Learn what happened to The Phantom Stranger after the FREE COMIC BOOK DAY story!
Who has been sacrificed? Who is guilty? Who can save us? And who…is The Phantom Stranger?
Major players in The New 52 will be introduced in these pages!
He tries to kill himself. He tries to tie a rope around his neck and hang from it until dead. He can no longer stand the judgement of others. He has judged himself guilty.
But even in death, he could not escape his guilt. In death, he is summoned to the Rock of Eternity.
Brought before the Council of Wizards, he is found guilty of upsetting the cosmic order of the world. Only the greatest of sinners stood before these wizards, and horrific sentences awaited all three there gathered. Their sins affect the course of the world to this day.
The Council demands these sinners kneel, and the man complies, as does the woman on his right. The man on his left, however, stands in defiance. The guards force compliance upon him, then are ordered away.
The Council of Wizards deem these three the greatest transgressors mankind has ever known. They name them the Trinity of Sin.
They name greed as the man’s mortal sin, a notion he does not agree with. In his eyes, his mortal sin was the betrayal of his closest friend. Now he begs the Council to forgive him as his friend would.
“You are beyond forgiveness,” they judge. “Your greed has forever darkened the world.”
As a reminder of his greed, a necklace of silver coins is painfully branded into his flesh. His hair goes white with shock. The world goes dark around him...
He awakes in the “Field of Blood,” the land purchased with the coins of betrayal that were now bound to his skin. He begs to be allowed to die, but a voice from the heavens rebukes him. “SINNER! YOUR ULTIMATE FATE AWAITS.”
The man is instructed to don a dark blue robe, the robe of his betrayed friend, stolen from him on the day of his death. By the robe he is changed. He becomes a Stranger to all.
“YOUR PENANCE IS TO WALK THIS LAND UNTIL THE DEBT FOR YOUR SINS IS PAID.
“AND ON THAT DAY, YOU WILL SERVE THE GREATER GOOD.”
He wanders the earth for centuries, numb to the world, until the twentieth century. After so much time, the voice finally speaks to him again, instructing him to seek out a certain man and begin to make amends.
The man is found in a police station in the heart of Gotham City. His name is Jim Corrigan, a cop with anger issues, suspended twice for use of excessive force. Corrigan’s fiancee Gwendolyn Sterling has gone missing, and Corrigan suspects she’s been kidnapped by McLauren, whose brother Corrigan shot.
Corrigan’s commanding officer, Hopkins knows better than to send him on a case so emotionally charged. Regardless, Corrigan defies orders, leaving his badge in the station and heading out into the night.
The Phantom Stranger finds Corrigan in the streets, mercilessly beating an informant. The Stranger stops him, offering his help in finding the woman he seeks.
The Stranger shares a vision with Corrigan of his fiancee, alive and well, and takes him to the location revealed therein. But instead of finding his beloved Gwen, Corrigan finds McLauren’s men waiting in ambush for him. He is gunned down as the Stranger watches in disbelief.
As Corrigan’s soul leaves its body, it is transformed. He becomes a Spectre, a creature of divine wrath, ready to murder the Stranger for his betrayal. The Voice intervenes, however. The Spectre is needed elsewhere, and the Phantom Stranger won’t escape his destiny so easily.
A silver coin falls from the Stranger’s throat. A debt paid for services rendered.
Until he is called again he has no choice but to watch and wait, nothing more... than a Stranger.