Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Phantom: Generations, you SHOULD be reading this book!

I haven't talked about The Phantom yet at length on this blog, and I must rectify that RIGHT NOW! The Phantom is a great character that Moonstone has been publishing ALL NEW licensed stories in both comics and prose form since 2001. Currently we have two ongoing Phantom books: Generations and Ghost Who Walks. I'm going to take a little bit of time to talk about Generations because I think it's one of the coolest ideas in comics ever, and I think there are a lot of folks out there that haven't tried it because they didn't know what it was all about. All of the phans are very aware of what Phantom group editor Mike Bullock has been up to, but this is for the rest of you! Generations is a color book that comes out about once or month or so. Here's the concept: each issue focuses on one generation of the Phantom character in chronological order, meaning issue one is about the very first Phantom, Generation 1, issue two is about the 2nd Generation Phantom, etc. The whole idea behind the character of the Phantom is that the mantel of the "Phantom" is passed from father to son, the current Phantom being Generation 21, hence the moniker "The Ghost Who Walks" because the average folks think he is immortal. Each issue is written by a unique writer and artist team. Issue #1 is about the 1st Generation Phantom written by Ben Raab with art by Pat Quinn. Issue #2 is about the 2nd Generation Phantom written by Tom Defalco with art by Don Hudson. Issue #3 is about the 3rd Generation Phantom written by Mel Odom with art by Michael Stibling. Issue #4 if about the 4th Generation Phantom written by Will Murray with art by Shawn Van Briesen. Issue #5 is about the 5th Generation Phanom written by Martin Gately with art by Enrique Alcatena. The first five issues are available RIGHT NOW at your local Amazing Fantasy location, or any other LCS. If you live outside of the Chicagoland area and your LCS does not carry this book, you can order them, along with all other Moonstone books direct from our website: http://www.moonstonebooks.com/. We ship worldwide!

I have to tell everyone about this series because to be quite frank I can't believe it hasn't been done before! For over 70 years almost all The Phantom stories that have been published have been about the current generation Phantom, 21. Occasionally various tales have been told about some of the older generation Phantoms, but some have not been touched upon at all. Thanks to Phantom group editor and writer of the ongoing Phantom: Ghost Who Walks series, Mike Bullock along with Phantom-lore consultant Ed Rhodes, these all new tales of the various generations of the Phantom are being published! Some of these Generations of Phantoms have never had their tales told! This is all very exciting stuff for the phans and the non-phans alike. This series is the perfect jumping on point for the Phantom because each issue is self-contained, no large commitment is necessary.

These issues are also unique because they aren't told in a traditional comic book format, rather they are written very much like journal entries, and as the phans know, every generation of Phantom keeps a journal of his exploits called "The Chronicle." These stories told in The Phantom: Generations are rather meaty, so you get a lot of bang for you buck. Each issue is a comic novella, using the journal format, has text accompanied by full page illustration on each facing page. It looks very cool and is very fun to read. Oh, and I can't forget all of the covers are by two of the best Phantom artists on the planet working together: Doug Klauba with Ruben Procopio.
Pick these issues up, you'll be glad you did. Here is the list of the creative teams working on the upcoming issues:
Issue #6: Steve Hockensmith and Scott Brooks
Issue #7: Danny Fingeroth and Gordon Purcell
Issue #8: Mike Bullock and Zeu
Issue #9: Mike Barron and Alex Saviuk
Quite the impressive list of talent! You wouldn't believe how many creators are phans of the Phantom! Many people remember reading the Lee Falk newspaper strips that ran in the sunday papers for years.

1 comment:

  1. Having read them all, I'd have to say #5 & #16 are my favorites so far. I'm curios to see what readers think.

    I was also lucky enough to get a chance to pen a second Generations story, which will hit with #14. I'm very rarely happy with my finished stories, but this one gave me a sense of pride that felt strange at first. Usually, there's so much more I want to do with stories, but just don't have the space to do so. Not with #14. Maybe the subject matter of the tale just has a natural finality to it that helps with that. Dunno. Anyway, I can't wait to see what readers think of all the Generations tales as they come out.