Phantom Girl

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Phantom Girl
Apparition (comics).png
Tinya as Apparition. Art by Jeff Moy
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Action Comics #276
(May 1961)
Created by Jerry Siegel
Jim Mooney
In-story information
Alter ego Tinya Wazzo
Species Bgztlian
Place of origin Bgztl (4th Dimension parallel with Earth)
Team affiliations Legion of Super-Heroes
L.E.G.I.O.N.
Notable aliases Phase, Apparition
Abilities Intangibility
Flight

Phantom Girl (real name Tinya Wazzo) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero who appears in books published by DC Comics. In the Post-Zero Hour continuity, she is known as Apparition, and is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th and 31st centuries. She has the power to turn intangible, allowing her to phase through solid objects as do all other natives of her home planet, Bgztl. Her mother is Winema Wazzo.[1] Phantom Girl was ranked 96th in Comics Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics list.[2]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

In the original pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity, Phantom Girl is the fifth member to join the Legion and is a native of Bgztl, a planet that exists in the 4th Dimension. Like other Bgztlians, Phantom Girl has the ability to phase out of reality to become intangible. Initially appearing along with Triplicate Girl and Saturn Girl in Action Comics #276 in the story "Supergirl's Three Super Girl-Friends", her first costume consisted of white tights and a white cape with a stylized P on the chest. Phantom Girl's powers serve her well as member of the Legion's Espionage Squad, and she is involved romantically with fellow Legionnaire Ultra Boy for many years. In this continuity, she has a brother, Gmya Wazzo.

Five Year Gap[edit]

Following the Magic Wars, Earth falls under the covert control of the Dominators, and withdraws from the United Planets. Sometime thereafter, Phantom Girl is thought to have been killed in a shuttle accident. In reality, the time sorceress Glorith sends her to the 20th century where she is stripped of her memory of her true identity. She assumes the name Phase and joins the interstellar law enforcement agency, L.E.G.I.O.N.

A few years later, the members of the Dominators' highly classified "Batch SW6" escape captivity. It is first thought that the Batch SW6 are a group of teenage Legionnaire clones, created from samples taken just prior to Ferro Lad's death at the hands of the Sun-Eater. Later, they are revealed to be time-paradox duplicates, every bit as legitimate as their older counterparts. The Batch SW6 version of Tinya Wazzo eventually assumes the codename Apparition.

Due to various time travelers' attempts to rewrite reality, continuity shifts again and Phase is now revealed to instead be Enya Wazzo, Phantom Girl's previously unknown cousin. The Time Trapper then returns the original Phantom Girl to be reunited with Ultra Boy moments before Zero Hour ends the first Legion continuity.

Post-Zero Hour[edit]

In the second reboot continuity Tinya Wazzo is also the fifth to join, under the codename Apparition. As in pre-Zero Hour reality, she becomes romantically involved with Ultra Boy. Apparition is eventually revealed to be half-Carggite, with Phase as another of her bodies. She never uses the codename "Phantom Girl".

Tinya is the daughter of Winema Wazzo, the Btzglian Ambassador to the United Planets, and regularly chafes under her mother's obsession with running her life for her. While helping her mother at a conference, which included the official unveiling of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Tinya phases through the decorative UP globe rather than go around it and spots something suspicious. When Saturn Girl telepathically scans the room, she picks up on this, giving enough time for Cosmic Boy and Live Wire to dispose of the bomb before the blast goes off. Tinya joins the search for the culprits and helps save Saturn Girl's life. Along with Triad, she is immediately inducted into the team.

When she and Ultra Boy meet, the two are instantly smitten with each other. Their romance is rocky, initially complicated by Winema's interference. Tinya is then apparently killed by Daxamite White Triangle terrorists who incinerate her with their heat vision in the invulnerable Ultra Boy's arms.

However, shortly afterward, Ultra Boy begins having painful seizures and soon Apparition emerges from his body. Now stuck in her phased state, Apparition can only be seen by Ultra Boy and Winema. Nonetheless, she plays a small but critical part in freeing the Legion from the Emerald Eye's control, after it corrupts Shrinking Violet. Apparition accidentally frees Saturn Girl by phasing through her and she gains the ability to see Apparition. Saturn Girl is able to influence the others enough until Violet panics and causes the Eye to send many of the Legionnaires, including Saturn Girl, Ultra Boy, and Apparition, back in time to the late 20th Century.

While stranded in the past, Apparition meets a psychic using a Bgztllian touchstone - a red stone that assists in Bgztllians' phasing. This encounter ends with her becoming visible to all and gaining the power to disrupt machinery and electronics when phasing through them. Although Apparition fears that Ultra Boy will grow dissatisfied with never being able to make physical contact with her, he proves his devotion by marrying her. Shortly thereafter, however, Phase of the L.E.G.I.O.N. arrives to retrieve the touchstone which had been hers. She and Apparition are sucked into the realm within the touchstone and discover that they both identify themselves as Tinya Wazzo. When the two make physical contact, they involuntarily merge and Apparition becomes the dominant personality in the resulting body. A side effect is that she regains a physical form once more. Through hypnotic regression, Apparition learns that Winema Wazzo had become romantically involved with a roguish wanderer that left her pregnant. Unbeknown to her, he was a Carggite and his child inherited his ability to triplicate. Winema was only aware that she had given birth to a single child and Tinya's father stole her other two bodies as newborns and sold them to the Luck Lords to pay off his gambling debts. In the course of her own adventures, Phase also was sent back to the 20th Century. The fate of Tinya's third self remains unknown.[1]

Blight[edit]

Ultra Boy and Apparition remain extremely close in the following months, rarely being seen without the other by their side. Eventually, Apparition decides to make a point of going on a Legion mission without Ultra Boy, to prove to herself and him that they could survive apart. While on the mission with Brainiac 5.1, Cosmic Boy and Monstress, the Blight takes over the Stargate network used by the United Planets for intergalactic travel and take over the planet. The group remains stranded far from Earth and must take a slower return trip home.

Arriving several months later, they crash to Earth as the Legion Outpost explodes behind them. The group joins up with Chameleon, the sole Legionnaire not captured or compromised by the Blight, and XS and Saturn Girl, Legionnaires who manage to escape. They defeat the Blight and Apparition helps Ultra Boy overcome his Blight infection.

Legion Lost[edit]

Shortly afterward, the Blight's damage to the Stargate network sends many of the Legionnaires through rift in space to a "Second Galaxy"; once again, Ultra Boy and Apparition are separated. However, as Ultra Boy begins to lose his sanity realizing he may never see Apparition again, she rises through the floor to alleviate his fears. This turns out to be one of Saturn Girl's telepathic illusions, imitating Apparition in an attempt to keep Ultra Boy sane. When her deception was discovered, Ultra Boy initially ignores Saturn Girl, but they do end up passionately kissing. Confused, they break off and are awkward around each other until returning home.

Baby[edit]

Meanwhile, the real Apparition was present at the official disbanding of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the wake of the Rift disaster by Ra's al Ghul, who was then posing as the United Planets' President Leland McCauley. Invisible Kid is the first to notice her pregnancy. Apparition begs him not to tell her mother and he reluctantly respects her wishes.

Apparition lives with her mother until she can no longer conceal the pregnancy. Winema's stifling involvement in her daughter's life only increases at this point, causing Apparition to flee to Rimbor, Ultra Boy's homeworld. There, she meets Timber Wolf, who, with the aid of his gang, helps and protects her. When Apparition hears the news of the Lost Legionnaires' return, the stress causes her to go into labor. Three mercenaries are hired by her mother to recover her and the baby, but they attempt to kill her for ease of transport. Timber Wolf is able to successfully defend Apparition and she gives birth to a boy. Apparition and Timber Wolf steal and use the mercenaries' return tickets to Earth.

On the ship, it becomes obvious that Apparition's son, Cub, has the powers of both his parents and is aging abnormally fast. Their return to Earth is delayed when they are knocked out of warp space by the Robotican battle fleet. They discover that the "engine" was in fact an artificially created living Vyrgan/Carggite/Winathian hybrid in significant pain.

Estrangement[edit]

Eventually reunited with the Legion and Ultra Boy, Apparition's marriage comes under many strains after the extended separation. Although Ultra Boy and Saturn Girl eventually realize that their kiss was borne out of confusion, Apparition discovers a letter between the two mentioning their kiss. Ultra Boy also grew jealous of the deep friendship his wife had developed with Timber Wolf, her protector during his absence. Finally, Cub continues to develop rapidly, reaching an apparent age of six years old after an experiment designed to retard his aging backfired. The tensions between the two are not resolved when the series reboots.

2005 Reboot[edit]

In the new Legion of Super-Heroes continuity started in 2005, Tinya Wazzo is again called Phantom Girl. In this setting, Bgztl exists in the same location as Earth, but is out of phase with it: the whole planet is in the "Buffer Zone" that the pre-Zero Hour Phantom Girl would phase into. Phantom Girl is the only Bgzltian who can shift between her home reality and Earth. When she phases, she is visible in both universes and often engages in conversations or activities in the two realities at the same time, causing much confusion to those around her.

She develops a strong bond with Princess Projectra, helping her into cope with the recent death of her parents by reading to her from ancient comic books (in fact the silver age era stories of the DC Comics itself, presented as fictional accounts of real historical facts), and kindly tolerating her brattish and abrasive behaviour towards her. Despite her kindness, Phantom Girl is savagely beaten by Princess Projectra herself when she and Saturn Girl begin to suspect about her hidden treachery against the whole Legion: Phantom Girl, comatose and disfigured, is saved only by the hidden intervention of Timber Wolf, who after making sure that his love Princess Projectra is away, activates Tinya's alarm beacon. Phantom Girl is hooked to a reconstructive machinery, and shows signs of healing, but before she can tell the truth about her beating, Princess Projectra alters her memories, leaving Timber Wolf the only one to know the truth.

Due to the cancellation of the Legion book with issue #50, this plotline is left unresolved.

Post-Infinite Crisis[edit]

The events of the Infinite Crisis miniseries have apparently restored a close analogue of the Pre-Crisis Legion to continuity, as seen in "The Lightning Saga" story arc in Justice League of America and Justice Society of America, and in the "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" story arc in Action Comics. Phantom Girl is included in their number, voted Legion leader just as the Fatal Five reassembles [3]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Like all natives of the planet Bgztl, Phantom Girl (in all her incarnations) has the ability to turn intangible (phase). Bgztl (depending on the incarnation) either exists in or is connected with the extra-dimensional space known as the Phantom Zone. She has demonstrated the ability to phase with split second timing, and is also capable of phasing certain parts of her body selectively (a feat most Bgztlians cannot duplicate). While phased, she is immune to physical harm, can maneuver through solid objects and fly under her own power. She is also immune to most energy blasts and radiation, though writers have been inconsistent regarding her vulnerability to attacks utilizing the air (i.e., poisonous gas). She has additionally demonstrated the ability to disrupt the workings of electronic devices by moving through them while phased. Finally, she has inconsistently demonstrated the ability under certain circumstances to perceive inhabitants or objects located in the Phantom Zone while in a phased state, including Mon-El during his periods of imprisonment. She can also enter or exit the Phantom Zone at will.[4]

The 2005 "Threeboot" version of Phantom Girl can selectively phase her perceptions back to Bgztl while using her power; in this way, she will appear to individuals on our plane of existence, but actually be interacting with individuals and the environment on Bgztl.

Equipment[edit]

As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes she is provided a Legion Flight Ring. It allows her to fly and protects her from the vacuum of space and other dangerous environments.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • In Superman: The Animated Series, Phantom Girl made a cameo appearance in the episode "New Kids In Town".
  • Phantom Girl appeared in an episode of Justice League Unlimited titled "Far From Home." She is one of only three Legionnaires (along with Brainiac 5 and Bouncing Boy) to have a speaking role. In the show, she has gained the ability to phase out of the visual spectrum, becoming invisible.
  • Phantom Girl is part of the core Legion team in the Legion of Super-Heroes TV series voiced by Heather Hogan. As in post-ZH continuity, her mother is President of the United Planets. There is also a romance hinted between her and Timber Wolf. She is also attracted to Jo Nah, a competitor in intergalactic Olympics, and is sent to recruit him for the giant battle against the Sun Eater.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Beatty, Scott (2008), "Apparition", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 17, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5 
  2. ^ Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 59. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0. 
  3. ^ "Legion of Super-Heroes" #16 (January 2013)
  4. ^ Adventure Comics #323, August, 1964)

External links[edit]