Chicago Spanking Review

The Phantom Strikes - er, Spanks

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The Phantom administers a sound spanking

Originally appeared c. July 2, 1938. © King Features Syndicate.

The Phantom was the first costumed hero, appearing in 1936 before Superman, Batman, and all the rest. We believe he was also the first costumed hero to administer a spanking, and although he was to give many more, we think this is the first chronologically, dating from his daily strip in July 1938. We see the Phantom telling some bad girl, "A good spanking is the only thing I can think of! Your mother should have done it long ago!" Much as we like this spanking, we can't manage to view the Phantom as a mother figure, and we don't think he saw himself that way either. What it means is that this spanking was purely disciplinary without romantic overtones, as was typical of the Phantom and of his creator Lee Falk, as we will see later in other scenes with Phantom and Mandrake.

04/29/2011 Update: When we first posted this panel during CSR's early days, we had no further information. Recently, we found scans of the complete episode so we rewrote the description, adding the date, and we can also place this spanking in context (see below).

Now let's see just what this bad girl did that caused her to wind up over The Phantom's knee. This is from Adventure in Algiers, the shortest episode in the strip, which ran between 6/20/1938 and 7/23/1938 (D006 in Barry Stubbersfield's modified index of the strips). The panels below appeared around June 25. While walking along a street at night, The Phantom (in disguise) hears a woman scream and sees her in an upstairs window of a neighboring building. He runs up the stairs into the room - and into a trap. The girl is part of a gang that looks for tourists to mug, but they picked on the wrong guy this time!

The Phantom runs into a room but it's a trap

© King Features Syndicate. Posted by the Web-Ed on 04/29/2011.

The Phantom turns his attention to the girl

© King Features Syndicate.

"What are you going to do?"

Having disposed of the gang's male members with an adroit display of fisticuffs, The Phantom then turns his attention to the girl who lured him into the trap in the first place. She's in it as deep as they are, but since of course he won't strike her with his fist, he'll just have to punish her another way...

The Phantom spanks the girl gang member

07/02/1938   © King Features Syndicate.

"A good spanking is the only thing I can think of!"

And well-deserved it is, too! Good OTK positioning from artist Ray Moore.

The Phantom spanks the girl - colorized version

© King Features Syndicate.

We found this nicely-colored version done by an Indian fellow whose true name we don't know but who calls himself The Phantom Head. We think he's also translated some of the Phantom's adventures into Hindi, which shows the attraction the strip has for people worldwide, a point to which we'll return later in our "Focus on The Phantom" series.

The Phantom remembers he needs to catch a boat

© King Features Syndicate.

The Phantom remembers that he has a boat to catch. This is the last panel in which we see the girl, whose name is Zagra, and whom we hope has learned a good lesson.

Just for fun, let's see the entire sequence from 07-01 and 07-02, 1938, as colored by The Phantom Head.

The spanking page as colored by TPH

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