DC; January 1982
Cover by Gene Colan and Dick Giordano
Title: “The Haunting of Charlie Kweskill!”
Synopsis: Charlie Kweskill, a Daily Planet paste-up man, finds himself haunted by visions of the Phantom Zone’s history.
Writer: Steve Gerber
Penciler: Gene Colan
Inker: Tony DeZuniga
Review: Steve Gerber, best known during the Bronze Age for his Marvel work, makes a rare DC appearance to explore the Phantom Zone. The story is surprisingly free of Gerber’s normal hijinks, as this miniseries gets off to a slow start. The bulk of this issue is told in flashback, which saps the story of dramatic power. But it sets up the series well, and the cliffhanger ending suggests a powerful second issue to come. On the art side of things, Tony DeZuniga’s inks overpower Gene Colan’s pencils, but the end result is surprisingly pleasant.
Cool factor: Exploring crime and punishment on Krypton. There are worse ways to spend a day.
Notable: Includes a one-page text feature titled “The Editorial Zone.”
Character quotable: “It’s not exactly balmy in that netherworld.” – Lara, a/k/a Supermom, on her return from the Phantom Zone.
Copyright ©2016 Off the Wahl Productions, all rights reserved. Each week, T. Andrew Wahl takes a look at a Bronze Age Fantastic First. For more reviews like this one, check out Wahl’s website, SequentialReaction.com.