blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Phantom Stranger (1969) #14


I don’t think I’ve ever seen pre-eighties Jim Aparo before. It’s absolutely stunning. The tight faces are present, but there’s also a bunch of energy. I never would have thought he’d be a great Phantom Stranger—or any supernatural story—artist, but he excels.

Len Wein comes up with two good stories for the issue, though the Stranger one is better. This villain figures out a way to capture the Stranger and then takes out his heart, figuring transplanting it into his body will give him immortality. Of course, it doesn’t work out as planned (does the Phantom Stranger actually need a physical heart?). Wein has some purple narration, but the plot moves fast and Aparo makes it damned creepy.

The Doctor Thirteen backup is a little silly (Wein opens with a swamp monster and ends with a sci-fi thing), but Tony DeZuniga’s art makes it simply wonderful.

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