Lee Falk's creations , the King Features Syndicate characters The Phantom and Mandrake The Magician , are still published as syndicated strips , but I don't know , for instance , how many people here follow those versions , even .

  There have been many publications of the characters over the years - However , frankly , for one , since they have generally stayed away from the DC-Marvel world , many US comics fans would be fairly foggy about those characters , though I think ( especially Mandrake ) they have a certian " You've heard of the names " recognition - if not much to follow that !!!!!!!!!!!

  Actually , the comics-shop era has seen an awful lot of Phantom comic books especially from a variety of different publishers - Which , however , arguably have tended to try to make the Phantom more like the perceived mainstream for a US comic book character .

  At present , Dynamite?? is publishing the Alex Ross-connected " The Last Phantom " miniseries , which I have only seen (6 bought) one issue of , which GREATLY retcons - and " grim and gritties " (!) - the Phantom concept .

  Comics Revue magazine , which I wish I could get more regularly , offers pre-60s reprints of the strips of both characters regularly .

  When I first got on the Web , I found out especially how popular the Phantom is in some non-USA markets - where he has MANY stories published , in comic-book form , which are never published in the US - including , at times , ones by name US pros !!!!!

  Let's discuss these famous characters...

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I think that the Phantom certainly qualifies as a super-hero. His look, mission, backstory and enviroment are the stuff of heroic legends. Sometimes there is a line of thought that non-powered adventurers cannot be classified as super-heroes but how can you include Batman and Captain America yet not the Phantom. I can see arguments against, say, Doc Savage or Tarzan though I would argue for them as well.

BTW, the Phantom did have super-powers in The Defenders of the Earth cartoon. "By jungle law, the Ghost who walks summons the power of ten tigers!" Strange thing for a hero based in Africa to say, but whatever!

Any comments on the Phantom movie? SLAM EVIL!



Philip Portelli said:

I think that the Phantom certainly qualifies as a super-hero. His look, mission, backstory and enviroment are the stuff of heroic legends. Sometimes there is a line of thought that non-powered adventurers cannot be classified as super-heroes but how can you include Batman and Captain America yet not the Phantom. I can see arguments against, say, Doc Savage or Tarzan though I would argue for them as well.

BTW, the Phantom did have super-powers in The Defenders of the Earth cartoon. "By jungle law, the Ghost who walks summons the power of ten tigers!" Strange thing for a hero based in Africa to say, but whatever!

Any comments on the Phantom movie? SLAM EVIL!

 

 

...I believe that was the DOTE people making a mistake in their favor , claiming that the " Jungle Sayings " about the Phantom that periodically appear in the strip were literal truth and not " old jungle legends about the Phantom " .

  In the strip , BTW , his eyes are ( generally , anyway ) never seen by the audience...Or by anyone who is not family or a close friend , unless something bad is about to happen to them !!!!!!!!!

  This is more set up , however , than , strictly literally as by a narrator/dialogue , spelled out...

  Cap...Super-Serum , BTW , remember ???????????

I think that the Phantom got hit hard by the movie, which - in my opinion - didn't do so much for him.  (Then again, I wasn't crazy about the Shadow movie either, and I think they both had the same flaw - the producers made and released the second movie first.)

 

Still... "Defenders of the Earth!"

 

Yeah, it was a little TOO cheesy and far afield... but there was some slight appeal to it.  (Still... good heavens, who could like those kids???) ;)

 

ELS

x<]:o){

I think that the Phantom certainly qualifies as a super-hero. His look, mission, backstory and enviroment are the stuff of heroic legends. Sometimes there is a line of thought that non-powered adventurers cannot be classified as super-heroes but how can you include Batman and Captain America yet not the Phantom.

It can be a fine line, but it sounds like the Phantom would qualify. I've never read an entire Phantom adventure, although I'm aware of his generations-long origin. I didn't even realize he had an actual civilian identity, as I don't think I've ever seen him in it.

There were a lot of "costumed adventurers" in the Golden Age who I would have a hard time qualifying as super-heroes. Mr. Scarlet, a D.A. who decided to put on a mask to fight crime (and take a little kid with him named Pinky), had nothing going for him except a costume. How he survived, besides having his name in the strip's title, is hard to say.

Cap clearly is a super-hero, due to that Super Soldier Serum he drank. Batman needs a little more work, but I think most people agree that he fits the critiera.

I can see arguments against, say, Doc Savage or Tarzan though I would argue for them as well.

I'm not sure that Doc qualifies. He's essentially Batman without the costume, gadgets, or secret identity. At some point, super-hero becomes adventurer, and I think Doc is on that side. Tarzan is clearly a super-hero, since he can talk to animals. He's even got a secret identity! I think it's easier to make a case for Tarzan than it is for the Phantom.

-- MSA 

 

 

I can see arguments against, say, Doc Savage or Tarzan though I would argue for them as well

Mr. Silver Age said:

 I've never read an entire Phantom adventure, although I'm aware of his generations-long origin. I didn't even realize he had an actual civilian identity, as I don't think I've ever seen him in it.



As to whether the Phantom had a secret identity is one of those things that inspires debate amongst comics fans---or in this case, comic-strip fans.

 

When occasions called for the Phantom to mix in civilisation, he inevitably donned a trenchcoat, a fedora, and sunglasses, and used the name "Mister Walker" (from his sobriquet "the Ghost Who Walks").  And he was usually accompanied by his wolf, Devil.

 

"Hey, you can't bring that dog on this plane!"

 

"He's not a dog---he's a wolf!"

 

And for some reason, that always ended the discussion.

 

The current Phantom, according to Lee Falk's backstory, attended college in the United States, where he used the name "Kit (presumably for 'Christopher') Walker".  But as to the matter of the Walker surname, Falk played it loose, often implying that it was a psuedonym.

 

So, yes, technically, the Phantom could be identified as someone else when he wasn't wearing the mask.  That the pro side for him having a secret identity.

 

On the con side is the fact that, no matter how he was dressed or how he identified himself, he was pretty much the Phantom all of the time.  What I mean is, when he wasn't whupping up on poachers or smugglers or pirates, he wasn't "Kit Walker, research scientist" or "Kit Walker, tour guide" or even "Kit Walker, millionnaire playboy".

 

Except for rare moments of relaxation, the Phantom was always fighting evil.  He simply resorted to civilian clothing and the name Walker when in surroundings where wearing his purple tights, domino mask, and two .45 semi-automatics on his hips would attract unwanted attention (including from the local law-enforcement).

 

It depends, I suppose, on how narrowly one defines "secret identity".

 

 

If you think he was hit hard by the movie, how do you think Leonard Savage felt about seeing Ron Ely on the big screen?

 

What you say about The Phantom been more popular in Europe is right, especially in Scandanavia - at one time, the comics outsold Superman in Denmark and Norway.  And believe me, Superman looks even wierder in Danish.

Eric L. Sofer said:

I think that the Phantom got hit hard by the movie, which - in my opinion - didn't do so much for him.  (Then again, I wasn't crazy about the Shadow movie either, and I think they both had the same flaw - the producers made and released the second movie first.)

 

 

 

I think that you confused Doc Samson (Leonard Samson) for Doc Savage (Clark Savage, Jr.), Mike. An easy mistake to make since Roy Thomas based the former's name on the latter.

As a kid I heard about the Doc Savage movie but was in my 20s when I finally it. It was, perhaps, a bit campy and the villains were laughable. The Amazing Five didn't look like rugged adventurers but you can't tell me that Ron Ely wasn't impressive as Doc!



Commander Benson said:
Mr. Silver Age said:

 I've never read an entire Phantom adventure, although I'm aware of his generations-long origin. I didn't even realize he had an actual civilian identity, as I don't think I've ever seen him in it.



As to whether the Phantom had a secret identity is one of those things that inspires debate amongst comics fans---or in this case, comic-strip fans.

 

When occasions called for the Phantom to mix in civilisation, he inevitably donned a trenchcoat, a fedora, and sunglasses, and used the name "Mister Walker" (from his sobriquet "the Ghost Who Walks").  And he was usually accompanied by his wolf, Devil.

 

"Hey, you can't bring that dog on this plane!"

 

"He's not a dog---he's a wolf!"

 

And for some reason, that always ended the discussion.

 

The current Phantom, according to Lee Falk's backstory, attended college in the United States, where he used the name "Kit (presumably for 'Christopher') Walker".  But as to the matter of the Walker surname, Falk played it loose, often implying that it was a psuedonym.

 

So, yes, technically, the Phantom could be identified as someone else when he wasn't wearing the mask.  That the pro side for him having a secret identity.

 

On the con side is the fact that, no matter how he was dressed or how he identified himself, he was pretty much the Phantom all of the time.  What I mean is, when he wasn't whupping up on poachers or smugglers or pirates, he wasn't "Kit Walker, research scientist" or "Kit Walker, tour guide" or even "Kit Walker, millionnaire playboy".

 

Except for rare moments of relaxation, the Phantom was always fighting evil.  He simply resorted to civilian clothing and the name Walker when in surroundings where wearing his purple tights, domino mask, and two .45 semi-automatics on his hips would attract unwanted attention (including from the local law-enforcement).

 

It depends, I suppose, on how narrowly one defines "secret identity".

 

 

...CB , the interesting point over whether he really presents himself in his world as " Kit Walker " aside , there is the fact that the Phantom crosses borders , and has been shown to own property in America ( Walker's Table . ) and presumably other non-African countries .

  Now , this is , obviously , becoming one of those " The Real World/The Facts Of Life Versus Comics " situations here , except , actually , something else , realting to the previous generations of the Phantom could be used to only resolve itself but answer this...

  The Phantom generally reproduced himself and his wife exactly , with one boy and one girl .

  With that the case , or any other...What happens to the not-becoming-the-Phantom other child of the Phantom .

  Can you imahine the , um , explaining their family backfround problem..." Yes , we're Caucasian-looking people who've lived in Africa for many generation , but we're not plantation-owners , even exporters , and we're certainly not pirates...Why , we despise piracy with every fiber of our being !!!!!!!!! + - Um .

  My suggestion is that , in stories/developments that we are not shown , the Phantom's other children ( Generally always women , so presunably taking on another last name...) marry someone else , and become setters-up of the Phantom's infrastructure , setting up TGWW's ability to go from nation to nation/pay taxes etc.

  Oh , and what about Rhodia ?

  The neighboring country to Bangalla that is The Source Of All Things Bad in the strip ? Just now , the strip has finished a story , where , well...

  However , I am uncertain whether it was a Falk invention or not , whether it ever appeared in the KFS strip until post-Falk's demise .

  It was clearly inspired by apartheid-era South Africa/pre-Zimbabwe Rhodesia .

 

 

...The King title , MSA , which continuing the numbering of the Gold Key title before it , started out doing what the GK title did ( and what the King Mandrake title did for longer ) , running exclusively?? remakes for comic books of stories already told in the newspaper strip , remakes by comic-book people .

  Mandrake and the Phantom ran as back-ups in each other's titles then .

  When Charlton picked up the title , they continued the numbering , too , but continued with King's eventual forgetting abpout remaking strip stories .

  In my reading of some Mandrake , it appears that the switchover to " Mandrake guestures hypnotically! " was maybe not 100% - I read a 50s story in Comics Revue in which Mandrake clearly had some real powers and a 21st-century story involved Mandrakes's father , as well as the magic college Mandrake graduated from , and seemed to say that Pa Mandrake was further along the magic road then his son was and appeared to posess real magical abilities .

  In the Nineties Marvel Select published a slicj three-part Mandrake mini - and never even published thethird part of it ! Oh well .

  After the late 90s mini and series , the Phnatom , in US-diestributed comic books , IIRC:

  Was in a " possible future Phantom " Marvel miniseries .

  Another cartoon/toy-based series , Phantom 2020 .

  The British-published Wolf comic book title , which introduced me to the Scandanavian material , which it primarily relied on -

  Maybe some others I'm forgetting now , pre-Moonstone's !!!!!!!!!!!

 

...Here's a blog with lots of the 60s/70s Gold Key-King-Charlton ( as Phantom fans refer to it ) material up...

http://falkonthewildside,blogspot.com

  It's actually called " The Ghost Who Blogs " , since the link's apparently not woikin'(!)...

Early on Mandrake possessed apparently magical powers. He could e.g. transform a panther into a woman, make a car rise over a woman who had fallen in front of it, make a pile of rocks appear, or temporarily levitate in the air. In the sequences I've seen he performs such feats without explanation as to how he could do them, so one might regard his abilities in the period as mysterious rather than magical. I've not see all that much 30s Mandrake stuff, so I don't know if the captions ever described his powers as magical.

 

In the latter 30s Falk switched to the idea that his powers were mostly hypnotism. The later Mandrake had some powers other than hypnotism. However, these were psychic abilities rather than magical abilities. For example, he could put someone into a trance and project an image from that person's eye of someone they'd seen. The stories overwhelmingly emphasised his powers of hypnotic illusion. I have a reprint of a sequence from the 70s in which he manifests a mild telekinetic ability, which he calls using metal jabs.

 

By the 40s Mandrake stories very often involved him encountering some apparently supernatural menace which would turn out to be a hoax. They never involved actual supernatural forces. So the thrust of the series was rationalistic. (I've seen one or two Phantom Stranger stories from the 50s with this kind of theme. Perhaps the Mandrake series influenced them.) Some stories had SF content. Sometimes the more fantastic stories turned out to be dreams, or else a character would be left wondering at the end of the adventure whether it had been a dream or real.

 

In the later 40s it was revealed that Mandrake had learned his "magic" at the College of Magic in Tibet. Its head was a guy called Theron. Eventually he was revealed to be Mandrake's father, but not, I think, before the 80s or 90s. In at least three stories from the 40s/50s Mandrake's opponents were other graduates of the College of Magic, beginning with his crooked twin brother Derek. The 40s version of Derek reformed and gave up his powers, but in the 70s Falk did a new version of the story according to which the young Mandrake, before he met Lothar or Narda, was forced to defeat him and take away his powers, and Derek never reformed.

I've never seen Mandrake anywhere. It never ran in any newspaper I read. The Phantom did run in my hometown paper (just the Sunday strip) and I understand it still does.

 

For whatever reason, the Phantom is hugely popular overseas (especially in Australia, I hear). The foreign market has probably kept several adventure strips, including Flash Gordon, from disappearing.

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