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Friday, 28 April 2017

Phantom Stranger 8 - the Tomb of the Ice Giants

Denny O'Neil joins Jim Aparo for Phantom Stranger 8 (July/Aug 70), with another great Neal Adams cover.

The story is set up above the Arctic Circle, as legendary monsters the Ice Giants emerge after millenia in hibernation. Aparo does an excellent job on the creatures, and the perspective we get at the start, with a huge ship trapped in the ice, sets the story off on a high note.

A man is then found frozen to death while in a steam room. Dr. Thirteen and his wife Marie happen to be in the town nearby, and get called in to help in the investigation.

The story then cuts away to Dr. Thirteen talking about another case of his, in which a man got frozen to death in his greenhouse. It's tangentially related, but this is such a different situation. Oddly enough, this works, as it just makes Dr. Thirteen look like an idiot, even though he solved the old case.

Better still, he winds up actually in the hands of the Ice Giant, and needs the Phantom Stranger to save him.

Tala shows up, to feed on the chaotic energy. Interesting. Her role is kind of odd, though. Ultimately, she will disguise herself as Marie Thirteen when the Ice Giant tries to carry away Terry's wife. She escapes somehow, and it's never really clear why she chose to do this.

The Phantom Stranger basically wins by convincing the Ice Giant to return to hibernation by talking about how humans have created a miserable, violent, polluted and environmentally damaged world, which the Ice Giants wouldn't even want to rule.

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