Action Comics Weekly #636 (Phantom Lady)
Writer – Len Strazewski
Pencils – Chuck Austen
Inks – Gary Martin
Letters – John Costanza
Colors – Glenn Whitmore
Editor – Mark Waid
Oh, what a day… for the first time in kind of a long time, we’re going to be meeting a brand-new member of the Action Comics Weekly family… the Phantom Lady! Can you contain the excitement?! Didn’t think so!
We open during a graduation… I was going to assume this was for college, considering the age of the graduates… then, a few panels in, I thought it might be the police academy, but we’re going to learn that it’s a more specialized institution. Whatever the case, our Phantom Lady and her friend are waiting to hear their names called… and make it known to the reader that they ain’t wearing anything but their guns under the gown. Not sure what the point of that is… but, we’ll allow it. We jump ahead several weeks to Dee reuniting with her daddy… an Attorney General in Washington, D.C. He’s happy to see her, and introduces her to his aide, Roger Richter before kicking them both out of his office.
In the hallway, Dee and Rog become a little more acquainted… with the latter informing the former that her daddy’s been acting pretty weird lately. Also, something about an “arms deal” that I’m guessing we’ll find out more about before long. Before he can explain, however, they are interrupted by the arrival of Edwin Guerrehart, a D.C. lobbyist, and his “heavy” a caveman-looking bruiser named Gronk. From the sounds of it, Edwin seems to have a lot of influence in the beltway… he even beat a manslaughter charge! The lobbyist bursts into Dee’s Daddy’s office.
Dee waits outside for the meeting to wrap, and as Edwin and Gronk make their exit, she trips them up with an umbrella. She then jams the point of the thing into the back of Guerrehart’s neck, promising to run it right through if he makes the slightest move. She threatens him to back off.
We wrap up with Dee reuniting with an old friend (and her new roommate), Sarah Somethin-or-nother. She a student at Georgetown… and, that’s about all we know. Anyhoo, that night, Dee practices her yoga or tai chi… or whatever it is she’s doing, before asking if she can “use” some of the leftover boards from their new IKEA furniture. After getting the thumbs up, Dee savata kicks right through one of em… before asking if she can next use the bricks.
Here’s the thing… this wasn’t very good. I mean, it was kinda silly, kinda dumb… but, I dunno… I kinda liked it?
It felt very low-stakes… and, almost like I was reading a book from the !mpact Comics line… which, considering it’s Strazewski, it makes sense. Chuck Austen’s pencils here even evoke an “impacty” feel.
So, whatta we got here? Well, Dee Tyler is our Phantom Lady. A recent graduate of… uh, Ninja High School? Maybe? I dunno. She also might be a nudist? That bit felt kind of out of place, though I suppose if we’re trying to establish what makes this lady tick, it’s not the worst thing. She throws one helluva kick too… so, there’s that.
Her father is a D.A. in D.C., and he’s been acting a bit erratically of late. He’s stressed out due to some “arms deal”… and is regularly barged in on by lobbyists and their simian heavies. I guess that’s going to be the “meat” of this arc… so, I may as well make peace with it.
And, that’s really about it. I think this is going to wind up being a six-parter… and there are definitely worse “chapter ones” out there… many of which we’ve already covered here! Fingers crossed this one stays fun.
Tomorrow: Welcome Back, Jack!