Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Phantom Stranger #19 - June 1972

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The return of the Ice Giants!

As mentioned on the letters page, issue #8's "Ice Giants" story was so well received that a sequel was specifically ordered up, this time written by Len Wein, and again drawn by Jim Aparo:



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Time passes, and a total of seven men have disappeared since the project was started.

Two of them, Stone and Blake don't get along--Blake doesn't like the environmental damage the new oil pipeline is doing, but Stone reminds him he didn't ask for Blake's opinion.

Blake drives off, enraged, when an earthquake hits beneath him. He and the Jeep fall into the giant crevice, but he is saved at the last moment by...The Phantom Stranger! But before Blake can ask who the Stranger is and how he got there, he disappears.

He makes his way home, where his wife Carol is waiting for him. She doesn't quite subscribe to his ecological point of view, after he suggests that their lives aren't worth much when compared to the ecology of the planet.

The next day, back on the project, Stone and Blake go at it again, and another earthquake hits. Carol falls and twists her ankle, and is unable to get out of the way of a falling crane.

But of course, The Phantom Stranger is there to save her. As Stone and Blake approach, they hear a loud voice saying this is their final warning:

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Stone tells the Stranger he'll move the pipe, but reveals he is just lying after the Stranger leaves. This leads to yet another fight between Stone and Blake, and another earthquake hits!

The two men and Carol fall into the crevice, and they see something terrifying and amazing
:

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The Ice Giants show how oil is dripping down into their lair, and are none too happy about it. Stone is nothing if not confident, and he actually tries to attack one of them, only to be slapped away.

Stone and Carol are put in a prison cell, while the Ice Giants have different plans for Blake.

Inside the cell, The Phantom Stranger reappears, and helps them escape. He then helps blind one of the Ice Giants long enough for them to escape, and they overhear Blake talking with the head Ice Giant--apparently they are in league together!

The Stranger points out this probably isn't a good idea:

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...the end.

Interesting story here, where you sympathize with Blake and his environmental concerns, but then he goes way overboard. And, well, the Ice Giants are just cool. Silly looking, but cool.


This issue also features a Dr. Thirteen story, "The Voice of Vengeance!", and a Mark Merlin reprint, "Captive of the Cat Curse."

Since the Merlin story is from the 60s, it ends on a half-page, so we got a fun little teaser for the next issue:

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...man, I wish they still did these. So much fun.

I've mentioned this before, but The Phantom Stranger didn't get a lot of advertising from DC, but once in a while they reminded people about the book:

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Not one of their best ads, but what the heck. I'm glad to have it.

1 comment:

Bribaby said...

The Ice Giant in a cape calls to mind the Omicron Persei 8 aliens from Futurama.

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