The ChronicleChamber team have been lucky enough to sit down together with an advance copy of Lightning Strike Comics’ 2017 contribution to the Phantomverse – The Phantom: Scarlet Sapphire.
We had a good chat about what we read... Here is our spoiler-free preview!
Dan: So lads, what did we think of The Phantom: Scarlet Sapphire?
Jermayn: I liked this! It’s a fast paced story, and true to so many Phantom elements.
Stephen: Agreed. I thought it was a nice little touch in the Skull Cave with the Chain of Patience.
Dan: Yep, having a couple of Old Jungle Sayings adds to that sense that this really is a Phantom story too.
Jermayn: Robert Carey’s art quality is top notch and Stephen Mooney is clearly a talented script writer. They’ve nailed the traditional support characters – I loved how Devil was portrayed. I did enjoy how 'kick butt' Diana was as well, she showed a lot of strong will which I haven't seen in enough stories. She is black belt, Olympian & the Phantom’s wife – I’m sick of her being portrayed as dumb useless eye candy.
Stephen: Yes! It is great to see Diana as more than just a pretty face. She has been boxing since the 1930s! The Phantom and Diana look young though, I don’t know if they’re married yet or not.
Dan: I really loved the scene with the two of them in the Skull Cave. But I reckon you might be right about them not being married yet, Steve. She is referred to as “Ms Palmer” in the story, or even “Senator Palmer”… what did you make of that?
Jermayn: Yeah, I wondered about that…
Stephen: I don't mind the reworking of Diana as a Senator. It might be a hint to say that this her pre-UN work. What did you think of the storyline? I feel like the idea of blood diamonds has been done a fair bit, particularly in Moonstone.
Dan: Probably because it’s a serious issue in the Phantom’s homeland and in the real world too. I thought the art brought a freshness to it. If anything maybe the plot was a bit too fast-paced? There were some leaps between plot-points that seem a bit big, but I must admit that a second or third read really cleared those up… especially when I slowed down enough to look at some of the detail in the art.
Jermayn: Yeh that confused me a bit as well the first time around.
Stephen: You phellas need to slow down a little bit and enjoy it! The art is just too good to race through… I really like the cel animation style illustrations. The Phantom pops and the animals are great. I thought the prologue was particularly good - I like the different camera angles, particularly the title shot.
Dan: Yeah, I’m also a massive fan of the way Carey has used different angles and shot types - close-ups, long shots etc. The layouts, with small panels overlaying large page image are great. And the use of reds and oranges on some of the pages is very cool in the way it highlights certain action panels or a bad guys sequence, kudos to colourist Triona Farrell for that! What did we think of the bad guys?
Stephen: I reckon the main boss was good but can see that his female bodyguard will have a lot of legs and may prove to be a nemesis in the future. Do you think they had links to the Singh?
Jermayn: Hard to say… it would've been good to see some more back story with the bad guys. I really liked the bad chick! Unsure on why she would be wearing a hijab and then a bikini style top though.
Dan: I wasn’t too concerned about the bad girl's get-up … sort of Lara Croft with a head scarf and lead gloves. I'm okay with that. I’m also okay with the way she can hand out and take a punch. What an action sequence!
Stephen: I'd love to see this as the start of an on-going series, but publisher Eoin McAuley has confirmed that this is 100% a stand alone story. In that case, I say great stuff well done! Four skulls from me. Will you guys be buying a copy?
Dan: Yeah for sure. I suspect the art and colour is going to look so much better in a printed copy. What about you Germ?
Jermayn: I’ll probably get three.
The Phantom: Scarlet Sapphire is available now. Contact:
Big Bang Comics
Unit 2.3, Sandyford Road, Dundrum Town Centre
Call: (01) 216 5093
Dublin City Comics & Collectibles
46 Bolton Street
Call: 085 771 7633
The Phantom's Vault
The Phantom’s Vault Pty Ltd
PO Box 2206 Clovelly West NSW 2031
(Note for Australian Phans: Scarlet Sapphire will be available on sale in Australia from June 6th due to shipping.)
Any further queries from readers and retailers can be directed to Lightning Strike directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you happen to be in Dublin this weekend? Make sure you get along to the launch party, where the creative team Robert, Stephen and Triona will join publisher Eoin at the Filmbase in Temple Bar on Saturday 3rd June.