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The Phantom Stranger Omnibus HC
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Written by John Broome, Mike Friedrich, Robert Kanigher and others Art by Carmine Infantino, Bill Draut, Dan Spiegle and others First introduced in 1952, the Phantom Stranger stands as one of DC’s most enigmatic characters, a supernatural hero shrouded in mystery.
This omnibus collects stories from THE PHANTOM STRANGER (1952) #1-6; THE PHANTOM STRANGER (1969) #1-41; BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #8; THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #89, 98, 145; DC COMICS PRESENTS #25, 72; DC SUPER-STARS #18; HOUSE OF SECRETS #150; JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #103; and material form THE SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #1-13; SECRET ORIGINS#10; SHOWCASE #80; and WHO’S WHO: THE DEFINITIVE DIRECTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE #18.
Collects/Reprints 71 Issues
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Spotlight on the Phantom Stranger
The DCEU is trying some new things on screens big and small. On the movie side, the focus is shifting away from the Justice League and toward the Justice Society. Then there’s HBO Max, where the company is moving forward with the mystical side of the DC Universe.
Last year, WB announced a Justice League Dark live-action series was in the works, and there is still talk that Zatanna will star in her own show. In recent weeks, the Madame Xanadu HBO Max show was given the green light. It paves the way for a Golden Age DC hero that mainstream fans hardly know exists: the Phantom Stranger.
For nearly 70 years, the Phantom Stranger has remained a mystery to readers. He does not have a definitive origin story, which makes him all the more fun. Many versions of his past place him originally as a mortal man in Biblical times while other stories describe him as a fallen angel. One backstory attributes his physical form to Darkseid’s Anti-Life as he stopped an avatar of the Anti-Life from using energy from the Big Bang. It resulted in him transferring part of himself to a scientist, who would become the Phantom Stranger.
In a sense, the various origins stories make Phantom Stranger similar to the Joker. No one knows the truth, which leaves it open to interpretation for the writers.
THE PHANTOM STRANGER #1
The Stranger debuted in a self-titled comic back in 1952. This original series lasted just six issues before the character was featured in the Showcase title. Over the years, the character has made many appearances in other series, and he has starred in other volumes of his own comics, though he never caught on as a premier hero.
That is why this issue, despite being a Golden Age first appearance, is relatively affordable as far as key issues from the 1950s go. For less than $2k, you can own a copy of The Phantom Stranger #1 all the way up to a 3.5.
When a publisher is as old as DC Comics, most of its key issues, particularly first appearances, are from the Golden Age, which automatically makes them pricey. That is why most collectors lean toward those Silver Age debuts simply out of necessity. However, that does not necessarily mean the issues are cheap, but they are more affordable than most Golden Age keys.
After nearly two decades on the shelf, the Phantom Stranger made his return in 1969’s Showcase #80 . As you might expect, this issue is much cheaper than Phantom Stranger #1. In fact, a 9.6 sold for $1,860 in June. If that’s too expensive, you can have a 9.4 for under $700.
BLUE DEVIL ANNUAL #1
Again, I implore you to watch those Justice League Dark keys. Previously, I listed this issue with the Madame Xanadu keys. Considering her relationship to the Phantom Stranger, this will be a comic worth having. Along with Xanadu, the Stranger was a founding member of the Justice League Dark, which made their first unofficial team appearance in this issue. Whether or not the Stranger is part of the HBO Max JLD lineup, there is little doubt that he will be included in that series in some capacity.
At the moment, a raw copy of Blue Devil Annual #1 will cost you between $5-$15. That is an absolute steal.
Will you be investing in any Phantom Stranger? Let us know in the comments!
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.
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Picked up a Blue Devil Annual 1 for $7.95 locally yesterday.
Lucky enough to own a copy. DC Comics classic. Don’t sleep on this Character…
I finally bought my Golden Age Phantom Stranger #1 last month (CBCS 7.0), feel free to have this issue in as many articles as you want now. 😉😁
People always say DC is underpriced, but your post rightfully points out that many DC first appearances are simply too high priced or rare for tissues today’s collectors. I would personally love to see a Phantom Stranger TV series. It’s a great blank slate property, with the basic premise being a divinely appointed justice bringer. They wouldn’t have to get too gruesome, but the Stranger could end each episode by banishing the criminal to Hell or something like that.
No. The character cannot effectively be used in an action oriented book or show because of his raw power level and limited interest in getting involved in those sorts of fights. He is capable of going toe-to-toe with the Spectre, which makes typical villains a waste of time. He would require a separate show more geared to his area of interests, which could be great but may not be popular (like The Sandman).
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National per. publ/dc // september 1952 - july 1953 issue count: 6.
6 Issue Anthology of Horror Tales with the debuting Phantom Stranger!
The Phantom Stranger is one of the primary other worldly characters of the DC universe. The charcter debuted in this 6 issue anthology series of horror stories produced by the work of two heavey hitters in DC Comics history, the writing of John Broome and the fantastic art of Carmine Infantino. Each issue has multiple tales of the Stranger doing battle with dark forces of the occult. One thing that separated the character from other heroes of DC was his true name, true nature, and even true origins have never been revealed. The character has appeared in media for decades but no more is known about him personally then appears in these 6 issues that gave birth to hero who walks through the dark side of DC and even its mature reader imprint Vertigo.
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The Phantom Stranger #1
The Phantom Stranger » The Phantom Stranger #1 released by DC Comics on June 1969.
Summary Short summary describing this issue.
last edited by pikahyper on 05/19/20 04:10AM View full history
When three friends die in a plane crash, their spirits seem to be haunting those they left behind, but the Phantom Stranger reveals that the ghostly appearances are really the work of an embezzler attempting to cover his tracks.
When Ghosts Walk!
This story was originally published in Phantom Stranger #1 (August, 1952). A synopsis for this story can be found at the link.
"The Hermit's Ghost Dog!"
This story was originally published in Star Spangled Comics #125 (February, 1952). A synopsis for this story can be found at the link.
Defeat The Dragon Curse... Or Die!
Doctor Terrence Thirteen, and his wife, Marie, call on some friends, Rosemary and Harry, in Chinatown. The shadow of an enormous dragon passes over their building, followed by an explosion. Thirteen's friends are killed, orphaning their infant son, Larry. The Phantom Stranger appears, pointing out the symbol of Ching Hi Fu, the dragon symbol of death, on the floor. Thirteen rails at the Phantom Stranger.
A police photographer enters and takes their picture. Thirteen, momentarily blinded by the flash, finds the Phantom Stranger gone by the time his eyes recover. The photographer is astonished to see no image of the Phantom Stranger in the picture. A Chinese man prays to Ching Hi Fu. The next day, at the celebratory grand opening of a new bank, the shadow of the dragon appears, once more, heralding a fire.
The Phantom Stranger appears. The strength of his calm demeanor prevents a panic. Thirteen confronts the Phantom Stranger. Marie sees the symbol of Ching Hi Fu on the wall. Smoke gets in Thirteen's eyes, concealing the departure of the Phantom Stranger. The Chinese man continues to pray to Ching Hi Fu. Thirteen refuses to believe a curse is responsible for the destruction of the two buildings.
Thirteen uses his connections to announce the grand opening of a new restaurant in Chinatown. Thirteen waits at the restaurant. The Chinese man enters the alley behind the restaurant. The Phantom Stranger tackles, then physically restrains him. The Chinese Man confesses to destroying the buildings, motivated by his disdain of modern structures being introduced into Chinatown. The Phantom Stranger disappears into the fog. Thirteen vows to expose the Phantom Stranger as a fraud.
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Phantom Stranger (disambiguation)
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The Phantom Stranger is a mysterious supernatural guide and specialist in the occult. His paranormal origins and even his true nature are largely unknown, although he has acted as an agent of the Lords of Order . He has been a member of the Justice League , Quintessence , Trenchcoat Brigade and the Sentinels of Magic . In the The New 52 reboot, the Stranger is shown to be Judas Iscariot from the Bible roaming around the universe in guilt over causing the death Jesus Christ . He has the 30 silver coins that were given to him for betraying Jesus tied around his chest.
Phantom Stranger was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino , first appearing in The Phantom Stranger #1 ( 1952 ).
- 1.1 Elseworlds
- 1.2 Possible Futures
- 2 Other Media
See Also: Phantom Stranger Titles
- 1 Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- 2 Batman Villains
- 3 Superman (Clark Kent)