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The Phantom Stranger (Volume 2)
Starring: The Phantom Stranger
Sixteen years after he faded into obscurity, the Phantom Stranger rematerialized in Showcase #80 before making his way back into his own series. Yet this dark traveler, whose true name, origins and mission remain unknown was very different to the one who disappeared in 1953. The original stranger was a debunker of the supernatural, but this one was drawn towards it, and possessed formidable powers of his own to combat it - on the occasions when he chose to involve himself in such affairs.The first issue of his own series, like Showcase #80, contained a new story that framed around reprint tales from both the Stranger's original series and Star Spangled Comics featuring Dr. Terrence Thirteen, also known as the Ghost - Breaker. The Ghost Breaker made a career out of disproving arcane activity and spent many issues of the series trying to reveal the Phantom Stranger as a charlatan. Although he never succeeded, he proved proficient at unraveling other unknown mysteries - albeit, ironically with the help of the Phantom Stranger.
Such was the case in "Defeat the Dragon Curse...or Die!" a story scripted by Mike Friedrich with renderings by Bill Drake. The Phantom Stranger and Doctor Thirteen's paths crossed in San Francisco during the Chinese New Year, when friends of the Ghost Breaker were seemingly killed by the ancient dragon curse of Ching Hi Fu. Eventually, the duo uncovered the real culprit to be a Ching Hi Fu worshipper, who destroyed buildings he consiodered disrespectful to his Chinese heritage.
With each issue of the series, this incarnation of the Phantom Stranger progressed even further into the paranormal protagonist which he is today - an all knowing guide and narrator through the darkness. That evolution came about through the work of some of comics' most reputable talents, including writers like Robert Kanigher, Gerry Conway and Len Wein, and artists such as Neal Adams and Jim Aparo.
Though the series ended after a 41 issue run, this became one of several titles that the Blackest Night series "resurrected", though only for a single issue (#42). Back-Up Features: