A lot of people have trouble taking superheroes seriously, what with the tight suits and the underwear on the outside of their pants. But I challenge anyone to walk down a dark alleyway at night, hastily turn around, and not soil yourself in fear when you find the goddamn Batman standing there, right behind you. Sure, your rational mind would soon take over and you might remind the costumed fool that “Halloween ain’t ’til manyana”…giving him the perfect opportunity to perform some amateur dental surgery on you with his boots.
Unfortunately, Batman was far from the first costumed hero of the 1930s. Created for the daily newspaper strips of 1936, The Phantom represents one of the last costumed mystery-men to make the scene before Superman came along and changed everything. Four months separated the two hero’s debuts in their respective magazines. Can you guess which one won more culture cache? Here’s the hint: the only man in a purple suit who’s going to frighten me is the Joker. And even I have trouble taking the Phantom seriously. Continue reading The Phantom (1996)