The Strangest Phantom Lady Story Gets Even Stranger, at Auction

When we covered the auction for a copy of All Top Comics #10 (1948) last year, we noted that it contained the strangest Phantom Lady story of the Golden Age.  Many of Phantom Lady's adventures of the Golden Age were pretty typical crime comic (or even true crime) stories, but this tale in All Top Comics #10 is another thing entirely.  Fascinatingly, the lead story in Farrell's Phantom Lady #3 (1955) reuses Ruth Roche's script from All Top Comics #10, redrawn by a different artist, and introduces some elements that make it even stranger than before.  Phantom Lady comics are always in demand, and there's a solid example of this one with Phantom Lady #3 (Ajax, 1955) Condition: VG/FN up for auction in the 2022 September 18-19 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122238 at Heritage Auctions.

Phantom Lady #3 (Ajax, 1955)
Phantom Lady #3 (Ajax, 1955)

Via a connection made through her father who was a United States Senator in this tale, Sandra Knight stumbled upon a spy intent on stealing America's atomic bomb plans.  Originally written in 1948, this story is a clear reaction to the "Atomic Spy" scare that made frequent headlines throughout the prior two years.  As it happens, things were even worse than they appeared at the time that All Top Comics #10 hit the newsstands.  The most damaging atomic spy of all, theoretical physicist Klaus Fuchswas still stealing secrets regarding the development of the hydrogen bomb at the time.

This was an unusual departure for Phantom Lady's adventures in 1948, but it was more at home in the mid-1950s Cold War era, and Farrell's Phantom Lady revival contained a few other stories that involved the character in such international intrigue.  That might be why Roche's 1948 script was revived at this time. While the original 1948 version was drawn by the legendary Matt Baker, this 1955 version drawn by an unknown artist makes a few changes to ensure Comics Code approval.

But the most unusual change to the story is the addition of what we can only call the Phantomobile.  As far as we can tell, this is the one and only appearance of this blue and red jet-shaped car ever, perhaps for good reason. While it's hard to match the glory of the Matt Baker era for the character, the Farrell revival Phantom Lady series tends to be underappreciated by collectors.  This one is an interesting example, and there's a Phantom Lady #3 (Ajax, 1955) Condition: VG/FN up for auction in the 2022 September 18-19 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122238 at Heritage Auctions. If you've never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.

Phantom Lady #3 (Ajax, 1955)
Phantom Lady #3 (Ajax, 1955)
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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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