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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Phantom Stranger 27 - Dr. Zorn debuts, and the Spawn of Frankenstein finds more devil worshippers

There are changes to the creative teams in both of the strips in Phantom Stranger 27 (Oct/Nov 73). Sadly, the best thing about this issue is the Nick Cardy cover.

Arnold Drake and Gerry Talaoc take the reins on the Phantom Stranger, and introduce a new recurring villain for him, Dr. Zorn. The story begins with the Stranger seeing a rock star and a popular actress both losing control, one frantic and the other lethargic, but getting put back to normal after visits to Zorn.

The Phantom Stranger then becomes one of Zorn's patients, and tries the drug the doctor passes out. It gives him idyllic hallucinations and a sense of power. So this is pretty clearly a drug addiction story for the first half.

Then it radically alters and becomes a conspiracy thriller. The Phantom Stranger discovers that a number of Zorn's patients are high ranking military officers, and Zorn is manipulating them in a plot to kill the president. The Phantom Stranger creates an illusion of the president, who they try to kill, and then exposes them and Zorn. Not a great story.

The Spawn of Frankenstein series is turned over to Steve Skeates and Bernard Baily. I really do not like Bailey's work on this strip. Instead of looking like a frightening monster, the Spawn of Frankenstein just looks like an ugly green teenager.

He comes to the aid of a young woman who is being molested, getting rid of the guy. But the woman is so frightened by his appearance that she runs off.

The girl winds up in the hands of a group of devil worshippers, who just happen to be wandering by in the park. There are a lot of wandering devil worshippers in this series.

The story continues in the next issue.


  1. And honestly, the Cardy cover isn't particularly good.

    1. true, its not great, but it really scared me when i saw it at a barbershop when i was 8 or 9 years old.