The Phantom – The Ghost Who Walks

A Role Model (and A Leader)

Powers/Abilities: Expert horseman. Marksman. Good fighter, trained in many forms of combat. Extremely agile and athletic. The Phantom usually carries a dagger, twin .45 pistols, and two distinctive rings which can leave permanent marks on those they touch – the “Good Mark” on the left hand, a four overlapping swords / letter P’s forming a rotating cross, which marks the bearer as being under the Phantom’s protection; the “Skull Mark” on the right hand, normally delivered with a solid punch to the face, which shows the victim as someone who has crossed the Phantom and been punished for same. (Comicvine, 2021). Image courtesy of PNGWING

Why is The Phantom a Role Model?

The Phantom is, without a doubt, my favourite comic book character. He is neither in the Marvel Universe nor the DC Universe (although both comic houses did publish a handful of Phantom stories along the way). He is human, but has amazing prowess and an incredible ability to deal with criminals. As kids, we all wanted a phantom ring. Even now, I will buy the latest comic book release when I come across one. Linda likes to read them too.

For as long as I can remember, the Phantom has exhibited the following traits and qualities:

  • He works hard at improving himself;
  • He believes in justice for all and is the secret head of the Jungle Patrol;
  • He helps his neighbours whenever they are in trouble (neighbouring districts and kingdoms);
  • He protects the weak and downtrodden;
  • He looks after his health and cares for his family and friends;
  • He is a strong environmentalist and cares deeply for animals and other important elements of nature;
  • The Phantom is respected by heads of government the world over.

As a leader he takes charge with s clear purpose and works with others as required. He communicates and keeps those around him informed. He keeps himself up to date and invests in training and development not just for himself, but those who assist him with the very important role that he undertakes every day of his life.

Underneath it all, the Phantom is very human, but not flawed like many superheroes are. Apart from upholding justice, he goes about his life in a very manner of fact way: spends time at home, he studies, keeps an eye on newsworthy items and has a family (eventually). Funnily enough, everyone know he is Mr Kit Walker, but no one has ever seen his face except for his wife. There is an Old Jungle Saying: “He who sees the Phantom’s face, dies a horrible death,” or “In China it is said, man who looks on Phantom’s naked face must surely die.”

The Phantom is also known as The Ghost Who Walks.

Some of the more iconic DC Superheroes. Image courtesy of PNGWING

So, Who is the Phantom – The Ghost Who Walks?

The Ghost Who Walks is an interesting character. To understand why he is a role model, we need to understand him as a person, his background and family history.

The Phantom is credited as being the first “costumed superhero”, i.e. the first crimefighter to wear the skintight costume attributed to comic book superheroes, and being the first hero to have white eyes behind his mask, a phenomenon very common with superheroes (The Ghost Who Walks Wiki). Although, as I point out in the sidebar below, this may or may not be the case.

The comic strip legend goes that during the sixteenth century, a man named Christopher Walker was sailing on the seas off Africa with his father, when they fell prey to a pirates’ attack. The pirates slaughtered the ship’s crew and blew up the ship. The only survivor was young Christopher. He was washed up onto the Bangallan Beach. He then took his father’s skull and swore an oath upon it, I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice! And my sons, and their sons, shall follow me!

Thus originated the first Phantom. He became friends with the various local tribes and dedicated his life to fighting injustice and cruelty. The violet costume was standardized by this Christopher ‘Kit‘ Walker (Comicvine).

The legend in the jungles of Bangall is that he can never die. He lives in the Skull Cave within The Deep Woods. As International Hero points out, the Phantom is both more, and less, than his legend. Instead of a single, undying apparition, the Phantom is a dynasty of crimefighters who have sworn down the years to protect the innocent and punish the guilty, and if necessary, to lay down their lives in the service of justice. Directly descended from Christopher Standish, Columbus’ cabin boy, the current Phantom, Kit Walker, is the 21st of the line. Since the 1930s, when he took over after the death of his father, Kit has fought the good fight. In 1977, after decades of courtship, he married his love Diana Palmer, and they now have two children, Christopher (Kit) and Heloise.

The future looks interesting for the Phantom as Christopher (Kit) an Heloise may be the 22 and 23 phantoms respectively.

The Phantom is forged so strongly by his past, that it becomes his destiny to do what he does. The struggle of such a burden is played out through his children when they become of age including whether they want to become phantoms or not. Ominous events step in and the emotional elastic band pulls the children towards their fate.

Sidebar – A Long Lost Comic Collection and Favourite Anime Superhero

Once upon a time I had my dad’s comic collection and many of those in his collection were Phantom comics. The earliest edition I can remember in the collection was No. 7. On Comics Price Guide, Issue No 7 (Australia) in mint condition is worth $2,500 (Aus). The copy I had was probably worth somewhere between $150 – $450. So, overall, I had quite a valuable collection. The only problem was my mum, I think, threw them all out when I was away at boarding school many years ago and I didn’t realise this for a number of years.

Image courtesy of TV Tropes

My all time favourite cartoon (anime) superhero is Golden-bat (Phantoma) and was very popular in Australia. Golden Bat (or Ogon Bat) is of Japanese origin. Ōgon Bat made his debut in a kamishibai in 1930/31, a traveling show in which a sequence of pictures is narrated by a storyteller. The character was popular enough to survive the decline of kamishibai following World War II and was eventually translated into manga and anime form (Public Domain Super Heroes). He was the first illustrated superhero, and the first with many of the superpowers we see in our super heroes today. He pre-dates Superman by 8 years and The Phantom by six years. Due to his popularity in Japan, Golden Bat was essentially the Trope Maker for Japanese superheroes (TV Tropes).

The anime of Golden-bat was produced in Japan in 1967. There were also live action films made.

So, I hope your weekend is going well, and for those who observe Valentine’s Day I hope it is everything you wish it to be 🌹

Do you have a favourite superhero that is also a role model?

Image of the Avengers courtesy of PNGWING

25 Comments on “The Phantom – The Ghost Who Walks”

  1. Not my role model (you would NOT want to see me in a skin tight outfit!! 🤯 However, for mysterious and innovative misdirection, the Phantom was my favorite superhero as well, mostly because, like Batman, he used his wits, knowledge and skill rather than his inborn special powers ala Superman/Wonderwoman/Thor etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol – same here. I did have a Batman costume when I was about five or six. I used to wear it everywhere, apparently. Yes, there is nothing like a Phantom mystery with all that misdirection. I think that’s why I also liked Mandrake the Magician by the same people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the first time I’ve learned about The Phantom (thanks for sharing). Is he somehow similar to Batman?

    but I guess, everyone’s got similarities at one point…

    As for my favorite… hmm, they’re not super super heroes.. but I like The Boys.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you go something out of it. I saw a Phantom Skull Ring in the most amazing comic book store about 11 years ago at a cost of $1,200. So I got excited for a brief moment.

      The Phantom is similar to Batman – except he came along first. He is not as dark in terms of personality, but he deals with dark issues. He is very human. There is no Penguin, Joker, Cat Woman or Two Face type characters. The villains he faces may be psychologically disturbed, but they are typically criminals, gang bosses or tyrannical leaders.

      I haven’t watched The Boys yet, but others in the household have. Also, the ladies are big fans of Supernatural (which I really like too), which is by the same creator and writer.

      A good fun Korean movie to watch with the men in your house (if you haven’t seen it yet) is Space Sweepers. I think you will all enjoy it. I highly recommend it.

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      • Whoa… 1200$? That’s expensive! But I am kind of familiar with the cost of these items being married to an otaku 😀 But he too has his limits so there are those for daydreaming and window shopping 😀

        My husband is a huge Batman fan. I will talk to him about The Phantom, there’s a good chance he’s heard of him because he’s a comic book guy, he’s currently more into mangas & manhwas. I am sure there will be a lengthy discussion. Haha.

        I suggest you watch The Boys when the next season becomes available. I am actually deciding whether to watch Supernatural or the Banshee next. Supernatural is a long binge though.

        As for Space Sweepers. I have tried watching that (since I am a fan of dystopia & post apocalypse) but found it interesting enough to stop & wait for my husband and share it with him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • In today’s dollars it should be $1,500, but there is a sterling silver ring at that $1,200 price. I quickly did a search and have found a ring set for $200, so I might see if that may eventuate for my birthday.

        It will be interesting to see what your husband says about The Phantom.

        I will get onto The Boys. Supernatural is worth the binge – there are so many amazing episodes. We did watch Banshee at the time – I enjoyed it, but its full on.

        That’s great re Space Sweepers. I am sure you will both enjoy it all the way to the end!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I told him about The Phantom and he knows of it. He knew that Billy Zane played the role in the 90s. I kind of teased him a little and told him that “uhhh, he is like Batman, only better…” because I knew what I am talking about having read more about the Phantom prior to “the discussion” he was so annoyed as to why I’d say that since I supposedly know how great Batman is. He has this fantasy that Batman can beat Thor and Dr Strange because of the fact that he did beat Superman… lol…
        He is easily annoyed and I enjoyed every part of it.

        I’ve come across the Banshee because of Antony Starr who is also in the Boys.

        Perhaps I should consider Supernatural, I didn’t mind the length of Greys Anatomy anyway, perhaps it’s good to at least try and see what it’s got.

        I hope you get the ring set… oh yeah, it’s 200 aud…and some sellers on ebay have it at around 160 usd… hope you get it for your bday… 💜

        Liked by 1 person

      • I quite like the Billy Zane movie (he did a good job). Lol, re the Phantom being better than Batman. I am a big fan of Superman and Batman, but not of the more recent movies. In Superman comic book lore, Batman and Superman have battled it out many times. Linda has a Superman comic collection somewhere in the house, and I know we have copies of some of those epic duels.

        Antony Starr is a very good actor, so that is another reason for me to watch The Boys.

        I did watch Grey’s Anatomy initially, but dropped it very early on (second season I think). We have just started watching New Amsterdam and really like it.

        Yes, fingers crossed re the ring set 😊

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      • I love New Amsterdam. Ryan Eggold is one of my favorite TV actors. I understand how one would drop G/A, it’s become soapish at one point… especially now–full blown soap. I don’t have the heart to stop because it’s been 17 seasons, what’s another season or 2! LOL.

        I love the Christopher Reeves series of Superman. I still watch it from time to time, but never bothered watching the newer ones. Although my husband told me about the story of Brightburn (we watched the movie first) & how it is very similar with Superman’s… it’s interesting to dive into their universe.. but can get so so confusing for someone like me 😀

        I guess those battles you were referring to were my husband’s bases as to how Batman can defeat Superman. You should hear him react when I try to mix DC & Marvel.

        He says, “I don’t like talking to a troll”
        But that’s basically our everyday life 😀

        Linda has her own Comic collection?! Amazing! Is she exclusively a Superman fan or is she really into comics too?

        About Billy Zane, I am shocked to realize that he’s in Back to the Future. I only knew of it during the Covid lockdown binge..

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Christopher Reeve is a favourite in our household. In fact, he did do some other good movies too. Our boys liked Brightburn, but I haven’t been inclined to watch it.

        You hang in there with G/A – that’s impressive. Mind you, I have been watching Doctor Who forever – now in its 58th year. It has some amazing highs and really bad lows. Overtime I say I am walking away, I come back to it 😂

        Yes, that’s a big no no mixing the various universes up. I think you are a stirrer, Janis 🤣

        Linda is basically a Superman fan, but is more than happy to read the Phantom. I have started looking for her box of comics. It will be good to go through them after such a long time.

        I really like Billy Zane. He seems to support a lot of TV and film projects.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow! Doctor Who! I admire your dedication, Sean!

        I have been watching Superman Series on HBO. I have shown my son how Superman made it rain by freezing the lake. He told me, “mommy, you’ve made me watch this for 1000x already!” — I totally forgot!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do have the odd bit of Doctor Who memorabilia in the house, Janis: A Tardis cookie jar, a Tardis tea infuser, various pictures and paintings and a number of stubby holders (for drinks in a can), a Dalek or two, a sconic screwdriver, more books (history, facts etc) that you can poke a stick at and so on.

        Which version of Superman are you watching? Lol re Brook and his comments. I think we have all done that 😂 There is a Superman and Lois series that has started airing this year too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a whole lot, Sean! We were watching the Christopher Reeves series, it was Superman III and that was my favorite.

        Superman II on the other hand had been my nightmare for years. Those 3 criminals led by General Zod haunted me for sometime.

        What are the movies that you’ve made your kids watch?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree re Superman III. I know we rewatched it with the kids some time in the last ten years. I can still remember we had this discussion around how clever Richard Pryor’s character was skimming of the odd cent here and there.

        With Superman II, I thought he was the best Zod of them all. He really captured the brutality of the character.

        With movies, it’s probably more of the other way around – what they have made me watch! That was the great thing about DVD stores. I think the deal was two new releases and up to five older rentals. The kids used to have a great time picking out what they wanted to watch. Disney’s Aladdin was right up there. A Bug’s Life was another favourite. We also used to take them to see whatever the latest kids’ movie was at the Cinema.

        From memory, at home, we did make them watch the original Star Trek movies, anything with Bruce Willis in it, The Rock and some more thought provoking movies.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anything with Bruce Willis in it? Is he your favorite or Linda’s?

        Oh yeah! When I was a kid, I thought I’d be Richard Pryor’s character someday haha. Plus, I really thought you can write anything on a check and be rich. I used to write big amounts on my mom’s blank checks, I thought it worked that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Re Bruce, It’s both, really. It started all those years ago with Moonlighting. Lol re writing on your mum’s checks. My parents were horrified one day when they discovered I had pulled apart all their old cheque butts. I was six at the time, it was good fun 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Apparently, we have seen most of his movies as well (we did check his filmography just now) —- plus Die Hard is our favorite Christmas movie, like most people… Although I kind of gotten turned off hearing that he is one of the meanest actors in Hollywood…

        About checks— I think we all have our check book stories… lol! You were six! Haha… little rascal! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bruce has been in some great movies over the years. My personal favourite is Hart’s War. He put in a stellar and very different performance. I think there is a lot more positive to Bruce than is painted out there, but that is just my opinion. He has got a lot movies coming out 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t believe he even did a movie with Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill actor) recently (last yr I think), he’s one of the best actors, we have to give him that!

        My favorite BW movie is Mercury Rising. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for introducing me to the Phantom! I love the note that he takes care of his health as well as protecting others. Sounds like a much better idea than exposing himself to radiation to gain powers! 😄

    I wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Sunshine Blogger Award. Reading your blog always makes me think as well as hope, so I wanted to express my appreciation with a nomination. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I like The Phantom by the way you described him. And why is he not in any popular comic universe? The first phantom story was sad though, but cool. I suppose big blows like this can go both ways, and always a plus when it goes to the betterment of a person.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He always has a horse (Hero) and an Alsatian (Devil) with him as well. The Phantom has always been part of a much smaller publishing house. I think the fans have liked it that way too. Yes, that first Phantom story made a big impression on me when I first came across him. My dad was such a big fan, so I followed suit. It was always a fight to get to the comic pages first in the local Sunday paper as the Phantom was in serial form back then too. The Phantom certainly deserves a new film or a tv show – the thinking person’s superhero.

      Like

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