Friday, December 12, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Showcase #80

Showcase #80 (On Sale: December 12, 1968) has a Phantom Stranger cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with the Phantom Stranger in "Men Call Me the Phantom Stranger" by Mike Friedrich, Jerry Grandenetti and Bill Draut. This was the first new Phantom Stranger story since The Phantom Stranger #6 in 1953. DC was looking for more mystery comics and found a winner in this long-forgotten character, revamped for the 1960s. This story was a framing sequence around the rest of the book which was reprints and was itself reprinted in Showcase Presents Phantom Stranger Vol. 1 TPB.

Next we have "The Three Signs of Evil" by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella and reprinted from Phantom Stranger #2. Artist Mark Davis strolls through Columbus Circle and happens upon a gathering. As he watches, he begins sketching a picture of some symbols the people are using. When the group notices him, they demand that he turn over the sketches. Davis refuses and leaves the scene.

The cult members follow Davis and attack him near Times Square. Mark is rescued by the Phantom Stranger who examines Mark's sketch. The Stranger deduces where the cult will be from the sketch. Mark offers his assistance in stopping the cult.

Following the third sign in his sketch, Mark is captured by the Moon Cult. They intend to sacrifice him to gain mystical power. The Phantom Stranger comes to the rescue again and knocks out the cult. Mark summons the police, while the Stranger disappears.

Lastly we have a reprint of the first Doctor 13 story, "I Talked with the Dead" from Star Spangled Comics #122 and drawn by the great Leonard Starr. DC took the mystical Stranger and added the supernatural hoax-breaker Terrance Thirteen as a foil for the Stranger's mystic adventures.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

No comments: