DARING MYSTERY COMICS 70TH ANNIV SPECIAL #1

Review by: TheNextChampion

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Size: pages
Price: 3.99

Brain: Okay NextChamp…..turn the page. Stop staring at that gorgeous cover and go on with the whole book.

The Anniversary issues, for the most part, have been a blast to read. It’s giving us reasons on why these (mostly) forgotten heroes were great way back when. Now the ‘Daring Mystery’ issue gives us a look at a reporter probably most of the Marvel Universe doesn’t remember. The Phantom Reporter has the same look as in The Phantom or other 40’s vigilantes, but has a much more sylish hat. Is this hero worth remembering however?

For the most part, I enjoyed reading this old tale. It looks back at the origin for Phantom Reporter and it has a little mysticism to it. Richard Jones is just a regular reporter for a newspaper, but when he learns the death of an old friend, he springs into action to find the truth. The tale eventually turns into a ‘Ra’s Al Ghul’ type of story where the main antagonist is trying to find a way to live forever. Obviously the guy can’t show his real face, so he uses a cap and small mask to hide his identity.

This comic can be a bit wordy at times, but it totally hits the era it’s in. Everyone is wearing stylish clothing and are all fast talking. When Jones is in his Phantom mode he’s all business and a bit like Batman if you ask me. I enjoyed most of the conversations and the mystery that was surrounding the death. My only problem with this tale is the time placement of it. It’s mainly told in flashback in the year 1929. Problem is, the caption just says¬†‘Today’ in the future panels….so what year is this? It can’t be today because that means Phantom Reporter would be dead. I know it’s comic books but just like the All Selects Comics, having this set in the present day (maybe) doesn’t work for me.

You also got great art by Jason Armstrong. You might recognize the name if you read the Lobster Johnson ‘Iron Prometheus’¬†trade a while ago. He has an old school mentality and this definitely looks like an older comic. It’s very pulpy and almost every male and female in the book is attractive. I love his take for Phantom Reporter, which is slightly different then his original costume. Just the style of business suit, purple hat, cape, and gloves just look good on a man. Then you have some great coloring by Val Staples. Basically, if you’ve read Criminal or other stories Staples has done. You know he’s suited for a mystery/crime comic to color.

This was a very enjoyable new origin for the hero. Plus the back up in this actually has a tale from the original. So finally Marvel reprints a tale with the titled character as the focus. If you’ve been a bit put off by these 70th Anniversary titles lately, then this is a nice return to form. They haven’t been bad mind you, but this is the first time in a long time I can say this was a very good read.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 5 - Excellent

Comments

  1. I haven’t read this, so I can’t really say for certain, but the phantom Reporter is one of "The Twelve" from the  JMS series. All of those characters were revived in modern times after being put in suspended animation at the end of WW2.

    So that’s probably why part of the story is set "today" and PR can still be around.

     

  2. @daccampo: Oh my god! I totally forgot he was a character in ‘The Twelve’! Then again it’s been awhile since an issue came out…

  3. I think ‘The Phantom Reporter’ looks a bit more like ‘The Shadow’ more than Lee Falk’s ‘Phantom’.  The Phantom didn’t wear a suit or a hat but The Shadow did… the Phantom did have a really cool dog though!

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