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The Phantom returns to comic books

Dynamite Entertainment, under license from King Features syndicate, returns The Phantom to comic books this August with Alex Ross at the creative helm, Scott Beatty scripting and Eduardo Ferigato on art in the ongoing series.

The series begins with no Phantom. The historic line stops at Kit Walker the 21st, who has forsaken the mantle of The Ghost Who Walks and is enjoying a life with a growing family, while handling the day-to-day affairs of the Walkabout Foundation, a philanthropy created by one of the previous Walkers/Phantoms to help support charities benefiting Bengala, and the surrounding nations of continental Africa. The Walkabout Foundation was funded initially by pirate treasure from the very first Phantom’s origins. The organization is symbolic of every young Walker’s world-spanning journey from the Skull Cave to the “outside world,” becoming educated and awaiting his destiny to one day take up the costume and crusade of the Phantom. Except that this Kit refused to take up the domino mask, rings, and Colt .45s of his father upon Kit Sr.’s death. Alex Ross’ beautiful and dynamic vision promises to bring the concept of the Phantom to the 21st century, and it could not be in better hands.

“Being a fan of the Phantom for many years, I’ve had a vision for a long time of a stylistic change and a dramatic way of illustrating him,” said Alex Ross. “Finally through Dynamite Entertainment and working with Scott Beatty, I’m able to fulfill this artistic concept and give a very personalized spin on one of the greatest superheroes of them all.”

“Wearing the Skull Ring carries a lot of responsibility, for both Kit Walker and the writer chronicling his adventures,” added writer Scott Beatty. “Lee Falk’s Ghost Who Walks predates both Superman and Batman, and remains one of the most popular superheroes in the world. I’m already several scripts in on my run on THE LAST PHANTOM, and I can tell you that with every word I write, I know that the Jungle Patrol–its membership in the millions–is watching to make sure their favorite costumed hero is in good hands.”

“The Phantom is one of the first ‘masked’ heroes to come out of the 1930s,” said Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. “This story is a passion project for all involved. Scott Beatty has worked with us to bring to fruition some of the crispest stories Dynamite produces, and Alex has been an integral part of the Dynamite family. Bringing on Eduardo Ferigato on art chores, whose execution is perfect for this story, with a grittiness that’s near a ‘Mignola-esque’ art style, we’re ecstatic to have the team in place on on a series we’re hoping to be a signature Dynamite series.

“This is the journey of today’s Kit Walker, who is working towards making the world a better place through the Walkabout Foundation. But, can he escape destiny? And where will this adventure bring him,” said Barrucci.

The Phantom made its American debut as adventure comic strip created by Lee Falk (who also created Mandrake the Magician) and syndicated by King Features. through the years, King Features adapted the popular feature into many forms of media, including television, film and video games. It stars a costumed crime fighter operating from the fictional African country, Bengalla. The Phantom is the 21st in a line of crime fighters 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 murderer 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 so 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 strength, intellect and his reputation of being an immortal ghost to defeat his opponents.

Community Comments

#1 Jeff Pert
May/10/2010
@ 12:28 pm

Interesting. Moonstone Comics has been publishing various Phantom comic books over the last few years. They haven’t been very good, but to say the Phantom is “returning” to comic books is erroneous.

#2 Jeff Stanson
May/10/2010
@ 10:42 pm

Quite a lot has been “erroneous” about this announcement. I very much liked most of the Phantom work Moonstone offered. However, Dynamite ended up with the license pretty much as what seems like a goof on the part of King Features. The announcement about Dynamite getting the license was actually made two years ago, while Moonstone still had a couple of years left on its license. And Dynamite’s “take” and look for its new Phantom series seems like an abomination to the character. I have no appreciation for what they did with the Lone Ranger, Buck Rogers, and the Green Hornet, now it looks like they are about to do the same with The Phantom. At least Moonstone stayed fairly true to the character.

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