Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of B.C. Boyer’s neglected 1980s superhero the Masked Man. For Part One click HERE
ECLIPSE MONTHLY Vol 1 #8 (May 1984)
Title: Phantom Man
Villains: The Architectural Terrorists
Synopsis: With Barney McAllister having withdrawn himself from his partnership with the Masked Man, our hero is instead out on patrol with reporter Dan Drekston as they search for the Architectural Terrorists who are plaguing the city.
Barney is back at the offices of the Daily Horn newspaper, where his boss J Judah Johnson (a pastiche of J Jonah Jameson) orders him to do an interview with Lenny Winchester (Denny Colt) aka the Phantom Man (The Spirit).
We’re told that Phantom Man was a famous superhero in the 1940s who fought crime in Middle City (Central City). Unlike the Spirit, who does not age thanks to Dr Cobra’s chemicals, Boyer’s homage figure Phantom Man is old and grey-haired now. His selfish son and daughter plan to send him to an old folks home if his interview with Barney doesn’t generate enough interest for a lucrative biographical book deal.
As if the Masked Man himself wasn’t already enough of a Will Eisner/ Spirit shoutout, B.C. Boyer lays on the pastiches with a trowel in this issue. Phantom Man’s late wife was Helen Doyle (Ellen Dolan), the daughter of Festus Doyle (Commissioner Dolan). His former sidekick was Blackie (Ebony).
As the story continues we learn that this hat, suit and tie wearing masked hero’s archenemy was the Cephalopod (The Octopus) and two other members of his Rogues Gallery were called Mr Maggoty (Mr Carrion) and Swyn’ll (P’Gell). Continue reading
Will Eisner’s superhero the Spirit was – among many other things – sort of a male version of model Betty Page.
With ads for the release of the sequel to the bondage “romance” Fifty Shades of Grey hitting us non-stop now here’s a look at the Spirit in some of his male victim pics.
Call me a sexist if you want but I hate stuff where the women are the victims. The Spirit’s super-resiliency from Doctor Cobra’s chemicals made him the ultimate male bondage pinup in place of the many, many Irving Klaw-styled Betty Page imitations.
As seen in this collectible mini-bust the Spirit’s well-known tendency to get himself tied up, abused and/or seduced by beautiful ladies even merits its own line of merchandise.
I understand this particular item comes clean-faced like this or with our hero’s face peppered with lipstick marks – next to ropes and chains one of the most common Spirit motifs when it comes to dangerous women.
The implied and often overt kinkiness of the sexy Femmes Fatale in the Spirit’s Rogues Gallery of foes is a subject that still doesn’t get the attention it deserves even today. For example: Continue reading
In recent years Halloween has become just as much about superhero cosplay as about horror, so here’s a masked crime-fighter who combines elements of both. Will Eisner’s superhero the Spirit – who debuted in 1940 – rose from the grave of his secret identity Denny Colt.
The Spirit’s secret HQ lay underneath Wildwood Cemetery and his Rogue’s Gallery of foes included gangsters and supervillains as well as supernatural and sci-fi menaces.
The art and narrative innovations that Eisner introduced in his Spirit stories cannot be overstated.
After the original 1940-1952 run of the character the Spirit has been kept alive over the decades in various reprint series and new adaptations.
There was even a made for tv movie about the Spirit in 1987 with Sam “Flash Gordon” Jones as Denny Colt/ The Spirit. I reviewed that item HERE . The 2008 theatrical film version directed by Frank Miller is better known. Continue reading