The Phantom (King Features Syndicate)


The Phantom is an American adventure comic strip created by Lee Falk, also creator of Mandrake the Magician. A popular feature adapted into many media, including television, film and video games, it stars a costumed crimefighter operating from the fictional African country Bangalla.
The Phantom is the 21st in a line of crimefighters that originated in 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was killed during a pirate attack. Swearing an oath to fight evil on the skull of his father's murderer, Christopher started the legacy of the Phantom that would be passed from father to son, leaving people to give the mysterious figure nicknames such as "The Ghost Who Walks", The Man Who Cannot Die and Guardian of the Eastern Dark, believing him to be immortal.
Unlike many fictional costumed heroes, the Phantom does not have any supernatural powers, but instead relies on his strength, intelligence and fearsome reputation of being an immortal ghost to defeat his foes. The 21st Phantom is married to Diana Palmer, whom he met while studying in the United States; they have two children, Kit and Heloise. Like all previous Phantoms, he lives in the ancient Skull Cave, and has a trained wolf, Devil, and a horse named 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 2012. At the peak of its popularity, the strip was read by over 100 million people each day.
Lee Falk continued work on The Phantom until his death in 1999. Today the comic strip is produced by writer Tony DePaul and artists Paul Ryan (Monday-Saturday) and Terry Beatty (Sunday). Previous artists on the newspaper strip include Ray Moore, Wilson McCoy, Bill Lignante, Sy Barry, George Olesen, Keith Williams, Fred Fredericks, Graham Nolan and Eduardo Barreto.
New Phantom stories are also published in comic books in different parts of the world, among them by Dynamite Entertainment in USA, Egmont in Sweden, Norway and Finland, and Frew Publications in Australia.
The Phantom was the first fictional hero to wear the skintight costume that has now become a hallmark of comic book superheroes, and was also the first shown wearing a mask with no visible pupils, another superhero standard.

Publication information

Publisher: King Features Syndicate, Egmont, Frew, Dynamite Entertainment and many others
First appearance: February 17, 1936
Created by: Lee Falk

In-story information

Alter ego: Kit Walker 
Phonetic: ðə fǽntəm
Translation: 
Notable aliases: Mr Walker, Kip, Christopher Standish, The Ghost Who Walks, The Man Who Cannot Die, Guardian of the Eastern Dark, Christopher Walker, Johnny Hotwire, Eduardo Ferigato, Julie Walker, Mysterious Commander

Affiliations: Devil (wolf); Hero (horse)
Team affiliations: The Jungle Patrol, The Bandar tribe
Enemies: 
Abilities: Excellent athlete, Highly skilled martial artist and marksman, Uses a tight-fitting costume for maneuverability, Possesses two mystical rings

Status

Alignment: Good
Identity Secret: Secret
Race: Human
Citizenship:
Marital Status:
Occupation: 

Characteristics

Gender: Male
Height:
Weight: 
Eyes:
Hair:
Unusual Features:

Origin

Origin: 
Universe: 

History

Origin

The story of the Phantom started with a young sailor named Christopher Walker. Christopher was born in 1516 in Portsmouth. His father, also named Christopher Walker, had been a seaman since he was a young boy, and was the cabin boy on Christopher Columbus's ship Santa Maria when he discovered America.

Christopher Jr. became a shipboy on his father's ship in 1526, of which Christopher senior was Captain.

In 1536, when Christopher was 20 years old, he was a part of what was supposed to be the last voyage of his father. On February 17, the ship was attacked by pirates of the Singh Brotherhood in a bay in the (fictional) African country of Bengalla. The last thing Christopher saw before he fell unconscious and fell to the sea, was his father being murdered by the leader of the pirates. Both ships exploded, making Christopher the sole survivor of the attack.

Christopher was washed ashore on a Bengalla beach, seemingly half dead. He was found by pygmies of the Bandar tribe, who nursed him and took care of him.

A time later, Christopher had a walk on the same beach that he had been washed ashore on, and found a dead body there, who he recognized as the pirate who killed his father. He allowed the vultures flying around the body finish their work, took up the skull of the killer, raised it above his head, and swore a sacred oath:

"I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms! My sons and their sons, shall follow me."

After learning the language of the Bandar tribe, Christopher found out that they were slaves of the Wasaka tribe, a tribe consisting of what the Bandars called "giants". The Bandars who had found him was only a small group of people who had managed to escape from the village of the Wasaka. Immediately, Christopher walked into the village of the Wasaka, and asked them to set the Bandars free. Instead of achieving this goal, he was taken prisoner, and laid before the Demon God of the Wasaka: Uzuki, who was supposed to decide his destiny. Christopher was tied up and laid on an altar made of stone, where vultures surrounded him, the Wasaka allowing them to eat him. Christopher was quickly saved by a group of Bandars before the vultures or the Wasaka could do him any real harm. They managed to escape from the village of the Wasaka unharmed.

Christopher learned about an ancient Bandar legend about a man coming from the ocean to save them from their slavery. He made a costume inspired by the look of the Demon God of the Wasaka, and went to the Wasaka village again, this time with a small army of Bandars (armed with their newly discovered, extremely poisoned arrows, capable of killing a man in a few seconds). The Wasaka, shocked at seeing what many of them thought was their Demon God come alive, was fought down, and the Bandars were finally set free, after centuries in slavery. This resulted in a dedicated friendship between Christopher and the Bandars, which would be brought on to the generations to come after them.

The Bandars showed Christopher to a cave, which resembled the look of a human skull. Christopher later carved it out to make it look even more like a skull. What was later on known as the Skull Cave became his home.

Wearing the costume based on the Demon God, Christopher became the first of what would later be known as The Phantom. When he died, his son took over for him, and when the 2nd Phantom died, his son took over. And so it would go on through the centuries, causing people to believe that the Phantom was immortal, giving him nicknames as "The Ghost Who Walks" and "The Man Who Cannot Die".

The legend

Over the course of more than seventy years' worth of stories, the "legend" of the Phantom grew to become an integral part of the series' raison d'être. The legend of the "Ghost Who Walks" made the character stand out from the innumerable costumed heroes who have battled crime throughout the 20th century, and has helped maintain his appeal through the present day.

The Phantom is feared by criminals over the entire world, and he knows how to use his frightening image and reputation against them. As things turn out, the idea of him being an immortal ghost haunting evil men is much more effective than any supernatural power could have been.

Character Evolution

The current Phantom is the 21st of the line. After a long courtship he married his childhood sweetheart Diana Palmer in a lavish 1977 jungle ceremony notably attended by two African presidents and fellow Lee Falk creation Mandrake the Magician. Soon afterwords Diana gave birth to twins, a boy named Christopher "Kit" Walker-Palmer and daughter Heloise Walker-Palmer.

He is primarily assisted in his adventures by a tamed pet wolf called Devil and a white horse named Hero, whose speed is legendary. His best friend since childhood is Guran, the now current chief of the Pygmy Bandar tribe.

The 21st Phantom remains a devoted family man knowing that in his line of work, whatever time he has with his family is precious, but always holding strong the family tradition of fighting injustice wherever it may take him. Their young son, Kit, is in training to someday take the sacred "Oath of the Skull" and become the 22nd Phantom.

Lineage

The Phantom is known as " The Ghost Who Walks ", and is believed to have lived for more than 400 years. But in reality, this is just a myth. The Phantom is an ordinary human being. Almost every Phantom has married a woman of Royal Blood. They have had sons, most of whom have shared the name, Kit Walker. When a father Phantom retires from his work as Phantom, his son takes his place, swears the oath and becomes the new Phantom. Then the father is buried inside a secret burial chamber inside the Skull Cave.

But it is not only the son who becomes the Phantom. Evidences of female Phantoms have also been found. Sometimes a daughter would take on the task of the Phantom in a similar Phantom outfit. This way the Phantom lives on, and has become a jungle legend.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

Abilities

Strength level

Weaknesses

Paraphernalia

Equipment

Gun Belt

All Phantoms in the lineage wear a belt with weapons attached to it. It has a skull mark at the center of the buckle. Centuries ago Phantom’s belt had a scabbard attached holding a sword. The Phantom is known for his adept swordsmanship.

The 21st Phantom usually carries around a single dagger and twin .45 pistols attached on either side of the gun belt. The Phantom is a sharp shooter; he never misses a mark!

Once the 20th Phantom was killed by a gangster Ramu who back stabs him and snatches his gun belt as his prize and proof of killing. The 21st Phantom finds the killer and retrieves it back and restores it in the Skull Cave in one of Lee Falk’s famous stories about the gun belt.

Rings

he Phantom wears two rings that can permanently mark whomever they touch. The ring on his left hand features four overlapping sabres forming a cross known as "The Good Mark". Those touched by it are under The Phantom's protection and the mark itself is said to give the wearer amazing luck.

The right hand ring bears a Skull, and those that receive its mark (usually via a strong right hook) are branded a victim of The Phantom's wrath and bad luck seems to then follow them around. The 21st Phantom is skeptical of the mystical qualities of his rings, but they are legendary amongst the natives of Bangalla and the criminal underworld.

Transportation

Weapons

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