Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Phantom Stranger (Vol.3) #2 - Nov. 1987

"The Soul of the Man!" by Paul Kupperberg, Mike Mignola, and P.Craig Russell.

Bruce Gordon's struggle with his alter ego Eclipso continues, but he is now being helped by The Phantom Stranger:

The Phantom Stranger is able to keep Eclipso at bay to a certain point, but otherwise he is despondent over Eclipso and the Lords of Darkness' newfound abilities. He believes the side of good cannot win.

Suddenly there is a thundercrack, and the Lords of Order reveal themselves to the Stranger and Bruce Gordon!

The Stranger blames his lords for allowing this evil to come to pass, and they punish the Stranger by grabbing him and trying to kill him!

Meanwhile, Jimmy Olsen is meeting with a contact he has inside the Russian Consulate. He underscores Olsen's belief that something big is happening.

More disasters befall the Earth, and S.T.A.R. Labs' Jenet Klyburn watches, and worries. But her thoughts are interrupted by two visitors--the Stranger and Gordon--who tell her of the plot by Eclipso:

Meanwhile, Lycaon of the Temple of Divine Light continues his apocalyptic prophecies, and tells his flock that he will lead them into the light. Eclipso watches all this and laughs.

Later, the Stranger, Gordon, and Klyburn make their way to Mt. St. Helens, where the Stranger says the vibrations of the evil plot can be most keenly felt.

While setting up camp, the Stranger cuts himself on some thorns! Uh-oh....

Later, the Stranger teleports himself inside the cavern:

The Stranger battles hordes of demons, but is nearly overcome by their sheer number.

Luckily, Gordon and Klyburn have followed, and Klyburn--using some super high-tech S.T.A.R. Labs stuff--manages to blast the head demon long enough so give the Stranger time to recover.

The demon smashes the ledge she is standing on, and Klyburn plummets, but the Stranger is there to return the favor:

To be continued!

A second solid issue, and it comes with the added scare of the Phantom Stranger being mortally vulnerable, for the first time. His moment of shock to getting cut by the thorns is like that scene with Clark and Lois in the diner in Superman II. Fun stuff.

Plus, I always thought Eclipso was a pretty goofy villain (that costume, even by superhero standards, is pretty giggle-inducing), but Kupperberg and Mignola manage to make him seem pretty fierce and imposing.

This issue, like the previous one, features text piece by Kupperberg, about the 1950s version of the character, another fun read.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You know Rob, something I find interesting but strange is the appreciation of Mike Mignola. You and a couple of other artist friends I have say nothing but good things about him. (One is a huge fan but I counter balance him) I, who couldn't draw a stick man with a ruler, paper & pen, really don't like his art. I wonder if it's something in the artist's eye that helps you guys appreciate him.
Back to the point, I remember buying this series when it came out. Solid story but IMO uneven art. Of course, this whole Eclipso "persona" is rended null & void in the eventual mini-annual series The Darkness Within. While I like what John Ostrander & Tom Mandrake did with Eclipso in their Spectre series, this mini proves him to be a valid villain without his power up.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...