The Phantom Stranger was a member of the Quintessence, a group of five cosmic beings who watch over the events that take place in the universe without much direct influence over it.

They watched Captain Marvel becoming brainwashed through torture by Lex Luthor which ultimately led to the UN bombing at the Gulag. They were unwilling to do anything and are questioned by the Spectre about it.

The Phantom Stranger was sent to give a faith healer named William, whose faith in Superman being a deity was shattered when his idol confessed that the disaster in Kansas was his fault and not his intention, a seven-sealed scroll. This scroll would give the man power to change events so that the Kansas disaster does not ever happen. However, the Phantom Stranger finds out that the other four members of the Quintessence were planning to use William, now transformed into Gog, as their agent to make the Kansas incident happen years earlier for their own ends and purposes. This required the Phantom Stranger to enlist the aid of his own agent, Hunter of the Linear Men, to stop Gog's plan.



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