The Phantom finally sought payback on SyFy for their terrible TV movie.

Phantom 2040 #1

Marvel Comics (May, 1995)

“Generation Unto Generation”

WRITER: Peter Quinones

PENCILER: Steve Ditko

INKER: Bill Reinhold

COLORIST: Mike Worley

COVER ART: Neil Hansen

LETTERER: Pat Brosseau

EDITOR: Mariano Nicieza

In 2024 the 23rd Phantom mysteriously vanished in a fight with Maxwell Madison, owner of Maximum, Inc. Now in 2040 his widow Rebecca is trying to take control of Metropia and create Cyberville, a place she says she wants to program and train her line of robots, the Biots, who are already part of Metropian society. Knowing Rebecca’s plans are not for anyone’s benefit save her own, Guran has sought out the son of the Phantom to reclaim his birthright and legacy as the 24th incarnation of the Ghost Who Walks. This Kit Walker however was not raised on the Phantom traditions but must save his friends from one of Rebecca’s plans to force the city to allow Cyberville to be built. He manages to defeat her plans and now the world knows that the Phantom has returned.

What they got right: The art is rather good, but it’s Steve Ditko. It has to be. The story is a decent shortening of the first episode.

What they got wrong: Decent but not a good adaptation. The episode this is based on (same name) was a two-parter and really gave you a proper introduction to this version of Kit Walker. You got to mean his professor, who becomes important later, and his aunt, who tries to talk Guran out of bringing Kit into the family “business”. The villains get a better introduction. You also get a good introduction to Kit’s friends, who will be phased out of the show eventually but you feel Kit’s urgency to save them beyond just not wanting to see innocent people die. All the nuances that made the episode good are stripped out in favor of getting it all shoved into one issue. And as much as I like Ditko’s art and he does try to adapt the episode’s look into his own art style, the show’s look was important in setting the mood. That’s kind of lost too.

Recommendation: As far as I know only the first five episodes of Phantom 2040 were released on home video as a compilation movie, but you might be able to find the series online. I’m hoping this miniseries gets better when they move to original stories but it doesn’t hold a candle to the episode itself, which you’re better off tracking down. The comic is okay on its own but I’ve seen the episode and too much was lost.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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