Phantom 2040 #4
Marvel Comics (August, 1995)
WRITER: Peter Quinones
ARTISTS: Steve Ditko & Bill Reinhold
COLORIST: Mike Worley
COVER ART: Neil Hansen
LETTERER: Pat Brosseau
EDITOR: Mariano Nicieza
The Phantom and Guran are called to Africa when the Bandar village is attacked by a “lady phantom”. She is actually a local girl who was given psychic powers due to nuclear waste from a crashed disposal rocket, but she has been driven insane. When Kit enters the Skull Cave when she couldn’t she still refuses to believe she isn’t the Phantom until she attempts a psychic link with Kit and sees the spirits of the Phantoms that came before, recognizing Kit as the TRUE Phantom. Kit gets her treatment for the radiation and returns to Metropia, because the Maximum Era must still be stopped.
What they got right: It’s disappointing that the show never went to the Bandar village at any point in the original series, so I’m glad this story was told somewhere. And it’s a pretty good story. We get to see the Phantom of 2040 wearing the classic uniform (although he still wears the modern mask because the original doesn’t fit, which ends up helping him later on) and what the Bandar are like in “modern” times. For one thing they wear more clothing.
What they got wrong: It’s a shame that the only two stories in this miniseries that doesn’t feature Rebecca Madison and her bunch are the good ones, but none of them really reflected the show it was based on. I can see why it only got four issues (it was intended as a miniseries but never became an ongoing title) while the show got two seasons. Also, the comic never introduced Sparks, the boy from the streets who also joined the team. As for this issue, why did Heloise not return with the others? She was introduced and despite her misgivings about Kit following the family legacy I would think she’d come as well. Then again, Professor Archer did come and basically contributed nothing to the story.
Recommendation: I highly recommend the TV series. It’s an amazing bit of science fiction, the first time we had a story about a Kit Walker who was separated from the legacy of the Phantom (and the only good one of the three I’m aware of), and just an amazing series. As for this miniseries, you can pretty much skip it and miss nothing.