By JM DeMatteis, Fernando Blanco & Gabe Eltaeb
There’s only one more issue of The Phantom Stranger left, (and that’s a Future’s End tie-in) which is a real shame because JM DeMatteis is a brilliant writer and this series has only gone from strength to strength since DiDio left the book.
The book itself is about fleshing out the Stranger as a character. This could fall into the trap of being nothing but boring exposition, and even though there is exposition, DeMatteis manages to make it work despite this, and it won’t really bother you as much as it could have, with an awesome plot being brought to the table as well.
What this reviewer loves about The Phantom Stranger is its originality. Its blend of Angelic and Christian Mythology with the DC Dark Universe and the world of superheroes, you won’t find many books on either Marvel or DC’s shelves quite like it. It’s smart, compelling and very original indeed, with DeMatteis going above and beyond the status quo, putting a strong level of consistency into his title to make it one of DC’s best.
This book is in part, designed to bridge the gap between Phantom Stranger and the upcoming Trinity of Sin solo title launching in October, also written by DeMatteis. Hopefully the writer can blend the use of the Stranger and Pandora to great effect, because these characters have been some fantastic additions to the DC Universe, and it would be a shame to see them go for too long.
Fernando Blanco does his best to make the artwork look good, and it works. The panels are strong and awesomely pencilled, giving a great feeling of the occult and “dark” feeling to this book. Gabe Eltaeb’s colours are also strong as well, and The Phantom Stranger #22 looks visually impressive. It’s a fitting finale to what has been a terrific series, and it’ll be sad to see this book go
Obviously, with this being the finale, it isn’t recommended for newcomers looking for a good jumping on point. Those of us who are reading Phantom Stranger will get a great kick out of this title as DeMatteis delivers a great send off for the character’s solo adventures, and if Trinity of Sin can last even the same amount of issues that this series has then it should be a good thing.