Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Comic-Book Covers Of All Time: No.07 – The Phantom #1 – Dave Gibbons

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“I swear to devote my life to the destruction of all forms of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice, and my sons and their sons shall follow me!”

And with that astonishing axiom… The Phantom was born! Welcome back, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, to the continuing countdown of our absolute favourite comic-book covers of all time. In our last entertaining episode we shared the work of the Bat-tastic and inimitable Norm Breyfogle, and his resplendent representation of the Dark Knight on the cover of Batman #465. This time we’ll be exploring the infamous Skull Cave, deep in the heart of the jungles of Bangalla, as we celebrate Dave Gibbons’ ‘phantastic’ Phantom #1 cover which first released in May 1988.

dcs-phantom-mini-series-editedThe Phantom was created by Lee falk in 1936, which makes his dynamic debut an incredible eighty five years ago… cementing him as the world’s original Superhero, a full two years before Superman first soared across the skies! Falk was an American writer and artist who had previously created the character, Mandrake the Magician in 1934, before going on to create The Phantom a mere two years later.

Lee Falk was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1911 and spent much of his youth there, he was a gifted writer and pitched his idea for Mandrake to King Features Syndicate. Falk was a huge fan of stage magicians, and actually based the look of Mandrake on on himself. The Phantom sprang from Falk’s unfailing love of myths and legends, such as King Arthur, plus popular fictional creations including two of his favourites, Tarzan and Robin Hood. (P1313 fun facts: Bill Finger, co-creator of Batman was a huge Phantom fan and used ideas such as the Phantom’s Skull Cave and loyal retainer – Guran, as inspiration for the Batcave and faithful father figure, Alfred!)


Kit Walker is The Phantom, 21st in a lineage of costumed crimefighters that first began in 1536 when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was killed by the Singh Brotherhood. Swearing an oath on the skull of his father’s murderer he became the first Phantom, beginning a legacy that would pass on from father to son for generations. The outside world though believed it was the same man, an immortal, a Ghost Who Walks, fighting injustice, piracy and greed from his secret Skull Cave, in the jungles of Bangalla. Fighting alongside his pet wolf – Devil, and his trusty steed – Ghost, the Man Who Cannot Die, instils fear in the corrupt, and hope to the innocent, in his never ending pursuit of the evil that men do!

Why Not Join Us Again Next Time, Fellow Agents Of Precinct1313, For Our Continuing Celebratory Countdown Of Cool And Crazy Comic Cover Collectables!

About Bruce Hodder (formerly known as ArcaneHalloween)

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

Posted on January 3, 2021, in Comics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Superb Dave Gibbons Phantom cover there. The guy’s an absolute legend, what with Watchmen, 2000 AD, and even some Doctor Who.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a fantastic cover for sure, love The Phantom so definitely had to pick a cover for him and this is a retro fave of mine.

      I do love Gibbons work, especially Watchmen, as an aside to this, I met both Dave Gibbons and John Higgins (John of whom I have met a few times now) at a comic convention, ooh, about 8 years back. John as ever was a complete gentleman (he even bought me a pint of Guiness, his favourite tipple, at the bar and, if you can believe it, sent me facebook friends request! guy’s a legend!)

      Anyway, John happily signed my copy of Watchmen and even did a sketch of Rorschach for me, Dave on the other hand, looked at me, said “too busy to sign” and walked off, much to my friends and my surprise. Since that day we’ve called him “Grumpy Gibbons” lol. I’m sure he’s actually a lovely guy, maybe just having a bad day that day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • What an awesome story! John Higgins is the man then! (and enjoys a Guinness too). Brilliant you got to meet and interact with him.
        But Grumpy Gibbons, lol. Yes, you’re right I suspect, maybe a bad day at the office for him 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • As an extra , my friend, John had some interesting things to say about the original meetings he had with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons about the direction of the Watchmen, he was much more influential in it’s creation than people give him credit for. Also, he absolutely loved Zack Snyder’s cinematic interpretation, great taste right there! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Comic-Book Covers Of All Time: Madame Xanadu #6 – Amy Reeder Hadley | precinct1313

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