COMIC BOOKS: Bob Phantom

·2 min read

Sep. 3—Bob Phantom is a superhero so old that even many die-hard comic book fans likely don't remember him.

But Archie Comics is bringing the Golden Age character back this fall for a one-shot comic book.

Like Superman's Clark Kent is a reporter and Spider-Man's Peter Parker is a photographer, Bob Phantom is another superhero with newspaper connections.

Archie Comics provided this background synopsis of the character: "By day, he's Walter Whitney, a fledgling theater columnist with a wild imagination, but by night he's Bob Phantom, the 'Scourge of the Underworld' — or is he?

"Using his power to become immaterial, Walt beats up criminals and then breaks the news of his exploits in his newspaper column ... but New York City is not as it once was and with less crime that means less news. So, if there's no crime left to fight, there's only one thing to do: create enemies. Is Bob Phantom really the Scourge of the Underworld, or its leader?"

So, Bob Phantom returns ... with a twist.

"Writer James III (Netflix's 'Astronomy Club') and artist Richard Ortiz ('The Fox') set their mind-bending noir-tinged adventure in the shadowy alleyways of New York City's theater district," according to a statement from Archie Comics.

"(James) is the exact type of person you want on a project like this," said Jamie L. Rotante, Archie Comics senior director of editorial. "He's dusting off Bob Phantom's cobwebs and giving him a second chance to be a main event player."

One of Archie's earliest superhero characters, the company introduced Bob Phantom in 1939 in "Blue Ribbon Comics" No. 2.

"Boasting a multitude of superpowers and talents, he fought crime by night and worked as theater critic and gossip columnist Walt Whitney by day, often antagonizing police," according to the comics company statement. "In the new version, James III explores the possibility that Walt's anti-authoritarian streak may run deeper than the surface as he creates news in order to report it."

The comic is scheduled for release in November.