Monday, December 12, 2011

The Phantom Insider

Another comic I follow just gave a nod to long-time readers. In today's continuity, the Phantom brings readers up to speed with the current story line. (click on image to enlarge)

Over the years, the Phantom's origin has been retold many times -- usually in a Sunday sequence. The Phantom's story officially begins in 1536, when the sole survivor of a pirate attack is washed up on an African beach. On the skull of his father he pledges his life -- and the lives of his sons -- to fight "piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms." The current storyline actually features the 21st Phantom, who inherited the persona from his father (and by direct descent from the first Phantom).

These origin flashbacks often featured a brief prologue: "For those who came in late..." Even in its initial appearance this statement had a double meaning. The strip started in 1936, so in theory, even those who were there from the beginning of the continuity might be considered "those who came in late."

The current team of Tony DePaul, Paul Ryan, and Eduardo Barreto have started to play with this prologue. This is the second time (that I can remember) that a character has turned to the reader and uttered the prologue.

It's a nice nod to a long-standing tradition, and a little added bonus for those who have been reading a while.

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