Fantom of the Fair
|Fantom of the Fair|
|First appearance||Amazing Mystery Funnies #7 vol. 2, #7 (July 1939), revived in 1992 as Gravestone in the Protectors of Malibu Comics|
|Abilities||Stealth, teleportation, and emotional manipulation (feelings of fear to people close to him)|
The Fantom of the Fair is one of the earliest published Golden Age superheroes. He debuted in Centaur Publications' Amazing Mystery Funnies vol. 2, #7 (cover-dated July 1939), the overall 11th issue of that title. He premiered, according to cover dates, the same month as DC Comics' Sandman, Fox Publications' The Flame, and Centaur's Masked Marvel. He was created by Paul Gustavson, who had previously created the Arrow for Centaur.
His early adventures were set fighting threats at the 1939 New York World's Fair. During the time between the 1939 and 1940 Fair seasons, he traveled in a series of stories set outside the Fair. He was often shown during these outside stories in a simple suit, with a hat brim hiding his features.
He was originally clad in an all-black hood and bodysuit, with a purple cape, but soon adopted an open-faced cowl and red cape around the close of the 1939 Fair season. The Fantom was seldom displayed with overt powers, but demonstrated the ability to tamper with people's memories and displayed incredible strength in his initial appearance. He also used secret trap doors placed around the Fair. His first adventure showed an ancient book that indicated that the Fantom had lived in Iceland 1000 years ago.
The Fantom of the Fair appeared through Amazing Mystery Comics vol. 3, # 8 (Sept. 1940). In this final issue, he was called Fantoman.
His adventures were reprinted in Amazing Adventure Funnies #1 (June, 1940) and in Fantoman #2–4 (Aug.-Dec. 1940). Other artists on the series included Frank Thomas, Harry Sahle, and writer George Kapitan.
Malibu Comics revived the character under the name Gravestone. Little is known about the mysterious Gravestone other than that he appears to be hundreds, possibly thousands, of years old. He comes and goes at will, favoring the cloaking shelter of night and shadows.