The Phantom vol. 9 #72
Charlton Comics (August, 1976)
“Man In The Shadows” and “Nyte Of Revenge”
WRITER: Joe Gill
ARTIST: Don Sherwood
EDITOR: George Wildman
Despite the two titles this is a full-length Phantom story. No unconnected side stories or various lessons needed for the story; just one tale featuring the Ghost Who Walks and his fiance.
It starts when Devil is accused of killing three Bandari warriors, although the Phantom knows Devil is trained to not kill. He gets concerned when Devil fails to show up at the Skull Cave as ordered. Then his wife is kidnapped, just able to give his name, Doctor Nyte, an enemy of the previous Phantom, who is now seeking revenge. The Phantom is led through a plot to kill him, even as Devil is cleared once they see Nyte’s own wolf, Satan. The Phantom travels to and from Greece seeking Nyte, and finally defeating him, rescuing Diana.
What they got right: A full-length adventure. That’s pretty cool. Nyte’s plan, which includes guys wearing masks disguising themselves as Nyte to fool Interpol and the Phantom, is actually pretty clever. Nyte really thought his plan out and the Phantom only wins because he’s just a little bit smarter and turns his plan against him at the end.
What they got wrong: Although apparently his masks work so well even his agents are fooled by the Phantom’s performance. He could be a great impersonator but wouldn’t Nyte have come up with a code word or something so that they wouldn’t be tricked like that? And if he’s supposed to be locked up for life why did Interpol move him to his own castle? Or is he out on parole as is claimed later. I don’t think this is taken from the comics but it’s written like a newspaper strip. Characters will repeat things we already know, scene changes are a bit too fast, and it’s just weird to try to read this way. At least with the collected He-Man comics I’m prepared, but it’s like Gill wrote this for the comic strip instead of the comic book. And if Nyte is an enemy of the previous Phantom and not the current one how does he know about Diana and how does Diana know who he is? At least he mentions being satisfied with killing a Phantom for his revenge even if it isn’t the one who locked him up..
Recommendation: Still one of the better issues, if only because we got a full length comic with nothing that feels more like a lost Twilight Zone comic instead of a Phantom comic. It’s worth looking into for Charlton and Phantom fans. This is the last of the Charlton comics I currently own, but we aren’t done with comic book versions of the Phantom just yet.