Wednesday, February 26, 2020

100-Page FAKES presents: THE PHANTOM # 68

100-Page FAKES! imagines mid-1970s DC 100-Page Super Spectaculars that never were...but should have been!

FOR THOSE WHO CAME IN LATE: The Ghost Who Walks walks again!

No, of course DC Comics didn't have the rights to publish funnybooks starring Lee Falk's creation The Phantom during the original 100-Page Super Spectacular era. The Boppinverse is not subject to your trivial realities! In our altered reality here, we've already established a parallel world where DC purchased the Charlton Comics Action-Heroes (Blue Beetle, The Question, Captain Atom, Peacemaker, Judo Master, Nightshade, and company) in the '70s rather than in the '80s. And we've already transferred that Phantom license from Charlton to DC with our previous 100-Page FAKE! edition of The Phantom # 67. So today, we're just walking along that fanciful path we've previously paved for ourselves.

Don't ask! Just, READ it!

1975's The Phantom # 68 was the late artist Don Newton's second issue, with Nicola Cuti taking over the writing duties previously carried out by Joe Gill. This 100-Page FAKE! issue was already in the planning stages when Cuti passed away last week. My fondest memory of Nicola Cuti's work is E-Man, the wonderful, light-hearted superhero that he and artist Joe Staton created for Charlton in the '70s. I would dearly love to see a comprehensive series of reprints that would collect and preserve the E-Man chronicles in their entirety.

To make this real-life 1975 comic book into a 21st century fabrication, we add two more Phantom stories: one from earlier in the Charlton run (with art by the great Jim Aparo) and one from the short-lived King Comics run that preceded Charlton's acquisition of the Phantom license. As an extra treat, we throw in "Children Of Doom," the dystopian 1967 Charlton Classic written by future DC superstar Dennis O'Neil (under his "Sergius O'Shaughnessy" pseudonym) and illustrated by Pat Boyette.

The Phantom in "The Beasts Of Madame Khan," The Phantom # 68 (December 1975)
"Children Of Doom," Charlton Premiere # 2 (November 1967)
The Phantom in "The Pharaoh Phantom," The Phantom # 32 (June 1969)
The Phantom in "The Girl Phantom," The Phantom # 20 (January 1967)

For once, DC doesn't own any of this. The Phantom is copyright King Features Syndicate; the copyright for "Children Of Doom" is unknown. These are shown in sample pages here; my paid subscribers see the whole book. For those who came in late: you're not late at all. Please enjoy this expanded issue of The Phantom.

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