Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger 15
J. M. DeMatteis, Fernando Blanco, Miguel Sepulveda
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
With Forever Evil raging on, it’s easy to forget (especially if you were getting sort of bored with the massive amount of repeated stories from different points-of-view) that Forever Evil: Blight is still happening. But this is your chance to remember. Because if the last issue of Justice League Dark didn’t get you pumped for the future of this event-within-an-event, this issue certainly will. Granted, they’re both written by comic book veteran J. M. DeMatteis, so this should come as no surprise to older readers. I mean, come on. He’s great. And with the artwork of Fernando Blanco and Miguel Sepulveda (with a great Guillem March cover to add to the epicness of this issue), what’s not to love?
We get a few revelations (some long overdue, some perfectly paced, and some sort of out of left field) this issue. Constantine left Deadman in the Sea King’s body because (surprise, surprise) he wants a backup secret weapon against the Crime Syndicate. Way to be a jerk, John. Blight and Christopher’s relationship is finally defined: It’s not a hostage situation (or so Chris claims), but rather, a symbiotic relationship. Chris wants to be Blight. Or so he says. Which brings us to the Phantom Stranger’s betrayal of the rest of the team, at the behest of God himself (in the form of a puppy, no less). But his conscience overrides this short-lived betrayal and he and Doctor Thirteen rejoin the rest of the Justice League Dark in the House of Mystery, but this time, the Stranger’s got a plan. Why not? After all, it’s not like John’s leadership skills have proven to be any good, well, ever. And the Stranger’s not exactly going to have an easy life regardless of his next actions. So he’s decided to take the battle not to Hell, but rather, to Heaven. This should be good.
So the last two parts have added quite a bit of steam to a lackluster storyline. Hopefully the next issues of Trinity of Sin: Pandora and Constantine don’t disappoint like they have been. I am hopeful that writer Ray Fawkes can continue what DeMatteis has set up, or at least, just keep the plot moving forward. What I fear is that the next two parts will just be more of the same thing, though. I hope I’m wrong. Because, on its surface, this is actually a very interesting story. And a great companion piece to the main event. Blight is now interesting and the Stranger’s decisions should have some potentially awesome consequences. Also: I’d love to see more Zauriel. And maybe a full-blown “Heaven VS Hell” war on Earth. That would be pretty sweet, too. Here’s to staying optimistic!
My Rating: 4/5