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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Phantom Stranger 25 - spying on a voodoo cult, and the Spawn of Frankenstein battles a Satan worshipper

Michael Pellowski joins Wein and Aparo on the cover story from Phantom Stranger 25 (June/July 1973).

This is another one where the Phantom Stranger plays a small role. The story is set on a Caribbean island, and centres on a fairly unlikable man who has come out to photograph and expose the voodoo rituals there, the dance off the serpent. He spends a lot of time with a local woman, Teresa, who is acting as his "secretary." Se begs him to respect the beliefs of the island, but of course he pays no attention to her. Or, for that matter, to the Phantom Stranger when he pops up saying much the same thing.

The reader gets to see that the serpent cult is no fake thing, as a man who killed one of the cultists tries to flee but gets killed by a snake god.

The Phantom Stranger comes to the aid of the photographer when he car gets hit by a falling tree as he heads into the jungle. Though the Stranger makes it possible for him to reach his goal, he still warns against it.

The guy reaches the dance, and is stunned to see Teresa performing it. His photographs draw attention, and Teresa gets distracted and winds up dying from a snake bite.

The conclusion has the man fleeing, and imagining that he sees Teresa return and turn into snakes which kill him, though the Phantom Stranger pops up to see that there are electrical wires instead.

Wolfman and Kalauta open this Spawn of Frankenstein chapter with Rachel hanging out on a sunny afternoon, just chilling in a sexy widow dress on her husband's grave, when suddenly a Satan worshipper pops up out of nowhere to kidnap her. Don't you hate when that happens?

Conveniently, the Spawn of Frankenstein winds up entering the house where the Satan worshippers have brought Rachel. He is still lugging around her husband's corpse, which he intends to bring back to life. The bad guys capture him, and decide he would make a better sacrifice, being all green and scary looking.

Easily the best panel of the story has the Spawn of Frankenstein breaking free. He kills the Satan worshippers.

The visual ending does not really match the narration. We see Rachel sleeping, but the caption informs us that she wakes, sees her dead husband, and starts screaming.

The story continues in the next issue.

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