Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Ghost Who Walks

The Phantom or "GHOST WHO WALKS" is one of my favorite literary characters. I want more than anything to get this mego based Phantom action figure complete with stone jungle throne. I already have the Captain Action Phantom outfit but this guy is my X-mas dream. The Phantom was one of the first newspaper strip heroes and the first to wear a skin tight costume and no one can deny the coolness of his look. Its every superhero stipped to his essentials complete with striped underwear and matching 45s. But I think its his origin and the details of his life as a fictional character that I like the most.

From Wikipedia -

"In the jungles of the fictional African country of Bangalla, there is a myth featuring "The Ghost Who Walks", a powerful and indestructible guardian of the innocent. Because he seems to have existed for generations, some believe him to be immortal. In reality, the Phantom is descended from 20 previous generations of crime-fighters who all adopt the same persona. When a new Phantom takes the task from his dying father, he swears the Oath of the Skull: "I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms, and my sons and their sons shall follow me". (The comic strip sometimes runs flashback adventures of previous Phantoms.)

The Phantom of 2008 is the 21st in the line. Unlike most costumed heroes, he has no superhuman powers, relying only on his wits, physical strength, skill with his weapons, and fearsome reputation to fight crime.

A signature of the character is his two rings. One has a pattern formed like four crossing sables, "The Good Mark", that he leaves on visitors whom he befriends, placing the person under his protection. The other, "The Evil Mark" or "Skull Mark" has a skull shape, which leaves a scar of the corresponding shape on the enemies he punches with it. He wears the Good mark on his left hand because it is closer to the heart, and the Evil Mark on his right hand.

His base is in the Deep Woods of Bengali (originally “Bengalla,” or “Bangalla” and renamed Denkali in the Indian edition), a fictional country initially said to be set in Asia, near India, but depicted as in Africa during and after the 1960s. The Phantom's base is the fabled Skull Cave, where all previous Phantoms are buried. For a period of time, he also lived with his family in a tree house built by the Rope People - a tribe he had assisted. The Phantom has an Isle of Eden in which he has trained animals that are natural enemies to live in harmony, a Mesa in America called Walker's Table and a castle in the Old World.

The Phantom is a commander of Bangalla's world-famous Jungle Patrol, who never see him or know his name but answer consistently to his orders. Due to a betrayal leading to the death of the 14th Phantom, the identity of the commander has been kept hidden from members of the patrol ever since. The sixth Phantom originally formed the Jungle Patrol with the help of former pirate Redbeard and his men back in 1664.

Another character who has aided the modern-day Phantom is Guran, chief of the local pygmy tribe, who are the only tribe to know his true nature. Guran is the Phantom's best friend since childhood, and a support of his cause.

The Phantom has three helpers, a mountain wolf called Devil, a horse named Hero, and a trained falcon named Fraka. From 1962 on, The Phantom raised an orphan named Rex King, who was later on revealed to be the prince of the kingdom of Baronkhan. He also has two dolphins named Solomon and Nefertiti, and numerous other animals kept on the island of Eden.

In 1978, he married his sweetheart since his days in American college, Diana Palmer, who works at the United Nations. Guran, his best friend since boyhood, was best man. The guests present at the wedding included Mandrake the Magician, the Presidents of Bangalla, Ivory Lana; Luaga, and Goranda.

A year later, twins were born to the Palmer-Walkers; Kit and Heloise.

The Phantom's family have always played a significant role in the series. His romance with Diana Palmer was an ongoing part of the story from the beginning, and many later stories revolved around the Phantom becoming involved in adventures as a result of young charges including his children.

When the Phantom leaves the jungle, he dresses in a fedora, a trench coat, and sunglasses, and is known as "Kit Walker". References to "Mr. Walker" are traditionally accompanied by a footnote saying "For 'The Ghost Who Walks'", although some versions of the Phantom's history suggest that Walker was actually the surname of the man who became the first Phantom. Like The Lone Ranger, the Phantom does not allow his unmasked or undisguised face to be seen except by close friends or members of his family. In the newspaper strips, even the readers were never shown the Phantom's unmasked face clearly."

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