Monday, August 31, 2009

Zatanna #2 - Aug. 2005

"A Book in the Beginning" by Grant Morrison, Ryan Sook, an Mick Gray.

The Phantom Stranger pulled double-duty, crossover event-wise, appearing simultaneously in "Day of Vengeance" as well as Grant Morrison's "Seven Soldiers of Victory" multi-book storyline.

At the end of the issue, the Phantom Stranger makes an unusually friendly appearance:
Also to be continued!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day of Vengeance #2 - July 2005

"Some Enchantress Evening" by Bill Willingham, Justiniano, and Walden Wong.

In a flashback, we see the Spectre in battle with the Phantom Stranger:
...this battle leaves the Stranger as nothing more than a melted husk (or so it seems), and the Spectre makes his way around, attacking other magi like Dr. Fate and Madame Xanadu.

To be continued!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day of Vengeance #1 - June 2005

"One Last Drink At The End of Time" by Bill Willingham, Justiniano, and Walden Wong.

It what has to count as, strangest appearance the Phantom Stranger has ever made, check out the final panel on this page:
...of course, none of the other heroes believe the drunk, talking chimp, but he's insistent that this little mouse is, in fact, the Phantom Stranger.

To be continued!

Friday, August 28, 2009

DC: The New Frontier #6 - Nov. 2004

"Book Six" by Darwyn Cooke and Dave Stewart.

This final issue of Darwyn Cooke's genius New Frontier series opens with one of the strangest dinner parties you ever saw:
...surprisingly, that's Zatanna on the Stranger's arm, not Madame Xanadu.

In whatever Elseworlds story you want to concoct, the Stranger always has good taste in women.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Justice League Adventures #31 - July 2004

"Tomorrow" by Josh Siegal, Chris Jones, and Dan Davis.

The Phantom Stranger, having guest-appeared in Batman: Gotham Adventures, was officially part of the "Timmverse", so it was only a matter of time before he guest-starred with the entire JLA.

He makes a heck of a dramatic entrance:
...Batman ends up vouching for him (thanks Bats!), and the Stranger plays the whole "mystical guide" bit, showing the JLA some possible alternate futures of a small boy.

He even does his patented disappearing bit, which Batman quietly appreciates via a small smile as The Flash sees he's gone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Justice League: Another Nail #3 - 2004

"Book Three" by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer.

This final issue of the series is where all hell breaks loose (as the cover indicates), and you know its bad when The Phantom Stranger actually steps in:
sg the end, one hero (I won't say who) sacrifices their lives to save the Universe.

When the Stranger says something to the effect that saving the Universe was not his goal--rather, it was to end the suffering of one person's soul--Wonder Woman gets mad and demands more answers, but the Stranger ignores her and takes a powder.

He probably went back to Madame Xanadu's place. I know I would.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Justice League: Another Nail #2 - 2004

"Book Two" by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer.

The Phantom Stranger does his usual shtick: showing up and issuing dire warnings:
...first, Madame Xanadu, now Wonder Woman. The Stranger certainly keeps good company.

To be continued!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Justice League: Another Nail #1 - 2004

"Book One" by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer.

The sequel to Alan Davis' well-done Elseworlds story The Nail, The Phantom Stranger shows up in what is probably his favorite place: the home of Madame Xanadu:
sg, does Davis draw beautiful women.

To be continued!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hellblazer #195 - June 2004

"Out of Season" by Mike Carey and Leonardo Manco.

There's some nasty stuff going on in this issue--stabbings, electrocutions, a demon dripping blood out of his mouth--but amid all that, the Phantom Stranger calmly walks into the proverbial lion's den and demands an audience with a comely demon:
...the Stranger actually warns this chick that he is watching, and that she should know that. Then he dissolves into thin air.

Our hero's got guts!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hellblazer #191 - Feb. 2004

"Staring At The Wall" by Mike Carey and Marcelo Frusin.

I think we can tell by the cover that the Phantom Stranger will be guest-starring here, and he does, looking more nasty and dark than ever before:
...the Stranger is mighty pissed at John Constantine!

Not having read this series, I don't really know what's going on, but man is it well drawn by Frusin!

Friday, August 21, 2009

JLA-Z #3 - Jan. 2004

I somehow missed this series when it came out in late 2003, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Sure, its just a collection of pin-ups (maybe it was the then-high $2.50 price tag that kept me away), but there are some really nice pieces in here, like this of the Phantom Stranger by Chris Jones and Mick Gray:
sg addition, there's a Martian Manhunter pin-up by Paul Rivoche, Metron by Eric Wight, Plastic Man by Scott Morse, The Weaponers of Qward by Jerry Ordway, and more!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

JLA/Avengers #3 - Dec. 2003

"Strange Adventures" by Kurt Busiek and George Perez.

After a whole bunch of magical hugger-mugger courtesy the Marvel villain The Grandmaster, The Phantom Stranger finally steps in:
...the Stranger escorts all the heroes (and that's a lot of people!) to another dimension, where he leads them to a nearly-dead Grandmaster.

Turns out this the work of the even more evil bad guy Krona, and the collective teams vow to take him on.

Sadly, the Stranger disappears from the story at this point, but points to Busiek and Perez for making sure he was included, in some way (he's on the wraparound cover, too, along with what looks like every single DC and Marvel hero except for Pete Cannon: Thunderbolt!).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

JLA/Avengers #2 - 2003

"A Contest of Champions" by Kurt Busiek and George Perez.

The oft-delayed, long-time-in-the making team-up between the JLA and the Avengers finally took place in 2003, in a four-part extravaganza.

By the second issue, more of each company's heroes were being worked into the story, and its here we get our first glimpse of The Phantom Stranger:
...hard to see him, but he's there, standing on a white platform with his back to the reader.

But fear not--the Stranger plays a much bigger part in the next issue. To be continued!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dr. Fate (Vol.3) #1 - Oct. 2003

"The Curse" by Christopher Golden, Don Kramer, and Prentis Rollins.

All of DC's magi were getting their own books again, except for the Stranger! Luckily for us, he could pop up in any and all of them simultaneously.

Dr. Fate takes a "look" into the lives of DC's other magical characters:
...the Stranger, for his part, warns Dr. Fate to back off!

By the way: this issue's superb cover is by artist Paul Rivoche. Too bad he doesn't do more comic work, I love his stuff.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Impulse #87 - Aug. 2002

"Crisis on Impulse's Earth, Part 2" by Todd Dezago, Carlo Barberi, and Greg Adams.

The Phantom Stranger makes a classic, very Phantom Stranger-ish guest appearance in Impulse, an unlikely book for him to appear in:
...he mostly just stands back and narrates the story (see? classic!), but at the mid-way point he does step in:
He ends up battling the evil magic version of Impulse that resides inside the real Impulse's body. At the end, Impulse thanks him, and speeds off before the Stranger is done talking.

The kid shows no respect for the Phantom Stranger!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Spectre (Vol.4) #12 -Feb. 2002

"The Spectre of Christmas!" by J.M. DeMatteis and Ryan Sook.

While the Spectre engages Santa Claus(!), The Phantom Stranger is spending time with his niece, Helen:
...they end up floating in the sky, watching the stars. A wonderfully sweet image, created by J.M. DeMatteis and superbly executed by artist Ryan Sook.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Spectre (Vol.4) #11 - Jan. 2002

"The Mission" by J.M. DeMatteis, Ryan Sook, and Jim Royal.

The Spectre got another new series, so of course that meant The Phantom Stranger had another place to guest-star:
...the Stranger spends most of this issue with Hal Jordan's niece Helen, and, under the direction of writer J.M. DeMatteis, this is a much more gentle Phantom Stranger. Why, he even engages Helen in a game of Candyland!:
This issue ends with The Spectre running into Santa Claus, no less! To be continued!

Friday, August 14, 2009

DC Direct Action Figure - 2002

In 2002, The Phantom Stranger got his own--and to this point, still the only--"action figure."

Well sculpted by the fine folks at DC Direct, it's a nice representation of the character. I think my only complaint is the lack of the omnipresent shadow over the Stranger's eyes that was such an iconic part of the character's look--he looks just sort of...weird without it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Superman: Man of Steel #118 - Nov. 2001

"Time and Punishment" by Mark Schultz, Doug Mahnke, and Walden Wong.

Superman gets transported to another dimension, and there waiting for him is the new Spectre, Hal Jordan. And within a few moments, some others:
...Ganthet's looking pretty tall, there!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Green Arrow (Vol.3) #7 - Oct. 2001

"Hard Traveling Heroes" by Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks.

Hal Jordan--now The Spectre--takes his old pal Oliver Queen to the proverbial Pearly Gates, and there The Phantom Stranger awaits:
After threatening the Stranger with his newfound powers as The Spectre, the Stranger lets them pass. Smart guy, that Phantom Stranger.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dead Again #1 - Oct. 2001

"The Quick and the Dead" by Steve Vance, Leonard Kirk, and Rick Burchett.

In a series focusing half on Deadman, you have to figure The Phantom Stranger and The Spectre are around somewhere:
...surprisingly, no appearance by Etrigan!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mystic #15 - Sept. 2001

Untitled by Ron Marz, Brandon Peterson, John Dell, Rob Stull, and Mark Farmer.

The Phantom Stranger makes another appearance in a non-DC comic, this time hanging out in a bar that resides in the CrossGen universe, along with other characters violating all kinds of copyrights:

...I guess they could've titled this story "Class Action."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Supergirl: Wings - 2001

"Wings" by J.M. DeMatteis and Jamie Tolagson.

In this Elseworlds tale, Kara (aka Matrix, aka Supergirl) is not a Kryptonian cousin to Kal-El; rather, she's an angel who "falls" to Earth, and is met by...a stranger:
I had never read this book before, so seeing it for the first time was a real treat--it's a wonderful story, beautifully told and well drawn.

It also features J.M. DeMatteis' slightly more lighthearted take on the Stranger (which he started back when he had the Stranger guest-starring in the Dr. Fate solo book)--at one point, he shows Supergirl how she can possess the bodies of various people, as that is something he can do, as well.

He says it helps him understand mortals better--plus, "it's fun, too."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Names of Magic #5 - June 2001

"Truth" by Dylan Horrocks and Richard Case.

The Phantom Stranger doesn't really appear in this, the final issue of the mini-series; rather, he's just there during a flashback to major events in Tim Hunter's life:
(Nice photo cover, in any case!)

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