THE PHANTOM – The Man Who Cannot Die!

Bottleneck Gallery posted The Phantom print above as well as another (with variants of both) by Henrik Sahlstrom.  Seeing these posters took me back to my childhood.  For a brief time I was a fan of The Phantom.  He appeared in a comic strip in my local newspaper (Terre Haute Tribune-Star).

The Phantom was created by Lee Falk.  The first Phantom newspaper strip appeared on February 17, 1936.  The Phantom wore the purple costume you see in the art by Sahlstrom. In the series, set in the fictional country of Bangalla, Africa, Christopher Walker was the first Phantom who took on the hero identity when his father was killed by pirates.  Walker passed the identity down to his son and so it went with each new generation.  The Phantom became known as “The Ghost Who Walks” and “The Man Who Cannot Die”.  Although he has no super powers, the Phantom is smart and strong.  He lives in a cave that looks like a skull with his pet wolf, Devil.

Over the years, The Phantom has been adapted from the newspaper strips to comic books, movie serials, animated series, a live-action series and a feature film!  At it’s peak The Phantom newspaper strip reportedly had an audience of over 100 million readers daily.  Even more amazing is the fact that the strip is still being published today! The Phantom is truly the man who cannot die!