Thursday, November 7, 2013

Phantom Stranger #13 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Fernando Blanco
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 6, 2013

So Many Questions.....And The Question

When last we left the Stranger, the Sin Eater and his devil dog destroyed the last piece of the Phantom Stranger's humanity when they burned down the home of his human persona. So let's see where this will take him.  Drum roll please............................

Explain It!:

Within the flames of his former home, The Phantom Stranger confronts the Sin Eater, but is quickly subdued by the demonic dog, whose words pierce the Stranger's soul.  But before they can do any serious damage, the two are called away to what the devil dog calls more pressing matters.  Outside the neighbors are poking their noses around, and speculating on what happened to the Stark family .  So to clear up this little story line, the Phantom Stranger simply implants a suggestion to them.  So in the morning all will believe that the Stark family moved away months ago.  Done and done.  

The neighbors aren't the only ones outside the burning home, Zauriel the angel that erased the Stranger from existence a few issues back, is here to make amends.  Zauriel also reminds Phantom Stranger of a promise he made, to the late Dr. Light, back in Trinity War when a rag tag band of heroes stormed heaven to find the truth! OH YEAH!  Alright I'm back now.  Dr. Light left a piece of his soul with the Stranger to give to his family as a way to say goodbye.  Stranger unleashes the light over top the Light home, and Dr. Light's wife, and two daughters have fond, and loving dreams about the man they called husband, and father. 

Now that the promise has been fulfilled.  The Stranger has some unfinished business over in Hub City.  The Question is in his basement HQ/home/paranoid filled hole, when the Stranger comes to get some payback, for the Question trying to kill him some issues ago.  But we're finally shown what the New 52 Question can do.  His powers apparently run from turning into question mark shaped smoke, to teleporting, to asking a question that invades your mind, and changes the way you think.  So much for the Vic Sage we all knew and loved.  So the Question teleports the Stranger and himself to Jerusalem, where he turns the people of the city against the Stranger.  Phantom Stranger quickly stops them, but the Question asks him things that almost leads to the Stranger committing suicide with the spear of destiny.  But our hero is saved by another piece of Dr. Light's soul that was secretly given to the Stranger as a gift.  As the brilliant light engulfs him, the Stranger is given a new path to follow, and the crisis has ended.  Kinda like a heavenly suicide hotline.  

So the fight has ended, and Zauriel returns to take back the spear of destiny from The Question, knowing he's outmatched the Question disappears.  The Phantom Stranger and Zauriel walk around asking who each thought would win in a fight Kilowog or The Thing.  No wait that was a discussion I was having with Jim.  Anyway they were probably talking about something silly when Phantom Stranger disappears.  In the end the Stranger is on the ground next to The Question, and surrounded by Pandora, Constantine, Nightmare Nurse, and Swamp Thing.  Who all want The Strangers help in killing evil.

Bits and Pieces:

Well now we've led up to what will become Forever Evil: Blight, and we might finally have a reason for calling this title Trinity of Sin.  We get a lot more Question in this issue, and finally find out a little bit more about this character that the fans have been clamoring for.  But not enough for us to sink our teeth into, just a bit about his crazy new powers.  But all in all the Phantom Stranger continues to please, and is month after month one of the best books DC has to offer.  If your not reading this book you really should be, and if you are you know what I'm talking about.  



  1. I like The Phantom Stranger. It makes more sense than The Book of Revelation. The writer has the ability to tell a more satisfying story with action and great goofy kid comics fun in 20 pages than most writers do in 22 or 26. Within only 20 pages surrounded by advertisements, it delivers all the stuff that makes a comic book attractive to goofy kids and older nerds and quality turdbutts.

  2. Just pointing this out right off the bat. I'm an asshole. I judged the shit out of this book before ever reading it. Then as a larf I picked up a issue back in March, then the next week I picked up all the back issues. Now it's one of my favorite titles. Moral of the story, don't judge a book by Didio writing credits.

  3. It's a fair review. I judged The Phantom Stranger too until I got to the Scottie dog and particularly the part about the real Phillip Stark. The Phantom Stranger is surprisingly funny right when you least expect it to be. DeMatteis and Blanco are cool. DC should try leaving DeMatteis and Blanco alone with this creation and let them build the title away from the crossovers. Nightmare Nurse.