The Phantom/Captain Action #2
Moonstone Entertainment (2010)WRITER/PHANTOM GROUP EDITOR: Mike Bullock CO-PLOTTER: Ed Catto PENCILER: Reno Maniquis INKER: Keith Williams COLORIST: Bob Pedroza STORY EDITORS: Joe Gentile, Matthew Baugh, Richard Dean Starr COVER “A” (shown) & “C”: Art Thibert COVER “B”: Mark Sparacio PREPRESS: Erik Envold & Simian Brothers Creative PHANTOM CONSULTANTS: Ed Rhoades & King Feature’s Karen Moy CAPTAIN ACTION EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Joe Ahearn & Ed Catto
Before I begin, I should note that my copy is still in the pull folder at the comic store. However, Ed Catto actually sent me a PDF version of the comic to review before it came out. I couldn’t review it until it came out of course, because that wouldn’t really be right, but thank you for the advanced screening, Mr. Catto.
The Tatsu think they have Diana Palmer captured, but it’s actually Captain Action’s occasional partner, Lady Action. (I believe I have the name and relationship right, although anyone more knowledgeable is free to correct me in the comments below.) Together they infiltrate the enemy lair and attempt to rescue the Phantom. This leads to a merry boat chase and the group’s main headquarters, but the Phantom was faking the drugging the whole time in order to find the enemy base. Together, the trio take down the organization, although the leader escapes.
What they got right: It’s a satisfying end to the two-parter, with the Phantom and Captain Action teaming up to beat down the bad guys, without the usual “let’s fight each other first” cliché most crossovers do. We don’t need to know who would win in a fight, we need to know how well they’d work together.
What they got wrong: While Catto has informed me that the collected version of the crossover (should be short, there’s only two issues) will feature the bios and backstories I felt were missing in the previous issue, they’re still missing here (unless I pick up my official copy and find them there), which means if you’re not a fan of one or both of the character, you’re not going to know why to care. Maybe a third issue would have better established each of the characters, I’m not sure.
Recommendation: If you’re already a fan of either character, then this is worth getting, especially if you’re a fan of both. If not, then you may want to look into the characters first, although it’s not a bad read going in cold. You’re just going to miss the point.
Up next: “Best Scene of the Week” in the Weekly Wrap-Up with Jake & Leon.