Friday, October 31, 2008


Welcome to I Am The Phantom Stranger!

Over the ten months or so I worked on my blog JLA Satellite, I came up with the idea of replacing it on my "schedule" with a blog devoted entirely to one of my all-time favorite characters, and one who was generally not served in-depth by the internets, The Phantom Stranger!

As the idea developed, I came up with an approach that I thought would work best--it would go chronologically, like JLA Satellite, but it would also try and cover all aspects of the character, like I do for Aquaman over at
The Aquaman Shrine.
That meant I could talk about The Phantom Stranger merchandise (all 3 items of it), and it would give me to reason to conduct my all-time favorite thing: interviews with the comics pros who brought the character to life. And since this time I'd be talking about The Phantom Stranger instead of the JLA or Aquaman, I could reach out to some of my all-time favorites, but have not had the reason to pester before this.

Some of them have already graciously talked to me, and we'll be hearing from these fine creative folks in due course.
Like with the JLA, my plan is to go in chronological order, starting with the character's quasi-first appearance in the 1950s, moving in order until we reach his most recent appearances.
So, why The Phantom Stranger? That's a good question...

I first discovered The Stranger in the pages of
Justice League of America, where I was intrigued by his air of mystery and his cryptic dialog. He seemed to come and go as he pleased, and was forever talking about "other matters to attend to" which, as a kid, made me wonder, wow, what other even bigger calamities are unfolding in the DCU that we're not seeing?

But since I only ever saw him as a supporting character, that's all I ever saw him as. Then when I learned he had, in fact, had a solo title, I was intrigued...The Phantom Stranger as a main character? Would that work?

After finding some issues of
The Phantom Stranger in a comic shop--some beaten up copies for just a few bucks--I realized the answer to the above question was yes, it would would really work.
Under the steady hands of Len Wein and Jim Aparo (with amazing covers by Neal Adams), I found a whole new version of the that was a dynamic hero, perfectly capable of carrying a comic book all his own. And while The Stranger has only had sporadic success as a "leading man" since the cancellation of his original title, to me he remains one of DC's characters with the most untapped potential.

And one final thing before we get to the main event of the most popular aspects of The Aquaman Shrine is my designation to anyone who contributes something to it as a member of F.O.A.M.--a Friend Of AquaMan. Meant as sort of a goofy way of saying "thanks" to fellow Aqua Fans, its turned into a club that people have actually written to me about, asking how do they join?? (I guess everyone likes to feel included)

So...while I've made every effort to find The Stranger's every appearance in a DC comic (and one
non-DC comic!), there's a chance I've missed one (or two, or three...).

So if we get to a point in the timeline of the Stranger's career and it seems like I have missed an appearance, all you have to do is point it out to me, and you will designated a
Fantom Stranger, and be duly credited as such here on the blog! So, Phantom Stranger Fans, keep a sharp eye out!

Well that's it. I thank everyone who came by here to check out the blog, and I hope you stick around, I Am The Phantom Stranger ought to be a lot of fun!

(P.S. In reference to the blog's title, I had originally considered writing the entire blog from the Stranger's perspective. While I thought it was a cool idea (though not completely original), I quickly realized how tiresome the conceit would be, so I abandoned it. The blog will be from my perspective, for all of the awkward asides and grammatical hiccups that entails...)
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