Comic Cover Of The Week: The Phantom #1 – 1988

ph #1 dc

Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to a very special episode of – Comic Cover Of The Week, where we endeavour to pursue ‘The Man Who Cannot Die’ in our continuing celebration of the 80th anniversary of The Phantom.

The Phantom #1 was the first of a 4 issue mini-series produced by DC Comics between 1988 and 1989, which later went on to become a rather short lived (13 issues) ongoing series in 1989 through 1990. Written by: Peter David. Art by: Dennis Janke and Joe Orlando.

This post actually combines two things I adore from the wonderful world of comics – The Phantom and DC Comics. I actually chose this particular cover not because it was released by my personal favourite comic book company, but for the reason that I distinctly remember picking it up from a local newsagents in the late 1980’s.

Back then in the UK, speciality comic-book shops were very much a rarity and most collectors of comics would avidly peruse the shelves of their local newsagent. Without the benefit of that magical digital conveyance we now know as the internet (yes indeed, there was such a time!) you really had to have your wits about you if you didn’t want to miss the next issue of your favourite heroic tome, for there was no Amazon (except for the Themysciran kind, of course) or E-Bay for you to fill that precious, elusive gap in your collection.

DC's Phantom mini-series - Edited

As mentioned in our initial 80th Anniversary Post, I didn’t really start following the ongoing adventures of the The Ghost Who Walks until I saw (and loved) the 1996 movie adaptation, but my first real interaction with The Phantom was when I discovered the above comic in my local ‘newsie’ (as we called them.) I do also remember watching theΒ ‘Defenders of the Earth’ cartoon on Saturday morning television, but that wasn’t aired in the UK until the early 90’s, so it was DC who first introduced me to Lee Falk’s classic character.

Now, there’s a problem for Phantom Phans in the UK, even now with all the superb speciality comic shops (we have at least 3 very near to where I live) it is really difficult to purchase almost anything related to The Phantom, including comics. If you were to head into 60% of the comic book emporiums in the UK and ask for a Phantom comic, many of the staff would look at you like you were speaking in alien tongues, or even (and this has happened at least twice for me) produce an issue of The Phantom Stranger!

Phantom DC 1989 - Edited

Luckily the internet now fulfils my every need when it comes to the continuing adventures of Kit Walker, but it is rather sad to me that a character as important to the world of Superheroes (in fact, THE most important!) isn’t anyway near as popular as he should be. And so my fellow Phans, I am so happy that we are able to do our small bit to get the word out to the masses at large and hopefully introduce more and more people to the ‘Guardian of the Eastern Dark’ Β The Phantom is the original Superhero and deserves all the praise and reverence that can be heaped upon him. I must go now, as I can hear the faint sound of tribal drums guiding me back to my own personal Skull Cave so I can indulge once more in the phantastic 1996 movie… Long Live The Phantom!

About Bruce Hodder (formerly known as ArcaneHalloween)

Fanatical about comics, gaming and horror movies... but then isn't everyone?

Posted on February 20, 2016, in Comics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Phantastic Post!
    Ah! THAT cover! A lodger who stayed w us during 1987-88 was an avid DC/Marvel Comics collector, and I distinctly remember this cover when he brought this 1st issue in – I rate this as 1 of my Top 10 faves! Alas, th interior did not impress me much, but wld like to read more of Th Phantom, especially when considering how important this character was to th development of th comic book superhero.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks my friend, tis indeed an amazing cover. I do still have it deep within my mammoth collection somewhere. I did quite enjoy the Dynamite Comics ‘Last Phantom’ story, even though it was quite divisive amongst phans, I would personally recommend it though. I did enjoy the DC ongoing series as well, just wish it was available in a collected edition.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Did Falk originally intend to call h character Th Purple Phantom? Otherwise, why is his costume purple?
        U mentioned how Precinct 1313’s v 1st Post was devoted to Th Phantom – how about a Link, o mighty fellow Awemonger?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The purple outfit is linked to the tribal demon god ‘Uzuki’ The first Phantom was saved by the Bandar tribe who were being oppressed by the Wasaka, Uzuki was their Demon God, so Phantom fashioned his outfit after him and lead the Bandar in an uprising against the oppressors. He coloured the original fabric of the costume using jungle berries. As the later Phantoms took over the outfit became more sophisticated. Though the colour is primarily purple, some countries that print their own Phantom comics have changed the colours, red and grey being popular. The original post I did I actually removed a while back as I was never overly happy with the early stuff I posted here, though my 80 years of the Phantom post covered much of what was in the original post. Here is a link to my review of ‘The Last Phantom’ though; πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for th Link!
        Jungle berries enhance any cake!
        Have a great evening

        Liked by 1 person

      • You have a phantastic evening too good sir. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Will try! Thanks, amigo
        In th process of creating some heavy-duty thrill-power on this stormy night!
        Don’t know enough about Th Phantom so will have to conjure up something else

        Liked by 1 person

      • Looking forward to your special brand of thrill-power my friend! it is a really crazy stormy night down here in the ol’ westcountry tonight as well. Love storms. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. my dad LOVED these comics__awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

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