Cover uncredited (probably Frank Thorne)
Atlas (Seaboard); June 1975
Title: “The Day of the Devil”
Synopsis: Phoenix tries to save a village from a yeti army controlled by Satan – who is actually an alien in disguise!
Writer: Gabriel Levy
Penciler: Sal Amendola
Review: Featuring yeti, Satan and “atomic transistors,” Phoenix #3 is a product of its time. It’s still an enjoyable tale, though in places writer Gabriel Levy’s scripting takes on an odd, children’s book-like cadence (think Jack Kirby). Sal Almendola’s art looks a little rushed here, but still has an appealing kinetic quality.
Title: “The Rat Pack!”
Synopsis: The Dark Avenger saves his brother from a group of masked thugs who use rats to instill terror.
Writer: John Albano
Penciler: Pat Broderick
Inker: Terry Austin
Review: This Steve Ditko-influenced story doesn’t offer much new. But the art is quite nice, thanks largely to Terry Austin’s hyper detailed inks.
Grade (for the whole issue): B
Cool factor: You gotta love “atomic transistor” powers. Today, would Phoenix be powered by social media-enabled nanobots?
Not-so-cool factor: Why are Himalayan villagers wearing rice paddy hats?
Character quotable: “The devil has no need for fragile men!” – An elderly survivor of a yeti army attack
A word from the artist: “I’m embarrassed to even think of that issue at all. I don’t even have it. I threw away the artwork and the comic book and I haven’t seen it since. It was really just a horrendous last issue for me.” – Sal Almendola, talking about Phoenix #3, in Comic Book Artist #16, December 2001
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