Well folks, the holiday season has come early!
Sure, it’s time for back to school for all the kids and Costco, Home Depot, Walmart and Canadian Tire (if you’re lucky enough to be north of the Canada-US border) are just beginning to display their Halloween-centric wares. But still, all eyes need to be fixed on the end-of-year gift giving prize!
And early birds get the strange worms.
I’ve had today’s eagerly anticipated release on my own personal shopping list for maybe over a year: the hardcover The Phantom Stanger Omnibus compilation from DC Comics!
I know. Phantom Stranger? Who’s that?
Well, you could be forgiven to ask, although I suspect any reader of DC’s 1980 and Vertigo’s 1990 comic book publications would easily recognize the mysteriously supernatural man with the flowing blue cloak, matching suit and fedora, who was <a-hem> strangely adorned in a gold amulet necklace.
First appearing 71 years ago in the summer of 1952 in a titular six-issue miniseries, the Phantom Stranger was created by comic book luminaries, writer John Broome and illustrator Carmine Infantino. The character than disappeared for over a decade, reemerging in 1969 with an appearance in DC anthology series Showcase, which lead to a near decade long self-titled series. The Phantom Stranger, the protagonist of supernatural adventures from the darker corners of the DC universe, was here to stay! He would go on to have a major influence over other dark, magical and mysterious heroes like Swamp Thing and Timothy Hunter. He’d even take an odd turn as a member of the Justice League!
Still, there are plenty of interpretations over who the Stranger really is, considering his longevity in comic book publications. To this day, he has no affirmed name or origin, really. An agent of the Lords of Order, the Wandering Jew, or a fallen angel, the Phantom Stanger must, as always, remain a stranger. That was his great, if somewhat overused, farewell at the end of scenes and stories, by the way.
The Phantom Stanger Omnibus is a 1,245-page hardcover tome from DC Comics that compiles all of the stories that feature the enigmatic character – from his first six-issue tale to the 41 issues of his 1969-beginning series. The compilation also includes stories from Saga of The Swamp Thing, House of Secrets, Justice League of America, The Brave And The Bold and many other classics by a host of venerable comic book talent including Broome, Infantino, Mike Friedrich, Robert Kanigher, Dan Spiegle and many others.
It’s late August and the holidays have already arrived!
Get to know a stranger this summer. Make the run to your local comic book shop or bookstore and pick up the classic and wholly enthralling The Phantom Stanger Omnibus today!