Thursday, November 21, 2013

Phantom Stranger #13

My final guess as to the identity of The Question: Humbaba!

Last issue, The Phantom Stranger returned to his home to find Sineater and Natas had set the place on fire. Sineater did own it first, so I think he had every right to burn it down. Is it legal to burn down your own home as long as you don't expect the insurance company to cover the damage? I bet there are some other bullshit anti-freedom laws that keep us from burning down our house if we really want to. Now I've got that song stuck in my head. You know the one! Games Without Frontiers!

The House burns down, Sineater's dog bites The Phantom Stranger, and The Phantom Stranger tells his neighbors to fuck off. And then Zauriel shows up.

Sure, I remember! But how does The Phantom Stranger remember not existing?!

Zauriel gives The Phantom Stranger a lesson on compassion because The Phantom Stranger never played Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. He learns that even a jerk that goes around judging and slaughtering orcs and trolls and gargoyles that are just trying to live their lives in peace can earn compassion points by giving bread and money to beggars. The world isn't completely black and white no matter how the modern media tries to portray it. Some day, Paris Hilton is going to sacrifice her life to save a baby's jewel encrusted necklace and everybody will be ashamed for judging her as a shallow, fame-obsessed, born with a silver dildo in her vagina heiress.

It feels like I wrote this eight years ago by mentioning Paris Hilton and Ultima IV! Way to keep up with popular culture, me!

There's your Forever Evil tie-in! It's like in the mid-eighties when you read a Crisis on Infinite Earths tie-in and partway through, Lois Lane would look up in the sky and say, "Boy, the skies sure look weird today!"

Zauriel reminds The Phantom Stranger that he has Doctor Light's power and he's supposed to return it to Doctor Light's wife. The Phantom Stranger (can I just call him Phil?) delivers the power and it lights up the house and takes the form of Arthur Light and kisses his wife right on the mouth! And maybe it does more because she sure is sleeping soundly after the encounter. Is this why Doctor Light has exploded back onto the scene over in Forever Evil: ARGUS (or whatever Forever Evil book that happened in)?

After that touching moment (sarcasm!), Zauriel takes off and leaves Phil to enjoy some free time. Hopefully he spends it doing free movement to music.

Instead he spends it visiting The Question. Boring.

I'm just going to imagine he's free dancing to the music stuck in my head! "Whistling tunes we piss on goons burning down the house!"

Phil realizes that The Question only has questions and not answers. So he doesn't know who he is or what sin he committed to be one of the Trinity of Sin. Judging by the sins which Pandora and The Phantom Stranger were being punished for, I'd say he probably wiped with the wrong hand or prepared a loaf of bread with instruments used to prepare non-Kosher food. Even if he wasn't Jewish, he would probably be punished for that by The Council of Wizards who really just kind of made up the rules on the fly and then punished people who broke the rules with completely arbitrary punishments.

No? But you are going to be responsible for his future medical bills, you dick.

The Question answers all of The Phantom Stranger's questions with more questions which causes The Phantom Stranger to have still more questions. And since nobody is getting anywhere with this conversation, The Phantom Stranger decides to kill himself. But before he can, he sees a Tumblr post that says, "If you are looking for a sign not to kill yourself, this is it." So Phil decides to continue living which causes him to be kidnapped by John Constantine and transported to The Rock of Eternity with his pals Pandora and The Question. It seems John has a favor to ask of them and, judging by the shackles restraining the Trinity of Sin, he isn't taking no or let me think about it for answers.

The Phantom Stranger #13 Rating: No change. I just thought the title of the comic book, "That is the Question!", was just a stupid pun because The Question was guest starring. But it actually wound up being a little bit about suicide! Color me surprised! What color is surprised? If it's red, I take it back. Color me stupid instead. Because I don't know why The Question was hanging about Philip Stark's fire-engulfed house!

Did he finally figure out that Philip Stark was The Phantom Stranger but he didn't get there in time and had to run off when he saw Zauriel?

Maybe The Question arrives at the site of all suicides and The Phantom Stranger was on the edge of despair finding the last memory of his fake family going up in flames? The Question has "To be or not to be?" on his vision board, is that a clue to his ultimate nature? He is The Question of "To be or not to be?" And how then is he tied to The Phantom Stranger being that The Stranger, as Judas Iscariot, hung himself from a tree? Could it be Judas was not supposed to kill himself and that's why he's being punished? And Pandora is being punished because, in some way, the Seven Sins she let out helped convince The Stranger to hang himself? And The Question was supposed to chop down the tree which Judas hung himself on earlier that day but being filled with Lust or Sloth or Gluttony, put it off until later? That's probably exactly it! So The Question's real identity is some lazy Jewish Orchard Keeper.

Sure, sure! You're asking, "But why would they all be punished due to Judas killing himself? What was Judas's destiny to have been if he hadn't died?" But I say, "Don't ask that question! That's a stupid question!" And then you say, "Oh yeah! It is!" And we take each other by the hand and skip off into forever.

No comments:

Post a Comment