As The Phantom Stranger sits before the man he betrayed in a church, a priest approaches him. The priest knows when something is troubling someone. The problem for the Stranger is he cannot reveal about his problem truly to the priest as much as he may want to, and he promptly exits.
As the story’s prologue closes, the Stranger and his dog friend discuss mysticism and how it could possibly be the solution to the Strangers’ problems. Unfortunately, he says he does not want to hear of it but just wants to find his family. The Stranger is taken off course to meet reporter Jack Ryder, and see him die amidst a catastrophe involving the Challengers of the Unknown. However, Jack being the brave reporter he is goes out there to do what he does best. As the Stranger sees what happens to yet another person who crosses paths with him, he decides to ignore his dog friend, and go back to the heart of the matter: what happened to his family. As he arrives back at Mister Thirteen’s house, a question and a death await him…
Dan DiDio and JM DeMatteis continue to score in this series. The Stranger is not only an interesting character but becomes more interesting and deeper with each issue. The struggles are apparent within the crux of the character, and his story continues to make more and more left turns keeping things fresh.
Gene Ha seems to be the new series artist for now, and it’s a welcome stay. He gives the series a fresh new style that really works for it. He nails the supernatural aspects but also the real and larger than life events as well. I also like the little things he does with the Stanger’s eyes and reactions.
Hopefully, Ha stays on for a little, and I know unfortunately DiDio will leave soon but we will have DeMatteis which guarantees a good story. All in all, one of the better reads each first week of the month.
Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!