Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Phantom

The phantom power mentioned in a Nady Phantom power supply is a mystery to me...or at least it was until I found a very useful page telling me exactly what phantom power is. Read the page: he does it much better than I could, and manages to make it comprehensible.

For those who don't get around to reading the page, I can tell you that phantom power has nothing to do with the paranormal (although some singing that goes into the mics using phantom power might well be considered abnormal).

That aside, it reminded me of that old comic strip, The Phantom, a character who doesn't seem to have been taken up by Hollywood in its current rash of super heroes. Admittedly The Phantom - or The Ghost Who Walks - didn't seem to have any particular powers - his abilities were mostly fairly easily explained if you thought about it. Perhaps his peculiar power of being able to wander through the jungle in a tight suit and mask without ever getting it torn was something special, but otherwise he was a pretty ordinary bloke, I think.

I thought The Phantom had long since departed the syndicated comics scene, but though his creator, Lee Falk (who first introduced him in 1936) died fifteen years ago, the series continues. It's been drawn by several artists over the period, though only one writer, Tony DePaul, seems to have been involved, along with a .

The Phantom was the first hero to wander around in a skin-tight suit (thus setting a trend for all the later super heroes) and also the first to wear a mask that somehow hid his pupils. This idea of having no visible pupils apparently came from sculptured Greek statues, many of which were eyeless.

When I say that Hollywood hasn't recently worked with The Phantom, that's not to say it never has. There was a successful serial way back in the forties, and there was a feature film in 1996, which I can't say I remember seeing advertised. A more recent version was to have been filmed, but seems to have gone down the plughole. Sam Worthington was at one time being touted as the lead.

There have been at least three Phantom musicals, two of them originating in Scandinavia, an area of the world with which the Phantom has long had an association through Fantomen, the Swedish version of the character, which dates from 1950, Fantomet in Norway, and Mustanaamio in Finland.

Well, there you go. Plainly The Phantom/
Fantomen/Fantomet/Mustanaamio is alive and well, and looking forward to being around much longer than any of his creators. It helps, of course, that us ordinary mortals can't distinguish Phantom number 21 from number 20 and so on.
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