This is meant to be a thread for all versions of THE PHANTOM, the Lee Falk-created King Features Syndicate newspaper strip character who has appeared in many comic books as well from many publishers over the years. Fall also created MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN.
The Phantom seems to be considerably more popular in Scandanavia, Australia and India than in America. Many, many, Phantom comic-book stories have been produced in other countries that have never been published in America
To a certain extent, I am starting this line to whip back up my own enthusiasm for the Phantom. Practically a decade and a half ago (Ulp!!!) I splurged on an Air Mail subscription to the massively long-running and high-numbered Phantom comic book, that is published in Australia by Frew Publications, which primarily draws upon translations of the Swedish material, but publishes Ghost Who Walks stories from other sources too. The now-departed from here Figserello described his enthusiasm for the Falk creation here " back in the day " - Anyway - let's go, Guran!
Back in the 70s the only one I read was #4. I didn’t know then that Frank Shawn was Ron Goulart, one of my favorite authors. So that may be a good one to try. I have the first six so far of the reissues.
Doctor Hmmm? said:
Any specific recommendations? I'm thinking about picking one or two up.
Dave Palmer said:
Avon released 15 books from 1972 to 1975. My favorites are those by Frank S. Shawn who is really Ron Goulart.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
Reading through the Hermes series of comic book reprints a year or so ago put me in the mood to watch the Phantom serial. It's pretty good. I also watched the Billy Zane Phantom movie for the first time. One thing you may not be aware of is that one publisher (Hermes also?) is reprinting a series of Avon paperback prose novels. I have the first four or five, and they've solicited up through seven, I think. I don't know how many are in the series.
...Some stuff about the Phantom's world/continuity ~ Kit Walker is supposed to be the 21st Phantom. He has been so since before FDR's third term. Comics time paradoxes/squeezebox retcons!!! Move over, Hal Jordan!!
Lee Falk did some historical Phantom stories about previous Phantoms. I believe Sweden has done a lot more Falk's official, by the end of his years, history of previous Phantoms named/gave details on some of his spouses, but not all. (IIRC on everything, Uv Cawss!) All 21st Phantoms married Caucasian American Diana Palmer, and the 20th Phantom married a genetic likewise. In an Earth 1/Earth 2 spilt kind of thing, the Swedish Phantom has hadall??~ previous marriages declared as to European women, often relatives of the well-known (Shakespeare's niece, for one???). Falk's continuity named the homelands of some 1-19 brides from various parts of the world. No sub-Saharan Africans, however. Bluntly, in the 1930s that would have been unpublishable in a " mainstream " American newspaper. In an Avon novel, Falk apparently did hint that s-SA's could be among the earlier Mrs. Phantoms.
I believe the Phantom is always depicted as having two children, an older male and younger female, with the male becoming the next Phantom ~ However, the 18th Century " Girl Phantom " who had several?? Falks might have been older. I've seen at least one " imaginary/not proven-possible "advertisedmong the Swedish material when I followed the news, but I never read it, a story about a historical " Bad Phantom ". In another unseen story, I saw a Swedish story that seemed to have the Phantom have, if not his earliest, an early mission in a pre-Beatles " surfing and hot cars " USA.
A cultural oddity is that, among the Australian material I had, there were some stories with PG ~ PG-13?? " uppal " female nudity - and more in European version/s. A real (Spoiler)cultural difference, I'd presume reflecting coming from a country where the Lutheran Church is the state church ~ is that, in just my year-plus of issuees I saw severl stories in which - to phrase this carefully, and remember I am just describing it - institution aspects of the Catholic Church came off badly. I remember" 1 a historical with a perhaps more clownish than truly bad corrupt cardinal 2 a KFS strip story where treasure buried in Bangalla centuries ago by a Knights Templar-like secret society was the source of trouble...3 a story, drawn by Dick Giordano (who did several Swede stories) a historical introduced by the 21st...which essentially took the the existing " Pope Joan " legend and wrote the Phantom into it! And (with nudity) ended with the shocker that, had the Pope Joan not met the fate that she does inthe PJ legend...that Phantom would have married her! If I'm lyin', I'm dyin', as Cousin Brucie used to say. I forget whether the story had the pregnancy of PJ that leads to her death be the Phantom's seed or not.
Emerkeith Davyjack said:
If I'm lyin', I'm dyin', as Cousin Brucie used to say.
He still says that occasionally. I discovered him on Sirius Satellite Radio a few years ago.
Hey, true story! When I was a kid some of my best friends were from a Turkish family. One summer, their parents took them all back to the old country to meet/reconnect with their relatives abroad. My buddy Mustafa asked if there was anything he could bring back for me as a souvenir; so naturally I asked for a comic book from his ancestral land. After he explained that I wouldn't be able to understand it, I insisted. When the family returned I was presented with a digest sized copy of "Kizillmaske" (or something there like). Moose explained that this was "Red Mask" a popular character in Turkey. "Red Mask" was of course "The Phantom" with a different color scheme. If the costume wasn't a dead give away, the story was. I had read the exact story in my local news paper not long before. So, Moose was wrong, I did understand it (sort of. why he was called Red Mask in Turkey I can't tell you).