Space Phantom

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Space Phantom
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Avengers vol. 1, #2 (November 1963)
Created by Stan Lee (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
Characteristics
Place of origin Limbo
Inherent abilities Shapeshifting

Space Phantom is a name given to a number of fictional characters in the Marvel Comics universe. The first appearance of such a being was in Avengers vol. 1 #2 (Nov 1963), they were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Fictional character biography[edit]

The Space Phantoms are the servants of Immortus, the Master of Time. For many years it was assumed that there was only one Space Phantom, but in the course of the Destiny War the Avengers discovered that there was more than one. During a journey back in time to 1873, a trio of Space Phantoms was caught impersonating the Gunhawks and the Black Rider.[1] The Space Phantoms were previously said to have originated on the planet Phantus,[2] in the Phalbo system in the Milky Way Galaxy.[3]

Immortus traps individuals who become lost in Limbo, and due to the nature of that plane, they begin to forget their former lives and change into misshapen beings. Immortus conditions these into servants who can perpetuate his schemes and manipulations of historical events. The Phantoms can assimilate anyone, even to the point of torture and escaping notice of even mind-readers.

The first Space Phantom first appeared in Avengers vol. 1, #2, copying Giant-Man, Iron Man, and Hulk. During his battle with the Avengers, he first copied the Hulk, and battled Iron Man. He took the shape of a flying insect to escape, but Iron Man continued to battle the Hulk. The Space Phantom attacked the Wasp in his insect form, and then became Giant-Man. After fighting Iron Man he took Iron Man's form. He finally attempted to copy Thor and was banished back to Limbo because his powers couldn't affect Asgardians.[4] The Space Phantom was the cause of misunderstandings between the other Avengers and Hulk which led Hulk to quit the team (over comments and actions taken against him by the others).

Since all Space Phantoms appear identical and can appear as any other creature, it can be difficult to determine which Space Phantom did what; the following activities have previously been attributed to the Space Phantom who first encountered the Avengers, but these may not have been the same Space Phantom. A Space Phantom allied with the Grim Reaper and impersonated Madame Hydra, and commanded a division of HYDRA in that identity. The Space Phantom battled the Avengers, but was shunted back into Limbo when he attempted to mimic Rick Jones who was then linked to Captain Mar-Vell.[5] A Space Phantom was compelled by Immortus to impersonate Mantis to deceive Kang.[6] A Space Phantom attempted to trick Thor into freeing the planet Phantus from Limbo, and allied with Thor to save Phantus, which led to Thor losing much of Mjolnir's power over time.[7] A Space Phantom once encountered Rom in Limbo.[8] A Space Phantom later encountered the Avengers in Limbo.[9] A Space Phantom was used as a pawn by the Young God Calculus in a scheme pitting Spider-Man against the Avengers.[10]

The original Space Phantom is revealed to be disguised as Spider-Man in the Beyond! series.[11]

Kurt Busiek used Space Phantoms and Immortus in Avengers Forever to explain a number of inconsistencies, such as the Avengers crossover titled The Crossing.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Thanks to the power of Immortus, a Space Phantom can assume the form of virtually any single object or living creature at a time. At the point that a Space Phantom assumes the subject's likeness, the model is automatically temporarily shunted into Limbo, and the Space Phantom materializes exactly where the subject was when shunted. The subject remains in Limbo until the Space Phantom resumes his natural form or that of another object or creature. A Space Phantom has no difficulty imitating a number of people in rapid succession, nor does there appear to be a time limit on the period in which he can imitate someone. A Space Phantom appears to be not able to duplicate certain powerful beings who possess magical enchantments; when he attempts to duplicate such a being he himself is shunted into Limbo instead (notably when he attempted to turn into Thor in Avengers (vol. 1) #2). While in the form of another creature, the Space Phantom gains all the abilities of that creature. It can even become an object that travels faster than light.

A Space Phantom has knowledge of sophisticated alien technology far in advance of present day Earth, and advanced knowledge of time and time travel.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Space Phantoms appear in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Revenge of the Baby Sat", voiced by Tom Kenny impersonating Peter Lorre. The Space Phantoms attack Ms. Marvel, Thor, and H.E.R.B.I.E when they enter Limbo to find a way to restore Falcon, Iron Man, and Scarlet Witch to adults after they were turned to toddlers. A Space Phantom directs them to the Time Tower to restore Falcon, Iron Man, and Scarlet Witch to adults. When Doctor Doom, MODOK, and Abomination arrive at the Time Tower and take control of it, Space Phantom helps Ms. Marvel, Thor, and H.E.R.B.I.E. fight Doctor Doom.
  • The Space Phantoms appear in the Avengers Assemble episode "Ghost of a Chance." A Space Phantom swaps bodies with Hawkeye and Thor to help secure a portal to guarantee the Space Phantom invasion of Earth. When Iron Man finds Hawkeye and Thor's duplicates near the portal device, his armor identifies that they have been possessed by Space Phantoms. During Falcon's training with Captain America, a Space Phantom possesses him and attacks Falcon. Iron Man catches up to Falcon and saves him from a Space Phantom-possessed Black Widow. While shutting down Stark Tower, Iron Man and Falcon are attacked by a Space Phantom-possessed Hulk. Iron Man finds that Hulk and the others were misplaced as the Space Phantom-possessed Hulk calls forth a Space Phantom to possess Iron Man. While Falcon evades the Space Phantom-possessed Hulk, the other Avengers in Limbo are approached by Space Phantoms. The Space Phantom-possessed Thor and Captain America state they have assimilated different dimensions. Back in Limbo, the Avengers fight the Space Phantoms in order to keep them from going through the other side. The Space Phantoms take down Falcon and remove his wing pack as the Space Phantom-possessed Hulk punches through the portal to Limbo in order to let the rest of the Space Phantoms through. Falcon activates his flight pack's Redwing Mode to trap the Space Phantom-possessed Avengers in a wind vortex that sends them back to Limbo. Falcon tells the Avengers that the Space Phantom duplicates do not have the skills of the actual Avengers as they take advantage of this. After defeating their clones, the Avengers escape back to Earth and shuts down the portal so that the Space Phantoms can't get through.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Avengers Forever #5
  2. ^ Thor Vol.1 #281
  3. ^ Phantom's entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol. 2 #15
  4. ^ Avengers #2
  5. ^ Avengers #106-108
  6. ^ Giant-Size Avengers #4
  7. ^ Thor #281-282
  8. ^ Rom #19
  9. ^ Avengers #268
  10. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #168-170
  11. ^ Beyond! #3