Troubles at home: A review of Phantom Stranger #4

DC didn’t lie to me this time and Phantom Stranger does met the Justice League Dark! Time to see how that works out..


Post contains spoilers!

Phantom Stranger is about to go on an adventure not of his choosing and he is not going to happy about it. We have already learned he does not like to be summoned by just anyone. We also have the growing plot of his human family. A lot of people say it a fake, but I am actually starting to think he truly cares about them and in the soon future that might be put to the test. Our story starts with the Stranger shopping with his wife but normal life will have to be put on hold. As he enters a dressing room he realizes just what is going on. John Constantine is trying to summon him.

Now these two have met before. Back in Justice League Dark #14 the Stranger came to John and asked him for his help. He was looking for help for the coming War of Three. Now it is unclear of the Stranger is talking about the Trinity War or something with the Trinity of Sin. Of course, the two could be connected. We don’t know a whole lot about the Trinity War yet other than DC loves talking about it. Either way John has a different plan, he wants the Stranger to join them.

John shot down the Stranger when he asked for help but now he wants the Stranger to join  them! Now you have to admit, the JLD does have its charm but from what we have seen not a lot of people care for Constantine. However there is no doubting that the Phantom Stranger is a big player in the magical scene. Given what the JLD has been facing they could use a power house like him. But the Stranger has one goal, to loses his silver coins and live his life.

The Stranger of course shots Constantine down but that does not mean he is done. He talks to the Stranger alone and points out something I overlooked. The Stranger has been making a lot of enemies. With a power house like him fighting others, there is going to be a mess to clean up and that is where the JLD comes in. So if Constantine has to clean up after him, he wants to have the Stranger with them. However the Stranger is pretty set with his whole “I work only” thing until Constantine shows what he has in his pocket. Somehow, someway Constantine got a hold of a silver coin. So even if the Stranger manages to lose all the others, Constantine will still have the one. So the Stranger says no for today, but Constantine believes that in time the Stranger will join the JLD.

A very pissed and very worried Stranger returns back to the dressing room to find that he has actually been gone for about 20 minutes. His wife is nowhere to be found. The Stranger runs home to find that his children are also missing. His finds their baby sitter dead and Pandora is at the house. She has no idea who could have done this but she admits it was only a matter of time. But she is there to help the Stranger get his family back and she knows where they can start looking…The Spectre!

I want to point out something. Before I mentioned about this growing theme with the Stranger’s family. It seems each time it is brought up people are calling it a fake but I am starting to think they are wrong. Constantine brings it up and the Stranger brings up a good point, “Has it even occurred to you, Constantine, that this might be the performance while my human face might be the true one?” Now Constantine shots that down pretty quick. However in the scenes with his family I get the feeling that he really does care. This is a guy who has been around since the time of Jesus. In all that time he walked the Earth alone. Now as far as we know this is the only time he has settled down. If there was other times I sure someone like Pandora would have said something by now. For a man to go that long alone and finally settle down, there must have been something there. Plus his reaction to when he finds them was more of a father then a stranger.

Now he could just be in denial and very lonely, but I rather believe what I said before. I mean he went so long just walking the Earth with no mission. Maybe he did want to settle down with someone he loved and cared for. But he admits to himself that his family does not need Phillip right now, they need the Phantom Stranger.


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