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Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #1

Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger, Vol. 1: A Stranger Among Us

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Who has been sacrificed? Who is guilty? Who can save us? And who...is The Phantom Stranger? Cursed for a betrayal that affected the very course of history, the Stranger walks the Earth attempting to atone for his sins. His actions have consequences, and as he fulfils his duty, the people he encounters will never be the same. This series re-introduces a number of DC Comics characters into the New 52, including the Spectre, Raven, and Dr. 13.

144 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2013

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Dan DiDio

216 books17 followers

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5 stars
56 (15%)
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85 (22%)
3 stars
158 (42%)
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58 (15%)
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16 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 51 reviews
Profile Image for Jeff .
912 reviews710 followers
November 19, 2014
When DC rebooted their line of comics for the New 52, they gave some peripheral characters their own books. This one was introduced at the end of Justice League, Volume One and it’s a gateway to a variety of DC’s supernatural characters.

The main focus of the story is the Phantom Stranger, loosely based (they don’t spell it out for you) on Judas from the Bible. Because of the “ultimate” betrayal, he’s forced to betray others throughout eternity when he intervenes in their lives. Every time he betrays someone one of his silver coins disappears, his ultimate goal – get rid of all the coins. He is guided throughout by the Voice of Mystery. How mysterious and all powerful is this voice? It’s so powerful it can’t be contained in a simple dialogue box. And it’s lettered in red. Wow! Now stop shouting!

Phantom Stranger has been married for fourteen years and has a family. This raises a ton of questions. He’s been around since biblical times and he doesn’t age. How do you explain that away? Also: He’ll be watching a soccer game, eating dinner, in bed with the wife and his astral form will be called away to do battle with demons or chat with other asshat DC supernatural heroes. “Gee, honey you seem distracted and a tad bit creepy. Maybe I can help with that tonight.” Hah. As if.

This volume introduces a bunch of new characters into the New 52 universe. You have the origins of both Raven and the Spectre, both of whom get betrayed by Mr. Phantom Stranger. Mr. Stranger also gets an invitation to the Justice League Dark by a PG 13 version of Constantine. Their hangout: the House of Mystery. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a group that includes Deadman, Frankenstein and a couple of cleavage-baring, scantily clad occultish wierdos? Mr. Phantom Stranger doesn’t want to join, but no one bothered to ask me.

The title is “Trinity of Sin” so it’s hello to Pandora (and her, um, box) and The Question, but not the cool, crazy one from the DC Animated Universe.

This isn’t a bad title and the battle between a pissed-off Spectre (remember: betrayal) and the Phantom Stranger is well rendered; however, reading this is like being in a crammed elevator (We haven’t introduced another character in four panels. Here you go). You feel uncomfortable (and nauseous) and just want to get off.

Profile Image for Cale.
3,665 reviews24 followers
March 26, 2014
Firstly, I have to congratulate the authors for managing to write a six-issue series about a character that is pretty clearly supposed to be an immortal Judas Iscariot without using Jesus' name once (and Judas only shows up once, in reference to a Judas Goat). That takes some skill.
That being said, the story is only middling. The Phantom Stranger gets tied into several other characters' origins (The Spectre, Raven), and spends an issue arguing with Justice League Dark. There's also an attempt to set him up with a human family, which is important to the plot but seems out of character for the character. There's a lot of disparate pieces here (including a crossover with Jonah Hex, oddly enough), and while most are interesting on their own, the central story suffers from the scatteredness. And what the Stranger can actually do doesn't really show up, and several characters are apparently important, but it doesn't show why (Pandora, specifically). It's a piece of a large patchwork, but doesn't hold much up on its own.
Profile Image for Timothy Boyd.
6,657 reviews35 followers
March 28, 2019
I have always enjoyed the character of the Phantom Stranger. I was worried the relaunch would change up the character to something without the mystery and unknown of the original comic. I was impressed with the way the new origin handled the character. i look forward to seeing how DC goes forward from here. Recommended
Profile Image for Lost Planet Airman.
1,250 reviews73 followers
December 6, 2018
Tough one. This is getting 2.5 stars, rounded down, based on premise -- the Phantom Stranger updated for a New 52-era comic world. Strictly speaking, I can't claim a truthful 3 "really liked it" stars; I just "liked" it. However, the art is good, the dialog is witty and smooth and the plot makes sense. It just didn't catch my interest.

Three sinners of myth and legend are sentenced by a council of wizards to walk the earth to pay for their respective sins -- a man of defiance who becomes The Question, a man of betrayal who becomes The Phantom Stranger, and Pandora, who opened the world to evil. These are stories of The Phantom Stranger and his interactions with the DC Universe.

The stories are pretty heavy, as TPS carries a tremendous burden. There are "hints" (very obvious hints) that TPS was Judas Iscariot, who is continuously forced to betray the innocent "for the greater good" until his 30 pieces of silver are repaid. Since Pandora is pretty obvious, who does this make The Question? Cain, perhaps, for his defiance of God? I assume we shall see!

This collection contains minor appearances of The Question, Pandora, Raven (of past Teen Titans membership), Trigon and his children, and Doctor Thirteen, AND a major appearance of The Spectre (Jim Corrigan incarnation).
Profile Image for Tim.
670 reviews16 followers
July 3, 2013
I've always enjoyed how the DC Universe is filled with near immortal alien beings, magical beings, power rings, physical manifestations of pure emotion, New Gods, old gods, a multiverse, and many, many other fantastic things, yet it has always been home to God with a capital G as well. I've long been a fan of characters like the Spectre (God's wrath) and the Phantom Stranger. I was a bit apprehensive when they they not only gave the Stranger an origin but made him Judas Iscariot of Biblical fame, but as I've read the series it has grown on me and it works quite well. The Stranger doing God's work to pay off his debt of 30 silver coins is a nice twist, especially since on the surface it seems he is continually betraying those he thinks he is helping. And really, who can't appreciate the visual of God speaking through a Scottish Terrier? Gotta figure the big guy would have/has a great sense of humor.
Profile Image for Shannon Appelcline.
Author 22 books141 followers
July 29, 2016
The #0 issue that leads off this book is shockingly bad. It sucks all of the mystery out of the character of the Phantom Stranger, offers up a horribly contrived and stunted origin for the Spectre, and makes God into a real jerk. Besides that, the writing is very stilted. And, things only get a little better from there. The scripting is awful until issue #3, when DeMattheis takes over, and the plotting never develops into anything coherent. Instead Didio continually throws as much as he can into the pot, as if he were making stew out of leftovers.

However, it's the reinvention of DC's mystical heroes that's the most painful: Didio decides to recreate these heroes in ways that directly contradict what makes them interesting. So we have a Phantom Stranger who's no longer mysterious and a Terrance Thirteen who embraces ghosts. I really think you couldn't do worse if you tried.

Overall, a painful read that's the New 52 at its worst.
Profile Image for Francisco Becerra.
670 reviews6 followers
April 13, 2019
Umberto Eco said that every character is defined by some precise traits; and even when you deconstruct its story or itself, there must be kept a minimum of those traits to make that character recognizable by what it is. Didio did not deconstructed the Stranger, he flipped and mirror-imaged it, so EVERY SINGLE of the traits was turned down. Wheter the Stranger was nearly omniscient, this version is absolutely clueless. Wherer the original was impossible to find and it manifestered whenever he wanted, every single character was able to pick up where he was. He was not even a Stranger! Every single mystic character knew who he was and its story. And not to talk about him having a family, whereas the original was a true wanderer...

On the positive side the drawings are good, and the reimagining of Dr Thirteen was interesting. The New 52's were a total shame regarding the mystic characters of DC.
Profile Image for Jacinta Carter.
885 reviews23 followers
December 12, 2018
I didn't know anything about The Phantom Stranger before this graphic novel, but now I find him fascinating. While it's only implied, his origin story appears to be that he was Judas and after his suicide was forced to again walk the earth in pursuit of assisting the greater good. Between his backstory and his attempts to right the wrongs of the world, The Phantom Stranger is a great character to follow, especially told through such amazing visuals.
Profile Image for John Yelverton.
4,262 reviews37 followers
May 1, 2013
I have absolutely no respect for books that try to get a cheap thrill by being sacrilegious.
Profile Image for Will Robinson Jr..
851 reviews16 followers
August 8, 2013
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I am not familiar with the Phanthom Stranger, but this was a great introduction to this character. The artwork was pretty good as well.
Profile Image for Krzysztof Grabowski.
1,354 reviews2 followers
December 10, 2020
Miałem niesamowity zgryz z dwiema ostatnimi pozycjami od Dana DiDio. OMAC to dla mnie koszmar, a Infinity man and the Forever People jest tytułem niewiele lepszym. Wieje od nich nudą i prawie płakałem jak zabierałem się za Phantom Strangera, ale z każdą następną stroną rosło moje zdziwienie. To jest naprawdę niezła lektura. Jasne, zdarzają się małe przestoje, jak akcja wokół meczu piłkarskiego czy początkowa wizyta w sklepie z ubraniami, ale jest to spowodowane dziwnym, wypranym z emocji charakterem postaci.

I powinienem brać na poprawkę to, iż tak jest skonstruowana ta postać, ale nie mogłem nie ulec wrażeniu, iż troszkę nie do końca autor potrafił wykreować ten aspekt. Niemniej większość ukazanych nam wydarzeń ma zaskakujące, dynamiczne tempo. Całe spotkanie z Constantine'm i Justice League Dark. Sprawa z młodą Raven, która jeszcze nie dołączyła do Teen Titans i ucieka przed sługami ojca. Wreszcie wizyta pomiotu Trigona w domu Strangera. To jest co najmniej dobre. A to nie koniec.

Początek to ustanowienie Trójcy Grzechu: mamy Question, któremu odebrano wizerunek i imię. Bardzo zagadkowa postać, o niejasnym motywie i tożsamości (obstawiam albo Kaina albo osobę, która wbiła włócznię w bok Jezusa). Jest Pandora, której chyba tłumaczyć nie muszę, a która przewija się w ukryciu przez większość tytułów New 52. Ma ona jasny cel, aczkolwiek jej obecność tutaj to taka zapchaj dziura. Gdybym nie miał informacji z innych tytułów, to by nie wiedział o co chodzi. Samodzielnie ten motyw się tutaj nie broni, pozostawiając masę znaków zapytania.

Ostatnim, ukaranym za zdradę jest nasz tytułowy heros. W historii nie pada bezpośrednio za zdradę kogo jest tak karany, ale w samym kontekście jest to wyłożone bardzo dosadnie i sądzę, że czytając między wierszami każdy dojdzie do jednego wniosku, zwłaszcza jeżeli jest chrześcijaninem. Świetnym motywem jest jak działa Stranger. Jest on zmuszony do zdradzania postaci, którym pomaga, więc niejako skazany jest na powtarzania tego, za co został potępiony. Jest to tak kreatywne w swojej prostocie. Za każdą robotę odpada mu jedna moneta z łańcuszka, który nosi, co daje mu mały promyczek nadziei, iż po ostatnim pieniążku uzyska wolność.

A to nie koniec ciekawych akcji, bo mamy starcie ze Spectre. Widzimy wersję Boga, który przybiera zaskakującą formę (bo tak. To Bóg. Może być każdym) czy upiorniejszą wersją Jeźdzca, przy której poznajemy niejakiego Dr. 13. Wizualnie niektóre rzeczy były tutaj palce lizać.

Miałem problem z wątkiem rodzinnym. Stranger ma założoną rodzinę, dwójkę dzieci i momentami wątek wydawał mi się tak głupi. Zachowanie żony jest dla mnie niewytłumaczalne. Zwiechy męża kwituje zachęceniem do poprawki na pięterku... Na meczu, gdyby moja żona siedziała bez zdania jak kołek na fotelu przez 10 minut to co najmniej bym się zaniepokoił i zaczął dopytywać czy wszystko okay. Tu nic takiego nie ma. Chyba, że już przywykła do takich sytuacji. I jestem ciekaw skąd Stranger ma kasę, bo rodzinie i sąsiadom wciska bajeczkę o własnym interesie... Chyba, że te monety co upadają na ziemię gdy jest mu "wybaczane" są warte majątek... No i ta jego troska o rodzinę i wątpliwości czy dobrze robi. Pyk. Były przez chwilę, ale się zmyły.

A Stranger Among Us to historia sprawnie napisana, ciekawa, choć nie pozbawiona pewnych głupotek, aczkolwiek takich które zmuszają uważnego czytelnika do myślenia. Wiele rzeczy nie jest nam wrzucone wprost, ale tak zaintonowane, iż nie będzie problemu z odczytaniem tego co się mieści między wierszami. Uważam to za sukces i zawyżam nieco ocenę, bo w skali do dziesięciu dałbym siedem, ale jako że jest to pozytywne zaskoczenie...
1,607 reviews10 followers
November 19, 2017
Reprints The Phantom Stranger (3) #0-5 (November 2012-April 2013). The Phantom Stranger is cursed to walk the Earth after committing the unimaginable sin of turning on betraying the Savior for twenty-pieces of silver. Despite working off his sin, the Phantom Stranger has decided to try to balance life among the living with his actions…but doing so isn’t as easy as it seems. As his past connections to the “Trinity of Sin”, the Spectre, and demands from John Constantine and Justice League Dark continue to bubble up in the Phantom Stranger’s life, the Phantom Stranger discovers he might have made a mistake by trying to believe he could live a normal life.

Written by Dan Didio (with some scripting from J.M. DeMatteis, Trinity of Sin—The Phantom Stranger 1: A Stranger Among Us is part of DC Comic’s second wave of New 52 titles. The series was originally released as The Phantom Stranger, but was retitled to Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger later in its run. It features art by Brent Anderson.

The Phantom Stranger has long history, but as his name implies, it has never really been fleshed out much over the decades he’s been around. This series does more to streamline the Phantom Stranger and attempts to tie him more into the DC Universe through the Trinity of Sin (aka Pandora and the Question).

The Phantom Stranger has had a few different origins, but the most common origin is the origin put in place in this collection. The Phantom Stranger is Judas. This is never stated outright, but it is danced around so close in this version (including God talking to the character and the Spectre) that it seems kind of pointless not to just say he’s Judas instead of just implying it…I guess having a superhero that is the world’s greatest betrayer might not fly with some, but it does make the character more interesting.

The core of this story appears to be the Phantom Stranger’s family, but it keeps getting interrupted by other aspects of the comic. It doesn’t feel like much of a breather in the first six issues of the series with the Phantom Stranger being contacted by characters like Trigon, Dr. Thirteen, the Spectre, Pandora, and the Question…with all this turmoil, it doesn’t seem possible that the Phantom Stranger would have ever had time to start a family, much less be married for a number of years as the story sets up.

The art for the series varies. Sometimes I think Brent Anderson’s art is very strong and spot on…other times, it looks underdone and/or over-inked. Fortunately for Anderson, a lot of the comic is just mystic and an artist’s dream with surreal otherworldly visions.

The Phantom Stranger feels like general comic book material. It doesn’t feel that Didio does anything really new with the character other than present him in the New 52 DC Universe. It isn’t a bad comic nor is it a great comic…but I do give them props from having God be a Scottish Terrier (dog of choice). Trinity of Sin—The Phantom Stranger 1: A Stranger Among Us is followed by Trinity of Sin—The Phantom Stranger 2: Breach of Faith.
Profile Image for Ian.
57 reviews2 followers
May 9, 2020
To begin, the book is not terrible. Had it been about some new magical character it might be more or less enjoyable. I liked the artwork.

The problem here is that this book is fundamentally wrong about its title character. It’s the New 52 reimagining of The Phantom Stranger, and the approach seems to be to define him so specifically that he no longer resembles the ultimate magical man of mystery he used to be. Now, his backstory and identity are explicitly established. He is Judas, as in the biblical Judas, and his mission is to wander the earth, serving god by betraying people (in this case DC superheroes) for the greater cosmic good in order to redeem his sins. Not only is this made clear to the reader, but every other person he meets seems to know who he is and what he’s about, too. Not much of a stranger, is he?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Devero.
3,935 reviews
November 29, 2019
Lo Straniero Fantasma è uno di quei personaggi DC che hanno sempre intrigato, per via proprio del suo essere "alieno" ed "indefinibile", privo di una origine chiara, e con poteri mai volutamente chiariti.

DiDio quindi, nel rilancio del New 52 del personaggio, sbaglia tutto.
Definisce esattamente chi e cos'è Lo Straniero Fantasma: è Giuda Iscariota, traditore dell'Agnello di Dio (cane, perché come tale appare nelle storie).
A parte l'errore di base, un errore enorme e madornale, la parte dei personaggi di contorno funziona abbastanza bene in queste prime storie.
Buoni i disegni, ma non posso dare più di 2 stelle viste le erronee premesse.
Profile Image for Mike Jorgensen.
782 reviews20 followers
January 18, 2023
Long story... I started reading this because I met Gene Ha and Andrew Pepoy at the Cincinnati Comic Expo. I bought a cool piece of original art that is from this run of the comic so I felt the need to read this eventually.

I knew NOTHING about this character or the run but started from zero (literally) with volume 1. I enjoyed it, the backstory still isn't super clear despite being explained. The powerset is slowly being revealed. Some of the dialogue is a little tropey, but all in all it's not a bad start.
Profile Image for Sean.
3,193 reviews26 followers
August 11, 2017
So, the introduction of the Phantom Stranger to The New 52 is a bit of a miss. While the art was very good, as expected from Brent Anderson, the story is a random hodgepodge of DC mystical characters yelling at one another. There is obvious tension between characters but we, the readers, rarely know why. The back story of Phantom Stranger is a handful of pages that teaches us almost nothing. Overall, not a good way to hook new readers.
Profile Image for Sarah.
749 reviews11 followers
March 29, 2021
Not strong but ok 2-3 stars. Cross over with justice league dark annoying JLD sucks. Loved old hellblazer but this Constantine is the most un-Constantine thing ever. This DC cross over nightmare has to end
Profile Image for Shane.
1,264 reviews16 followers
October 11, 2022
I don't know a lot about the Phantom Stranger, but I guess that's the whole idea. Basically super powerful entities with undefined powers running around talking about mysterious stuff. Not sure where it's all going, but not bad.
Profile Image for Brad Williamson.
2 reviews58 followers
September 5, 2020
He's an INFJ superhero...

And, if you are an infj like I am, I know that's all you need to know to be persuaded to begin reading this comicbook this instant.
Profile Image for Alan D.D..
Author 36 books75 followers
September 30, 2016
FINALLY! This book seemed to take forever to be read! Issue #0 was cool, but #1-3 were boring and I couldn't move along. Now the last two issues were a marvel, and sure I'll be reading the rest of the series.
¡FINALMENTE! ¡Este libro parecía necesitar una vida para ser leído! El número #0 era fresco, pero #1-3 eran aburridos y no podía avanzar. Ahora, los dos últimos números eran una maravilla, y seguro que voy a estar leyendo el resto de la serie.
Profile Image for Todd.
984 reviews12 followers
November 12, 2013
So I figured I'd pick this up because I've been a little interested in reading some of the new 52 since it was a good starting point for new readers of DC and I don't read much DC. That is to say I don't know much but I do have some background.

My question after reading this is: Who the hell is this meant for? I have enough working knowledge of DC characters that I wasn't completely lost but I was still a little confused by this book. I imagine that people that have been fans of the Phantom Stranger for a long time are angry with this. I bet the people that had never heard of the Phantom Stranger, or the Spectre were pretty confused. It probably helped that I had the issue zero which wasn't published until after the first five volumes to help start the story because otherwise I would've been really confused.

What DC needs is to make sure that I know that if they are referring to something that is happening in one of their 51 other titles, which other title might enlighten me. I bet that if I read JL Dark or some of the other titles maybe some of the shit they were referencing would have made sense. but I'm not, so it didn't. Way to immediately alienate new readers DC. Way to go!

So Phantom Stranger is Judas. This is worse than revealing Wolverine's backstory. Phantom Stranger's identity was never clear for decades. Let's relaunch him and give him a clear origin! Origin stories are great! No. This character relies on mystery and you shot it in the foot.

The thing that pissed me off the most? The introduction of The Question. What? He's some mystical creature now? Why? The Question was awesome in the 80's series. He's a street level guy who fights corruption in his super corrupt city. Now, he's somehow involved in a mystical huge war. That's just fucking gross. It's a disservice to his fans.

The thing that pissed me off second. This isn't a full arc. If I buy a trade in this day and age, I kind of expect a story that starts and ends with a hint at what's to come. I didn't. I got all the build for the next volume. Which is apparently written by a new writer. Yay!
Profile Image for Unai.
849 reviews54 followers
January 7, 2014
Para ir abriendo boca de cara a "La Guerra de la Trinidad", nada mejor que ir echando un ojo a la colección de uno de los integrantes de "La Trinidad del Pecado". Phantom Stranger (lo de Fantasma Errante se me hace muy raruno), uno de los pesos pesados de la galería mágica de DC, al menos en cuanto a escala, pero un poco desconocido.

Sin tampoco una idea clara empezamos a leer el tomo, pero enseguida nos ponen las cartas sobre la mesa revelando que este siniestro personaje es el realidad el propio Judas y que el collar que lleva al cuello esta compuesto por las 30 monedas de plata con las que su avaricia fue recompensada.... si esto se sabía de antes, yo desde luego no tenia idea.

Ahora vaga por los mundos y las dimensiones sirviendo directamente a Dios y cumpliendo sus ordenes para ir librándose una a una de esas monedas y así quedar libre del castigo impuesto cuando la Trinidad del Pecado fue juzgada.

Todo esto está muy bien, pero la idea a lo largo del tomo queda un poco difusa y un poco de ir de aquí para allá, humanizado a la fachada humana, nunca mejor de dicho de Phantom Stranger con su familia y sus hijos. Mas que nada sirve para ir presentado a los actores mágicos dentro de nuevo universo DC, desde la Justice League Dark, al propio Dios (suponiendo que él sea "la voz"), pasando por los demonios y sus líos familiares o la creación de un nuevo Spectre, sin olvidar a los otros dos de la trinidad, que son The Question y Pandora con su dichosa caja.

No está mal, pero en conjunto queda un poco pobre y extenso como presentación. Por otra parte, es casi necesario ir haciéndose con las bases del batiburrillo mágico de DC, asi que tampoco sobra a nada que a uno le vayan estos líos, y hoy en día yo lo único de DC que compro tiene relación con estas vertientes mágicas.
Profile Image for Alex Sarll.
5,957 reviews245 followers
September 2, 2013
I knew this would be terrible before I even picked it up. It's part of the third wave of New 52 titles, so not even covered by my original foolhardy pledge to read all the Volume 1s I found in libraries. Worst of all, it lacks even the car-crash fascination which I have to assume was what compelled me to take it out. So much here should make for an entertaining clusterfuck, yet in practice, it's just poor, depressing in the same unexciting way as a wet Tuesday in November. The Stranger is a character who's always worked best as a source of exposition or a temporary guide, rather than a main character. It's crucial that we not know too much about him - when his origin was laid down before, we were deliberately given multiple conflicting accounts. And as to where he goes between cameos, that has always remained a mystery. Now, all that has changed. He's Judas (though the name is never used), he has a very defined mission from Jehovah (again never named, but depicted several times - as a Scottish terrier, obviously), and he has a secret identity in which he poses as a suburban family man so that he can emote about how alone he really is. And all of this is executed by Dan Didio, generally considered the tit responsible for the whole DC reboot farrago. How can it only be mediocre, rather than Arsenal-rescuing-a-dead-cat hilarious?
Profile Image for David.
2,559 reviews81 followers
June 6, 2013
I'm a huge Phantom Stranger fan. I first came to know him in the 70s when he had a regular monthly title. This collection is part of DC's New 52, which has had it's hits and misses. Phantom Stranger #0 was collected in another book I'd read and I didn't care for it all all. In keeping with the decades long trend, we get yet another darker-and-grittier take.

DiDio has given him an origin story. That in itself is a surprise. He's supposed to be mysterious, unknowable. Having an origin story kills the mystique that made the Stranger special. Also, here we find a new origin story for the Spectre, another favorite of mine. I really didn't like the new direction on the Spectre. Much of these stories I didn't care for but on the whole, I did weirdl, really enjoy reading it.

The artwork is just the worst. Way too many dark cloudy blotches all over every page, as if the artist couldn't be bothered actually render backgrounds, etc. It's like the FF movie version of Galactus or Parallax from the Green Lantern movie has invaded this collection smearing the artwork with ugliness.
Profile Image for Daryl.
649 reviews16 followers
December 13, 2013
I've always been intrigued by the Phantom Stranger, though I've mostly only read about him in his appearances in other books, like the old JL of A. This revamp for DC's New 52 is blah, at best. Giving the Stranger a "true" origin story is probably a mistake (I remember an old issue of Secret Origins that presented four possible origins, a much better approach). Making him Judas Iscariot is definitely a mistake. Giving him a secret identity and a family is another bad choice. None of this intrigued me and made me want to read on. Guest appearance by Constantine and the rest of the JL Dark, Spectre, Pandora, and other DC mystical characters don't help or really seem to go anywhere. Even the art by the usually reliable Brent Anderson looks sketchy (maybe it's the inkers). None of this made me want to read any further in this series. Think I'll go back to the Showcase Presents reprints.
Profile Image for Kyle.
751 reviews22 followers
March 26, 2015
I didn't know too much about Phantom Stranger going into this. He's always been a supporting background player in the DCU for me. I picked up this TPB thinking that the New52 might be a good jumping-on point for this character, plus I had heard that he factors pretty heavily into future storylines.

I was not very impressed. I didn't find much to interest me in his character; his backstory, his present day story, his connections to religion... It just didn't resonate with me. Plus the artwork seems like it is straight out of a sketchbook, so sloppy, and etchy, and it doesn't illustrate the action very well at all.

I did enjoy seeing some more familiar faces make an appearance, like The Question and The Spectre. I hope to see much more of them. I have lots of interest in seeing how they factor into this downward spiral of a comic book universe.

Profile Image for sixthreezy.
920 reviews21 followers
February 13, 2014
The Stranger could certainly have a much better name, but it fits with his personality because he's a stranger to all, even himself. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would, and he kind of reminds me of The Green Hornet, which just may be the costume. Also enjoyed his brief conversation with John Constantine and the JL Dark. Would definitely like to see him pop up some more in those volumes, as well as his own here. A readable, darker comic in the New 52 but it certainly doesn't do anything others haven't.
Profile Image for Amy.
748 reviews33 followers
December 1, 2013
I really enjoyed this. I first encountered the Phantom Stranger when I read Neil Gaiman's quartet of The Books of Magic (before Peter Gross started the series proper). So it was intriguing to see this origin story and also watch the Stranger interact with folks I know like John Constantine, as well as others like Pandora and the Specter. I also enjoyed meeting the Justice League Dark and now want to read more on them as well. Right up my alley...
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