Some characters seem immune to time. Created in the 1930s, Superman and Batman were reinvented several times, but never lost their relevance. Spider-Man came to life at the hands of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962 and continues to attract the attention of young people who see the arachnid hero as a mirror of their own dilemmas. However, if someone asks a child who the Phantom is, there is a good chance that this little person will have no idea of the character’s existence.
Created by Lee Falk in 1936, initially as a newspaper strip, the Phantom is considered the first uniformed hero in comics. He is also seen as the first hero with “white eyes”, since his eyes are not seen behind the mask. Apparently, this trait in particular influenced Bill Finger and Bob Kane in the conception of Batman and became a widely used component in the superhero costumes.
The Origin Of The Phantom
In terms of origin, the Phantom has unique characteristics. To begin with, the most important version of the character is none other than the twenty-first of his dynasty. Yes, the Phantom’s mantle is something passed from father to son. However, as this fact is known to few in the stories, people believe that the hero is immortal, this when he is not described only as a legend of the Bangalla jungle being called “the ghost who walks”.
The story begins in the year 1536 when a young man named Christopher Walker sailed along the African coast alongside his father and saw his ship being attacked by pirates. The buccaneers decimated the crew, leaving Christopher as the sole survivor. Arriving unconscious on the shore, the boy was helped by the pygmies who lived in the jungle and, later on, in front of the skull of his father’s killer, he swore revenge against all kinds of piracy.
From then on, the reader follows the life of the twenty-first Phantom acting today. Usually, the character starred in closed stories, without great consequences, except for the evolution of his love relationship with Diana Palmer, a young woman he met during the period he studied in the United States and whom, years later, he married and had children.
A Classic Forgotten By The Media
If having a hero in active marriage and with children is not so common, having a hero who uses a 45 caliber pistol, has a horse as a means of transport and a wolf that accompanies him as a faithful dog is even less common. For these and others, the Phantom has always been a unique hero, with stories full of adventure and drama, which only increases the lament for the way it was forgotten in Brazil, since in other countries, it never stopped being published. This is the case for: Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Belgium.
It is possible that part of the explanation for its forgetfulness by the general public is due to the fact that the Phantom does not have its rights linked to Marvel or DC Comics (which have already licensed the character), something that, inevitably, is reflected in the disclosure of the character. Therefore, it is up to those who had the privilege of meeting the Phantom to introduce him to someone younger and tell him about how he was, is and will always be a special hero.
Editor’s note: In recent years, Editora Mythos has brought a lot of the hero, which is a perfect entry point for those who still do not know him and can choose his favorite version of the character.
Written by Michel Costa.
See the original untranslated article HERE