The series will focus on a supporting character of the Phantom Stranger worshipped by millions around the globe.
Source: ThanosCopter Newswire
Hoping to build off their success of Phantom Stranger #0, DC is mulling over a new series that focuses on the Phantom Strangers most famous companion.
SPOILERS FOR PHANTOM STRANGER #0
Phantom Stranger #0 revealed the title character to be Judas Iscariot, the famed betrayer of Jesus Christ, forced to live anonymously by a magical cabal as punishment for his sins. While writer Dan Didio didn't directly name the character, he threw enough thinly veiled references to make it clear that the Stranger is actually the dude who sold Jesus out to the Romans and even notes that the Phantom Stranger's cloak originally belonged to the figure revered by Christians across the world.
DC has been so impressed by the media and fan reaction (which has ranged from mild bemusement to mild bewilderment at the heavy-handed way the character was reintroduced), they're now mulling over spinning off a new series entitled Before Phantom Stranger that will focus on DC's version of Jesus Christ.
"Well, we never did definitively say that the Phantom Stranger was Judas," said Didio, writer of the series and Chief Subtlety Officer at DC during a recent fictional interview. "But we do know that the Phantom Stranger was a friend to a very important figure in first century Israel with extraordinary powers that defied explanation. It would be interesting to look at that person's secret origins and his supernatural parentage, wouldn't it?"
Didio, who awkwardly tied greed to Judas's betrayal of Jesus, continued. "And what if this person, whose story is the greatest story ever told, actually had a secret, a deadly secret tied to the origins of the Universe that could effect how Superman and Batman interact with each other today?"
Should DC actually make a Jesus-centric Before Phantom Stranger series, Didio was cognizant of the controversy and mainstream media coverage it would get. "Of course it would be big," he said. "And it would be even bigger if it was revealed that he travelled to Paradise Island and got a little friendly with Wonder Woman's mom, wouldn't it? Then the question you'd have to ask is whether Wonder Woman is the child of a god or the child of the Son of God. This has major implications on all of DC's heroes...hypothetically, of course."
While the series is still in early development, readers can expect that DC will be unafraid to cross any line in order to raise sales and media exposure. The publisher recently released several Before Watchmen miniseries in a blatant moneygrab and have openly admitted that they're simply looking for ways to ruffle feathers and sell comic books. If DC can bastardize Watchmen, the most important comic book ever to be released, organized religion probably doesn't have a chance.
J. Michael Straczynski, a writer with no ethical scruples, has been rumored to be attached to the project as well, thus ensuring that Jesus will be treated like a corporate property that can be quit on halfway through the series.
When asked about how religious comic readers would react to seeing Jesus as a comic book character, Didio winked and said "Well, I bet it would be a crisis for them. Perhaps an Absolute Crisis of Faith."