Phantom Stranger #5 Review
I had dropped The Phantom Stranger a while back, but with the increasingly positive reviews I read, along with a read of the previous issue at my local book store, I decided to give this title another try.
I have to say, the writing has definably improved. I was afraid that the Stranger was going to get stuck "helping" a random individual each issue, until some greater story emerges. Luckily, that story came around sooner, and the story in this issue is interesting as the The Phantom Stranger and the Spectre clash, along with a cameo by a Scottish Terrier (read the comic to find out what this means!). It may be due to co-writer J.M. DeMatteis' influence, but the dialogue seems to have improved from the issues I read. I believe that Dan Didio's best work is done with a co-writer (his run on O.M.A.C. with co-writer Keith Giffen was quite enjoyable), and this issue further proves that point.
The art team of Brent Anderson, Philip Tan and Rob Hunter is slowly growing on me. At first, I wasn't too big of a fan of the art, but then I realized what they were doing, along with co-writers Didio and DeMatteis: create a throwback comic. In some ways the art of this comic looks like its more hand drawn than most of the more polished, digital drawn art seen in more comics. While a little rough around the edges, the art is rather enjoyable, as it suits the old school vibe the writing has.
Even though I've missed a few issues in between, I felt like, for the most part, I was able to quite easily follow along with the story of this comic. Overall, I have to say that this issue of Phantom Stranger was quite enjoyable, and I'm glad I picked this series back up. If you're like me and are on the fence about picking up the Phantom Stranger again, or for the first time, give this issue a shot.