The Phantom #24
“Checkmate” part 4
WRITER: Mike Bullock
ARTIST: Silvestre Szilagyi
COLORIST: Bob Pedroza
LETTERER: Nate Pride
EDITOR: Joe Gentile
The Phantom finds a lead on at least one section of the bad guys. While he goes off in pursuit the government tries to figure out how to get the situation under control. The military is pulled off the Ugandan border, giving Ali’s men an entry into Bangalla. Meanwhile, the Phantom finds Manuel and a living Diana (they pulled her off the plane before it took off). Manuel hits him with a new version of Manic but the Phantom still manages to fight him off until the Sky Band attack him from behind, take Diana away, and set a bomb to kill the Phantom!
In the “Behind The Mask” feature Ed Rhoades talks about how controversial the decision was to have the Phantom and Diana marry and why Falk went ahead with it. This marriage was allowed to endure and now I don’t think anyone can think of the modern Phantom without Diana. If only Peter was so lucky. Are he and MJ still married in the strips? I haven’t read a Spider-Man comic strip in a long time, but earlier than a modern Spidey comic.
What they got right: Yeah, we knew Diana wasn’t dead, but it’s nice to see her anyway. And we have the last of the Moonstone villains, their modern Sky Band. I hope they finally get what’s coming to them.
What they got wrong: I want to know how they got the Walker children and I don’t like the idea of the kids being tortured with Manic. I know Manuel is evil and has it in for the Phantom but while this isn’t on the same level as killing Lian Harper it’s still not right.
Recommendation: Next issue is the last chapter of this storyline and it’s been a good build-up. I just hope the finale pays off. Worth looking into.