Phantasm
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceThe New Teen Titans (vol. 2) #73 (1991)
Created byMarv Wolfman
In-story information
Alter egoDanny Chase, later the souls of Azarath
SpeciesHuman (originally)
Fusion of Souls (currently)
Team affiliationsNew Teen Titans
Central Bureau of Intelligence
AbilitiesTelekinesis
Extremely intelligent with a photographic memory

Danny Chase (later called Phantasm) is a fictional superhero in DC Comics publications.[1]

Publication history

Phantasm first appeared in The New Teen Titans Annual (vol. 2) #3 and was created by Marv Wolfman.

Fictional character biography

Danny Chase was a short-lived member of the New Teen Titans. He was raised by parents who were international spies.[2] As a result, he was extensively trained in espionage, infiltration and intelligence acquisition. In addition, he was a metahuman with powerful telekinetic abilities and a near-photographic memory. Although Wolfman hoped the character would restore the "teen hero" feel to a group composed mostly of characters in their twenties, Danny was also intended as a comic foil for one of the group's foundational characters, Changeling (now Beast Boy).

Problematically, the character was often portrayed as an overly snide, egotistical brat. Conflicts with Beast Boy were one-sided, with Chase invariably delivering come-uppance. Meanwhile, other members of the team proved prone to commenting on how impressed they were by Chase's cleverness and capability. All of this made him something of a "Mary Sue". This quickly proved unpopular with most fans, and pro and anti-Chase letters sparked heated debate in the letter column. Wolfman tried various ways to make the character more appealing to the Titans' fan base, including having him briefly disguised as the mysterious "Phantasm" during the Titans Hunt storyline.

The creation of the Phantasm identity

At one point early in the Titans Hunt storyline, Danny Chase found himself confronted by two members of the Wildebeest Society inside a shopping mall. One of them blasted him away and assumed him to be dead. He had survived and decided to use his telekinetic powers to assemble a costume of sorts from assorted items - a hockey mask, a bolt of fabric, and a robot-voice simulator to disguise his voice - and present himself as the "Phantasm" in order to remain incognito. However, negative fan pressure was strong enough to write Danny out of the series.

In the end, the character was redeemed somewhat when he willingly gave up his life to save Raven's homeworld of Azarath as he, Arella, and the disembodied souls of Azarath were all merged into a new entity that would also refer to itself as the Phantasm who wore the costume that Danny Chase was wearing.[3]

Danny Chase's body briefly returned as an undead slave to Brother Blood in the third Teen Titans series (2003-2011), in issues #30-#31 (January-February 2006), in a storyline written by Geoff Johns.

One Year Later, Zachary Zatara mentioned that he and Kid Devil went on a trip to New Azarath where they were almost eaten by the Phantasm.[4]

During the "Blackest Night" storyline, Danny Chase's body was briefly revived as a Black Lantern in the Blackest Night: Titans miniseries. His body was soon destroyed by a burst of white light emanating from Dawn Granger.[5]

In 2011, "The New 52" rebooted the DC universe. Phantasm is among the many subjects kept under A.R.G.U.S.'s control.[6]

Powers and abilities

Danny Chase possesses the power of telekinesis. Danny is also trained in espionage and has a photographic memory.

Phantasm has the combined powers of Danny Chase and Arella as well as the souls of Azarath making him a more advanced and powerful version of them along with new powers.

Other characters named Phantasm

A Phantasm appeared in Adventure Comics #485. He was a ghost-like supervillain who is a member of the Master's Evil Eight and had fought Chris King and Vicki Grant.[7]

Planned return

During Jay Faerber's run on "The Titans", one of his plans for new series villain Epsilon was that he was to be a resurrected Danny given new life by Tempest's evil uncle Slizzath as part of a planned storyline. The new editor Andrew Helfer overturned this and a new origin was given instead.[8]

Other versions

In the Injustice comic, Danny is confronted by Superman of the Regime, who requires his powers to meet with Raven on Azarath.[9]

In other media

Danny Chase appears in Young Justice: Phantoms, voiced by Jason Marsden. Debuting in the episode "Zenith and Abyss", Danny Chase was a boy who was captured by The Light, had his metahuman abilities activated, and was trafficked to Apokolips where DeSaad dissected him when the Kaizer Thrall was made.

References

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 233. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ The New Teen Titans (vol. 2) #40
  3. ^ The New Titans #84-85 (1992). DC Comics.
  4. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #39. DC Comics.
  5. ^ Blackest Night: Titans #3 (December 2009). DC Comics.
  6. ^ Justice League of America's Vibe #6. DC Comics.
  7. ^ Adventure Comics #485. DC Comics.
  8. ^ "Epsilon and Theta". titanstower.com.
  9. ^ Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five #16. DC Comics.