Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger 17
J. M. DeMatteis, Fernando Blanco, Diego Olmos
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
J. M. DeMatteis and company are screeching to a halt with Forever Evil: Blight and though it’s had more ups than downs, it’s issues like this one that really prove that the magic world of DC Comics is a vastly underrated one. There is a whole lot going on in this issue, and with artwork from Fernando Blanco and Diego Olmos (not to mention a stunning yet unrelated to the interior pages cover by Guillem March), it’s one that is sure to please old time DC fans and anyone who enjoys a little magic in their weekly haul of comics.
The Stranger and the Spectre were about to come to blows last time we saw them (for reasons that are altogether obvious: they hate each other and blame one another for their woes). So after they get their rage out by punching each other, Pandora gets them to stop it and realize they need to work together if they hope to stop Felix Faust and the Crime Syndicate. Much like the rest of this event-within-an-event, it might as well be an issue of Pandora, rather than The Phantom Stranger. I admire the ability of both DeMatteis and Ray Fawkes to slip seamlessly into other characters, even though they may not be their choice or forte. So when Pandora’s light shows everyone a sense of hope (with a neat little scene with Belial thrown in for some action), it’s pretty fun to see that the Stranger and all of these other formerly hopeless characters are starting to come around. Next stop, Nanda Parabat. Time to go save the team. Again. Probably for the last time this time.
Although I am a little confused as to why this story had to take place throughout four titles (and not just one really well-done one), it’s starting to wind down when it should be ramping up. It’s a good read, yes, but I’m going to take a shot and say that it will probably not read as well in a trade paperback collection when the whole story is said and done. It’s had it’s great moments here and there, but between the misleading covers, the poorly-advertised tie-in issues, and the overall lengthening of the whole “Blight” aspect of the story, it really just seems like it’s stretching itself a bit too thin. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a good read. I’m just going to go back to my original theory (or rather, suggestion) that the whole “Dark” portion of the New 52 should probably just be one title. Justice League Dark is really all they need. Especially now that they’ve explored just about every angle of the magical universe in this epic story.
My Rating: 3.5/5