Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Phantom Stranger #14 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Fernando Blanco
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 4, 2013

Phantom Stranger Than Fiction.  Ah, See What I Did There?

When last we left the Stranger, the Question, and him had gotten into a bit of a tiff, and then the Stranger was transported to the Rock of Eternity.  There he was put side by side with The Question, and Pandora, and in front of him sat John Constantine, Nightmare Nurse, and Swamp Thing.  Constantine had brought the Trinity of Sin here to help him kill evil.  Let's see how that works out for him.

Explain It!:

The Trinity of Sin is chained to the floor at the Rock of Eternity, and they're a little peeved about it.  Constantine tells them that it's so they will stay and listen to his proposal, and it's no use trying to break free, because he's placed many magical seals on the chains.  Well the Trinity of Sin proceeds to break free.  Oh silly Constantine.  Swamp Thing tries to calm everybody down, but the Question invades his mind with questions of his own humanity, and that's all we get out of the big shrub.  Luckily Phantom Stranger decides to take control of the situation, and becomes all huge and scary yelling "That's enough!"  

Now that everybody is calmed down a bit, Constantine tries to tell them what's been going on.  But Phantom Stranger just enters his mind, because like everybody else knows you should never trust anything that comes out of Constantine's mouth.  So the Stranger finds out about the Crime Syndicate, and all the trouble they've caused, and about Constantine, Nightmare Nurse, and Swamp Thing's adventure into the mass consciousness to fight the evil of Blight.  Well once this is none The Question just evaporates out of there.  When are we going to get some bad ass Question action?  Damn I want to see whats going on with this character, and whenever it seems we're going to, he just poofs into question mark shaped smoke.  BAH!  Even though The Question high tailed it, it seems that Pandora, and the Phantom Stranger are down with the mission.  Yeah, kill evil! Woo!  

During all the drama with the DC Dark characters, the Rock of Eternity backdrop fades away revealing that they were really at the House of Mystery all along, and this was another con put on by John Constantine.  Elsewhere, Black Lightning, and Blue Devil are trying to clean up the streets of Los Angeles, but come upon monsters that take down Black Lightning, and take Blue Devil off to the unknown, and by unknown I mean I have no idea where they took him.  Moving on from that DC Presents intermission. 

In New York Dr. Thirteen, and Chris Esperanza look out onto the streets, and see the craziness that has become since the Crime Syndicate came, and blocked out the sun.  But Chris's (remember Chris?  He's that kid that the Phantom Stranger brought back to life, and now seems to have strange powers that no one understands.) mind is also troubled by the power that he has now, and questions what he's supposed to do now.  Later as he lays in his bed, a dark entity surrounds him, and we see that Blight has exited the collective unconscious and plans on using Chris as a host for his evil on the physical plane.  Chris is uniquely suited for Blight since he has come back from the other side.  Somehow this matters to evil, I don't think that Reagan from The Exorcist died, and came back to life in order for Pazuzu to possess her.  So now Chris is a physical Blight, and what he wants most is revenge on Constantine for coming to hurt him.  The issue ends with a dark energy attacking the House of Mystery, and our heroes being torn from it, and being thrown around like Dorthy's house in the Wizard of Oz.  Alright that is the end for now, but come back here next week where the story continues in Constantine.

Bits and Pieces:

The strong point of this issue is the use of Phantom Stranger side characters that will play a major role in the Forever Evil: Blight story arc.  Also it seems we will be getting other characters that haven't been seen in a long time.  While it might not be the best tie-in to Forever Evil it keeps you entertained, and holds your attention.  But with so much going on, it seems less to do with the Stranger, and more in creating a new JLD.  Which isn't a bad thing, but when you have a itch for the Stranger, you want a Stranger full issue to scratch it.


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