Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Phantom Stranger #20 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Fernando Blanco, Norm Breyfogle
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 4, 2014

Let's Get Naked And Wrestle

When we last stepped into the supernatural world of Phantom Stranger we were dealing with cracks in reality that threatened first Superman in Metropolis, and then Cassandra Craft in San Francisco.  You know mostly ghosts and stuff creating terror and havoc.  We find out that the cracks are being pulled open by the Sin Eater and his dog master Non.  The two are gathering an army in the form of all the souls that cling to life and because of their obsession with all the things we do like read comics and such, they are stuck in Heaven's basement.  In the end of last issue we saw Phantom Stranger and Madam Xanadu close the crack in reality over San Francisco, save Cassandra Craft, and we're shown the super powered team up for this issue in the form of Phantom Stranger and The Spectre.  Let's see if these two powerhouses of God can close the rest of the cracks once and for all, and hopefully put a big hurt on Sin Eater.

Explain It!:

Our story begins with The Spectre showing up and actually not wanting to kill Phantom Stranger.  So that's something new right off the bat.  The Spectre tells us that the Phantom Stranger and him have to put their differences aside because if the cracks continue to open it will cause Heaven and Earth to collide and destroy both realms.  So the two decide to kiss and make up for a trial basis and travel to Heaven's Basement where they find the Sin Eater and Non waiting for them.

Now even with all the power these two have it seems that Non is a heavy hitter himself, because he's able to strip all the bravado away from our heroes and leave them just as they were born, naked and afraid.  I'm not just saying that it's Phantom Stranger and Spectre without their cloaks, no what we are presented with are Judas, and Jim Corrigan taken down to their naked human forms.  Now Non claims his victory but offers one of the pair a chance to serve him and stick it to god for all the shit he's put them through.  Only catch is the one who lives has to kill the other.  Non hands Jim Corrigan (The Spectre) a blade that was forged in hell with a divine metal found in heaven.  Now it's time for this to get real awkward as we witness our two heroes wrestle naked.

Spectre is able to jam the knife into Phantom Stranger's chest, but the power of god surges through these two and no mere blade could destroy either.  Instead the two merge together to become a giant Phantom Spectre monster, and together they defeat most of the life clinging souls that Non planned on using for his army.  After the majority of the souls are destroyed the two split apart and Phantom Stranger feeds Sin Eater to the remaining life suckers, leaving Sin Eater to be a husk of what he once was.  Non disappears and now that the two evils are defeated Spectre is able to close all the remaining cracks in reality saving us from Heaven's body slam into our world.

In the end Phantom Stranger carries the body of Sin Eater away hoping that he can still find redemption for his worst enemy, and back on Earth we see that the Archangel Zauriel has finally died from his wounds he suffered while at Project Thaumaton.  But all might not be as it seems as the angel's caretaker Dr. Thirteen witnesses a blinding flash of light.  So who knows maybe somebody rang a bell and this angel will get his wings back, or somebody clapped and believed in fairies and that will be enough to bring Zauriel back to life, or something else will happen and I just don't know what I'm talking about.  Make sure to come back next month as we wind down to the end of Phantom Stranger.

Bits and Pieces:

So who wants to see Spectre and Phantom Stranger get butt naked and wrestle?  Yeah that's right everyone, so don't be surprised when this issue gives you that and more as it begins to tie up all the loose ends to see this series brought to a end.  Something about Phantom Stranger that is great is that is will always keep you guessing about what it's dealing with month to month, and I'm sure going to miss it when it's gone because like the rest of the series, this issue was a real good time.


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