Classic PHANTOM STRANGER Set for Omnibus Treatment

DC plans an edition that ranges from the early ’50s to the early ’80s…

Just to show that you don’t have to be an A-List hero to get a big ol’ omnibus, DC in early 2021 is planning a massive collection starring cult-fave the Phantom Stranger.

The high-end edition, The Phantom Stranger Omnibus, covers the Stranger’s earliest adventures — which began in 1952, thanks to John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Sy Barry — and takes you all the way into the ’80s.

Check out the details, along with Jim Aparo placeholder art, thanks to an Amazon listing:

Phantom Stranger Omnibus

The greatest adventures of DC’s supernatural crime-fighter are collected in a massive, era-spanning hardcover!

First introduced in 1952, the Phantom Stranger stands decades later as one of DC’s most enigmatic characters, a supernatural hero whose origins have remained shrouded in mystery!

This omnibus collects the Phantom Stranger’s earliest adventures in the 1950s, his late-1960s revival, and early 1980s stories in the pages of The Saga of the Swamp Thing. Through it all, the Phantom Stranger has remained one of DC’s most unique characters, navigating the weird, scary side of the DC Universe!

Collects The Phantom Stranger #1-6 (1952), The Phantom Stranger #1-41 (1969), stories from The Saga of the Swamp Thing #1-13, Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #18, The Brave and the Bold #89, #98, #145, Showcase #80, Justice League of America #103, House of Secrets #150, DC Super-Stars #18, and DC Comics Presents #25, and #72.

A few thoughts:

Neal Adams

— The 1,136-pager lists is expected January 5, 2021, according to Amazon. That generally means a week earlier in comics shops for DC books. The list price is $125, according to Penguin Random House, DC’s book-market distributor.

— The heart of this volume is that 41-issue Silver and Bronze Age series marked by the art of Aparo — though creators like Neal Adams, Mike Sekowsky, Robert Kanigher, Denny O’Neil, Len Wein and Gerry Conway were among the big names who had a hand in it, as well. But seeing those Brave and the Bold appearances, as well as the Who’s Who entry, is also pleasing.

Standard caveat: This has not been solicited by DC yet, so nothing is official until it’s official. Even then, things can change. But there’s more to keep in mind, as well: With the coronavirus pandemic putting the comics industry in a squeeze right now, it’s impossible to say what the future has in store in terms of release dates, solicitations, and so on. Just keep coming to 13th Dimension for updates.


— Bronze Age Classic KRYPTONITE NEVERMORE Returning to Print. Click here.

— JOHN BYRNE’s SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL Volume 2 Gets Release Date. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. The PHANTOM STRANGER title was so unlike the other comics I read as a kid, with the possible exception of the Spectre run in ADVENTURE COMICS. I was primarily a reader of super-hero titles but Aparo’s amazing covers and the exceptional interior art…not to mention Deadman appearances and the Black Orchid back-ups…made the series a big draw and I’m sure I was incredibly disappointed when it ended. Hope this omni sees print.

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  2. I wonder why they didn’t chuck the ’87 mini-series and the Secret Origins issue too?

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    • I was wondering about the omission of the Secret Origins issue.

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    • Douglas, they may NOT be including those titles for several reasons.

      1) Both the mini and the SECRET Origins take place after Crisis. The omni appears to focus on Pre-Crisis appearances.

      2) The mini occurs after the Phantom Stranger is “killed” in the Doctor Fate mini. Both minis re-contextualize the Stranger as a servant of the Lords of Order. He is re-defined for the Post-Crisis DCU. It’s a great starting point for a new volume but a terrible end point for the Omni.

      3) Space – maybe they couldn’t fit them in.

      There is one book omitted that would be a nice inclusion – the issue of Batman and the Outsiders featuring PS. It even involves one of PS’s big villains.

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  3. Looking forward to this omnibus. Especially the backup stories from “Saga of the Swamp Thing”.
    First Phantom Stranger story I ever read was the team up with Batman in The Brave and The Bold #145. A Whitman variant logo cover from a three pack of comics on the old spinner rack.

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    • I’m confused as to what the Swamp Thing stories are there, I literally just read SoTST 1-13 and it has nothing to do with A
      Phantom Stranger. He appears in issue 14 and onward.

      Is this a misprint in the solicitation or am I missing something here?

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      • CM, The Phantom Stranger had a back-up strip running in Saga of the Swamp Thing. The Omnibus would collect just the back-ups.

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  4. Delighted to see the prospect of the Fifties’ series being reprinted, but 125 bucks seems a bit steep for six issues, insofar as I already have most of the other stuff listed. INCLUDING what seems to be neglected, “Stop the War — I Want to get Off!” — Joe Kubert’s Sgt Rock PS xover which PRECEDED his Showcase “re-debut.” First printed in Our Army at War 196, it saw light again in 269, and again in one of the little digests. Though lacking his cape and fedora, the mysterious stranger advising Rock during his travail is nevertheless dressed contemporaneously and speaks Rock’s dialect, both continuing schtick’s of The Stranger.

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    • There’s absolutely nothing to indicate that Our Army at War #196 featured an appearance by the Phantom Stranger. The character in question was a generic hallucination imagined by Sgt Rock, and shared no discernible similarities with the Phantom Stranger. If this hallucination was meant to have been the Stranger, somebody from DC would have revealed this bombshell at some point in the last 52 years.

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