While Phantom Lady and Blonde Phantom bask in the limelight of good girl glory, Black Phantom is out blazing trails in the Wild West, armed to the teeth and ready to take on any desperado foolish enough to cross her path. Originating as the train-robbing twin sister of Tim Holt‘s (aka Red Mask) buddy Chito’s sweetheart, Helena (aka Black Phantom) eventually sees the light and joins forces with Red Mask himself.
In this gripping issue, she finds herself standing alone to defend the town armed with nothing but a rarely-holstered pistol and a neckline plunging dangerously close to her belt. Our fearless woman deputy foils the plans of not one, but three nefarious outlaws “with notches in their guns and evil smirks on their lips,” “trading hot lead” in a showdown for the ages.
With art by the talented Frank Bolle, this hidden gem of good girl art was published by Magazine Enterprises (ME). Bolle, a WWII veteran, made his mark primarily in the western genre for ME, but his artistic prowess extended well into the late 1990s, including work on several newspaper comic strips.
Although Black Phantom graced the pages only once in her own issue back in January 1954 (also known as A-1 Comics #122), she made triumphant returns in 1989 and 2002, cementing her status as a timeless icon of the frontier.
And thus, while Phantom Lady and Blonde Phantom hog the limelight, Black Phantom holds down the fort in the Wild West, armed with more grit than a dusty saloon floor and a neckline lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut. With a pistol that’s more often drawn than holstered, she’s the deputy you want when trouble comes a-knockin’—and boy, does she deliver! So here’s to Black Phantom, the unsung hero of the frontier, showing us all that sometimes, justice is best served with a wink, a grin, and a whole lot of firepower.
* Sold Copy