14 August, 2011

The Phantom 49: Maybe that masked man isn't dead.


This is a very curious thing about The Ghost Who Walks.

When he removes his disguise, he's wearing a cowl and a mask, a skintight bodysuit and twin guns...

His "disguise" is what makes him pass for one of us. "The Phantom" is who he really is.

He shares this topsy-turvy disguise characteristic with the Man of Steel. However, The Phantom was on the job before Superman made his first appearance, so he can lay claim to it.

Kent is admittedly a far more complex and resounding persona than Walker, but the similarity is there nevertheless.

And why is it so curious? The rest of the long-underwear heroes play dress-up to become their two-fisted alter egos; Superman and The Phantom already are who they are, and sometimes pass for one of us by dressing and acting as we do.










WRITER: Lee Falk

ARTIST: Ray Moore


4 comments:

  1. Great stuff! Although those are the goofiest-looking pistols I've ever seen. Also it's awesome how nothing gets past those alert soldiers. Like for instance, a guy boarding a train with a freaking WOLF!

    Come to think of it, that might be a sure way to avoid the infamous TSA pat-down next time I travel.

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  2. Well, that's the thing. I think those soldiers have actually noticed him... But maybe we can imagine their conversation: "There's a really big, tough-looking guy over there with a wolf. Go and ask him who he is." "No, you go!" "No, you!"

    All attempts to ascertain the make and model of the guns have failed!

    By the way, it's really nice to see a comment from you on here.

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  3. A staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears - the glasses, the business suit - that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.
    — Bill (Kill Bill Vol.2, 2004)

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  4. Thanks. Interesting! But it isn't quite right... and this is what makes Kent/Superman such a fascinating character. Yes, he's Superman when he wakes up in the morning, but he's also Clark Kent when he wakes up in the morning. Pa Kent (a member of the human race) is not a coward, and did more than anyone to steer his adopted son towards a life of good deeds; Clark loves him and admires him. Then there is Lois: no coward she, no weakling... and Kent loves her too. (I'm not really sure why, but there's no accounting for taste, even super-taste.) This guy is neither wholly a super-man or wholly an Earth-man, and this is a complication. He's actually quite screwed-up.

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