Created by Lee Falk, Phantom was the first fictional character to wear a skintight costume and a mask with no visible pupils. It was first printed in the newspaper over six decades ago, in 1936. The character is a costumed crime-fighter, combating crime through his strength, intellect and reputation of being an immortal ghost. He is shown to live in an ancient Skull Cave and has a trained wolf named Devil and a horse called Hero. His comic series has gained rapid popularity, with thousands of kids and sometimes even adults, reading it. Read through the following lines to know more interesting and amazing information on the history, origin and background of Phantom.
Interesting & Amazing Information On Origin & Background Of Phantom
After the success of ‘Madrake the Magician’ strip, Lee Falk was asked to develop yet another feature by the King Features newspaper. Falk first attempted to create a strip about ‘King Arthur and his knights’, which he both wrote and drew. However, the feature was turned down and then, Falk came up with ‘The Phantom’, which was characterized as a mysterious, costumed crimefighter. Phantom was accepted by King Features and its first series was out on February 17, 1936, in the form of a newspaper strip titled ‘The Singh Brotherhood’. For the first two weeks, the comic strip was drawn by Falk himself, who was later followed by Ray Moore.
Phantom was envisioned as a rich playboy Jimmy Wells, who has been fighting crime in the night, dressed as the mysterious Phantom. He was shown wearing a black mask and a skintight bodysuit as the official uniform. He was the fictional character to wear a skintight costume and have eyes with no visible pupils. The costume was originally grey, but was converted into purple when the first colored version of The Phantom appeared, on a Sunday strip, on May 28, 1939. With time, the character underwent many changes and today, its costume is colored differently in different countries. For instance, in Scandinavia, the color is blue, while the color in Italy, Turkey and Brazil is red.
The Phantom has been published by various publishers since its creation. Throughout the 1940s, the strips were reprinted by Ace Comics and published by David McKay Publications. The 1950s saw the comics published by Harvey Comics. Gold Key Comics took over in 1962 that was followed by King Comics in 1966 and Charlton Comics in 1969. A total number of 73 issues had been published by 1977. The period 1988-1990 saw the publication of Phantom comic book by DC Comics. Initially, the series were written by Peter David and drawn by Joe Orlando and Dennis Janke. Subsequently, the series were scripted by Mark Verheiden and drawn by Luke McDonnell, lasting 13 issues.
The final panels of issue 13 saw Phantom marrying his love, Diana. With the death of Lee Falk in 1999, the comic strip was produced by writer Tony DePaul and artist Paul Ryan. In 2002, Phantom graphic novels were published by Moonstone Books. A total of five books were printed that were authored by Tom DeFalco, Ben Raab and Ron Goulart. In the following year 2003, Moonstone published a comic-book series that was written by Raab, Rafael Nieves and Chuck Dixon, and drawn by artists including including Pat Quinn, Jerry DeCaire, Nick Derington, Rich Burchett and EricJ. The year 2009 saw the re-launching of ‘The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks’ with issue 0 (first issue).
Phantom has been shown to fight a vast array of villains, to rid the world of all evil. His most dangerous and lasting enemy is the Singh Brotherhood. Other major threats are Kigali Lubanga (President of Bengalla), General Bababu, The Python, Manuel Ortega, Ali Gutalee, Goldhand, Bail and HIM. The character is given modern day accessories and a number of new supporting characters and villains have been introduced. New Phantom stories are now being published through comic books in different countries of the world. While Moonstone publishes them in USA, Egmont publishes the stories in Norway, Sweden and Finland, and by Frew Publications in Australia.