The Beginning...

I am the Phantom Stranger    Obviously, I am convinced that, one of the most exciting comic book characters of all time is the Phantom Stranger of  D.C. Comics. He is also my favorite all time read. There are many casual comic book readers and collectors that know very little about him. Even though he is one of the most powerful, enigmatic, and creative characters in the company's large resipository of comics.

    The name “Phantom Stranger,” sometimes will bring to mind the Rob Zombie song that shares the same name. Most people don’t know that the song is actually loosely based on an issue of the Phantom Stranger's comic.

    The Phantom Stranger is a character that will appear when “he is needed” and or the world is at a major crossroad or at a supernatural world changing event. He states that he is there to offer guidance, but he is forbidden to interfere when human decisions are made and he can not give tangible advice. He will pose questions, help the individual see what outcomes their actions may cause, but he will never give other characters the actual answers to a specific predicaments.

    He has appeared in a great many issues and he is arguably thought to be one of the most powerful characters in the whole DC Universe. He has battled the minions of Hell without displaying much of a problem. It is known that he is neither live nor dead so to call him immortal may not have significance. I believe he has no knowledge of his on powers since he is always undervaluing his abilities. He will often and single-handedly take on a task that requires immense power and others will rush to his aid assuming he must fail against such vast odds. He hasn't yet.

    The Phantom Stranger can move from one plane of existence to another, bend time, see past and future events, appear and disappear across vast distances, and he sometimes will command stronger spiritual magic than any other DCU character.
    He is personally known by many of the stars of the DCU like Superman, Batman, and the Green Lantern as well as many of the Vertigo line of books like the Books of Magic, Swamp Thing, and Hellblazer just to name a few. He is one of few characters who is allowed to move between these two publications because his many abilities and style can fit into either genre.
    Very little is actually known about his origins which only adds to his mystical enigmatic nature. DC once produced a special Origins issue, written by Alan Moore, of four possible origins that gave four possible starting points for this character.

    In one story it was alleged that the Phantom Stranger was actually a fallen angel that did not take sides in the initial battle between Heaven and Hell. Since he did not take sides, he was condemned to wander aimlessly for eternity.

    In another story, it was said that the Phantom Stranger had been a righteous person during Biblical times. God sent an angel to protect him from a wrath that he was about to send down onto mankind. This story is much like the story of Lot. The man questioned the actions of God, and then committed suicide because he did not believe in the actions that God had taken because those actions took away his family. The Character was not allowed into the afterlife by an angel of God, and was then condemned to walk the Earth for all of eternity.

    In a variation of the Wandering Jew story, he was a human (normal) man named Isaac with a wife (Rebecca) and a son during the time of Jesus' childhood. When King Herod heard that there was born a child who would be king of the Jews, he ordered the deaths of all baby boys in order to kill the Christ child. Among the people killed were also, Isaac's wife and son. Blinded with anger, Isaac spent the next 30 years in a rage against Jesus. Later, after being tried in part by Herod's son, Jesus was to be subjected to torture. On learning this, Isaac bribed a guard to assume his role in the flagellation of Christ. Upon this Jesus sentenced him into exile from his home and to wander until Doomsday. After the crucifixion, Isaac recognized his mistake and let go of his anger. He has since spent the rest of his life helping society, even declining an offer from God, father of Jesus himself, to release him from his sentence.

    Another story was a proposal that the stranger is a remnant of the previous universe. At the end of the universe the Phantom Stranger approaches a group of scientists studying the event. He warned them not to interfere in the natural conclusion of the universe. The story concludes with the man passing a portion of himself to a scientist as the universe is reborn. The scientist from the previous universe is the proposed to be the Phantom Stranger in, this, the new universe.
    In relation to this origin, it has also been suggested that the character Pariah from DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths series was to become the Phantom Stranger. This is not supported by ant cannon that I know about.
So, for me, this is the beginning…
 

    I have purchased all but five of the Phantom Stranger comic book appearances and will be sharing them all in succession from 1952 to today. I will be including some my thoughts of each issue and possibly a scanned image for the actual books.

    In an article I read Neil Gaiman requested the Phantom Stranger when he was asked to do a new Vertigo book but he was instead given the Sandman. When he asked why he couldn't do the Phantom Stranger D.C. said "well... he's not a hero" all Neil could do was laugh... me too.

What we think we know:
Real Name Unknown A.K.A Phantom Stranger
Aliases Grey Walker, Brotherless One, The Stranger, Friend Identity Secret
Affiliation Member of the Justice League of America since #103 of Earth-One, Quintessence Sentinels of Magic, The Trenchcoat Brigade, and Shadowpact Universe Earth-One New Earth
Base Of Operations Mobile Gender Male
Height 6' 2" Weight 185 lbs (84 kg)
Hair White Features The shadow cast by his hat often appears like a mask and his eyes are white with no pupils. He wears a black pinstripe suit and black fedora.
Marital Single Occupation Conscience/advocate
Creators John Broome, Carmine Infantino First app. Phantom Stranger #1 September, 1952
 
However, the Stranger is better known for his role as a supernatural assistant to other heroes, such as the Justice
League. The League offered him membership, though he initially left before accepting. This leaves the actual date
of his admission unclear. He was not, as some accounts have reported, a mere honorary member. After a vote of the
majority of the League at the time, Superman declared the Phantom Stranger “a member” without qualification.
(Justice League of America #103). The Stranger twice asserted his membership status when other Leaguers challenged
his input, particularly during the vote on the League’s re-admission of Wonder Woman. She would later confirm his
membership status in a subsequent League adventure. He also affirmed his membership in the JLA/Avengers mini-series
when the League doubted he was there to help.

The Stranger also starred in a miniseries in 1987. This series portrayed him as an agent of the Lords of Order. For
refusing to help them in their war against the Lords of Chaos, they temporarily stripped him of his powers. This
series also featured Eclipso as an agent of Chaos. However, no stories have referenced these events since, and they
might no longer be in continuity due to the reality-alterations during Zero Hour and Infinite Crisis.

Update!
The New 52 Has given more insights into the Phantom Stranger on May12, 202 Free Comic Book Day or F.C.B.D..