Monday, January 25, 2010

Why Purple?

In 1936, Lee Falk colored the Phantom's costume gray. Of course, that was for a daily, black and white newspaper strip, so it could have been any color. Falk had actually intended the costume to be gray. He had even toyed with naming his new mystery man "The Gray Ghost".

It wasn't until 1939, when King Features began running a color, Sunday strip of the Phantom that the suit was depicted as purple. It isn't recorded why the colorists chose purple, but Falk continued to describe the costume as gray within the text of the strip. Eventually, Falk gave in and let it be purple.

In some countries, the Phantom's costume is depicted as red (in Italy, Turkey and South America) or blue (In Norway, Sweden and Finland).


  1. Aaron: Folks knock the purple, but I love it. I also love the hell out of the Phantom, and I agree with you: His backstory is one of the most dramatic and cool in all of comicdom. Plus, he uses twin Government issue .45 1911 Colts! My kind of hero. Great idea for a blog! -- Mykal

  2. Mykal: I'll admit the purple is a little flashy for the jungle, but after 70 years, why change an icon? I'm trying to decide how best to provide Phantom info for the uninitiated. Maybe a Phantom FAQ?

    Thanks for joining the "Jungle Patrol". If you don't mind, I'll probably throw up a link to the Gold Key issue of The Phantom you posted a while back.

  3. Aaron: don't mind a bit, of course. In future, when I post a Phantom, I'll shoot you a heads up first. -- Mykal

  4. Aha!
    I've already learned something!
    The gray ghost became the purple ghost became the red ghost! Just one question?
    Who's the guy in the mask and tights?

    Ha! Just kiddin', Aaron.
    Blogs looking good, sir!

  5. Apocolyte: Hey! Thanks for joining the "Jungle Patrol." and for the complement!

  6. Hey,
    Purple is the colour of royalty...

    btw hears a good write up on the purple colouring fiacso -