Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Phantom Stranger #40 - Jan. 1976

The Phantom Stranger and Deadman in "In The Kingdom of the Blind"!

Now saddled or enriched (take your pick) with a partner, The Phantom Stranger and Deadman continue their otherworldly adventures:

Deadman, left to his own devices, takes over a random passerby to follow the man and woman nearby--Deadman thinks they have something to do with his future.

Meanwhile, at The Sanders School for the Blind, Dr. Nathan Seine is finding it difficult adjusting to his new condition. He angrily rejects the help of a kindly woman trying to teach him braille, preferring to sit and stroke the skull sitting on his desk, talking to his dear departed wife Margaret.

His thirst for revenge seems unabated, and with the help of a mystic tome, he calls forth a demon--and a really icky one, too:

The demon heads out into the night, hunting after anyone with even a meager amount of supernatural powers. It first attacks a palm reader, draining the life out of her and leaving her body crumpled on the ground.

It continues its search, and it finds a woman we--and The Phantom Stranger--are familiar with, Cassandra Craft!:


I love Cassandra's "Let go, dammit!"--when did you see any female comic book character ever talk like that?

But of course The Phantom Stranger isn't going to allow Cassandra to be hurt, and he shows up and attacks the demon. It turns its attention on him, overwhelms him, and then grabs both of them and takes off!

Deadman sees all this, leaves his host body, and follows.

He looks for another person with any trace of mystic powers to use as "bait" for the demon, and he finds one, taking over his body. He then tries to get the attention of the demon, which he does, stalling it long enough for the Stranger to wake up:


...that's a great, unusual last page.

It seems like things are building to a real head here--we've got Deadman, the return of Cassandra Craft, and a continuing revenge plot by Dr. Seine. All will be resolved in the next--and last--issue of The Phantom Stranger!


Anonymous said...

Cool Aparo monster-work on the cover.
In its last few gasps this book was starting to take on the feel of a modern-era comic, as opposed to a 60's-early 70's one, what with all the cross-continuity and such.

Hey, here's something you may have missed: Detective Comics #447 dated May 1975 supposedly has a guest appearance by the Stranger. I've never read it, but it was a Batman-Creeper team-up, and this was right after the run of 100-page specials in Detective, I believe. Merry Christmas!

rob! said...


re: Detective #447--i've been using several online lists of PS's appearances to make my own "master list" (no one list features all of them) and 'Tec #447 is listed on one of them as a possible appearance.

i see that the main Batman story is reprinted in Best of DC Digest #9, which i have--so i'll have to dig it up and see for myself if indeed PS does appear.

if he does and i missed it, then you sir have earned yourself a prize!

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