The Phantom is an American adventure comic strip created by Lee Falk, also creator of Mandrake the Magician. A popular feature adapted into many forms of media, including television, film and video games, it stars a costumed crimefighter operating from the fictional African country Bengalla.
The Phantom is the 21 st in a line of crimefighters that originated in 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was murdered during a pirate attack. The only survivor of the attack, Christopher was washed ashore on a Bengallan beach, and swore an oath on the skull of his father's killer to dedicate his life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice, with his sons and their sons set to follow him. Making a costume based on the image of an old jungle idol, he became the Phantom. When he died, his son took over the role of the Phantom, and such the mantle would be passed down to new generations, leaving people to give the mysterious figure nicknames such as "The Man Who Cannot Die", "Guardian of the Eastern Dark" and "The Ghost Who Walks", believing him to be immortal.
Unlike many fictional costumed heroes, the Phantom does not have supernatural powers of any kind, but relies on his strength, intellect and reputation of being an immortal ghost to defeat his opponents. He is protected at home in part by the Bandar pygmies, or "Poison-People", whose fearsome reputation is enough to keep the uninvited out of his jungle. He carries two forty-five caliber pistols, and wears two rings that have been worn by every Phantom, one on his right hand which permanently scars villains with the mark of a skull, and another with his good mark, worn on his left hand, which places his seal on those placed under his protection as a warning to others. The twenty-first Phantom is married to Diana Palmer, whom he met as a child while studying in the US, and the couple have two children together, Kit and Heloise. Like all previous Phantoms he lives in the ancient Skull Cave, and also has a trained wolf, Devil, and the horse Hero.
The series began with a daily newspaper strip on February 17, 1936, followed by a color Sunday strip on May 28, 1939; both are still running as of . At the peak of its popularity, the strip was read by over one hundred million people each day.
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Official Site: Moonstone Books
Links: Wikipedia Toonopedia King Features