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DeMatteis on the Supernatural DCU & "Phantom Stranger"

DeMatteis on the Supernatural DCU & "Phantom Stranger" Image
  • Posted on 15th Sep, 2022 08:03 AM

Writer J.M. DeMatteis spoke to CBR News about joining Dan DiDio as co-writer on DC Comics' "Phantom Stranger," bringing in the Spectre and a flair for the supernatural and spooky.

As part of the New 52, DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio has been reinventing the Phantom Stranger, updating the 1952 character and his origin. Now he's a soul trying to redeem himself from a betrayal he committed thousands of years ago along with the New 52's mystery woman, Pandora.

Now joining DiDio starting with "Phantom Stranger" #6, writer J.M. DeMatteis will be co-writing the book with art by series mainstay Brent Anderson.


Known for his run co-writing the 1980s "Justice League International" with Keith Giffen and artist Kevin Maguire, DeMatteis spent much of his career working at DC and Marvel writing heroes such as Spider-Man and The Defenders and was one of the writers who helped DC's Vertigo imprint with graphic novels such as "Mercy" and "Moonshadow." An Eisner Award winner, DeMatteis has also written for television on shows such as "Justice League Unlimited" and "Batman: Brave And The Bold" as well as writing a version of hero the Spectre in the 2000s, a character that crossed paths with the New 52 iteration of the Phantom Stranger in the pages of his zero issue, and who will appear in the title again in 2013.

As for the other supernaturals:that's one of the things I find most appealing about the book.As noted, I love the dark corners of the DCU and I'm getting the chance to play with so many of those classic characters.(By the way:if you haven't checked out "Justice League Dark," you really should. A wonderful book.)

Finally, to your mind, what makes Phantom Stranger stand out from the rest of the heroes in the DCU?

The Phantom Stranger has always embodied cosmic mystery.No matter how much you learn about him, there's always something elusive, something you can't quite wrap you head around.And that's true of life, isn't it? No matter how much we may grasp it -- emotionally, psychologically, spiritually -- there's always an element of mystery, of unknowing.For me, the Stranger is that unknowing given form.And that makes him fascinating.

DeMatteis joins "Phantom Stranger" with issue #6, on sale March 6.

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