds Jason of the true story about how he and Irina met--yes, they fell in love, but Jason was not who he appeared to be.
When Irina's heart began to give out, and she asked Jason for her life-saving pills, this was his reaction:
Jason is infuriated that someone knows the truth, and he chases the Stranger outside with the ax, swinging wildly in the air. He's so crazed with anger he thinks the oncoming bright light is another one of the Stranger's tricks, but:
In addition, starting this issue, Dr. Thirteen got his own solo story, courtesy Jack Oleck and Tony De Zuniga:
This was the first real instance of the Stranger being a sort of symbol of divine justice, an approach that stuck to the character on and off for the next few decades.