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Hermes Press to Publish Complete DC Comics' The Phantom

Hermes Press is to publish the DC Comics' runs of The Phantom by the likes of Peter David, Joe Orlando, Mark Verhiden and Luke McDonnell, in three volumes, beginning in May. There are discounts for direct preorders as well.

Hermes Press to Publish Complete DC Comics' The Phantom
Hermes Press to Publish Complete DC Comics' The Phantom

The Phantom was first published as a daily newspaper strip by Lee Falk in February 1936, a fictional costumed crime-fighter who operates from the fictional African country of Bangalla. At its peak, the strip was read by over 100 million people daily. Falk worked on The Phantom until his death in 1999; since his death, the comic strip has been written by Tony DePaul. Since 2016, it has been drawn by Mike Manley and Jeff Weigel. In the strip, the Phantom was 21st in a line of crime-fighters which began in 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was killed during a pirate attack. Swearing an oath on the skull of his father's murderer to fight evil, Christopher began a legacy of the Phantom which would pass from father to son. Nicknames for the Phantom include "The Ghost Who Walks", "Guardian of the Eastern Dark" and "The Man Who Cannot Die".

The Phantom was the first fictional hero to wear the skintight costume which has become a hallmark of comic-book superheroes, and was the first shown in a mask with no visible pupils. Comics historian Peter Coogan described the Phantom as a "transitional" figure, since the Phantom has some of the characteristics of pulp magazine heroes such as The Shadow and the Spider and earlier jungle heroes such as Tarzan, as well as anticipating the features of comic book heroes such as Superman, Batman, and Captain America.

DC Comics published a Phantom comic book from 1988 to 1990. The initial 1988 miniseries was written by Peter David, pencilled by Joe Orlando, and inked by Dennis Janke. A subsequent series, written by Mark Verheiden and drawn by Luke McDonnell, ran for 13 issues from March 1989 to March 1990. In the series, the Phantom fought racism, toxic dumping, hunger and modern-day piracy. According to Verheiden, the series ended as much because of licensing issues as falling sales.

Previously in 1987, Marvel Comics published a four-issue miniseries written by Stan Lee and based on the Defenders of the Earth TV series. Years later they would publish The Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks in 1995 written and drawn by David de Vries and Glenn Lumsden it featuring the 22nd Phantom with an updated, high-tech costume. Marvel later released a four-part miniseries pencilled by Steve Ditko, based on the Phantom 2040 TV series. Maybe Hermes may be able to follow the DC Years with the Marvel Years too?


The Complete DC Comic's Phantom Volume 1: ISBN 978-1-61345-247-9; 11.75 x 8.25 inches; full color; hardcover;  printed laminated cover; special endpapers; 224 pages of action packed of the first six stories of the DC Comic Phantom, with the first mini-series by Peter David with art by Joe Orlando, following that is two stories from the next series with script by Mark Verheiden and pencils and inks by Luke McDonnell; colors by Anthony Tollin; first of three volumes; includes introductory essay, extra art; $50; available May 2021.


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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