Monday, August 12, 2013

Spectre vs. Phantom Stranger

"Spectre vs. Phantom Stranger" from The Phantom Stranger vol.4 #5 (DC, 2013) by Dan DiDio, J.M. DeMatteis, Brent Anderson, Phillip Tan and Rob Hunter
So after 1976, the Stranger had a Mike Mignola-drawn mini-series in '86, and a Vertigo one-shot in '93, but it's this year that he came back to the monthly grind in the New52. I hear good things, mostly about DeMatteis' contribution, but it's hard to get over the Phantom Stranger's new origin, or the fact that he even HAS one. One of my favorite issues of Secret Origins was the Stranger's, because it gave four possibilities and refused to give a definitive answer. In the New52, not only is there a definitive origin, un-Strangerizing the Stranger (we KNOW who he is/was), but they've made him into the historical/biblical Judas Iscariot! Which to me, borders on the offensive. I mean, Christ's traitor as a supernatural superhero? As a lapsed Catholic, I'm no religious prude, and in fact subscribe to Borges' opinion that Judas is a hero in the New Testament, the guy chosen by Jesus to do the deed that had to be done so he could die on the cross, who didn't want to do it, and committed suicide rather than spend those pieces of silver, ironically dying before humanity (and his own soul) was saved by Christ. But I don't think a New52 comic is the platform to explore any of that. It just seems completely off. Now that the book is part of this Trinity business, I don't even care to find out if I'm right.


  1. I used to really like the Phantom Stranger. He had that cool medallion and he really knew how to rock a turtleneck.

    Now...he just seems so...mundane.

  2. He was disco before there was disco.