Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Phantom Insider - 5

 Writer Tony DePaul and artist Paul Ryan took a break from the current story arc in the Phantom comic strip. It's something that been a tradition of the strip since its inception back in 1936 to get new readers up to speed. For the original creator of the strip, Lee Falk, it was an opportunity to retell the Phantom's origin story. The strips that began "For those who came in late," told of the first Phantom (in the 1500's) who swore he and his descendants to fight for justice. The current Phantom is the 21st in that unbroken line. "Came in late," indeed!

DePaul and Ryan have used the convention for a slightly different purpose. They recap the current story line, which enables them to have longer story arcs than most adventure strips can manage these days because of shrinking panel size. Here's the most recent example from February, 2015 (click on images to enlarge).

The narrator who breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to the reader is none other than Lee Falk (see: Phantom Insider for other examples). The creator of the Phantom worked on the strip until his death in 1999. It's a fitting tribute that he now recount the Phantom's adventures from inside the legendary comic he created.

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