When I first started reading the strip, the origin story would occasionally crop up in the Sunday sequence. Most recently (September 2015), it appeared in the daily continuity. But the current creative team -- writer Tony DePaul and artists Paul Ryan and Terry Beatty -- know their subject.
While they've added creator Lee Falk as a cameo narrator, they also honor tradition. As always, this recap of the Phantom origins begins with the understated "For those who came in late," before flashing back to the 16th century. Since the strip started in 1936, no matter when you started, you came in late -- by about 400 years.
(click on images to enlarge)