"The Man Who Died Three Times": Young Billy Hatton watches his father Cyrus Hatton wander off in a stupor. He gets into his car and crashes into a nearby bridge. Horror-stricken, Billy runs home to tell his mom that his father had died. The Phantom Stranger appears and decides to investigate
- Many uncanny things occur in this world, Billy, for which science has no explanation!
Appearing in "The Man Who Died Three Times"
- Billy Hatton (First appearance)
- Cyrus Hatton (First appearance)
- Mrs. Hatton (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Man Who Died Three Times"
Young Billy Hatton watches his father Cyrus Hatton wander off in a stupor. He gets into his car and crashes into a nearby bridge. Horror-stricken, Billy runs home to tell his mom that his father had died. The Phantom Stranger appears and decides to investigate this spectacle. Miraculously, Cyrus returns home. He tells them that he has nine lives. He soon leaves to return to work. This reminds the Phantom Stranger of another spectacle that he once played witness to. He tells Billy the story.
Appearing in "The House of Strange Secrets"
- Doctor Thirteen
- Billy Hatton
- Robart (Single appearance)
- Cyrus Hatton
- Mrs. Hatton
- Neal Hunter (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The House of Strange Secrets"
This story is reprinted from The Phantom Stranger #1.
Stage magician Robart lures Neal Hunter, a traveler to his house. He wants to kill him and be able to cast a black magic spell which will grant him immortality. The Phantom Stranger appears on the scene, protects the innocent man and exposes the charlatan's tricks. Robart then tries to stab the Stranger, but he passes right through him, his blade striking some electrical equipment, which promptly electrocutes him.
After telling Billy the tale, the Phantom Stranger finds a note that Cyrus Hatton had left behind. The note indicates that Cyrus is going to jump off the midtown bridge to prove that he has nine lives.
Later, Dr. Terrence Thirteen, the Ghost-Breaker and his assistant Marie are driving past the Midtown Bridge when they see a man fall into the river. They try to save him, but cannot reach him in time. A police barge arrives to dredge the river for the body. Billy arrives, but he is too late to save his father. Dr. Thirteen offers to take Billy home. When they arrive, they find that Cyrus Hatton has once again cheated death. This inspires Dr. Thirteen to speak of one of his own adventures.
Appearing in "The Girl Who Lived 5,000 Years"
- Phantom Stranger
- Billy Hatton
- Mister Big (Single appearance)
- Mister Hendricks (Single appearance)
- Tateeka (Single appearance)
- Ramu-Guru (Flashback only) (Single appearance)
- Cyrus Hatton
Synopsis for "The Girl Who Lived 5,000 Years"
This story is reprinted from Star-Spangled Comics #128.
Dr. Thirteen once learned of the existence of a 5,000 year old Babylonian woman named Tateeka who came to life once every one-hundred years at Lamson Manor. A resident of the manor, Mister Hendricks would charge men one-thousand dollars for a life-changing experience with Tateeka. But each of these men would soon commit suicide not longer after dating Tateeka.
Thirteen takes the gamble and pays the one-thousand dollars. After dating Tateeka, he becomes obsessed and finds that he cannot allow her to re-enter her one-hundred years slumber. But he also learns that the mysterious 5,000-year-old woman is merely a sham. Tateeka uses drugs and oils on her gloves to seduce men for their money. The drugs also cause them to become suicidal when they learn that Tateeka is going into her centennial nap. Thirteen exposes the entire plot and Tateeka and puts her and Hendricks out of business.
After telling Billy the tale, Thirteen is determined to expose the fraudulent nine-lives scenario that his father seems to be perpetuating. The Phantom Stranger and he both learn that Cyrus Hatton had been under the control of a gangster named Mister Big. Mister Big sought to use Hatton to secure cheap municipal building contracts. But Hatton eventually tried to balk out of the deal. After which, they drugged him and organized the entire nine lives scam, so that they can one day murder Hatton while dressing the affair up as the lunatic actions of a suicidal man.
The Phantom Stranger and Dr. Thirteen break into Mister Big's office and beat the goons up, exposing their fraudulent scheme.
- This issue is reprinted in Showcase Presents: The Phantom Stranger Vol. 1.
- "The Man Who Died Three Times" acts as the framing story for the other stories told in this issue.
- Based on a penciled-in date on a copy owned by Goblyn4evil, this issue went on sale May 12th, 1969. This is roughly supported by in-house ads for other comics going on sale in May.
- No trivia.
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