He predates Batman and Superman, and he's never missed a day on the job. Lee Falk's "Phantom” debuted on Feb. 17, 1936, and has been running daily in newspapers since. Seventy-two years later, the character is still going strong.
Falk's Phantom, sometimes called "The Ghost Who Walks,” is a costumed crimefighter in the African jungles. Falk died in 1999 at age 88, after handling the adventures of The Phantom into his 80s. Writer Mike Bullock handles the comic-book adventures of The Phantom, which are published by Moonstone Books. (The ongoing newspaper strip features Paul Ryan on art with scripts by Tony DePaul.) Bullock began his run on "The Phantom” with issue No. 12 of the current run. Bullock says issue No. 21, released this month, is a good jumping-on point. "It's the first issue of a new arc, has a quick primer on page one and dives straight into the action leading up to the double-sized No. 25,” Bullock said. Bullock took to writing early, with his earliest creative writing taking place at age 6. He wrote "Lions, Tigers and Bears” for Image Comics, followed by "The Gimoles.”
"Since taking the reins of ‘The Phantom,' I've also worked on ‘Sonic X' for Archie Comics, written a Zorro prose story for Moonstone Books as well as a Phantom prose story, and most recently I've begun the ground work to launch new comics featuring Lee Falk's other newspaper legend Mandrake the Magician,” Bullock said.
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Writer Mike Bullock calls issue No. 21 of "The Phantom” a good jumping-on point for the series. Photo provided by Moonstone Books