Action Comics Weekly #641 (Phantom Lady)
Writer – Len Strazewski
Pencils – Chuck Austen
Inks – Gary Martin
Letters – John Costanza
Colors – Glenn Whitmore
Editor – Mark Waid
Today we put another feature to bed… forever! Only four more to go!
We open with Dee ploppin’ the file full’a photos on her father’s desk. He’s happy to have them back… until he flips through to that one with the Ku Klux Klan. We learn that the young man in the photo was… him! Now, ya see… he never palled around with the Klan, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was actually Dee’s Daddy’s brother Beau who was all in with the bad guys. One night he was out to “scare” a young black man who had eyes for a white woman. Rather than “scare” him… well, they actually lynched him. Dee’s Daddy was along for the ride, and got caught in a series of compromising photos.
Like seriously, the Klansmen snapped a picture of him next to the victim… and told him to keep his mouth shut, or it would be released. Dee asks how Guerrehart could have gotten his hands on it… to which, her Daddy is sure that Brother Beau happily handed ’em over.
We get a bit more of Dee’s Daddy’s secret origin. Shortly after the lynching, he’d run away from home… join the Navy, and wound up in Paris. This is where he’d meet Dee’s mother. Whirlwind romance, marriage, the whole deal would follow. Daddy would ascend to power as the Attorney General… Mom would pass away, but not before having a child.
Dee asks what he wants to do about the pictures… and so, Daddy decides he’s run from the truth for far too long. Rather than engage in another cover-up, he decides it’s time to “go public”. He resigns his position.
We wrap up with a blinded Guerrehart swearing vengeance on the Phantom Lady. Next time she shows her face… she’ll be dead. Dead. You hear me, DEAD!
Okay, this ended a lot better than I thought it might. The entire arc feels kind of like an issue of Secret Origins… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing… it just makes me wonder why it wasn’t just that. Guess we had to burn off pages before Action Comics returns to normal… and there are worse ways to do that (see The Demon).
Really not a whole heckuva lot to say about this chapter or this arc. It was inoffensive… and sometimes that’s a “plus” in and of itself. The final panel asks folks to write in if they wanna see more Phantom Lady. Gonna guess very few people did… can’t say whether or not this Guerrehart storyline ever comes up again, and also can’t say whether or not that bothers me all that much.
Overall, I think Dee’s a pretty cool character… but I don’t really see her “carrying” a title. I guess that’s what Action Comics Weekly is all about, innit?
Tomorrow: Say Hello (and Goodbye) to the Human Target!