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[[quoteright:360:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Phantom_2040_2491.jpg]]

''Phantom 2040'' is an AnimatedAdaptation of the comic book superhero ComicStrip/ThePhantom.

In the year 2040, college student Kit Walker learns that his father, who disappeared when he was a baby, was the 23rd Phantom, latest in a long line of heroes. Kit takes up the mantle, with the support of Guran, his father's friend and assistant, and Professor Archer, one of Kit's teachers, who puts two and two together after the return of the Phantom coincides with a sudden decline in Kit's academic performance. Kit's Aunt Heloise, who raised him in ignorance of his heritage in the hope he could avoid the short and dangerous life his father had led, also lends her support when it becomes clear that he's committed to it whatever she does.

The Phantom's fight against crime and corruption often involves crossing swords with {{Megacorp}}oration Maximum, Inc. Maximum's founder, Maxwell Madison, disappeared on the same night as Kit's father, and this, it quickly becomes clear, is not mere coincidence. The corporation is now run by his widow, Rebecca, with (not much) help from Max Madison Jr. Following the death of his father, Max Jr. has developed into a psychologically withdrawn young man with no interest in anything much except his cat, Baudelaire. (Having the temperamental Rebecca for a mother probably didn't help.) Rebecca Madison's [[TheDragon Dragon]] is Maximum's security chief, Graft, a cynical former soldier and enviromentalist who was critically injured in a battle and now is kept alive by Maximum technology; what's left of his body can be plugged into a variety of robotic frames ranging from approximately human to full on battle mech.

The visual aesthetic of the series is similar to that of ''WesternAnimation/AeonFlux'', as it has the same designer, Peter Chung. The series also, in retrospect, has some interesting similarities to the later ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'', though this is probably just convergent evolution from a similar premise.

The people behind this series went on to also do a [[WesternAnimation/FlashGordon1996 teenaged animated version]] of the Phantom's King Features stablemate ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon''.
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!! The animated series has these tropes:

* AIIsACrapshoot:
** [[spoiler:Mr. Cairo. He was originally an analytical program that was going to be integrated into Doctor Jak's mind to help him find out who was responsible for the Sector Zero wreck (which killed his wife), but the illegal clinic where he was receiving the operation was raided by the Enforcers, and the program ended up being lost on the net, where it eventually became self-aware and developed its own personality.]]
** Heisenberg, the fractal biot, [[spoiler:becomes self-aware after his external processor is damaged. He then uses his own sub-components to make other biots selfaware, beginning with Pavlova, Dr. Jak's assistant.]]
* BadassGrandpa: This version of Guran is significantly older than Kit, and frequently gets in on the action personally.
* BigApplesauce: The series is set in New York (though it's now called "Metropia"), with a brief handwave about why the Phantom doesn't live in Africa any more.
* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: The Phantom suit includes a variety of high-tech gadgets that help Kit to act as the Phantom even though he hasn't had the usual years of training. For instance, it has a cloaking device that makes him invisible.
* ComicBookAdaptation: It was drawn by none other than Creator/SteveDitko.
* CompilationMovie: The video release ''Phantom 2040: The Ghost Who Walks'' was the first five episodes edited together.
* TheCommissionerGordon: Enforcer Sagan Cruz is Phantom's contact in Metropia's law enforcement.
* ConsultingMisterPuppet: Max Madison Jr. never expresses an opinion without prefixing: "Baudelaire says"... Baudelaire is his cat.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Rebecca Madison, the head of Maximum, Inc., is out for power and money regardless of who she has to step on along the way.
* CreepyMonotone: Maxwell Madison Jr. speaks in one, which is one of the indications of his emotional disturbance.
* {{Cyberpunk}}: In a TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture CityNoir setting with cyborgs and {{transhumanism}} all over the place, a small group of heroes fights back against an evil MegaCorp.
* DetachableLowerHalf: The cyborg Graft has several interchangeable lower halves, including a set of everyday legs and a ten-foot-tall battle platform.
* TheDragon: Graft, the security chief of Maximum, Inc., has a weapon-packed cyborg body, and handles all fight scenes on behalf of the CorruptCorporateExecutive BigBad.
* EvilDetectingDog: Inverted. DV-L is initially uneasy around Kit, so Sagan has to firmly tell him that Kit is a friend. Later on, when they meet the Phantom, Sagan expects DV-L to attack... but, of course, DV-L remembers that he's a friend and lets him go.
* EvilDiva: [[NamesToRunAwayFrom Vaingloria]] is a singer employed by Rebecca Madison to brainwash the masses. While she loves the fame, she's something of a PunchClockVillain when it comes to the brainwashing.
* FallenHero: Graft. Some of the series' most notable moments are the ones where it turns out he still has [[EvenEvilHasStandards some lines he won't cross]].
* FatBastard: Gorda, an obese crime lord who travels everywhere in a hoverchair because she's too large to walk under her own power.
* AFateWorseThanDeath:
** What happened to Sparks' parents. [[spoiler:They were used as mental tissue for the biomechanical "living building" Project Gauntlet, Cyberville's security system.]]
** Graft definitely would've preferred dying on the battlefield to becoming Rebecca Madison's half-robotic errand boy.
* FiveEpisodePilot: Though the show technically had a two part opener, the first five episodes all act to introduce the main characters and establish the status quo that would remain for the remainder of the series. The first five episodes were also later reworked into a movie.
* FlyingCar: Flying vehicles are common. In particular, the Phantom has a flying motorbike in place of the traditional white horse.
* FunWithAcronyms: Riffing off the original Phantom's wolf, Devil, Enforcer Cruz has a cyborg police dog named D.V.L. It's not revealed what this stands for.
* FutureSlang: A few slang terms are derived from a rather prescient anticipation of how big the Internet would get. A common apparatus used to access information is the Integrated Cybernetic Environment, or ICE. This logically leads to 'skating' (using the net), and even 'heat source' (cracking software).
%%* GoodAllAlong: [[spoiler:Maxwell Madison Sr.]].
%%* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Mr. Cairo, in "The Sacrifice, Part II"]].
* HiddenDepths:
** Graft, Rebecca Madison's [[TheDragon chief enforcer]], comes across as a BloodKnight who wants to be [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou the only one allowed to defeat the Phantom]], and also acts as a scheming DragonWithAnAgenda. Then we get to his back-story, where it's revealed that he's a FallenHero who would rather have died on the battlefield than be remade as a cyborg (he lost his original body defending a small village from extermination when he tried briefly to turn on Maximum Inc.), and we also learn that in the present day, even though he's quite willing to commit murder for Maximum Inc., [[EvenEvilHasStandards he won't deliberately harm children or allow them to be harmed]].
** We can all agree that Doctor Jak is a [[JerkAss major douche]] whose "news reports" are heavily biased against the Phantom, plus he's not afraid to interpret facts his own way or make up false reports against the Ghost Who Walks for his own amusement and for higher ratings. Then we get to his DayInTheLimelight episode...[[spoiler:and he turns out to be a man full of self-loathing and misery and who misses his late wife, who died in the Sector Zero crash, to the point that he named his personal assistant BIOT after her and feels guilty for not being able to uncover what caused the crash in the first place. He also really doesn't care about uncovering the Phantom's secrets, as Kit had initially feared]].
** So Guran is TheObiWan to the Phantom, always has a good word of advice for Kit to follow both as the Phantom and in life in general, and is in fact quite willing to give advice to ''anyone'' who's in need of it...but he's also [[MyGreatestFailure filled with guilt and self-hatred over not being there to prevent the death of Kit's father, the previous Phantom]] [[spoiler:and that despair manifests itself as [[InvoluntaryShapeshifter the Shadow Panther]]]].
** A particularly creepy example can be found in Maxwell Jr. Yes, he's a disturbed young man whose only real friend is his cat...but his psychosis comes as a result of his ParentalAbandonment issues (his father being dead and his mother not being all there in the head herself), and he is in fact quite capable of being a VERY ManipulativeBastard when the episode calls for it.
* HollywoodCyborg:
** Graft lost most of his body from the chest down in a battle, and now most of his body is cybernetic. He actually has several robotic bodies, including a human-sized everyday one and ten-foot-tall weaponized one, and can have the human part of him disconnected from one and connected to another as required.
** The pop star Vaingloria has implanted cybernetic "wings" that add to the visual effects during her performances (and form part of a mechanism for brainwashing her audiences).
** The muckracking reporter Doctor Jak has several cybernetic implants, including a camera eye and data ports that let him jack into a computer and download his experiences directly.
%%* HollywoodHacking: Sparks
* HolographicDisguise: The Phantom suit has an integrated holographic projector that can be used to render him invisible by projecting an image of whatever's behind him.
* ICannotSelfTerminate:
** As a cyborg, Graft's paid for and owned by Maximum, Inc., regardless of his wishes. In one particularly harrowing scene, he's left in agonizing pain after having his cybernetics damaged in a fight and begs Maximium's retrieval team to kill him, while Max Jr. simply watches from afar:
--->'''Max Jr.''': Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But all the queen's horses and all the queen's men just kept putting poor Humpty back together again. And again, and again, and again...
** Played up even more when [[spoiler:Max Madison Sr.]] returns. A continuing plot from his reintroduction to the finale was his desire to die, but inability to end his life because of his programming. Ultimately, the Phantom does this at his request.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Vain Gloria made a deal with Maximum to be implanted with mirrors that emit hypnotic lights, making her performances exceedingly popular. She pretty much considers having them removed and being BroughtDownToNormal to be a FateWorseThanDeath for her.
* IsTheAnswerToThisQuestionYes: When they have to fly a scramjet to Antarctica, Professor Archer asks Sparks if he's ever flown one before; Sparks answers "Does a neutrino have mass?" (At the time the episode was made, it was believed that neutrinos were massless.)
* KentBrockmanNews: Doctor Jack's news reports provide exposition while also being entertainingly eccentric.
* KnowledgeBroker: Mr. Cairo. He only values knowledge and no amount of currency, which is probably why he hasn't told the BigBad who The Phantom is despite the hefty reward. He never appears in person, only communicating with his customers through holograms. [[spoiler:It turns out he's not a person at all, but rather a sentient computer program.]]
* LandOfOneCity: There is no real "United States" any more, just a series of city-states that are independently ruled.
* LandDownUnder: That one episode set in Australia, with the brown-plated boomerang-throwing Biots and the rocket-launcher-toting robot wallaby.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: "The Magician", an old friend of the Phantom family who bears a striking resemblence to an elderly version of Falk's [[ComicStrip/MandrakeTheMagician Mandrake]].
* LeanAndMean: Sean One, who is inhumanly tall due to having lived his entire life in an orbital platform. He requires an exoeskeleton to walk on Earth.
* LegacyCharacter: The Phantom identity is passed down from father to son; Kit is the 24th person to bear the mantle.
* LovesMyAlterEgo: Enforcer Sagan Cruz is attracted to Kit, but is suspicious of The Phantom.
* MeaningfulName: Two meanings of the word "graft" are "A portion of living tissue surgically transplanted from one part of an individual to another, or from one individual to another, for its adhesion and growth" and "The acquisition of money, gain, or advantage by dishonest, unfair, or illegal means, esp. through the abuse of one's position or influence in politics, business, etc." It's the perfect name for the character Graft, a HollywoodCyborg who is the enforcer for a CorruptCorporateExecutive.
* MechaMooks: Maximum, Inc. apparently consists of three people (well, more like two and a half with Graft) and an army of robots.
* MegaCity: Metropia is a self-governing city state of 32 million inhabitants -- that's over 10% of the entire population of America at the time the show was made.
* MegaCorp: Maximum, Inc. is a massive corporation that has influence everywhere.
* MoleInCharge: The chief of Metropia's law enforcement turns out to be on the payroll of Maximum, Inc.
* MyHorseIsAMotorbike: As part of his updated look, the Phantom has a flying motorbike instead of the horse his predecessors rode in the comics.
* {{Nephewism}}: Kit doesn't have parents, only an aunt.
* NeverHurtAnInnocent:
** The Phantom, which is one of the reasons there are so many robots for the Phantom to blow up now.
** Poignantly, Graft once stopped a fight he was winning when a kid got endangered, revealing one of the few uncrossable lines he still possesses.
* NeverMessWithGranny: If you threaten Aunt Heloise or her nephew, you can expect her to go GunsAkimbo on you.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Vaingloria, a pop idol voiced by [[Music/{{Blondie}} Deborah Harry]], is the show's futuristic {{Expy}} of Music/{{Madonna}}.
* OlderAndWiser: The father-to-son premise doesn't allow for the Phantom to be advised by his predecessor, but Aunt Heloise comes close, as she was actively involved in her brother's activities and received the same childhood training he did (and her nephew didn't).
* {{Paparazzi}}: Doctor Jak, for most of the series. In "Matter Over Mind", it is shown that he was actually an IntrepidReporter in the past, [[spoiler:before his wife died in the Sector Zero crash]], and these more heroic tendencies resurface throughout the episode.
* PickOnSomeoneYourOwnSize: In an intergender example, Rebecca Madison and Kit Walker quickly pick up the enmity previously shared by their husband and father, respectively.
%%* PsychopathicManchild: Max Jr.
* ReforgedIntoAMinion: Graft's backstory is that he started out helping people fight against Maximum, Inc. when it tried to take away their homes and livelihoods; during a battle with Maximum's security forces he was fatally injured and Rebecca Madison had him rebuilt as a {{Cyborg}} loyal to Maximum, Inc.
* TheResenter: Aunt Heloise reveals that she was this toward the Phantom legacy for a long time [[spoiler:because her brother, Kit's father, was chosen to be the next Phantom instead of her, despite both of them undergoing the same training together]].
* RightHandCat: Max Madison Jr. never goes anywhere without his cat Baudelaire, usually cradled in his arms.
* RoguesGallery: The enemies that the Phantom contends with throughout the series include [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Rebecca Madison]], [[TheMentallyDisturbed Max Madison Jr.]], [[TheDragon Graft]], [[FatBastard Gorda]], [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame Gunnar the Hunter]] (who appears for only one episode), [[RevengeBeforeReason Queen Nia]] (who appears for two), [[FantasticRacism Sean One]], and [[{{Paparazzi}} Doctor Jak]] and [[EvilDiva Vaingloria]] to a (somewhat) lesser degree.
* SecretKeeper: Professor Archer becomes one after he figures out why Kit suddenly isn't focussing on his academic performance as much as he used to.
* ShoutOut:
** Sean One's main orbital platform is named Dykstra Platform, likely a reference to John Dykstra, the visual effects supervisor for the original ''Franchise/StarWars'' films. The episode "The Woman in the Moon" takes place on Trumbull Platform, named for Douglas Trumbull, the visual effects supervisor for ''Film/BladeRunner'' (and one of Dykstra's mentors).
** When Archer discusses 20th century detective fiction, alongside [[Film/TheMalteseFalcon Sam Spade]] and Literature/PhilipMarlowe he namedrops [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Dixon Hill]].
* SticksToTheBack: The Phantom's smartguns (well, to his hips, anyway).
%%* {{Superhero}}
%%* SuperWristGadget
* TroubledChild: Perfectly describes Maxwell Madison Jr., apart from the technicality of him being an adult now.
* TurnOutLikeHisFather: Aunt Heloise raised Kit ignorant of his family heritage, because she didn't want him to go out and get killed like his father did. When he finds out anyway and takes on the Phantom mantle, she's initially resistant but quickly realizes that he's going to do it whatever she does and the best way to prevent him getting killed is now to offer her full assistance.
* TheWarOfEarthlyAggression: Foreshadowed, with off-world colonies and an independence movement, but it doesn't come to outright hostilities during the run of the series.
* UnroboticReveal: A human woman disguised as a biot.
* VisibleInvisibility: When the Phantom's cloaking device is engaged, he appears transparent to the audience while being invisible to other characters.
%%* WretchedHive: Metropia.
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!! The spin-off video game provides examples of:

%%* GoldenEnding
* LostForever: The route splits available will pretty much ensure you'll miss the opportunity to find upgrades, be it HP or EN extensions, weapons, or the damage, armor and energy consumption multipliers.
%%* {{Metroidvania}}
* MissingSecret: There are three multiplier items you can find in the game. One doubles the damage you do, one halves the damage you take, and a third halves your ammo consumption. Hidden in the game are upgrades for the incoming damage multiplier and the ammo consumption multiplier that reduce their respective attributes to one fourth of the original value. There is no upgrade for the damage inflicted multiplier.
* MultipleEndings: The game had over twenty endings, and while which one the player earned usually depended on obvious things like which option they took when given a story choice, there were a few cases of a determining factor being just which literal path they took to complete their objectives. Almost all the endings involve death, destruction, and an invitation to the player to "Try Again".
* PressXToDie: Near the end of the game is a level where the player is running on the outside of a moving train. Pressing down+jump allows the player to drop down to a lower part of it, even when on the lowermost part of the train. Dropping from there (and thus onto the tracks) can only ever result in instantaneous death.
* RoguesGallery: In addition to those from the series, the game has two unique villains, the hunter-slash-wildlife-smuggler Tracker (presumably an Expy of Gunnar) and Mars, a former military general on Rebecca's payroll.
* ViolationOfCommonSense: How some of the route splits work. From a hero's standpoint, the Phantom ''should'' verify the explosion in the university for wounded or survivors, Prof. Jack Archer in particular, but going after the assaulting vehicle is a viable option as well. Same goes for deciding whether the Shadow Panther should be given to Guran to be freed in the jungle, or given to a sketchy merchant in exchange for dubious intel on where your captive friend is being held at.
** And ironically enough, doing the less heroic choices will wield the best rewards. Going after the ship that attacked the university will net you the Mine weapon; giving the panther to the merchant will give you the Invisibility Belt and the Damage x2 multiplier.
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