The Phantom #2
DC Comics (April, 1989)
“Guns” part 2
WRITER: Mark Verheiden
ARTIST: Luke McDonnell
COLORIST: Anthony Tollin
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Robert Greenberger
The Phantom has been chasing a gunrunner who has kept a civil war going to sell weapons to both sides. He doesn’t get involved with local politics, but the gunrunner killed three members of the Jungle Patrol, so he’s out for payback. The story is pretty much the Phantom spooking the guy and slowly driving him to the battlefield, only now both sides know he’s been playing them. Things don’t end well for him, but that’s what happens to one who bears the skull mark of the Ghost Who Walks.
What they got right: We don’t see much of the Phantom, because this is one of those stories that focuses on the myth rather than the man. Watching the gunrunner, Cammell, slowly fall into the fear the Phantom’s legend brings to evil men, as well as a story about another who thought he could evade the Phantom, is rather interesting to behold. There’s also some great use of color as another target of the Phantom has delusions that he’s killed the Phantom in his madness.
What they got wrong: The quick scene with Diana wondering about her future with Kit kind of breaks the story for a moment and doesn’t really add to anything, nor set up anything that matters at this point. There’s also dialog that comes from the current Phantom’s writing of these events in the Chronicles that includes this passage about death that felt like unnecessary narration, although previous Phantoms had done the same in other Chronicle writings we’ve been able to read.
Recommendation: I would love to see the first issue and see how they got here, but it stands alone rather well, and is very good. Give this issue a look.