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Friday, 28 April 2017

Phantom Stranger 2 - the man who couldn't die

Friedrich and Draut provide a framing sequence story for Phantom Stranger 2 (July/Aug 69), which once again contains reprints for the title character and Dr. Thirteen.

The story opens with the Phantom Stranger coming to the aid of a child who watches his father die in a fiery car accident, only to have the man turn up alive and well shortly after. The father walks around like he is in a trance, and explains his multiple lives as the result of a totem pole he purchased. The Phantom Stranger then decides to chat about one of his earlier cases - the reprint.

Then it's back to the real story. Once again the boy sees his father die, this time plunging from a bridge. Dr. Thirteen and his wife Marie happen to be on the scene, and so they get to see the guy show up, alive and well, afterwards also. Terry is sure this is all a hoax, and tells a story (his reprint tale) about a hoax he exposed.

And, sure enough, this is a kind of hoax as well, although the man himself is innocent. In fact, he is the victim of a murder plot, having been hypnotized. His survivals of the first two deaths were aided by those plotting to arrange a third, which would then look accidental. Quite the scheme. The Phantom Stranger pops in to help catch the bad guys, and then disappears again.

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