A month before the Legends crossover series begins, the Phantom Stranger, who will play a major role in that, gets a re-introduction of sorts in his team-up with Superman in Action 585 (Feb.87), by Byrne and Giordano.
You gotta love the Stranger standing in a graveyard and expounding eternal truths to open the story.
Superman defeats a mystical villain, whose power resided in the gemstone of a staff. He takes away the villain, but neglects the stone, which lands in a graveyard, and somewhat re-animates the dead.
The Phantom Stranger alerts Superman to the situation, and leaves him to deal with the physical manifestation of the problem, a huge living mound of dirt.
The Stranger enters the “soul” of the monster, and finds the angry and bitter dead have taken control of the being, fed by the gemstone. The Phantom Stranger evokes the spirits of those at peace, and releases the others from the gem’s control.
The big mound of earth gets left in space, where it will be used again in a story a few months down the road.