History Main / ThePhantom

15th May '16 7:42:42 PM PaulA
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* ''Film/ThePhantom'', the 1996 film adaptation.

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* ''Film/ThePhantom'', ''Film/{{The Phantom|1996}}'', the 1996 film adaptation.
15th May '16 7:31:41 PM PaulA
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* ''Film/{{The Phantom|1943}}'', the 1943 film serial adaptation.
21st Jun '13 10:52:30 AM MarkLungo
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* ''WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth'', an AnimatedSeries in which the Phantom is part of a superhero team.
12th Dec '11 5:43:45 PM MarkLungo
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* ''ComicBook/TheLastPhantom'', a ComicBookAdaptation of the concept.
12th Dec '11 5:41:47 PM MarkLungo
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* ''WesternAnimation/{{Phantom 2040}}'', a CyberPunk AnimatedAdataption of the concept.

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* ''WesternAnimation/{{Phantom 2040}}'', a CyberPunk AnimatedAdataption AnimatedAdaptation of the concept.
12th Dec '11 5:41:34 PM MarkLungo
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* ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'', the long-running comic strip
* ''Film/ThePhantom'', the 1996 film adaptation

to:

* ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'', the long-running comic strip
strip.
* ''Film/ThePhantom'', the 1996 film adaptationadaptation.

You may also be interested in:
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Phantom 2040}}'', a CyberPunk AnimatedAdataption of the concept.
11th Dec '11 11:26:37 PM PaulA
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[[redirect:ComicStrip/ThePhantom]]

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[[redirect:ComicStrip/ThePhantom]]''The Phantom'' may refer to:

* ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'', the long-running comic strip
* ''Film/ThePhantom'', the 1996 film adaptation
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7th Dec '11 11:09:39 AM movie007
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[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/222184-163535-phantom_large_7493.jpg]]

By some counts the first costumed {{superhero}} in comics, the Phantom was created by Lee Falk in 1936 and has been fighting evildoers on NewspaperComics Pages around the world ever since.

In DarkestAfrica, in a secret valley guarded by sinister blowgun-wielding pygmies, dwells the Phantom. Immortal, implacable, foe to all evildoers, {{pirate}}s especially: criminals everywhere speak in hushed whispers of [[SuperheroSobriquets the Ghost Who Walks, the Man Who Cannot Die]].

Except that, well, he can. And has, repeatedly. The current Phantom is the 21st of the line, continuing a tradition begun four centuries ago when his forefather washed up on a lonely African beach, the sole survivor of a pirate attack, and was nursed back to health by the sinister pygmies (who are actually quite nice once you get to know them). He is just a normal man (well, BadassNormal), with no supernatural powers (save his 'skull ring', which forever leaves its imprint on anyone he, well, punches) - but, as Comicbook/{{Batman}} also realised some years later, criminals are a superstitious lot, and they're much easier to beat if they're already afraid of you before you even arrive...

Begun in the dawn of comics' bright and breezy [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]], and written by a single author for over sixty years, ''The Phantom'' is a bit of a living fossil. Representations of women and minorities have become more sophisticated, but it never really saw the appeal of becoming [[DarkerAndEdgier darker]] and [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism more 'realistic']]. And we love it for that.

'''Three specific things we love about ''The Phantom'':'''

* His SecretIdentity. He doesn't have one. Each man who takes up the mantle forswears all former attachments and becomes all-Phantom, all the time, from that day forth. When he needs to walk the streets as an [[{{Muggles}} ordinary man]], he doesn't take his superhero suit off: he puts an "ordinary man" disguise on over it. The disguise has a name, "Mr. Walker",[[hottip:*:obligatory ClueFromEd: it's derived from "The Ghost Who Walks"]] but is otherwise a cipher; if anyone asks him about himself he changes the subject. How he negotiates airline booking desks and customs checkpoints has [[BellisariosMaxim never been revealed]].
* His canine companion, Devil. Faithful, courageous, and intelligent, in the tradition of Rin-Tin-Tin (and pre-dating {{Lassie}}), Devil scores over them in one important respect: he is actually a wolf, thus enabling a RunningGag where some official informs the Phantom (or, more usually, "Mr. Walker") that he can't bring his dog in here, and the Phantom breezes past, saying "Oh, that's all right, Devil isn't a dog..."
* The ongoing soap opera of the Phantom's relationship with Diana Palmer, whom he met, rescued, and fell in love with on his first published adventure. There's none of the usual messing about with WillTheyOrWontThey or two-sided love triangles, but no shortage of other obstacles: she thinks she's been paralysed so she calls off the relationship, he thinks she's chosen the RomanticFalseLead over him so he goes back to the jungle to brood, her mother disapproves, the latest DistressedDamsel wants him for herself, lather rinse repeat, he's afraid to propose in case she says no, he's afraid to propose in case she says yes and then finds out that the Phantom's wife traditionally stays in the Skull Cave doing housewifey stuff... After [[ComicBookTime forty years]] of this, they finally got married in 1977; the series weathered the change much better than many series do.

The Phantom has [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff a big following in Scandinavia]], where he has his own comic book (''Fantomen'' in Sweden, ''Fantomet'' in Denmark and Norway, ''Mustanaamio''[[hottip:*: "The Blackmask", from the Weird Age of Finnish Character Name Translations]] in Finland), publishing new original adventures by other hands. Members of the Fantomen talent pool have also kept the newspaper strip going since Lee Falk's death in 1999. Australia is The Phantom's other fan stronghold, with Australian sales of ''The Phantom'' (a locally-produced comic book that reprints both newspaper strip storylines and translations of ''Fantomen'' stories) reportedly being ten times those of the top-selling [[MarvelComics Marvel]] and [[DCComics DC]] titles.

The Scandinavia-made adventures in the 1970s had frequent anti-colonialist plot-lines, in which the Phantom took on the regime of for instance a badly caricatured Rhodesia (the "Republic of Rhodia," which has since become a more conventional PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny) and where real-life characters, such as bishop Abel Muzorewa, appeared in equally thin disguises. That reflected the widespread anti-apartheid sentiments in those countries.

The Phantom also enjoyed a brief stint of immense popularity in India during the 80's and 90's, and was regularly published (including collected newspaper clips) by the now-obsolete Indrajal Comics, and later, by Diamond Comics of Mumbai. Indrajal's volumes from this period, including Phantom, are now rare collector's items. Although news of the 1996 Phantom movie initially boosted sales through the roof, after the actual release itself fans were not pleased. The film seems to have been the turning point leading to the character's decline in the region, and Phantom soon went zooming down to hit rock bottom in terms of obscurity. Indrajal's bankruptcy during that period didn't help.

By mid 2000s, though you could still find further issues from Moonstone, the current publisher, those were rare, too expensive due to ''very'' low sales, and new releases were few and far in between.

The Phantom has been adapted for film twice. A 1943 FilmSerial starred Tom Tyler as the Phantom and Ace the Wonder Dog as Devil. Better known (if not better regarded) is the 1996 film starring Billy Zane as the Phantom, Kristy Swanson as Diana Palmer and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Sala. Even though [[YourMileageMayVary some fans responded well to the film]], and RogerEbert himself gave a favourable review, it bombed at the box office. It earned $17,323,326 in the United States market, the 93rd most successful film of its year. But that failed to even cover its budget. At least, it has since sold well on VHS and DVD.

The Phantom has also inspired an animated TV series, ''{{Phantom 2040}}'', was one of the WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth, and is the subject of a recent {{SyFy}} miniseries.
----
!!This series includes examples of:

* ActionGirl:
** Explorer and Olympian Diana Palmer, though sometimes the plot required her to be somewhat [[FauxActionGirl less badass]].
** Sala, who was a pilot, spy, crack shot, and second in command of the SkyPirates.
* ActuallyThatsMyAssistant: In "The Veiled Lady", a biologist mounts an expedition to the eponymous mountain. In an early scene, biologist and assistant meet with Colonel Weeks of the Jungle Patrol to arrange permits, and Weeks initially assumes that the man is the biologist and the woman is the assistant.
* AmazonBrigade: Sala's Sky Band
* AnimatedAdaptation: Three, actually. The first was ''TheManWhoHatedLaughter'', a 1972 special featuring pretty much all King Features' characters. In 1986, there was ''WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth'', basically ''Superfriends'' with King Features' action/adventure heroes. ''{{Phantom 2040}}'', produced in 1994-95 and set in 2040, starred a [[LegacyCharacter later Phantom]].
* ArbitrarilyLargeBankAccount: Between the dowries of the princesses the various Phantoms have married, chestsful of gold and jewelery given as gifts, and that they live mostly off the land, the Walkers are very well off.
* ArchEnemy: The Phantom is traditionally opposed by the current leader of the Singh Brotherhood; the 21st Phantom first battles Dogai Singh, and later, his daughter Sandal Singh. Other notable enemies include the mercenary Gold Hand and the evil [[PresidentEvil President Lubanga]].
* BadassCreed: One of the classics - The Oath of the Skull - as follows: "I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms, and my sons and their sons shall follow me"
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: In the 1947 story arc "Romance":
-->'''Cruise ship captain:''' Is this -- piracy?\\
'''Pirate:''' That's a nasty word, Captain.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: Played straight pretty much every time, except in the '90s when the Scandinavian version went for a period of DarkerAndEdgier (if a comparatively mild one).
* BluffingTheAdvanceScout
* BondVillainStupidity: Endemic since the time of the first Phantom. Of course, 20 generations of LegacyCharacter doesn't happen without the occasional someone averting this trope.
* {{Bulungi}}: Bangalla.
* CannotSpitItOut: A major reason why it took the Phantom and Diana so long to get married -- they loved each other, and both knew it, but when it came to actually popping the question, the Phantom's otherwise undauntable nerve failed him. The 1947 story arc "Romance", for instance, begins with a sequence in which the Phantom works himself up to pop the question several times, only to chicken out and change the subject each time, to Diana's mounting irritation. (Then he hits on the idea of buying a ring and letting it do the talking -- and ''that'' leads, by a series of steps each straightforward in itself, to the Phantom trapped on an abandoned ship that's about to be blown up, and Diana swearing never to speak to him again.)
* CaveBehindTheFalls
* ClueFromEd: Every single time "Mr. Walker" is mentioned, Ed reminds us that the name is derived from "The Ghost Who Walks".
* CombatPragmatist: Being raised in a jungle where EverythingIsTryingToKillYou can do that to a guy.
* ComicBookTime, despite the built-in opportunity to go the LegacyCharacter route
* ConvictionByCounterfactualClue: In the '80s and '90s, in the Swedish edition, on rare occasions.
* CostumeCopycat: In the early newspaper comics, at least two different stories in which a convict on the run finds and steals the Phantom's clothes while the Phantom's having a swim. ''Fantomen'' has done both the "criminal wears a replica of the Phantom's outfit to divert suspicion" and the "hero in distant land, inspired by tales of the Phantom, wears a replica of the Phantom's outfit" plots at various times.
* CostumedNonsuperHero: An excellent example of the central concept, though slightly less than typical for not having a proper AlterEgo.
** The one "superpower" he does have (as revealed by a blood test when he is held captive) is that his blood contains antibodies for every disease known to man, thus enabling him to live a long and healthy natural life.
* CoversAlwaysLie: An odd variation occurs with the Australian covers -- they generally do show events that actually occur in the story (since, to keep design costs down, most of them are direct copies of actual panels), but they're apparently coloured by somebody who hasn't read the story. Sometimes this doesn't matter. Sometimes it does; examples range from a FieryRedhead being depicted with black hair to several instances of African characters being given yellow hair and pink skin, as well as one instance where a criminal aviator's leather flying helmet was coloured purple, resulting in a cover that appeared to show the Phantom shooting an innocent bystander.
* CrossOver: Among the tribal leaders invited to attend the Phantom's wedding is Lothar, the ScaryBlackMan sidekick of Lee Falk's other famous character, MandrakeTheMagician. (Mandrake himself also attends.)
* DarkestAfrica
* DeathGlare: The viewer can't tell due to the mask, but he's apparently very good at this along with a really scary voice. There's even an ancient jungle proverb about how the Phantom's glare/voice turns blood to ice.
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: A borderline example, perhaps, but in the very first news strip adventure ("The Singh Brotherhood"), when we first meet [[DarkActionGirl Sala]], she appears only as the pirate king Kabai Singh's useless mistress. She's gradually established as [[ManipulativeBastard smarter and more manipulative]], and in the end ''she's'' the one to tell Kabai ''he's'' [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness outlived his usefulness]] and kill him. Turns out she was really a double agent for the SkyPirates under deep cover who sabotaged Kabai so the Phantom could destroy his organization, because it competed with hers...
* DrinkOrder: The Phantom's drink of choice is milk. Even when he's undercover in the seediest bar in town. Nobody ever mocks him for it... more than once.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: Various villains, beginning with the Singh Brotherhood in the very first story arc.
* ExpressiveMask
* TheFaceless: The Phantom's unmasked face is never shown. There is a legend that "He who sees the face of The Phantom... dies a slow and horrible death", and although his close friends and family are shown to be immune, apparently readers aren't.
** And there's always [[MrExposition an african mook]] around to warn the villain not to remove the mask and scare the other mooks into leaving the room. Naturally, [[IdiotBall the villain is never scared of ancient African superstitions]]. At least one was actually intimidated by the hero's unflinching stare through the mask as he dared for him to remove it, though.
** This goes so far that The Phantom has actually been arrested by the police, tried in a court of law and put in a psychiatric institution once... And at no point during the process did ''anyone'' remove his mask.
* TheFagin: ThePhantom once encountered such a man leading crew of pickpockets in Africa in the "Black Fagin" storyline.
* FanFiction: [[http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/vv324/immortalpictures/ThePhantombyRicardoVenancio.jpg This picture]] is worth at least a thousand words.
* FantasticNatureReserve: The island of Eden, populated by many peacefully coexisting animals; the carnivores eat fish and have never tasted blood. As well as a single genuine unicorn, a dinosaur and a semi-sentient prehistoric man-creature.
* GenerationXerox: 21 generations and counting.
* GeographicFlexibility: The Phantom's home is somewhere in the jungles of DarkestAfrica, near the fictional nation of Bangalla. Although various details over the years have narrowed the possibilities down, the precise location and layout of the region deliberately remain vague. (And this is without going into the fact that until the 1960s, Bangalla was called Bengali and was in [[SimSimSalabim India]], and in the very earliest Phantom stories his home and the pygmy tribe were situated on an Indonesian island.)
* GoneSwimmingClothesStolen: At least twice, both times to set up a CostumeCopycat plot.
* GoshDangItToHeck: At one point in the 1974 story arc "The Normal Life", a character is castigated for his foul language; the strongest word he is actually seen to use is "creep".
* GuileHero
* HighlyVisibleNinja: The Phantom's stealthy jungle-ninja suit is purple. (Lee Falk intended it to be gray, and the early black-and-white dailies occasionally have dialogue saying so. When the color Sunday strip started up, it became purple, either due to a [[ExecutiveMeddling meddling executive]] who felt that the hero of a color strip should be more colorful or to a printing error.[[hottip:*:It could have been worse. DC Comics used to be plagued with a color registration problem that caused certain shades of gray to be printed as ''hot pink''.]] Falk eventually gave in and wrote in a {{handwave}} that it was purple because the Phantom's look was intended to evoke a particular idol worshipped by the jungle tribes.) Meanwhile, various international publications have depicted him in a range of colors, from a dark blue in Sweden to a short-lived Italian comic that showed his costume as a mixture of bright red, green, and orange.
* HistoricalInJoke: Several. With a history spanning back to the 17th century and a lot of stories to choose from, the Phantom has had his finger in lots of background events throughout history. Among others, he was involved in the French Revolution, helping the Dauphin escape the guillotine; he befriended Nostradamus, who was the one who gave him the Skull Ring; and [[ItMakesSenseInContext he helped the British defeat the Spanish Armada by time travelling and helping to vanquish Mordred from Camelot]].
* HotAmazon: Princess Vhatta in "The Fourth Son".
* HowUnscientific: The Phantom occasionally (as in, maybe once every few decades) had encounters with visiting aliens. Otherwise, it's strictly a more-or-less realistic and down-to-earth action-adventure series.
* IOweYouMyLife: People saving the Phantom occasionally get the good mark printed on them (or sometimes in the form of necklaces or other jewelry) in return. Later Phantoms tend to return favours to people who have the mark -- or their descendants -- in kind.
* IWantGrandkids: Not that it's mentioned often, the current Phantom is married with two kids, but every Phantom is expected to father an heir to continue their legacy. The biggest difference that Phantom has from most examples of this is that the pressure is coming from beyond the grave not just his father, but his grandfather, and great-grandfather, and so on.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Several times, from both the Phantom and Diana on various occasions, as part of the ongoing relationship plot.
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer: At least once, in the 1947 story arc "Romance", Diana's entanglement with a RomanticFalseLead went so far that she ended up doing a RunawayBride to get out of it; the Phantom had stood aside, since it seemed to be what she wanted, but he did give the groom-to-be the "You're marrying the finest girl in the world, and if you do anything to hurt her..." speech.
* JungleDrums: Frequently appear as a method of sending long-distance messages in the African jungle.
* LegacyCharacter: Although the main continuity has focused on the same person from beginning to present day, many episodes are about the lives and adventures of previous Phantoms, and the legacy is strong.
* LegacyImmortality
* LovesMyAlterEgo: Averted; the Phantom tells Diana who he really is in the very first story.
* MightyWhitey
* MonsterModesty: The [[FishPeople Croccos]] wear loincloths (and are either a SingleGenderSpecies or an aversion of NonMammalMammaries), but since they live in the ocean . . . [[FridgeLogic where do they get the cloth?]]
* MultilayerFacade: The secret leader of the jungle patrol is The Phantom itself - the masked superhero identity, rather than its mundane counterpart "Mr Walker".
* NonHumanSidekick
* NotSoHarmless: Current recurring villain Chatu/"The Python" was recently experimenting on bats in order to start an Ebola epidemic. The only person he managed to infect was himself, and he needed the Phantom to rescue him from painful death. A few months after this embarassing failure, Chatu orchestrates a terrorist attack ([[MightAsWellNotBeInPrisonAtAll from his prison cell]]) and had his men abduct Diana, leaving the Phantom thinking she'd died in the attack.
* OffhandBackhand: The Phantom delivers one to a hoodlum sneaking up behind him in "Whirlpool Channel".
* {{Pirate}}: Seeing that they're arch enemies of pirates, The Phantom might qualify as a ninja.
** One "Elseworld" story published in ''Fantomen'' actually has The Phantom as a ninja - in it, the first Phantom wasn't stranded in DarkestAfrica, but on the coast of Japan.
* PirateGirl / SkyPirate: Sala
* PresidentEvil: The Scandinavian comics have twice had Bangalla taken over by evil presidents:
** In [[TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks the 90s]], Bangalla got taken over by [[EvilOverlord tyrant]] ''[[EvilOverlord cum]]'' [[EvilOverlord voodoo sorcerer]] Kigali Lubanga. Unlike previous coup-happy generals and assorted single-issue conquerors, Lubanga was a VillainWithGoodPublicity who [[DemocracyIsBad won a reasonably fair election]] against his good-guy opponent. The Phantom then spent the next couple of years [[HeroWithBadPublicity in opposition to the government, authorities and public opinion]], before the people realized their country was gradually being turned into the PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny and rebelled, reinstating the old president.
** In more recent times, the guy was ousted again after Lubanga made his comeback as the leader of an [[PathOfInspiration evil cult]] and tried (but quickly failed) to resume his old reign. The new PresidentEvil is, instead, [[DaddysLittleVillain Sandal Singh]], DarkChick daughter of the Phantom's perennial ArchNemesis Dogai Singh, the leader of the [[AncientConspiracy Singh Pirate Brotherhood]].
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: Subverted in the first story arc, which drops several blatant hints that Jimmy Wells, rich layabout and childhood friend of Diana Palmer, is really the Phantom -- only to have him disappear from the plot completely and the Phantom to reveal a very different origin. It's generally assumed that Lee Falk originally meant to play it straight, then changed his mind when a more creative idea occurred to him.
* RomanticFalseLead: Most notably Lieutenant Byron
* RunawayBride: Diana, at the end of the 1947 story arc "Romance", does a runner from a posh society wedding after realising that she's making a mistake and that the Phantom is the one for her after all.
* RuthlessModernPirates: Being as he is the scourge of piracy, the modern-day Phantom has encountered modern-day pirates from time to time.
* SandInMyEyes: In "The Fourth Son", the title character (the fourth son of an earlier Phantom) starts sobbing when his elder brothers leave to attend school. When his mother reminds him that his father thinks boys shouldn't cry, he claims between sobs that he's not crying, he just has a bug in his eye.
* SharkPool
* ShootingSuperman: with a twist
* ShroudedInMyth
* SkyPirates: Sala and the Sky Band
* StatuesqueStunner: Princess Vhatta in "The Fourth Son".
* StevenUlyssesPerhero: According to a later retcon, "Walker" is the actual surname of the first Phantom, and thus of every Phantom since. This hasn't stopped Ed telling us that it's derived from "The Ghost Who Walks".
* {{Superhero}}
* SuperheroPackingHeat
* SuperheroSobriquets
* TechnicalPacifist: The Phantom does use guns, but is apparently such a great shot that he almost never needs to shoot ''people'' - see ImprobableAimingSkills, BlastingItOutOfTheirHands. He does shoot people in self-defense on occasion though, especially if they start shooting first.
* ThouShaltNotKill: Not directly, anyhow. The Phantom doesn't kill, but he doesn't lose much sleep over criminals who end up dead and doesn't go out of his way to save everyone he crosses paths with. There are at least two recorded instances of the Phantom fatally shooting someone, and unlike many other superheroes this has apparently never been retconned.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: "The Fourth Son" tells the tale of the shortest Phantom (five foot two and a half), who winds up marrying a six-foot HotAmazon.
* UnderwearOfPower: Arguably the TropeCodifier, especially in countries where he is still popular. He wears red-and-black striped underwear on purple.
** In several stories this is the ''only'' thing he wears aside from his hood/mask, boots, and gunbelt.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Not all the time, but a lot of the stories told about past Phantoms are more enjoyable if you know your world history. The Swedish comic book would often have a condensed version of the relevant historic events in it.
* WheelOfPain: In "The Chain"
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: Numerous stories of the current Phantom's ancestors
* WorthlessYellowRocks: Until each Kit leaves the cave they either don't know anything about or understand the concept of money. The twenty-first Phantom carried around [[WorthlessYellowRocks a bag of stones]] his father gave him not knowing why until he heard his uncle complain about tuition costs months latter. The same story had a very young Kit playing with the gold like they were building blocks.
* YouBetterSitDown: In "Fathers and Sons":
-->'''Styx:''' I have news for you -- it may be a shock. Mebbe you'd better sit down and listen.\\
'''Mike:''' I can hear anything standin' up! What is is?\\
''[Styx gives him the news. He sits down suddenly.]''
* ZorroMark: The imprint left by either of his rings. With the good ring it's given consensually and nonviolently as a mark of respect. With the skull ring... It's none of those three.
** The ''Mythbusters'' examined the skull ring use and found that it would be impossible to leave indentations in people's skin with mechanical force without also shattering the victim's bones in that location and (in the case of the head) killing them. The comic has {{Handwave}}ed this as a special dye the Phantom dips his rings in long before the Mythbusters examined it, though.

!!The 1996 film provides examples of:
* EverythingsEvenWorseWithSharks
* EvillyAffable: Xander Drax
* EyeScream: Drax's punishment for an underling who talks to a reporter.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Hey Quill is {{Dexter}}'s dad!
* LesYay: "I think we girls should stick together." Yeah....
* TheMovie
* MovieSuperheroesWearBlack: ''Spectacularly'' averted!
** Another thing about The Phantom's costume in the movie is that it's even designed to "change color" depending on the lighting. It can shift from bright to dark purple, red, grey, or blue in a ShoutOut to how various publishers over the world change the color of his costume based of preference.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Xander Drax.
* {{A Pirate 400 Years Too Late}}: The Singh brotherhood.
* PirateGirl: Sala
* PragmaticAdaptation: Attempting to tie together three ''very'' different (albeit classic) storylines from the comics into a coherent whole and still trying to maintain the Kit Walker/Diana Palmer romance. The reason the film fails is because it collapses under its own ambition
* SkyPirates
* ThrownFromTheZeppelin: Or in this case, Impaled On The Spear.
* TwoFistedTales: They did get ''that'' right at least.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: One complaint about the film is that it assumes the audience already knows who The Phantom is and what he does. The introduction has a ''very'' condensed version of the origin story (Taken almost directly from the first panel of many of the comics) but other than that it pretty much starts in the middle of the 21st Phantom's career with no backstory.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Doubles as ExecutiveMeddling- BruceCampbell was the one originally sought for the role, but was eventually dashed when studio execs felt he wasn't a big enough box office draw.

!!The Dynamite Comics "The Last Phantom" miniseries provides examples of:
* CheapCostume: Even though he's abandoned the mantle, Kit always carries his Rings and Gunbelt with him in an attache case. But...not an actual COSTUME. He's improvised two costumes so far, but now has also made a more "proper" costume.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Quisling.
* CurbStompBattle: Quite a few of them.
* DarkerAndEdgier
* DrillSergeantNasty: The previous Phantom.
* EyeScream: When we see the present Phantom's father in the flashbacks, his face is always in shadow. Observant readers may notice that only one of his eyes is showing. When his (masked) face is finally revealed in Issue 5, it's shown that at some point he suffered an injury to his face that cost him his left eye. Issue 7 reveals that [[spoiler: actress Reagan Fawkes shot it out when he spoiled a staged kidnapping.]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Still has 'em.
* ParentalMarriageVeto: Implied when Kit actually asks HIS father for permission to marry the woman he loves.
* TechnicalPacifist: By the time he officially dons the mantle. [[spoiler: He had absolutely no qualms about killing earlier in the series, though.]]
* TheFaceless: Averted, except for [[spoiler: the scene in Issue 5 where he makes his first public appearance as "The Phantom" in the series.]] There, shadows and a panel cutoff are used to keep his eyes hidden.
* TrainingFromHell: Kit's flashbacks to his childhood ring of this, it could be one reason he abandoned the mantle.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: With "stealth suits" reminiscent of the Phantom 2040 cartoon.
* UnderwearOfPower: In the first issues, the ONLY "clothing" in his costume besides his boots and gun belt.
* WhamEpisode: The Last Phantom Annual #1...[[spoiler: apparently the previous Phantom ''faked his death,'' and is still out there somewhere!]]
* ZorroMark: With both the Skull and Good Mark rings. It also goes into detail on just HOW the marks are made.

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to:

[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/222184-163535-phantom_large_7493.jpg]]

By some counts the first costumed {{superhero}} in comics, the Phantom was created by Lee Falk in 1936 and has been fighting evildoers on NewspaperComics Pages around the world ever since.

In DarkestAfrica, in a secret valley guarded by sinister blowgun-wielding pygmies, dwells the Phantom. Immortal, implacable, foe to all evildoers, {{pirate}}s especially: criminals everywhere speak in hushed whispers of [[SuperheroSobriquets the Ghost Who Walks, the Man Who Cannot Die]].

Except that, well, he can. And has, repeatedly. The current Phantom is the 21st of the line, continuing a tradition begun four centuries ago when his forefather washed up on a lonely African beach, the sole survivor of a pirate attack, and was nursed back to health by the sinister pygmies (who are actually quite nice once you get to know them). He is just a normal man (well, BadassNormal), with no supernatural powers (save his 'skull ring', which forever leaves its imprint on anyone he, well, punches) - but, as Comicbook/{{Batman}} also realised some years later, criminals are a superstitious lot, and they're much easier to beat if they're already afraid of you before you even arrive...

Begun in the dawn of comics' bright and breezy [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]], and written by a single author for over sixty years, ''The Phantom'' is a bit of a living fossil. Representations of women and minorities have become more sophisticated, but it never really saw the appeal of becoming [[DarkerAndEdgier darker]] and [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism more 'realistic']]. And we love it for that.

'''Three specific things we love about ''The Phantom'':'''

* His SecretIdentity. He doesn't have one. Each man who takes up the mantle forswears all former attachments and becomes all-Phantom, all the time, from that day forth. When he needs to walk the streets as an [[{{Muggles}} ordinary man]], he doesn't take his superhero suit off: he puts an "ordinary man" disguise on over it. The disguise has a name, "Mr. Walker",[[hottip:*:obligatory ClueFromEd: it's derived from "The Ghost Who Walks"]] but is otherwise a cipher; if anyone asks him about himself he changes the subject. How he negotiates airline booking desks and customs checkpoints has [[BellisariosMaxim never been revealed]].
* His canine companion, Devil. Faithful, courageous, and intelligent, in the tradition of Rin-Tin-Tin (and pre-dating {{Lassie}}), Devil scores over them in one important respect: he is actually a wolf, thus enabling a RunningGag where some official informs the Phantom (or, more usually, "Mr. Walker") that he can't bring his dog in here, and the Phantom breezes past, saying "Oh, that's all right, Devil isn't a dog..."
* The ongoing soap opera of the Phantom's relationship with Diana Palmer, whom he met, rescued, and fell in love with on his first published adventure. There's none of the usual messing about with WillTheyOrWontThey or two-sided love triangles, but no shortage of other obstacles: she thinks she's been paralysed so she calls off the relationship, he thinks she's chosen the RomanticFalseLead over him so he goes back to the jungle to brood, her mother disapproves, the latest DistressedDamsel wants him for herself, lather rinse repeat, he's afraid to propose in case she says no, he's afraid to propose in case she says yes and then finds out that the Phantom's wife traditionally stays in the Skull Cave doing housewifey stuff... After [[ComicBookTime forty years]] of this, they finally got married in 1977; the series weathered the change much better than many series do.

The Phantom has [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff a big following in Scandinavia]], where he has his own comic book (''Fantomen'' in Sweden, ''Fantomet'' in Denmark and Norway, ''Mustanaamio''[[hottip:*: "The Blackmask", from the Weird Age of Finnish Character Name Translations]] in Finland), publishing new original adventures by other hands. Members of the Fantomen talent pool have also kept the newspaper strip going since Lee Falk's death in 1999. Australia is The Phantom's other fan stronghold, with Australian sales of ''The Phantom'' (a locally-produced comic book that reprints both newspaper strip storylines and translations of ''Fantomen'' stories) reportedly being ten times those of the top-selling [[MarvelComics Marvel]] and [[DCComics DC]] titles.

The Scandinavia-made adventures in the 1970s had frequent anti-colonialist plot-lines, in which the Phantom took on the regime of for instance a badly caricatured Rhodesia (the "Republic of Rhodia," which has since become a more conventional PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny) and where real-life characters, such as bishop Abel Muzorewa, appeared in equally thin disguises. That reflected the widespread anti-apartheid sentiments in those countries.

The Phantom also enjoyed a brief stint of immense popularity in India during the 80's and 90's, and was regularly published (including collected newspaper clips) by the now-obsolete Indrajal Comics, and later, by Diamond Comics of Mumbai. Indrajal's volumes from this period, including Phantom, are now rare collector's items. Although news of the 1996 Phantom movie initially boosted sales through the roof, after the actual release itself fans were not pleased. The film seems to have been the turning point leading to the character's decline in the region, and Phantom soon went zooming down to hit rock bottom in terms of obscurity. Indrajal's bankruptcy during that period didn't help.

By mid 2000s, though you could still find further issues from Moonstone, the current publisher, those were rare, too expensive due to ''very'' low sales, and new releases were few and far in between.

The Phantom has been adapted for film twice. A 1943 FilmSerial starred Tom Tyler as the Phantom and Ace the Wonder Dog as Devil. Better known (if not better regarded) is the 1996 film starring Billy Zane as the Phantom, Kristy Swanson as Diana Palmer and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Sala. Even though [[YourMileageMayVary some fans responded well to the film]], and RogerEbert himself gave a favourable review, it bombed at the box office. It earned $17,323,326 in the United States market, the 93rd most successful film of its year. But that failed to even cover its budget. At least, it has since sold well on VHS and DVD.

The Phantom has also inspired an animated TV series, ''{{Phantom 2040}}'', was one of the WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth, and is the subject of a recent {{SyFy}} miniseries.
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!!This series includes examples of:

* ActionGirl:
** Explorer and Olympian Diana Palmer, though sometimes the plot required her to be somewhat [[FauxActionGirl less badass]].
** Sala, who was a pilot, spy, crack shot, and second in command of the SkyPirates.
* ActuallyThatsMyAssistant: In "The Veiled Lady", a biologist mounts an expedition to the eponymous mountain. In an early scene, biologist and assistant meet with Colonel Weeks of the Jungle Patrol to arrange permits, and Weeks initially assumes that the man is the biologist and the woman is the assistant.
* AmazonBrigade: Sala's Sky Band
* AnimatedAdaptation: Three, actually. The first was ''TheManWhoHatedLaughter'', a 1972 special featuring pretty much all King Features' characters. In 1986, there was ''WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth'', basically ''Superfriends'' with King Features' action/adventure heroes. ''{{Phantom 2040}}'', produced in 1994-95 and set in 2040, starred a [[LegacyCharacter later Phantom]].
* ArbitrarilyLargeBankAccount: Between the dowries of the princesses the various Phantoms have married, chestsful of gold and jewelery given as gifts, and that they live mostly off the land, the Walkers are very well off.
* ArchEnemy: The Phantom is traditionally opposed by the current leader of the Singh Brotherhood; the 21st Phantom first battles Dogai Singh, and later, his daughter Sandal Singh. Other notable enemies include the mercenary Gold Hand and the evil [[PresidentEvil President Lubanga]].
* BadassCreed: One of the classics - The Oath of the Skull - as follows: "I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms, and my sons and their sons shall follow me"
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: In the 1947 story arc "Romance":
-->'''Cruise ship captain:''' Is this -- piracy?\\
'''Pirate:''' That's a nasty word, Captain.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: Played straight pretty much every time, except in the '90s when the Scandinavian version went for a period of DarkerAndEdgier (if a comparatively mild one).
* BluffingTheAdvanceScout
* BondVillainStupidity: Endemic since the time of the first Phantom. Of course, 20 generations of LegacyCharacter doesn't happen without the occasional someone averting this trope.
* {{Bulungi}}: Bangalla.
* CannotSpitItOut: A major reason why it took the Phantom and Diana so long to get married -- they loved each other, and both knew it, but when it came to actually popping the question, the Phantom's otherwise undauntable nerve failed him. The 1947 story arc "Romance", for instance, begins with a sequence in which the Phantom works himself up to pop the question several times, only to chicken out and change the subject each time, to Diana's mounting irritation. (Then he hits on the idea of buying a ring and letting it do the talking -- and ''that'' leads, by a series of steps each straightforward in itself, to the Phantom trapped on an abandoned ship that's about to be blown up, and Diana swearing never to speak to him again.)
* CaveBehindTheFalls
* ClueFromEd: Every single time "Mr. Walker" is mentioned, Ed reminds us that the name is derived from "The Ghost Who Walks".
* CombatPragmatist: Being raised in a jungle where EverythingIsTryingToKillYou can do that to a guy.
* ComicBookTime, despite the built-in opportunity to go the LegacyCharacter route
* ConvictionByCounterfactualClue: In the '80s and '90s, in the Swedish edition, on rare occasions.
* CostumeCopycat: In the early newspaper comics, at least two different stories in which a convict on the run finds and steals the Phantom's clothes while the Phantom's having a swim. ''Fantomen'' has done both the "criminal wears a replica of the Phantom's outfit to divert suspicion" and the "hero in distant land, inspired by tales of the Phantom, wears a replica of the Phantom's outfit" plots at various times.
* CostumedNonsuperHero: An excellent example of the central concept, though slightly less than typical for not having a proper AlterEgo.
** The one "superpower" he does have (as revealed by a blood test when he is held captive) is that his blood contains antibodies for every disease known to man, thus enabling him to live a long and healthy natural life.
* CoversAlwaysLie: An odd variation occurs with the Australian covers -- they generally do show events that actually occur in the story (since, to keep design costs down, most of them are direct copies of actual panels), but they're apparently coloured by somebody who hasn't read the story. Sometimes this doesn't matter. Sometimes it does; examples range from a FieryRedhead being depicted with black hair to several instances of African characters being given yellow hair and pink skin, as well as one instance where a criminal aviator's leather flying helmet was coloured purple, resulting in a cover that appeared to show the Phantom shooting an innocent bystander.
* CrossOver: Among the tribal leaders invited to attend the Phantom's wedding is Lothar, the ScaryBlackMan sidekick of Lee Falk's other famous character, MandrakeTheMagician. (Mandrake himself also attends.)
* DarkestAfrica
* DeathGlare: The viewer can't tell due to the mask, but he's apparently very good at this along with a really scary voice. There's even an ancient jungle proverb about how the Phantom's glare/voice turns blood to ice.
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: A borderline example, perhaps, but in the very first news strip adventure ("The Singh Brotherhood"), when we first meet [[DarkActionGirl Sala]], she appears only as the pirate king Kabai Singh's useless mistress. She's gradually established as [[ManipulativeBastard smarter and more manipulative]], and in the end ''she's'' the one to tell Kabai ''he's'' [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness outlived his usefulness]] and kill him. Turns out she was really a double agent for the SkyPirates under deep cover who sabotaged Kabai so the Phantom could destroy his organization, because it competed with hers...
* DrinkOrder: The Phantom's drink of choice is milk. Even when he's undercover in the seediest bar in town. Nobody ever mocks him for it... more than once.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: Various villains, beginning with the Singh Brotherhood in the very first story arc.
* ExpressiveMask
* TheFaceless: The Phantom's unmasked face is never shown. There is a legend that "He who sees the face of The Phantom... dies a slow and horrible death", and although his close friends and family are shown to be immune, apparently readers aren't.
** And there's always [[MrExposition an african mook]] around to warn the villain not to remove the mask and scare the other mooks into leaving the room. Naturally, [[IdiotBall the villain is never scared of ancient African superstitions]]. At least one was actually intimidated by the hero's unflinching stare through the mask as he dared for him to remove it, though.
** This goes so far that The Phantom has actually been arrested by the police, tried in a court of law and put in a psychiatric institution once... And at no point during the process did ''anyone'' remove his mask.
* TheFagin: ThePhantom once encountered such a man leading crew of pickpockets in Africa in the "Black Fagin" storyline.
* FanFiction: [[http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/vv324/immortalpictures/ThePhantombyRicardoVenancio.jpg This picture]] is worth at least a thousand words.
* FantasticNatureReserve: The island of Eden, populated by many peacefully coexisting animals; the carnivores eat fish and have never tasted blood. As well as a single genuine unicorn, a dinosaur and a semi-sentient prehistoric man-creature.
* GenerationXerox: 21 generations and counting.
* GeographicFlexibility: The Phantom's home is somewhere in the jungles of DarkestAfrica, near the fictional nation of Bangalla. Although various details over the years have narrowed the possibilities down, the precise location and layout of the region deliberately remain vague. (And this is without going into the fact that until the 1960s, Bangalla was called Bengali and was in [[SimSimSalabim India]], and in the very earliest Phantom stories his home and the pygmy tribe were situated on an Indonesian island.)
* GoneSwimmingClothesStolen: At least twice, both times to set up a CostumeCopycat plot.
* GoshDangItToHeck: At one point in the 1974 story arc "The Normal Life", a character is castigated for his foul language; the strongest word he is actually seen to use is "creep".
* GuileHero
* HighlyVisibleNinja: The Phantom's stealthy jungle-ninja suit is purple. (Lee Falk intended it to be gray, and the early black-and-white dailies occasionally have dialogue saying so. When the color Sunday strip started up, it became purple, either due to a [[ExecutiveMeddling meddling executive]] who felt that the hero of a color strip should be more colorful or to a printing error.[[hottip:*:It could have been worse. DC Comics used to be plagued with a color registration problem that caused certain shades of gray to be printed as ''hot pink''.]] Falk eventually gave in and wrote in a {{handwave}} that it was purple because the Phantom's look was intended to evoke a particular idol worshipped by the jungle tribes.) Meanwhile, various international publications have depicted him in a range of colors, from a dark blue in Sweden to a short-lived Italian comic that showed his costume as a mixture of bright red, green, and orange.
* HistoricalInJoke: Several. With a history spanning back to the 17th century and a lot of stories to choose from, the Phantom has had his finger in lots of background events throughout history. Among others, he was involved in the French Revolution, helping the Dauphin escape the guillotine; he befriended Nostradamus, who was the one who gave him the Skull Ring; and [[ItMakesSenseInContext he helped the British defeat the Spanish Armada by time travelling and helping to vanquish Mordred from Camelot]].
* HotAmazon: Princess Vhatta in "The Fourth Son".
* HowUnscientific: The Phantom occasionally (as in, maybe once every few decades) had encounters with visiting aliens. Otherwise, it's strictly a more-or-less realistic and down-to-earth action-adventure series.
* IOweYouMyLife: People saving the Phantom occasionally get the good mark printed on them (or sometimes in the form of necklaces or other jewelry) in return. Later Phantoms tend to return favours to people who have the mark -- or their descendants -- in kind.
* IWantGrandkids: Not that it's mentioned often, the current Phantom is married with two kids, but every Phantom is expected to father an heir to continue their legacy. The biggest difference that Phantom has from most examples of this is that the pressure is coming from beyond the grave not just his father, but his grandfather, and great-grandfather, and so on.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Several times, from both the Phantom and Diana on various occasions, as part of the ongoing relationship plot.
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer: At least once, in the 1947 story arc "Romance", Diana's entanglement with a RomanticFalseLead went so far that she ended up doing a RunawayBride to get out of it; the Phantom had stood aside, since it seemed to be what she wanted, but he did give the groom-to-be the "You're marrying the finest girl in the world, and if you do anything to hurt her..." speech.
* JungleDrums: Frequently appear as a method of sending long-distance messages in the African jungle.
* LegacyCharacter: Although the main continuity has focused on the same person from beginning to present day, many episodes are about the lives and adventures of previous Phantoms, and the legacy is strong.
* LegacyImmortality
* LovesMyAlterEgo: Averted; the Phantom tells Diana who he really is in the very first story.
* MightyWhitey
* MonsterModesty: The [[FishPeople Croccos]] wear loincloths (and are either a SingleGenderSpecies or an aversion of NonMammalMammaries), but since they live in the ocean . . . [[FridgeLogic where do they get the cloth?]]
* MultilayerFacade: The secret leader of the jungle patrol is The Phantom itself - the masked superhero identity, rather than its mundane counterpart "Mr Walker".
* NonHumanSidekick
* NotSoHarmless: Current recurring villain Chatu/"The Python" was recently experimenting on bats in order to start an Ebola epidemic. The only person he managed to infect was himself, and he needed the Phantom to rescue him from painful death. A few months after this embarassing failure, Chatu orchestrates a terrorist attack ([[MightAsWellNotBeInPrisonAtAll from his prison cell]]) and had his men abduct Diana, leaving the Phantom thinking she'd died in the attack.
* OffhandBackhand: The Phantom delivers one to a hoodlum sneaking up behind him in "Whirlpool Channel".
* {{Pirate}}: Seeing that they're arch enemies of pirates, The Phantom might qualify as a ninja.
** One "Elseworld" story published in ''Fantomen'' actually has The Phantom as a ninja - in it, the first Phantom wasn't stranded in DarkestAfrica, but on the coast of Japan.
* PirateGirl / SkyPirate: Sala
* PresidentEvil: The Scandinavian comics have twice had Bangalla taken over by evil presidents:
** In [[TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks the 90s]], Bangalla got taken over by [[EvilOverlord tyrant]] ''[[EvilOverlord cum]]'' [[EvilOverlord voodoo sorcerer]] Kigali Lubanga. Unlike previous coup-happy generals and assorted single-issue conquerors, Lubanga was a VillainWithGoodPublicity who [[DemocracyIsBad won a reasonably fair election]] against his good-guy opponent. The Phantom then spent the next couple of years [[HeroWithBadPublicity in opposition to the government, authorities and public opinion]], before the people realized their country was gradually being turned into the PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny and rebelled, reinstating the old president.
** In more recent times, the guy was ousted again after Lubanga made his comeback as the leader of an [[PathOfInspiration evil cult]] and tried (but quickly failed) to resume his old reign. The new PresidentEvil is, instead, [[DaddysLittleVillain Sandal Singh]], DarkChick daughter of the Phantom's perennial ArchNemesis Dogai Singh, the leader of the [[AncientConspiracy Singh Pirate Brotherhood]].
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: Subverted in the first story arc, which drops several blatant hints that Jimmy Wells, rich layabout and childhood friend of Diana Palmer, is really the Phantom -- only to have him disappear from the plot completely and the Phantom to reveal a very different origin. It's generally assumed that Lee Falk originally meant to play it straight, then changed his mind when a more creative idea occurred to him.
* RomanticFalseLead: Most notably Lieutenant Byron
* RunawayBride: Diana, at the end of the 1947 story arc "Romance", does a runner from a posh society wedding after realising that she's making a mistake and that the Phantom is the one for her after all.
* RuthlessModernPirates: Being as he is the scourge of piracy, the modern-day Phantom has encountered modern-day pirates from time to time.
* SandInMyEyes: In "The Fourth Son", the title character (the fourth son of an earlier Phantom) starts sobbing when his elder brothers leave to attend school. When his mother reminds him that his father thinks boys shouldn't cry, he claims between sobs that he's not crying, he just has a bug in his eye.
* SharkPool
* ShootingSuperman: with a twist
* ShroudedInMyth
* SkyPirates: Sala and the Sky Band
* StatuesqueStunner: Princess Vhatta in "The Fourth Son".
* StevenUlyssesPerhero: According to a later retcon, "Walker" is the actual surname of the first Phantom, and thus of every Phantom since. This hasn't stopped Ed telling us that it's derived from "The Ghost Who Walks".
* {{Superhero}}
* SuperheroPackingHeat
* SuperheroSobriquets
* TechnicalPacifist: The Phantom does use guns, but is apparently such a great shot that he almost never needs to shoot ''people'' - see ImprobableAimingSkills, BlastingItOutOfTheirHands. He does shoot people in self-defense on occasion though, especially if they start shooting first.
* ThouShaltNotKill: Not directly, anyhow. The Phantom doesn't kill, but he doesn't lose much sleep over criminals who end up dead and doesn't go out of his way to save everyone he crosses paths with. There are at least two recorded instances of the Phantom fatally shooting someone, and unlike many other superheroes this has apparently never been retconned.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: "The Fourth Son" tells the tale of the shortest Phantom (five foot two and a half), who winds up marrying a six-foot HotAmazon.
* UnderwearOfPower: Arguably the TropeCodifier, especially in countries where he is still popular. He wears red-and-black striped underwear on purple.
** In several stories this is the ''only'' thing he wears aside from his hood/mask, boots, and gunbelt.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Not all the time, but a lot of the stories told about past Phantoms are more enjoyable if you know your world history. The Swedish comic book would often have a condensed version of the relevant historic events in it.
* WheelOfPain: In "The Chain"
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: Numerous stories of the current Phantom's ancestors
* WorthlessYellowRocks: Until each Kit leaves the cave they either don't know anything about or understand the concept of money. The twenty-first Phantom carried around [[WorthlessYellowRocks a bag of stones]] his father gave him not knowing why until he heard his uncle complain about tuition costs months latter. The same story had a very young Kit playing with the gold like they were building blocks.
* YouBetterSitDown: In "Fathers and Sons":
-->'''Styx:''' I have news for you -- it may be a shock. Mebbe you'd better sit down and listen.\\
'''Mike:''' I can hear anything standin' up! What is is?\\
''[Styx gives him the news. He sits down suddenly.]''
* ZorroMark: The imprint left by either of his rings. With the good ring it's given consensually and nonviolently as a mark of respect. With the skull ring... It's none of those three.
** The ''Mythbusters'' examined the skull ring use and found that it would be impossible to leave indentations in people's skin with mechanical force without also shattering the victim's bones in that location and (in the case of the head) killing them. The comic has {{Handwave}}ed this as a special dye the Phantom dips his rings in long before the Mythbusters examined it, though.

!!The 1996 film provides examples of:
* EverythingsEvenWorseWithSharks
* EvillyAffable: Xander Drax
* EyeScream: Drax's punishment for an underling who talks to a reporter.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Hey Quill is {{Dexter}}'s dad!
* LesYay: "I think we girls should stick together." Yeah....
* TheMovie
* MovieSuperheroesWearBlack: ''Spectacularly'' averted!
** Another thing about The Phantom's costume in the movie is that it's even designed to "change color" depending on the lighting. It can shift from bright to dark purple, red, grey, or blue in a ShoutOut to how various publishers over the world change the color of his costume based of preference.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Xander Drax.
* {{A Pirate 400 Years Too Late}}: The Singh brotherhood.
* PirateGirl: Sala
* PragmaticAdaptation: Attempting to tie together three ''very'' different (albeit classic) storylines from the comics into a coherent whole and still trying to maintain the Kit Walker/Diana Palmer romance. The reason the film fails is because it collapses under its own ambition
* SkyPirates
* ThrownFromTheZeppelin: Or in this case, Impaled On The Spear.
* TwoFistedTales: They did get ''that'' right at least.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: One complaint about the film is that it assumes the audience already knows who The Phantom is and what he does. The introduction has a ''very'' condensed version of the origin story (Taken almost directly from the first panel of many of the comics) but other than that it pretty much starts in the middle of the 21st Phantom's career with no backstory.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Doubles as ExecutiveMeddling- BruceCampbell was the one originally sought for the role, but was eventually dashed when studio execs felt he wasn't a big enough box office draw.

!!The Dynamite Comics "The Last Phantom" miniseries provides examples of:
* CheapCostume: Even though he's abandoned the mantle, Kit always carries his Rings and Gunbelt with him in an attache case. But...not an actual COSTUME. He's improvised two costumes so far, but now has also made a more "proper" costume.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Quisling.
* CurbStompBattle: Quite a few of them.
* DarkerAndEdgier
* DrillSergeantNasty: The previous Phantom.
* EyeScream: When we see the present Phantom's father in the flashbacks, his face is always in shadow. Observant readers may notice that only one of his eyes is showing. When his (masked) face is finally revealed in Issue 5, it's shown that at some point he suffered an injury to his face that cost him his left eye. Issue 7 reveals that [[spoiler: actress Reagan Fawkes shot it out when he spoiled a staged kidnapping.]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Still has 'em.
* ParentalMarriageVeto: Implied when Kit actually asks HIS father for permission to marry the woman he loves.
* TechnicalPacifist: By the time he officially dons the mantle. [[spoiler: He had absolutely no qualms about killing earlier in the series, though.]]
* TheFaceless: Averted, except for [[spoiler: the scene in Issue 5 where he makes his first public appearance as "The Phantom" in the series.]] There, shadows and a panel cutoff are used to keep his eyes hidden.
* TrainingFromHell: Kit's flashbacks to his childhood ring of this, it could be one reason he abandoned the mantle.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: With "stealth suits" reminiscent of the Phantom 2040 cartoon.
* UnderwearOfPower: In the first issues, the ONLY "clothing" in his costume besides his boots and gun belt.
* WhamEpisode: The Last Phantom Annual #1...[[spoiler: apparently the previous Phantom ''faked his death,'' and is still out there somewhere!]]
* ZorroMark: With both the Skull and Good Mark rings. It also goes into detail on just HOW the marks are made.

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[[redirect:ComicStrip/ThePhantom]]
2nd Dec '11 10:28:23 AM Micah
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Added DiffLines:

* MultilayerFacade: The secret leader of the jungle patrol is The Phantom itself - the masked superhero identity, rather than its mundane counterpart "Mr Walker".
28th Nov '11 2:33:26 PM MarkLungo
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The Phantom has also inspired an animated TV series, ''{{Phantom 2040}}'', was one of the DefendersOfTheEarth, and is the subject of a recent {{SyFy}} miniseries.

to:

The Phantom has also inspired an animated TV series, ''{{Phantom 2040}}'', was one of the DefendersOfTheEarth, WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth, and is the subject of a recent {{SyFy}} miniseries.



* AnimatedAdaptation: Two, actually -- ''DefendersOfTheEarth'', basically ''Superfriends'' with King Features' characters, and ''{{Phantom 2040}}'', set in 2040, with a [[LegacyCharacter later Phantom]]

to:

* AnimatedAdaptation: Two, actually -- ''DefendersOfTheEarth'', Three, actually. The first was ''TheManWhoHatedLaughter'', a 1972 special featuring pretty much all King Features' characters. In 1986, there was ''WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth'', basically ''Superfriends'' with King Features' characters, and action/adventure heroes. ''{{Phantom 2040}}'', produced in 1994-95 and set in 2040, with starred a [[LegacyCharacter later Phantom]]Phantom]].
This list shows the last 10 events of 107. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ThePhantom