|SuperFriends Comic Book Character|
|Affiliations:||Justice League of America|
Justice League of America Team Member
The Phantom Stranger is known for his role as a ‘supernatural assistant’ to other heroes, such as the Justice League. After a vote of the majority of the team, they offered him membership, with Superman declaring the Stranger ‘a member’ without qualification. He left before accepting. He did not acknowledge his membership until a few years later.
|“||Out of the swirling mists of nowhere looms a mysterious figure to shield the innocent from the dark forces of evil ... and then disappear again into the void! Who is this Phantom Stranger?||”|
— From the cover of Phantom Stranger, #1 (August, 1952).
In the parallel-universe of Earth-One, the Phantom Stranger’s origin is unknown. His early career was spent proving the supernatural events perpetrated by criminals to be hoaxes. He would directly confront the villains, and displayed no supernatural abilities apart from his uncanny ability to appear where and when he is needed and to disappear just as mysteriously, with nobody ever seeing him coming or going. He eventually began to confront ‘real’ supernatural-events, to which he began to exhibit unspecified superhuman powers to defeat them.
As his career progressed, he began to aid major heroes, many being Justice League members. He did this in a physical corporeal form and at other times as mysterious disembodied voice. He assisted the Justice League team as well on numerous adventures. On one occasion the team formally elected him to membership, although his acceptance of membership was another matter.
He also, developed personal enemies. One such enemies was the demonic sorceress Tala. Another was the alchemist/sorcerer named Tannarak. This relationship would prove to be unique as Tannarak would later assist him against the Dark Circle. He would also be assisted by a blind psychic named Cassandra Craft. This team-up, would be peppered with a romantic attraction. The Stranger eventually initiated the two parting ways, although she would show up on occasion to lend a hand.
Powers and Abilities
The limits of his power have not been defined. In many cases, despite his obvious capabilities, he claims he is not allowed to end a crisis directly, only to guide others to take the necessary actions.
- Immortality: The mysterious Stranger seems to be effectively immortal, never aging.
- Dimensional Travel: He can travel at will among the magical dimensions.
- Teleportation: He can mysteriously vanish and appear at will, suggesting magical teleportation (when the JLA had a satellite in orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, the Stranger routinely entered and left it without use of the JLA teleportation tubes).
- Eldritch Blast: He can fire energy bolts of great force.
- Time Travel: The Stranger can travel through time.
- Magic: The Stranger almost never uses spoken spells or magical rituals more complex than a séance or a circle of entrapment. However, his magical prowess almost knows no bounds.
- Illusion Casting: The Stranger can reveal illusions.
- Self-Sustenance: He can survive in space without any type of life support system.
- Omniscience: He seems to know nearly everything about any character and situation he encounters. This allows him to provide helpful advice and assistance to others. He claims that "nothing remains hidden to [him]."
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): He is a moderately skilled hand-to-hand combatant, often surprising with a punch someone who smugly thought their protection against magic rendered them untouchable.
- Storytelling: The Stranger always comes onto a new adventure as a story. He thrives in it and even acts in it, manipulating the events how he sees fit. When an event seemed to be supernatural in nature he depicted it to be normal and vise versa.
- Vulnerability to Magic: The Stranger is not physically invulnerable. Especially when he is heavily outnumbered when his magical abilities are already in use, or when he is taken by surprise, he can be injured or knocked out. He can be imprisoned by magical means; and his innate magical energies can be siphoned away. His physical form can be destroyed and he can die in at least some circumstances. He has often thought that a particular combination of threats might destroy him, particularly those which combined magical imprisonment with physical attacks or magical drains.
- Talkative: A weakness of a different sort is his oft-noticed tendency to speak too much; but this may be related to his need to make those around him understand the consequences of their choices and the fact that they face choices. He must not act in their place, so he must make them understand what their actions mean.
The Stranger Inducted into the JLA
Justice League Team Members
Members of the Justice League
Aquaman (founding member) • Batman (founding member) • Superman (founding member) • Flash (founding member)
The Stranger did not appear in any episodes of the Superfriends.
- Super Friends #7 (October 1977) – Mentioned Only
- The Phantom Stranger first appeared in Phantom Stranger, Vol. 1 #1 (August-September 1952). This was an eponymous six-issue comics anthology.
- He was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino.
- After an appearance in Showcase, #80 (February 1969), he received another series beginning May–June 1969 that lasted until February–March 1976. The Showcase appearance and the first three issues of Phantom Stranger consisted of reprints from both the 1950s title and the Dr. 13: Ghost-Breaker feature from the last nine issues of Star Spangled Comics at the same time, with new, brief framing sequences.
- Nothing in the way of personal data about the Phantom Stranger — his real name, his true nature, or his origins—has ever been revealed.
- As revealed in Justice League of America, #103 (December, 1972).
- As revealed in Justice League of America, #146 (September, 1977).
- As revealed in Phantom Stranger, #1 - #6 (1952-53).
- As revealed in The Brave and the Bold, #89 (April/May 1970).
- As revealed in Justice League of America, #103 (December, 1972). Also see issue #161 (December 1978) for more on JL membership limits.
- As revealed in The Phantom Strange, #4 (November/December 1969).
- As revealed in The Phantom Stranger, #10 (November/December 1970).
- As revealed in The Phantom Stranger, #20 (July/August 1972).
- As revealed in The Phantom Stranger, #17 (January/February 1972).
- As revealed in The Phantom Stranger, #24 (March/April 1973).