perletwo: she's got legs (zatanna)
[personal profile] perletwo posting in [community profile] scans_daily
S_D'er [profile] liekomgwtfbbq asked for "some of DC's mystic characters doing what they do" over in the latest requests post, and mentioned Phantom Stranger and Traci 13 specifically. Traci I've got none of except the Blue Beetle appearances, but I have got a Phantom Stranger issue, #25, coming to you from 1969 and the pens of Len Wein and Jim Aparo. This is a standalone issue dealing with voodoo and a serpent cult. If any of those three key words are triggery for you, beware of what's below the cut.

Sometimes, what the Phantom Stranger does is...not very much, beyond issuing the standard Mysterious Asshole Warnings, then standing back and letting his warn-ee's own character lead them to their own mystical fate or not, as the case may be, rather than intervening proactively on their behalf. This is one such case, in which jerkass filmmaker Jim Colter - travels to tropical Costa Roja to film, and mightily disrespect, the cult and its legendary Dance of the Serpent.

It does not go well for him, and after being royally dissed more than once by Colter, PS is ready to leave him to his fate. He ends up with a curse on his head courtesy of the High Serpent Priest -


We open with Colter complaining rudely to his Costa Rojan expat secretary/native guide Teresa that his suitcase has been ransacked and film stolen. They're interrupted by a fleeing native, who's accused of killing one of the cultists and seeking shelter. He freaks out when he sees a serpent skull hanging from the ceiling fan and flees, straight into the cultists' arms...

Jim and Teresa go to the hotel parlor for dinner, and Jim complains rudely about the native drumming, which Teresa calls "like the National Anthem." Why, Jim asks surprisingly not rudely, did she leave home for America? "Self-preservation," she explains. "The attraction of voodoo is very powerful here! Either you tear away from its influence -- or it drags you down -- and smothers you!"

Just then they're interrupted by a waiter, who Colter suddenly realizes in the fleeing murder suspect, now zombified.


Despite Teresa's continued pleas to abandon the project, Colter heads out into the jungle night to find the cult. They magick a tree down on the hood of his jeep, but the Stranger magicks it off and repeats his warning, saying he only wants to protect Jim from himself. "I advise you - leave the unknown for those more suitably equipped to handle it!" Jim rudely tells PS off, and continues on his mission.

Following the drums, he stumbles onto the cult's sacred site, and hides in the brush with camera in hand.



High Priest surveys the corpse and notes that they had her under long enough to fulfill the point of the ritual, whatever it was. But Colter must pay for murdering their priestess, and the cultists launch a volley of daggers at the hapless eco-tourist. The Stranger appears and vanishes the daggers into the void of his cloak, which finally manages to impress Colter, who thanks him. But this time it's PS who does the blowing off (see preview image above).

Fool's errand completed, Colter heads for the airport and doesn't spare the horses, having Had Enough Of This Sh*t.



Well, you can't say PS didn't give it the ol' Hogwarts try, right?

Date: 2012-12-15 07:09 am (UTC)
leikomgwtfbbq: (*applause*)
From: [personal profile] leikomgwtfbbq
Hooray! I had a really shitty day, so this made me happy. Thanks a ton!


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