Comic Vine Review

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The Phantom Stranger #11 - A Foolish Man Review

5

The Phantom Stranger takes a group of heroes into the afterlife.

The Good

Batman wants answers to who made Superman kill Dr Light. He goes to Phantom Stranger who takes Batman, Katana, and Deadman into the afterlife to ask Dr Light some questions, but the Stranger was warned before. If he ever comes back to the afterlife, he'll be erased from existence.

This is my favorite of all the Trinity War tie-ins, so far. The CONSTANTINE tie in was good, but this issue of PHANTOM STRANGER really follows up on what's going on in Trinity War as well as including other characters from the other books and pushing the overall Trinity War story forward. Also, it really ties in heavily to previous issues of PHANTOM STRANGER. So fans of this series will really love the melding between this book and the event.

While Katana, Batman, Deadman, and Phantom Stranger are in Heaven, we get to see Katana's version of Heaven, followed by Batman's. I really liked Batman's version of Heaven. It was cleverly done. Without spoiling anything, we get two sides to this character, and it's pretty obvious which sides, when you start to understand how Heaven works in this world. It's a very satisfying scene as well.

Could Dr Light's legacy carry on? He gives something to Phantom Stranger to take back to his family. If Phantom Stranger gets it back to Earth, does that mean his wife or daughter could receive the gift? Will they become the new Dr Light? This is a pretty cool way to possibly carry on a legacy, if it happens. Maybe I'm just over-speculating. I've really been enjoying J.M. Dematteis' writing on this series. He's always pushing the series farther. He's great with set-up and planting seeds for future stories.

Pretty bummer ending. If you've been reading the series, then you know about Phantom Stranger's dealings with the angel Zauriel. Readers of the book are going to have a lot questions on their mind until the next issue of this book comes out. It wasn't the ending I was expecting, but it was the ending that really made this issue fantastic.

The Bad

If you're buying all the Trinity War tie ins, some parts of this book may either not make too much sense, or the impact of the issue won't be as great because it heavily ties into the last story line within this book. However, you really should be reading this book, month-to-month. It's a really great series.

The Verdict

PHANTOM STRANGER #11 is a fantastic tie-in to the Trinity War as well as a great issue on its own. This isn't a must read for Trinity War fans, but this is something you should really pick up. Batman, Phantom Stranger, and some others find themselves in the afterlife, which is a big problem for Phantom Stranger (see previous issues). The story is a ton of fun and Dematteis has made this one of my favorite reads. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a large PHANTOM STRANGER #11 covered in hot fudge*.

*Please don't cover your comics in hot fudge.

20 Comments
Posted by TheBlackHood

I am not usually a fan of big events but I have really been enjoying Trinity War. You can tell that there was quite a bit of planning and forethought that went into making this crossover and it makes all the difference. Another company could take a cue from this event and see how build up works instead of simply setting their watches for four months and spewing out another crap-tastic event.

Posted by Evilmime13

It was a good story, but one thing kinda bugged me.

When Batman went to heaven with the other three, why didn't he at least ask about his son? Why wasn't he in his personal heaven? Also, that comment he made, "Bringing a deadman back to life, insanity." Didn't he just try to do the exact same in Batman and Robin #19? I get that they can't focus too much attention on Damian, would confuse readers who don't know much about the current batman, but still. I wish we would have at least gotten a little mention. I kept hoping when they showed Batman having disappeared, that that was where he was going. But nothing.

Posted by TheBlackHood

@evilmime13:

Hopefully they are simply ignoring Morrison like I do. I honestly think he is one of the most overrated writers in comics. I found his run on Justice League to be great because it had some restraint. And then they let him loose on X-men and we got a drug huffing Magneto, it was horrid. His Batman is fun only if you like grabbing stacks of 70's issues and trying to figure out where his callbacks are from. I find Snyder's Batman to be far better. But that's just personal opinion.

Edited by Saren

Batman's "But that moment has passed" line was very evocative of Dicken's Christmas Past and Scrooge's unspoken lamentation for what his life could have been. Just a little touch I enjoyed.

Moderator
Posted by TommytheHitman

@theblackhood: Here Here! Although I personally didn't like his run on JLA.

Edited by Amaryllis

@evilmime13: That was the main reason I picked up this title. I was sure Batman would mention something about Damien or try to see him. Maybe even swinging by for a "My bad, sorry you got killed protecting my identity" to Natalya.

Posted by The Stegman

Don't tell me what to do!!! If I like my comics like I like my ice cream and women (covered in hot fudge) then I shall do just that!

Posted by andrewwann7

What I don't understand is why The Stranger suggested contacting Dr Light from the afterlife in the first place in jlD and then at the beginning of this Batman has to convince him to do it...can someone shed some "light" on this, or was this just a mistake by the writer.

Posted by jacobsben
Edited by jacobsben

I really loved the version of heaven they've presented I'd do anything to go there

Posted by King_Namor

@andrewwann7: Lemire probably wasn't reading phantom stranger and screwed up. I noticed that too and saw the different writer on jld and immediately knew.

Anyway I would love to read the series but the christian references are too much for me. I don't understand why people have to run to religion, to come up with a story.

Posted by longbowhunter

I've been curious about this title for a while. I avoided it at first because of Dan Didio but I know DeMatteis to be a capable writer. Fernando Blanco is a perfect choice for the book. I feel I really ignored his talent when he stepped onto I,Vampire. But his soft, moody art really shines here. Even though I haven't been reading Phantom Stranger until now I felt informed enough to enjoy the issue. I didn't care much for the Contantine tie in, but this was very good. I went out of my way to a shop on the other side of town to get this and it was well worth the time and effort.

Posted by entropy_aegis

@evilmime13:

Hopefully they are simply ignoring Morrison like I do. I honestly think he is one of the most overrated writers in comics. I found his run on Justice League to be great because it had some restraint. And then they let him loose on X-men and we got a drug huffing Magneto, it was horrid. His Batman is fun only if you like grabbing stacks of 70's issues and trying to figure out where his callbacks are from. I find Snyder's Batman to be far better. But that's just personal opinion.

You also got Fantomex,Emma/Scott and Emmas iconic diamond form. I also fail to understand this obsession with trying to paint Magneto as a hero while simultaneously also calling him the greatest villain of all time.Cant have it both ways.

Posted by Ares94

@evilmime13 that is funny, I understood the lines differently. Look at his face when he talks about bringing the dead back to life, it's obvious he is thinking about his son. He is in denial. plus, he does say he likes the insanity of the idea. But it would have distracted the book too much. it's a phantom stranger issue, not Bats. He would have needed an entire issue to himself to explore the subject.

Posted by Evilmime13

@ares94: Maybe, but still I woulda liked if they made it a bit more blunt. Oh and he has 6 issues dedicated on the subject. Batman and Robin 18-23

Posted by MaccyD

@king_namor: Why be inspired by anything to come up with a story?

Posted by MuyJingo

@evilmime13: Agreed....I don't think batman's heaven would be to be young again with his parents....too much has happened since their death that he would want to incorporate...

Posted by herrweis

I have been loving this book .however I was excited to see this was a Trinity war tie in,then I read it and .....I'm not sure what everyone else read,but nothing happened that I saw in this issue that was significant to the Trinity war.or anything else for that matter.wasted issue.

Posted by Jake Fury

This was a great tie in for Trinity War. The parts in Heaven with Batman and Katana were really touching. Overall, just a great issue.

Only bad is having to wait 2 months for the next issue. >__<

Edited by Damian_Arrows

batman's heaven made me a little misty eyed. bring on issue 12!