Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Legend of the Green Flame - 2000

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"The Legend of the Green Flame" by Neil Gaiman and Friends.

This one-shot was originally scheduled to be the "final" issue of Action Comics Weekly, featuring all that book's characters in one giant story, paving the way for the title to return to its classic, Superman-only format.

But for various reasons (which Gaiman gets into, in a refreshingly honest introduction), that idea was scrapped, so this story sat on the shelf for a long while.

Finally, someone realized at DC realized they had an unpublished Neil Gaiman story sitting around, so they put together a real all-star line-up of talent to bring the story to life.

The Phantom Stranger's main purpose in this story is to be "freed" from the apartment he'd been in during Paul Kupperberg's great run of stories. In the first chapter focusing on him, he's drawn by Matt Wagner:

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After three pages, the story cuts back to Superman and Green Lantern, the main protagonists of the tale.

But the Stranger isn't gone from the book, as we can see from this single, wonderful page:

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...the Phantom Stranger drawn by Jim Aparo!

The Stranger eventually meets up with Supes and GL (drawn by Kevin Nowlan, sweet!) and then departs.

All in all, a great little book, and definitely worthy of publication, continuity problems be damned.

And its wonderful to see The Phantom Stranger drawn by the great Jim Aparo, one last time.

4 comments:

Butch R said...

Say Rob, is there something with the coloring on that last Aparo/Stranger page? Just seems to have a grey green tint to it.
So here it is, the last Aparo Stranger. Man, it's monday morning at 7.30 AM, and I'm pretty sad to read that. Even though I knew it was coming. *sigh* I guess all good things do come to an end.

M W Gallaher said...

It's sad, indeed, but on the bright side, Jim got to draw the Stranger in his classic look, with the Aparo-trademark invisible eyes, and he got to ink the job himself, like the old days.

RC said...

Aparo is without peer. But how about Matt Wagner's take? I'd love to see him do something more with the Stranger.

Will K. said...

Yep, that's some absolutely cracking Wagner art. I like that they let the Stranger shed his cloak and hat, too. He should appear out of "costume" more often - it gives him a more vulnerable appearance.

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