Review: Phoenix #2

Phoenix #2 cover
Cover by Dick Giordano

Phoenix #2
Published and © by Atlas (Seaboard), March 1975

Title: “… and the Sea Ran Red!”
Synopsis: After learning the alien threat still lives, Phoenix races to New York to stop the annihilation of the city.

Writer: Gabriel Levy
Artist: Sal Amendola

Review: The Phoenix-as-Christ-figure references are less subtle this time out, with thoughts of messianic salvation and a final panel of our hero taking flight in a crucifix pose, halo of sun on his back. Of course, he spends part of the issue doing his best Moses impersonation, too, parting New York Harbor to lead his people to safety. All these Biblical allusions actually work pretty well, giving this book a unique angle. But the series is going to need better characterization if it’s going to work. Sal Amendola’s illustration-inspired art also gives Phoenix a distinct look. This series continues to show some potential.

Grade: B

Cool factor: The Superhero-as-Christ-figure motif has made for some really good comics over the years …
Not-so-cool factor: … but this isn’t one of them. At least, not yet.

Character quotable: “As did I, so will man rise from the ashes of hatred and prejudice!” – The Phoenix, getting a little messianic with his internal dialogue

A word from the artist: “At the end of the second issue, there was a panel of Phoenix flying up into the sky and I took a crucifix that I had and used the Jesus figure as a model.” – Sal Amendola, Comic Book Artist #16, December 2001

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Sept. 21, 2010.

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