Trinity of Sin—The Phantom Stranger 1: A Stranger Among Us

trinity of sin the phantom stranger volume 1 a stranger among us cover trade paperback
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Basic comic story

Basic comic story

Comic Info

Comic Name:  The Phantom Stranger (Volume 3)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Dan Didio/J.M. DeMatteis

Artist:  Brent Anderson

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2013

phantom stranger #1 cover

Phantom Stranger (3) #1

Reprints The Phantom Stranger (3) #0-5 (November 2012-April 2013).  The Phantom Stranger is cursed to walk the Earth after committing the unimaginable sin of turning on betraying the Savior for twenty-pieces of silver.  Despite working off his sin, the Phantom Stranger has decided to try to balance life among the living with his actions…but doing so isn’t as easy as it seems.  As his past connections to the “Trinity of Sin”, the Spectre, and demands from John Constantine and Justice League Dark continue to bubble up in the Phantom Stranger’s life, the Phantom Stranger discovers he might have made a mistake by trying to believe he could live a normal life.

Written by Dan Didio (with some scripting from J.M. DeMatteis, Trinity of Sin—The Phantom Stranger 1:  A Stranger Among Us is part of DC Comic’s second wave of New 52 titles.  The series was originally released as The Phantom Stranger, but was retitled to Trinity of Sin:  The Phantom Stranger later in its run.  It features art by Brent Anderson.

The Phantom Stranger has long history, but as his name implies, it has never really been fleshed out much over the decades he’s been around.  This series does more to streamline the Phantom Stranger and attempts to tie him more into the DC Universe through the Trinity of Sin (aka Pandora and the Question).

The Phantom Stranger has had a few different origins, but the most common origin is the origin put in place in this collection.  The Phantom Stranger is Judas.  This is never stated outright, but it is danced around so close in this version (including God talking to the character and the Spectre) that it seems kind of pointless not to just say he’s Judas instead of just implying it…I guess having a superhero that is the world’s greatest betrayer might not fly with some, but it does make the character more interesting.

phantom stranger #5 cover jae lee art

Phantom Stranger (3) #5

The core of this story appears to be the Phantom Stranger’s family, but it keeps getting interrupted by other aspects of the comic.  It doesn’t feel like much of a breather in the first six issues of the series with the Phantom Stranger being contacted by characters like Trigon, Dr. Thirteen, the Spectre, Pandora, and the Question…with all this turmoil, it doesn’t seem possible that the Phantom Stranger would have ever had time to start a family, much less be married for a number of years as the story sets up.

The art for the series varies.  Sometimes I think Brent Anderson’s art is very strong and spot on…other times, it looks underdone and/or over-inked.  Fortunately for Anderson, a lot of the comic is just mystic and an artist’s dream with surreal otherworldly visions.

The Phantom Stranger feels like general comic book material.  It doesn’t feel that Didio does anything really new with the character other than present him in the New 52 DC Universe.  It isn’t a bad comic nor is it a great comic…but I do give them props from having God be a Scottish Terrier (dog of choice).  Trinity of Sin—The Phantom Stranger 1:  A Stranger Among Us is followed by Trinity of Sin—The Phantom Stranger 2:  Breach of Faith.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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