I really hadn't wanted to get into this sort of thing. I mean, I'm a blogger, so I guess that means I'm sort of an opinion factory but, I really don't relish the idea of proposing my alternate approach, only to sound like an armchair quarterback.
But, then again, Hell, it's my blog and I have the floor, so to speak.
IF I WERE IN CHARGE OF RE-LAUNCHING THE PHANTOM FOR A U.S. MARKET:
I would start at the beginning. I would re-tell the original "Story of the Singh Brotherhood" storyline from 1934. I haven't decided yet if I'd make it a period piece or make it modern day. There are distinct advantages to both.
If I made it modern, I'd obviously have to change all the stuff about ambergris to something else of value and interest (oil?) since using whale product is no longer in vogue.
I would, regardless of time-frame, reset the locale. Instead of Africa, I'd move us back to the Indian Ocean. Maybe combine Bengali with the original story's setting of the island of Luntok and call it "Bengali-Luntok" or something. Things there would have a distinct feeling of Southern Asia intermixed with Pacific Island cultures. Elements of both have persisited in modern day "Bangalla" even into the 80's and 90's.
From that storyline, I would let things take their course.
I would get King Features involved in a two-pronged marketing campaign, taking advantage of their vast, newspaper and internet news connections and really talk this re-launch up in advance.
The thrust of my publicity would resonate with the first half of the storyline (Which I would spread out over the first 12-24 issues)- Who IS The Phantom? I'd make the whole thing very mysterious and make it seem a lot more credible that Jimmy Wells could be the Phantom. Using benefit of hindsight, I'd weave the folklore part in a little earlier. Have more scenes of Singh operatives in NYC trembling with rumors that The Ghost Who Walks has followed them from the So. Pacific...
Well, you get the idea. Anyway, that's how I'd do it. Heck, KFS usually only licenses their properties to a comics publisher for 2 years at a time, maximum. Maybe I'll apply for the license next.
Before there was Superman or Batman or Spider-Man, there was The Phantom. Playwright and cartoonist Lee Falk introduced The Phantom to the world in 1936.
Since then, The Phantom has run continuously in newspapers around the world, gaining a following in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand. He has spawned films adaptations, paperback novels, an animated television show and several comic book series.
I have been drawn to the Phantom by his unique backstory-one of the best in sequential media. This blog will let me share with others the exciting world of "The Ghost Who Walks, Who Cannot Die...The Phantom!!"
The Phantom and all related characters, indicia, etc. are copyright 2010 King Features Syndicate.
All scans and art are taken from my own comics except where otherwise noted and are utilized under the legal understanding of fair use.
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" 'The Phantom' is a marvelous role model because he wins against evil. Evil does not triumph against the Phantom... He hates dictatorship, and is in favor of democracy. He is also opposed to any violation of human rights." -Lee Falk