Current Reviews


The Phantom #15

Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2007
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Mike Bullock
Artists: Carlos Magno, Bob Pedroza(c)
Publisher: Moonstone

Last issue, young Kit questioned his father's mercy when dealing with the tiger poachers. The Phantom proceeded to share with young Kit an adventure that occurred early in his career as the Ghost Who Walks.

While visiting his Aunt and Uncle, who raised him after his father's death, he discovered rapists, murderers and thieves--in other words pirates of the land, had infest the small town he grew to love. The line was crossed a long time ago, but it was slashed when the leader of the Skulls assaulted the Phantom's aunt and stole her necklace, which the Phantom gave to her for protection.

Unlike Batman, whose uniform is designed to strike terror in the hearts of men, the Phantom's guise is symbolic. His uniform represents the appearance of the legend. Every Phantom, regardless of gender, wears the same uniform. The uniform does not frighten criminals. The legend behind the costume instills fear.

Bullock shows that the Skulls do not know the Phantom. Therefore, they do are not afraid of the Ghost Who Walks. They call him "a ballet dancer" and refer to him as "Baryshnikov," and thanks to Magno's athletic renditions of the Phantom, it's easy to see the allusions.

The criminals essentially do not take the Phantom or his union suit seriously. Even if for some reason a criminal never heard of Batman, they would fear a giant bat with glowing eyes swooping down upon them. Criminals may laugh at Superman, until their bullets bounce off his chest. The Phantom must teach these criminals who he is. He repeats the lesson "I am the Ghost Who Walks." He doesn't make an impression until he takes the leader of the Skull's life. By taking I don't mean he kills the man. He instead spares him. He owns him.

This issue of the Phantom shows how the current incarnation became the Ghost Who Walks. By teaching this lesson to criminals, Kit learns the significance of his legend and his oaths.

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