This comic should be subtitled "Judas's Eternal Road Trip."
The story does begin in New York City. So it looks like he's sticking around the town where he fucked over Jim Corrigan (not The Smartest Kid on Earth but The Specter! Unless it's Spectre!). The Phantom Stranger begins his comic book making sure every reader is thinking the same thing: "What a gigantic asshole!"
A strange man handling a young boy's balls is not a good first impression. But not why he's an asshole.
And getting this boy killed isn't why he's an asshole either. He's an asshole for stealing this entire scene from Sandman #8!
I suppose the argument could be made that The Phantom Stranger wasn't the cause of Billy's death. But the way things were set up with Corrigan, it's looking like The Phantom Stranger can interfere with how normal events are going to play out and change them. I mean more than a normal person would change the events because The Phantom Stranger is doing the work of The Font in the Sky who, being a DC Editor (or writer (or god (or hallucination due to wildly variable brain chemical changes))) knows the future and knows how the future will change if The Phantom Stranger appears to hurry Billy along by giving him back his soccer ball.
Later at Billy's funeral, a strange woman that nobody recognizes weeps and declares she will try to ease everyone's grief. She looks like Kathy George, Shade the Changing Man's love interest. Or sidekick. Maybe I shouldn't use "Love Interest" and "Sidekick" interchangeably like that. Sorry Batman! Don't sure me for libel! I absolutely wasn't even thinking about you and your young boy fetish!
Phantom Stranger follows her from the service and his weird purple shadow powers betray him to her. So she reveals some powers of her own!
Sheesh. I just got done rereading my previous commentary where I hoped Raven would appear in this comic and I immediately forgot about it when Raven shows up!
No! Don't hand her over to Scott Lobdell! What a gigantic asshole!
The Phantom Stranger opens a portal to help Raven escape. And they end up in Stonehenge where the Portal to Azarath and Raven's father is located. Surprise! The Phantom Stranger betrayed you, Rachel!
Oh! Someone like her. He meant demons, not teenagers. Whew. Giving her to Trigon is less horrible than giving her to Lobdell.
This is the flaw in the whole premise! The Phantom Stranger believes he's betraying people but that the betrayal will ultimately be for the better. Which was what he did with Jesus. He did something necessary for Jesus's word to spread. But then he was punished for it? So his punishment is to do what he did to Jesus but now he doesn't feel guilty about it? He played his part then just as he's doing now. The Font in the Sky is just a manipulative bitch.
Yep. He has a home. And a family.