The Phantom #14
“Walker’s Line” part 1
WRITER: Mike Bullock
ARTIST: Carlos Magno
COLORIST: Bob Pedroza
COVER ART: Joe Prado, Carlos Magno, & Rod Reis
LETTERER: Troy Peteri
EDITOR: Joe Gentile
When young Kit tells the Phantom that he should have killed the tiger poachers from the previous storyline, he tells his son a story of when he pursued his father’s killers. He stopped in his hometown to visit Aunt Bessie and Uncle Ephraim and she was so excited she went to the mall even though it was late and she ends up being attacked by a gang that has moved into Clarksville. This leads to the Phantom hunting down each of the gang bangers, trying to find the one who stole her necklace bearing the Good Mark, the symbol of those under the Phantom’s protection. However, seeing all the horrors the gangs are doing in addition to the attack on his aunt slowly drives him to rage, leaving him open to being knocked out by one of the gang members, while one that was part of the attack decided to finish Bessie off at the hospital.
Ed Rhoades’ “Behind The Mask” feature goes into how the Phantom costume was created, why it’s purple, and how it depends on what country you get the comic from. He also mentions that the early version, The Grey Ghost (no connection to Batman’s DCAU idol), was based on a famous Civil War soldier.
What they got right: There’s a rule that the Phantom never kills. Leave you to die if you’re evil, sometimes. Do the killing himself? It takes a very egregious wrong to do that, and even then usually only indirectly. Now we get a story where the current Phantom ran up against that very situation, where his rage gets the better of him. It’s interesting to see a Phantom in the early days. It was also cute seeing Kit playing with one of the tiger cubs, which he named Ares. You wonder if Ares would become his companion like Devil is for his father?
What they got wrong: I know I’m one to talk, but Kit’s dimensions make him look more like a short teenager than a preteen boy, like they had to fix it at the last minute. His face looks older, his body is slightly longer, and his legs look short. If I had anything else to complain about this would go below my notice, but since I don’t we have this.
Other notes: Why is it every time the comic books have some evil come to Clarksville, whether it’s gang members or white supremacists, either Ephraim, Bessie, or both end up in the hospital? Are they challenging Aunt May’s title?
Recommendation: This is starting out good and hopefully the conclusion will be the same way. Since I’m having dental surgery on Monday I don’t know if I’ll get to it this week or in two weeks but so far I’d say it’s worth looking into.