Comic Vine Review


Phantom Lady #2 - To Live and Die In Metropolis


The Phantom Lady and Doll Man explore their new powers and face off against their first super-villain in Metropolis.

The Good

I think the thing I like the most about this issue is just how self aware it is. The idea that a man could shrink down to the size of a doll and then call himself "Doll Man" is ridiculous, and the creative team on this book embrace just how ridiculous that notion really is. It's really kind of funny. The rapport between the two characters, Phantom Lady and Doll Man is really endearing. The two are clearly best friends and very well acquainted (if you know what I mean), and you can see that in their dialogue. It's this friendly and very comical banter, and it's clear that they care a lot about one another (even if some of the romantic feelings are a bit one-sided). I like that these two have a great rapport and that there is no sexual tension between the two characters. It's clear they are friends and that they have a history, but that isn't the main focus of the story; which, in a four issue mini-series, shouldn't be.

Thes two characters don't just get along well with one another in terms of dialogue, they also feel really balanced taking on the criminals of Metropolis together. This issue is jam packed with a lot of really fun interaction and a great story. I can also appreciate the fact that Grey and Palmiotti are really modernizing the character. This isn't you're grandmother's Phantom Lady, this version of the character is no nonsense and uncensored. She's definitely more Phantom than she is Lady, and I think that's okay. She can have an abrasive personality and use sex to accomplish her goals if she wants to. I get the sense though that even when the odds are stacked against her, she still feels empowered; and that's a good thing.

The Bad

I admit I didn't entirely love the art in this comic. The characters looked sort of different and inconsistent in some of the panels, and the layout and structure didn't really flow with the story. To me, it felt a little bit jarring in some scenes.

The Verdict

Overall I really enjoy this book. I love that the creators can laugh at the absurd concept of a character who shrinks down and has to wear doll clothing. I love that the Phantom Lady is pretty "no-nonsense" and isn't about to stand down, no matter what happens. Even when the odds are against her, she pulls through -- but you get the sense that there is definitely a struggle. She's not the most likeable character 100 percent of the time, but she's likeable in a gritty, real way. I think as far as female characters in the DC Universe, there's no one that is written quite like her, and that's something really refreshing and something I can certainly appreciate. Although this is a four-issue mini, and you should pick up the first issue if you want to get a better understanding of the character, you can start reading here. The issue picks up without skipping a beat and is clear and concise enough for a new reader not only to read and understand, but also to enjoy.