King/Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Brian Clevinger
Illustrated by Brent Schoonover & Ryan Cody
Coloured by Robt Snyder & Aikau Oliva
I’m pretty torn here as part of me really likes that we’ve got a new Phantom but he isn’t of the family and his way of doing things seems very amateurish yet part of me likes the fact that while he searches for the heir we’re getting to see him as a blank slate and built from the ground up. Brent and Ryan have their own unique style of bringing this book to life as well it feels more akin to the throwback style that we’d find in the original Sunday strips.
So with this issue picking up right where we left off with the guys trying to infiltrate Arturo’s network. There’s great depth in the story here as we learn more about what is happening in town and why this time has been chosen to try and destabilize Bangalla. The city is hosting the Seven Nations Summit and it can’t be a coincidence that this is happening at the same time. I like the planning involved here to destabilize Bangalla and then while the surrounding nations are there swoop in and save the day gaining the support and admiration needed to take control, at least that’s what i’d do in that situation.
This issue covers a three week time span which test their loyalty to Arturo and a way for them to try and take him down. Not surprising he turns to Mandrake for his assistance. I love the way this plays out too with using a flame rising from the stove in a diner to talk to him and set up a time for things to happen. His help comes in the way of past Phantoms coming to their rescue and I have to say this was absolutely outstanding. I think my favorite is the Pirate one with the coat but seeing them all here in various incarnations from time periods and getting that real sense of history of the Phantom visually really is THE moment for this issue.
Having proved themselves in a deliberate set-up that they weren’t supposed to come out of Arturo sees them a little differently. Me i’d have wondered how they did and kept a closer eye on them but that’s me. Oh so finally things come full circle as the pissed as hell reporter catches up to the two who she thinks tried to kill her, though it was all a cover. Not surprising however is that she starts the fire, she’s got a lot of fight in her and she’s more important to Lothar than he realizes well according to Mandrake anyway.
It will be interesting to see if this is going to play out like I think it will. The prospect goes a long way to redefining whom the ghost who walks can be.
This is a solid book, not exceptional but solid. This is interesting stuff and it’s decidedly a different take on the Phantom and it’s enjoyable.