When it comes to classic costumes there are few that are as iconic as 'The Phantom' who was one of the first 'masked men' in pulp literature. He has such a fantastic origin that he was irresistible to a young kid like me seeking adventure.
His story had it all, pirates enemies, vengeance, an oath to fight evil in all it's forms, jungle danger and a cool mythology centered on the fact that the Phantom 'appears' immortal. He is called the 'ghost who walks' because he can never technically be killed. There will always be a Phantom. No one knows that the mantle of the Phantom is passed from father to son - a neat trick to strike fear in the hearts of your enemies.
The jungle is a perfect setting for his tales and gives his stories a timeless quality. The stories are equally comfortable be they set in 1810 or 2010. You can see in this newspaper comic strip how uncomfortable the Phantom is with the trappings of modern society. (click to enlarge) For me that only adds to his appeal.
The recent attempt to revive the character on TV was a total disaster because the creators dumped all the things that were great about the character. From the casting of the young actor to play Kit Walker to the updating of the classic look, they got everything wrong. Real fans of the Phantom don't bring up that program in polite conversation.
Say what you will about the Billy Zane movie of the same name but it is a fun adventure tale that respects the hero and his pulp roots. Sure Treat Williams overacts like few have done before but Billy is cool as the Phantom, the costume looks good and the villains are appropriately cartoonishly evil.
What follows are some of PROJECT ROOFTOPS redesigns of the Phantom. Each succeed or fail on their own merit and I will leave it to you to decide which you prefer. I find that ones that stick closest to the design and color scheme of the more 'classic' look are the best. You really can't mess to much with perfection.
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.