Bob Phantom
Publication information
PublisherMLJ Comics
First appearanceBlue Ribbon Comics #2 (December 1939)
Created byHarry Shorten
Irv Novick
In-story information
Alter egoWalt Whitney
Notable aliasesThe Scourge of The Underworld
AbilitiesStrength, invulnerability, ability to materialize and dematerialize, omniscience
Bob Phantom

Bob Phantom was a costumed crime-fighter who debuted in the December 1939 issue of Blue Ribbon Comics making him one of the earliest costumed superheroes MLJ/Archie Comics published.[1] He was written by Harry Shorten and illustrated by Irv Novick.

Calling himself "the Scourge of the Underworld", Bob wore a green costume and a red cape.[2]

Publication history

According to Jess Nevins' Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes, "Walter Whitney, a theater columnist on Broadway, fights crime in the big city. He has the ability to phase and turn immaterial, though the origin of this power is not given. He beats up criminals and then breaks the news of his exploits in his newspaper column".[3] In his first adventure, he foiled the Purple Gang.[4]

Bob Phantom appeared in only two issues of Blue Ribbon Comics[5] before moving to a back-up feature in Top-Notch Comics, beginning with issue #3 in February 1940 and running until issue #25 (March 1942) when MLJ began to transition away from superhero characters.[6] He didn't see a return to comics until 1964 in the pages of Mighty Crusaders.[7]


  1. ^ Markstein, Don. "Bob Phantom". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  2. ^ Offenberger, Rik; Castiglia, Paul (2016). The MLJ Companion: The Complete History of the Archie Super-Heroes. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 978-1605490670.
  3. ^ Nevins, Jess (2013). Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes. High Rock Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-61318-023-5.
  4. ^ Mougin, Lou (2020). Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics. McFarland & Co. p. 90. ISBN 9781476638607.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Kurt; Thomas, Roy (2019). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1940-1944. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 978-1605490892.
  6. ^ Benton, Mike (1992). Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 188. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  7. ^ Wells, John (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1965-1969. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 978-1605490557.