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Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks #2

Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2009
By: Ray Tate

Mike Bullock
Silvestre Szilagyi, Bob Pedroza (c)
Moonstone Books
The aftermath of the bombing seen in The Phantom is realistically brutal. The mindset of the suicide bombers working for a terrorist mastermind seems horribly plausible. Despite all of this carnage and murder, you can hear the beat of the jungle drums when you see the Phantom pull himself and Devil out of the water and get ready for the fight of their lives.

SyFi revealed its intentions for updating the Phantom and the internet convulsed. The Phantom doesn't wear a hoodie. He doesn't wear baggy trousers or tennis shoes. He's a big bad crusader in deep purple that beats the snot out of villains and when they wake up, they will never forget. A scar marks them and warns others who dare to cross the Ghost Who Walks. If it's not broken, don't fix it.

Bob Pedroza makes the Phantom's purple bodysuit darker than it ever has appeared. Bullock gives him the judicious addition of Kevlar, but he uses it to enhance the illusion that The Ghost Who Walks isn't a mortal man but a spirit that cannot be slain.

Letterer Josh Aitken alters the Phantom's speech balloons to make his dialouge stand out when speaking as the Ghost. The Phantom was best portrayed by Billy Zane, and that's who I hear when the Phantom speaks.

Silvestre Szilagyi choreographs short, sweet fights that are decisively vicious. The Phantom is still a bastion of morality in an increasingly dangerous world, but when the Phantom hits these subhumans you can feel the impact.

The creative team on The Phantom, in other words, very carefully updates the Phantom. They don't change the hero, they simply acknowledge the modern world around him. They don't betray the legend, they exhilarate it by contrasting the hero against the grim reality represented by those who would destroy free will and thought.



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