The Phantom #25
WRITER: Mike Bullock
ARTIST: Silvestre Szilagyi
COLORIST: Bob Pedroza
COVER ART: Doug Klauba
LETTERER: Nate Pride
EDITOR: Joe Gentile
It seems like the bad guys are winning. But the Phantom manages to escape the trap and with the still-alive President Luaga (and a little help from a friendly neighbor) manages to defeat Ali and Anna. The Phantom manages to trick Anna into revealing where Ortega and the Sky Band have taken Diana. With help from Sala, former leader of the Sky Band, The Phantom manages to rescue Diana and take down the villains as they use Manic to attempt to force Diana to turn control of the funds for the UN project to the Locke Corporation. She manages to fight it off long enough for Phantom to get her an antidote, then go after Ortega, managing to expose the Locke Corporation’s role in all these shenanigans, but Locke & Singh escape. The blood diamonds (which these events were covering) are turned over to the UN project, meaning our heroes didn’t just win, they came out ahead.
What they got right: It’s not the Phantom alone that ends up to stopping all the various attacks. Guran makes the antidote. Luaga calls a neighboring friendly country for help. Phantom calls in Sala. Diana manages to fight the mind control. It’s a group effort and with so many threats having the Phantom wrap them all up on his own in one issue wouldn’t work, although he is involved in all of them.
What they got wrong: I would have liked to have seen Sala meet up with her evil daughter. And what happened to the kids, or was that just the Manic messing with Diana? It’s not really explained, although we did see the kids at the Skull Cave before we learned Diana was alive.
Recommendation: A great five-part Phantom adventure. Moonstone made more Phantom comics and I reviewed them all when they came out. The entire Moonstone run of comics, prose, and short story novels are well worth your time. But next week I need to push through my collection to a new series.