Thursday, August 7, 2014

Phantom Stranger #22 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Fernando Blanco
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 6, 2014

Facing The Godnado

When we last walked with the cursed Phantom Stranger we were dealing with the possible resurrection of Zauriel.  After finding out that Zauriel was his guardian angel since the time he was born, The Stranger was left with bad taste in his mouth and feeling that something was watching him during his suffering drove him to leave Dr. Thirteen to face the trial (that determines whether our angel is restored or not) alone.  While Doc Thirteen was up to the task, it doesn't seem that his body would of succeeded and our Stranger returns to face the trial himself.  Only problem with that is now that he's the champion, he has to face The Presence himself in the form of a tornado.  It looks like the fight is rigged as we step into the official final issue of Phantom Stranger.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

So with an unbeatable Godnado standing between Phantom Stranger and the resurrection of his friend Zauriel, Stranger accepts his fate and decides to do what he can to make things right.  Gotta admire someone who's willing to walk into a Godnado for you, except Johnathan Kent in Man of Steel, that shit wasn't needed.  This is a really cool looking panel which really gets this book started and hypes the ending of Phantom Stranger up tenfold.


Once inside the Godnado, it seems that The Presence has placed Phantom Stranger into the matrix because our hero awakens in a world where he's actually his alter ego Philip Stark and he and his family have a perfect life together.  Well perfect besides for ghastly visions that Philip has and to which he attests to him working too hard on his horror fiction novels.  This goes on with pieces of his broken existence piercing the veil of this paradise until finally Philip finds himself in a church, demanding help from above, which he finds in his Scottish Terrier which we all know to be The Presence.  At this point the Stranger remembers everything and we find out that this was a battle within The Stranger's soul and the battle was simply observed by The Presence.  Even when given paradise and the chance at a normal life, The Stranger still allowed the darkness of his existence to rip it away.  The Stranger fought himself and he lost.

Even though he lost the battle, The Presence still offers him a way to save Zauriel, but The Stranger will have to remain in this hell he's created for himself.  The Stranger agrees and The Presence being the fun loving entity that he is brings Phantom Stranger back anyway.  The group of fallen angels "The Mercy", Dr. Thirteen and Phantom Stranger make their way back to the fallen angel town and witness a miracle as Zauriel's ashes come back together and our archangel is made whole.


In the end The Presence says goodbye, because The Phantom Stranger has changed since he was first tasked with the means for redemption and The Presence wants to see what path to redemption The Stranger will take on his own.  Now with a new lease on life Phantom Stranger, Zauriel and Dr. Thirteen fly off to meet their destinies.  That's it for this excellent series if you don't count next month's Future's End, which I don't because if that's the actual future then us DC fans arr in trouble.  But what a way to end the series.

Bits and Pieces:

I'm really going to miss Phantom Stranger in his solo title, but what a way to bridge the gap between this and Trinity of Sin coming in October.  For this final issue we take a look at The Stranger's broken psyche and see how he'll have to overcome this in the future as he begins a new path to redemption.  It's really a beautiful issue with striking visuals and allows us to see the inner torment The Stranger endures on the reg.  It's hard to say goodbye, but this issue makes it a little easier and you'll definitely want to check it out.


No comments:

Post a Comment