09 July 2010

The Phantom

Mr Walker. The Ghost Who Walks. The Man Who Cannot Die.

The Phantom commenced as a newspaper comic strip in 1936. A comic book version has been published in Australia since 1948.

The Phantom was the first comic I read as a young child as my grandfather was quite a fan. He died when I was very young, aged seven or eight, and I continued my interest in The Phantom comics as a way of remembering him.

There was a film adaptation in 1996 with Billy Zane, set in the 1930s. It was entertaining but dated. Rumours of a reboot of the film have not yet been realised.

Syfy commissioned a 'backdoor' pilot for a mini-series, which was broadcast in Canada on 20 December 2009 and United States on 20 June 2010. Though not yet broadcast in Australia (likely on Scifi channel), the DVD has been released. I enjoyed it.

The reimagined pilot advances the Phantom to the 22nd generation (in the comic book, he has been stuck as the 21st Phantom), in the 21st century with modern technology to boot.


Additional clips

I hope the series continues. The Phantom is the most noble of all the superheroes, though technically, he isn't super as he has no special powers, but then neither has Batman.

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