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Review: Phoenix #3

Phoenix #3 cover
Cover uncredited (probably Frank Thorne)

Phoenix #3
Published and © by 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
Artist: 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 Amendola’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 entire issue): B

Second opinion: “The only issue of interest is 3, which has a tongue-in-cheek back-up strip starring in the Dark Avenger with lovely art by Pat Broderick.” – FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: You gotta love “atomic transistor” powers. Today, would Phoenix be powered by social-media-enabled stem cells?
Not-so-cool factor: Why are Himalayan villagers wearing rice-paddy hats?

Character quotable: “The devil has no need for fragile men!” – A 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 Amendola, talking about Phoenix #3, Comic Book Artist #16, December 2001

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Sept. 22, 2010.

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