razzatazz's Secret Origins #10 - "Tarry Till I Come Again"; "...and men shall call him Stranger"; "Revelations"; "Footsteps" review

Not as good as I might have hoped for


The second volume of Secret Origins is probably best remembered for two specific issues.  In issue # 32 Black Canary is retconned as an original member of the JLA (a status which she still holds.)  However, it is issue # 10 that is perhaps referenced the most in comic book canon, and that's because it offers the purposefully vague origins of the Phantom Stranger.  Not one but four origins are offered, and the reader is left wondering which one was the most accurate.  Unlike a contemporary reader I went in knowing basically what each story was about, but I was still felt a bit of disappointment.  That three out of four stories tied his origin to some form of Judeo-Christian religion is especially what I didn't like (although the stories thmselves are well written).  I would have liked it better if one of the stories might have incorporated in something from a different set of religious beliefs.  It also doesn't really explain why the Phantom Stranger is regarded as a Caucasian if he came from the ancient Middle East.  With this in mind I had great hopes for the fourth story, in which the Stranger is depicted as some sort of cosmic force which finds a way to replicate itself with the destruction and re-creation of the universe, but this story is the weakest of the four.  In all, the drawing and writing were excellent, but I still like to think that maybe there are a few dozen more potential Phantom Stranger secret origin stories out there somewhere.
4 Comments
Posted by Silkcuts

I am sorry that you didn't like Moore's Footprints, I was opposite and love it, but I love Moore's methodical writing. I do see why you do not like the Judeo-Christian religion stuff, but DC Comics depends a lot on it, since it is the Christian bible that many people understand archetypes from.  The Lucifer story for example applies to many of these stories since it is a "betrayal" from God.

Posted by RazzaTazz

I liked the writing but not the stories if that makes sense

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Posted by Ganthetsward20

@RazzaTazz: I like the stories, i just got this issue and I enjoyed every part of it. I don't know which story I like best. I don't like knowing the exact origin of some characters but this gives me some options to consider. I love Tarry till I come, probably because I am a religious person and find that the wondering Jew seems probable in some degree unlike the other stories, It settles with me better. I LOVE this dude hes got to be #1 of my top 5 magical characters in DC comics. Cant wait to see him in the new 52.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Ganthetsward20: I did like these stories, just I didn't feel it was quite where I would have hoped for them to be.  Glad you enjoyed it though, it was an interesting issue
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