Thursday, November 29, 2012

Justice League Dark #14 - Jan. 2013

"Enter The House of Mystery" by Jeff Lemire, Graham Nolan, and Victor Drujiniu.

I have not read Justice League Dark before, so I really have no idea what's going on in this book. It opens in Nanda Parbat, with the JLD apparently just having defeated some mystical super-baddies, like Necro and Felix Faust. Two of the team members, Zatanna and Tim Hunter, have disappeared, leaving the others--John Constantine, Deadman, and Madame Xanadu--to try and find them.

Meanwhile, Amethyst, Frankenstein, and Black Orchid are hanging out on the steps of the House of Mystery, waiting for the others to show up. They get bored and go inside--big mistake!

Back outside, Madame Xanadu tries to use her powers to find Zee and Tim, to no avail. But luckily someone is here to help:
...To be continued, of course!

Considering the line-up of the JLD, it makes total sense that the Stranger would eventually show up. After all, this book is littered with former Phantom Stranger guest-stars like Deadman, Black Orchid, and Frankenstein! Not to mention his former squeeze Madame Xanadu. How could he not show up?

This is a fun book with nice art, and characters I generally like. Now that the Stranger is here, too, maybe I'll add Justice League Dark to my pull list.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Fire and Water Podcast, Episode 36

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

Episode 36 - The Phantom Stranger

Special Episode! Shag takes the week off and I welcome Special Guest Co-Host Chad Bokelman ("The Lanterncast") to discuss the history of one of our favorite DC Comics characters, The Phantom Stranger!

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Intro theme, "That Time is Now," by Michael Kohler. Outro music by Daniel Adams and The Bad Mamma Jammas!

Thanks for listening! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Phantom Stranger (Vol.4) #2 - Jan. 2013

"Visitations" by Dan Didio, Brent Anderson, and Phillip Tan.

In a small Long Island town, the man we know as The Phantom Stranger watches a Little League soccer game:

As the game progresses, the Stranger sees the ghostly visage of the being known as Pandora appear on the field. The Stranger excuses himself to his wife and assumes his familiar look and confronts her. After initially threatening him--which the Stranger ignores--Pandora reveals the real reason she's here: she needs the Stranger's help:
Pandora disappears, leaving the Stranger back with his family. They go home, and as the Stranger's wife gives the kids a bath, he concerns himself with more pressing matter. Namely, the presence of the demon Belial, son of Trigon, who is waiting for the Stranger in the living room!
Belial seems to like the Stranger on a personal level, talking with him in a conversational tone. But then Belial reminds the Stranger that he and his brothers will not be as easy to deal with as Raven:

The Stranger returns to his family, determined to protect them. He answers the phone, and on the other end of the line is a name very familiar to old-time Phantom Stranger fans--Dr. Terrance Thirteen!
Dr. Thirteen has been cataloging every single instance of supernatural incidents across the globe, but now realizes that his investigations have him in over his head. He needs help from the Stranger to save him from a being known as The Haunted Highwayman, who arrives bathed in hellfire riding a coal-black horse. The Stranger and the Highwayman do battle, which leads to the Stranger throttled by the Highwayman's noose. He then points to Dr. Thirteen, claiming he will be next!

Meanwhile, we are back at the diner the Stranger and Raven were in last issue, with a man asking questions of the diner's owner, questions about what happened to the two people. The man is...Jim Corrigan! To be continued!

I liked this issue quite a bit; the (re)introduction of Dr. Thirteen is a nice touch, and the art combo of Brent Anderson and Philip Tan is coming together. Giving the Stranger a family adds a necessary human element, although right now they're really more of a plot device than fleshed out characters at this point. I fear they're going to have a lot of sadness in their future.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Adventure Comics #459 - Oct. 1978

"Murder Haunts the Midway" by Len Wein and Jim Aparo.

Even though I did what I thought was an exhaustive and complete list of the Phantom Stranger's chronological appearances, this one from Adventure Comics #459 managed to slip right by me:

Yep, there's the Stranger, alongside Aquaman (bonus!) in a story by Len Wein and Jim Aparo no less!

This cameo was the last time Wein and Aparo handled the Phantom Stranger since ending their brilliant run on his solo book in 1973, and the last time they ever worked on the character together, ever. A lot of history packed into this one panel!

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