Created by Lee Falk in February 1936, the strip had been going for almost 20 years before I was born in '59. The generational tale of the descendants of British sailor, Christopher Walker, whose father is killed by pirates in 1536, has some similarity to Batman. In both cases, the hero, after such a tragedy, devotes his life to protecting the innocent and the weak, while remaining in disguise and with no superhuman powers. The most glaring and obvious difference is that one is in urban Gotham and the other, the Phantom, makes his home in the fictional African country of Bangalla. However, the similarities end there as the Ghost Who Walks (referring to the apparent immortality of the Phantom, secretly passing down the mantle from father to son) is usually happily married and shares an unending legacy with his children.
The Phantom was unusual for its day as the first fictional hero to wear a skintight costume (now commonly associated with superheroes), and the first hero to be shown wearing a mask with no visible pupils, also a standard for some superheroes to follow.
I could go on and on about various aspects of the mythos including the rings, the symbols etc.. but rather than explain every detail, I urge anyone not familar with the character of the Phantom to do so via any means they can. It will be time well spent.
However, fans of Funko's POP figures like myself will be disappointed that there currently is no POP figure of the Phantom, not until I made my custom POP Phantom, that is.
- Both the head and body for the Phantom POP is actually a Green Lantern POP, repainted and with the cowl sculpted on (via Magic Sculp).