Comic Vine Review


Phantom Lady #1 - Chasing Shadows


The Phantom Lady and the Doll Man get their very own 4-issue mini-series, so how does the classic character's first appearance fare?

The Good

The story opens in the present with Phantom Lady demonstrating what she does best -- kicking butt in the safety of the shadows. I like that the creative team quickly switches gears from the present to the past, digging into the story of just exactly how the Phantom Lady came to be. It's clear pretty quickly that she's had to sacrifice her scruples to a certain extent in order to get what she wants. She's not just a random girl at a club, she's a reporter who's parents were brutally murdered. I like the way the team set up the story and the way they are gradually fleshing out her character; getting to the heart of who she is behind her superhero identity and super powers. I think it's a great way to set up a story and to get the reader invested in her character.

She's got a great personality and it's clear she's willing to do whatever it takes in order to get things done. She wants to take down the man who murdered her family, and that revenge is what initially propels her. It will be interesting to see if the character evolves and if she finds motivations elsewhere -- particularly after what we see happen in this story.

There's a great interaction between her and her best friend, Dane, who clearly loves her. The ultimate moment is when she realizes she should have valued the things in her life when she still had them. It's a great scene that leaves you hanging on, anticipating what will come next.

The Bad

Overall, I liked Cat Staggs' pencils on this issue. I do think it could have been more detailed (I would have liked to see some expression shown in the characters), and it wouldn't have hurt to be more creative with the panel layouts.

As fun as this issue was, it did feel a little bit predictable. Still, it's a solid introduction to a character that is very different from her original incarnation.

The Verdict

I like the way that the creative team has modernized this character. It feels like she's strong, relatively independent and willing to take risks if it means getting the job done. I love that she owns her sexuality: she knows what she wants and she's not afraid to use it in order to achieve her goal. The creative team has done a good job taking this classic character and modernizing her in a way that will make her relatable to this generation's comic readers. Overall, this is a great introductory issue into her mini-series and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what happens to her next.