Tag Archives: comic book movies

Underrated: The Phantom

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: The Phantom.


First appearing in newspapers on February 17, 1936, the Phantom was the first character to wear the skintight costume that has become emblematic of the superhero (inspired, it turns out, by stage productions of Robin Hood). He was also the first character to wear a mask with no visible pupils; the Phantom’s creator, Lee Falk, explained  that Ancient Greek busts inspired the idea of the not showing the Phantom’s pupils when he was wearing his mask, incorrectly believing that the statues had no pupils, when instead it was just that the paint had faded over the centuries. But Falk felt the pupil-less eyes gave the statues an inhuman, awe-inspiring appearance – ideal for the Ghost That Walks.

The Phantom has been in continuous publication since he debuted as a newspaper strip in 1936, with Lee Falk continuing to write the character until his death in 1999 (let that sink in for a moment. That’s sixty three years on the same character), although before he died, Falk dictated his final Phantom story to his wife from his death bed.

The essence of the Phantom is that he is an undying ghost destined to protect the fictional country of Bengala, located in Africa, from the evil Singh Brotherhood – originally a gang of pirates, though they manage to evolve with the times. The Phantom’s reputation as The Ghost That Walks comes from his longevity – Bengala has been protected by the Phantom since the early 1500’s, but it hasn’t always been the same man. Son takes over the mantle from father, over and over, giving the impression of immortality to his enemies (establishing the character as the first true legacy hero in comics).

The reason I’ve gone in to such detail about the character is because I have finally found the 1996 movie on DVD from Amazon. I say finally because I’ve been looking on and off for this movie for quite some time. It hasn’t been on any streaming service that I subscribe to, and it comes and goes from online stores – usually for more than I want to pay for a Blu-ray. In the end, I needed to bulk up an Amazon order for free shipping, and the DVD was $7* or so – well worth the price for the movie.

*(Before you ask, my wife has Amazon Prime, so I could have gotten free shipping, but for some reason the item I wanted, a low end drawing tablet, gave me a coupon and not her so in the end the DVD was closer to $2 – which is an absolute bargain).

It had been nearly twenty years since I had seen this movie, and after the glut of big budget super hero films, and so I was curious as to whether it would hold up as more than a nostalgic diversion or whether it would still be a good film in its own right. Billy Zane’s performance is solid enough, though the script doesn’t give him much to do; Treat Williams commands the screen as a wonderfully camp comic book villain with just enough of a sinister bent to make you nervous; Kirsty Swanson and Catherine Zeta Jones are both able to play strong, if fairly one dimensional characters; and James Remar is James Remar – an actor who will never give a bad performance (you may see a bad movie with him in it, but it wasn’t bad because of him).

You might think that I’m going to start ragging on the movie, but I genuinely enjoyed it. It was exactly what I hoped it would be, and indeed remembered it as; a good movie that stuck to the core concepts of the Phantom (as I remembered them); the Phantom doesn’t shoot to kill, his horse and wolf are in the movie, the stunts and effects haven’t aged brilliantly, but they’re still not terrible (the only time that you really notice anything is anytime a vehicle crashes into a ball of flames; everything else is forgivable or still holds up).

Yes, it’s a kitschy movie, and the Phantom isn’t the one man wrecking machine that super heroes have become in movies today – which oddly keeps the flick pretty grounded – but it is a really fun film.

I am absolutely going to watch the movie again. And again.

If you’re curious about the Phantom in the comics, well although the character has been in continuous publication in newspaper strips from the 30’s, The Ghost Who Walks has also appeared in several comic books throughout the last few decades – the most recent of which was Dynamite Entertainment’s The Last Phantom, a fantastic 12 issue modern take on this legendary character that I highly recommend. You can find the issues collected under The Last Phantom: Ghost Walk and Jungle Rules


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Batman And Robin. Yes, The Movie. No, I Am Not Joking

With the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League last week, I wanted to return to one of the most maligned Bat-films, which also happens to be the only film in which Batman didn’t kill anybody (deliberately or accidentally).

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Batman And Robin.


You all know the general reputation of this movie. So bad that it ended the original run of Batman films. Nipples on the Batsuit and enough ice puns to chill a bottle of whiskey.

And let us not forget the Bat-credit card.

The last of the movie series that began with Tim Burton’s Batman is not thought of fondly, but I want you to think about a couple of points regarding the movie next time you want to hate on the only George Clooney Batman appearance.

  • It paved the way for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy
    Alright, so this isn’t necessarily a good thing about the movie, but at least the follow up Batman flick led to one of the strongest movies featuring the Dark Knight we’ve had yet.
  • It’s the only film in which Batman does purposefully or accidentally kill somebody.
    When I say accidentally kill somebody, I mean those moments where he doesn’t seem to care what happens to criminals after he’s run them off a bridge. Or shot their vehicle with missiles. Or left a man on a train.
  • Think of it as a continuation of the Adam West Batman.
    All of a sudden the movie takes on an entirely new look when you see it as being an homage to the biffing and powing of the 60’s.
  • Once you accept it’s not a great movie, it’s surprisingly fun.
    This will never place highly on any comic fans order of Batman movies – at best it might be in the bottom two or three – but it’s always going to place high on the silly and goofy list. Sometimes, after imbibing some mind altering substances, that’s exactly what you want. Don’t take this movie seriously, and you’ll find it a very ice film.
  • Arnold’s ice puns are awful.
    Seriously, they’re very uncool. And yet… you can’t help but laugh at the sheer delight Arnold has in delivering them.
  • It really is so bad it’s great.
    There’s only a few movies that are so shit that you enjoy them, and this is the best of the ones featuring Batman.

You didn’t really think I’d claim this as a good movie, did you? It’s awful. But it’s so awful that it’s really enjoyable (unlike the theatrical cut of Batman V Superman which is considerably worse than the extended version). So enjoyable that it’s almost an underrated gem – which makes it the perfect movie to rewatch when you’ve got a spare moment and want a laugh.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: The Phantom

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: The Phantom.


First appearing in newspapers on February 17, 1936, the Phantom was the first character to wear the skintight costume that has become emblematic of the superhero (inspired, it turns out, by stage productions of Robin Hood). He was also the first character to wear a mask with no visible pupils; the Phantom’s creator, Lee Falk, explained  that Ancient Greek busts inspired the idea of the not showing the Phantom’s pupils when he was wearing his mask, incorrectly believing that the statues had no pupils, when instead it was just that the paint had faded over the centuries. But Falk felt the pupil-less eyes gave the statues an inhuman, awe-inspiring appearance – ideal for the Ghost That Walks.

The Phantom has been in continuous publication since he debuted as a newspaper strip in 1936, with Lee Falk continuing to write the character until his death in 1999 (let that sink in for a moment. That’s sixty three years on the same character), although before he died, Falk dictated his final Phantom story to his wife from his death bed.

The essence of the Phantom is that he is an undying ghost destined to protect the fictional country of Bengala, located in Africa, from the evil Singh Brotherhood – originally a gang of pirates, though they manage to evolve with the times. The Phantom’s reputation as The Ghost That Walks comes from his longevity – Bengala has been protected by the Phantom since the early 1500’s, but it hasn’t always been the same man. Son takes over the mantle from father, over and over, giving the impression of immortality to his enemies (establishing the character as the first true legacy hero in comics).

The reason I’ve gone in to such detail about the character is because I have finally found the 1996 movie on DVD from Amazon. I say finally because I’ve been looking on and off for this movie for quite some time. It hasn’t been on any streaming service that I subscribe to, and it comes and goes from online stores – usually for more than I want to pay for a Blu-ray. In the end, I needed to bulk up an Amazon order for free shipping, and the DVD was $7* or so – well worth the price for the movie.

*(Before you ask, my wife has Amazon Prime, so I could have gotten free shipping, but for some reason the item I wanted, a low end drawing tablet, gave me a coupon and not her so in the end the DVD was closer to $2 – which is an absolute bargain).

It had been nearly twenty years since I had seen this movie, and after the glut of big budget super hero films, and so I was curious as to whether it would hold up as more than a nostalgic diversion or whether it would still be a good film in its own right. Billy Zane’s performance is solid enough, though the script doesn’t give him much to do; Treat Williams commands the screen as a wonderfully camp comic book villain with just enough of a sinister bent to make you nervous; Kirsty Swanson and Catherine Zeta Jones are both able to play strong, if fairly one dimensional characters; and James Remar is James Remar – an actor who will never give a bad performance (you may see a bad movie with him in it, but it wasn’t bad because of him).

You might think that I’m going to start ragging on the movie, but I genuinely enjoyed it. It was exactly what I hoped it would be, and indeed remembered it as; a good movie that stuck to the core concepts of the Phantom (as I remembered them); the Phantom doesn’t shoot to kill, his horse and wolf are in the movie, the stunts and effects haven’t aged brilliantly, but they’re still not terrible (the only time that you really notice anything is anytime a vehicle crashes into a ball of flames; everything else is forgivable or still holds up).

Yes, it’s a kitschy movie, and the Phantom isn’t the one man wrecking machine that super heroes have become in movies today – which oddly keeps the flick pretty grounded – but it is a really fun film.

I am absolutely going to watch the movie again. And again.

If you’re curious about the Phantom in the comics, well although the character has been in continuous publication in newspaper strips from the 30’s, The Ghost Who Walks has also appeared in several comic books throughout the last few decades – the most recent of which was Dynamite Entertainment’s The Last Phantom, a fantastic 12 issue modern take on this legendary character that I highly recommend. You can find the issues collected under The Last Phantom: Ghost Walk and Jungle Rules


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Quantum And Woody (2013)

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Quantum And Woody (2013).


This is actually the cover to the second printing of the hardcover which as of this writing is still available.

Quantum and Woody, often called the World’s Worst Superhero Team, are a pair of adoptive brothers from Valiant Entertainment who have to touch the bracelets on their arms once every twenty four hours or they’ll… simply cease to be. The reason they have to touch these bracelets is also the cause of their powers – a rogue science experiment of some kind that leads to two very unlikely people getting super powers.

Where this story differs from most other superhero stories is that the two heroes are both immediately at odds with each other whilst still being extremely close. Quantum, real name Eric Henderson, and Woody, real name Woody Henderson are adoptive brothers. One, obviously, wants to hide his identity, the other believes secret identities are pointless. There’s also the super powered goat who may or may not be the brother’s dead father, who keeps trying to tell them this in ever increasingly inventive and entertaining ways.

This volume of Quantum And Woody collects the entire twelve issue run of the title series, along with a bonus zero issue featuring the Goat, which is a great way to get the entire story in one sitting (the second volume collects various miniseries featuring the two, which are also worth reading – but aren’t the subject of today’s column.

Once upon a time, Eric and Woody Henderson were inseparable. Adopted brothers. Best friends. Brilliant minds. Years later, they are estranged siblings, petty rivals, and washed-up failures. But when their father’s murder leads them into the throes of a life-altering scientific accident, Eric and Woody will find themselves with a whole new purpose — and a perfectly legitimate reason to wear costumes and fight crime. Go big or go home, folks! 

With a blurb like this…

Perhaps one of the things I was most taken with in the book was just how dysfunctional everything was. The story shouldn’t have worked – there were so many disjointed moments and plot threads that had no theme other than the brothers stumbled into the events because they were trying to just live. Not live as superheroes, but as regular people who need to literally find a job in order to pay bills, rent and deal with the recent death of their father – but through all of this they somehow get wrapped up in a plot to start a civil war, stop a high tech crime spree and not kill each other.

You’d think that as two brothers who hadn’t seen each other in years would just go back to being estranged after getting superpowers, but they have to touch, or Klang!, their bracelets together once every 24 hours or they’ll cease to exist for superhero science reasons. What that means for us, is that as readers we get to explore a very common (sadly) familial relationship through the eyes of superheroes.

It is at once funny, endearing and somewhat frustrating as the two brothers try to learn to live together once again. And maybe save a few people in the process.

Quantum And Woody Deluxe Edition Volume One is one of those books that was far too easy to devour in one sitting. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every issue within the collection – and highly recommend you checking it out when you get a chance.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: The Incredible Hulk

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Incredible Hulk.


The Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with Iron Man in 2008. You all know that, I’m sure. Just as you know that the second film was Incredible Hulk, released just over a month later. Unlike the other Marvel movies, Bruce Banner is play by Edward Norton in this film, the actor’s only appearance as the jolly green giant. This movie is also slightly harder to find than the rest of the MCU movies because it’s the only one that Disney doesn’t own the distribution rights to, as Universal own the distribution rights to the Incredible Hulk – as well as first refusal on any Hulk movie (which is why you haven’t seen a Hulk movie since this one).

When I first saw this movie I remember thoroughly enjoying the near two hours I sat in the theater, thinking that Marvel had gone two for two with their opening salvo.

Back to the bullet points!

  • Don’t expect to see the humour from Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk. This movie has odd lighter moments, but for the most part it’s much closer to a straight action film featuring a very reluctant hero.
  • Edward Norton plays a very good Bruce Banner. The years of running and hiding are etched into his face and body – do I prefer him to Ruffalo? I don’t know – each man takes a very different approach to the character, neither of which I dislike.
  • Emil Blonsky. I haven’t read a lot of comics featuring Emil Blonksy or the Abomination, but the former marine’s decsent into a power hungry, uh, abomination felt quite believable as the movie progressed. You knew it was coming, it was never a surprise to anybody – except Thunderbolt Ross. But watching a slightly powered up Blonksy thinking he can go toe to toe with the Hulk is…. pretty awesome.
  • The Hulk looks awesome. I enjoy the look of the Hulk in the later MCU movies, but there’s something savage and raw about how this Hulk looks on screen.
  • The CGI holds up. Ten years is a long time in the world of technology, and the advancements are often noticeable in the films of yesteryear verses today. Not so here.

The movie does have its moments where it doesn’t quite measure up, though. The inherent charm of the early (and most of) the MCU movies is missing, but given that this is only the second movie that’s to be expected. the MCU hadn’t found its identity just yet. The chemistry between Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross and Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner is spotty at times, but it’s far from being a reason to avoid the movie.

There’s been a lot said over the years about the MCU, and a lot of people have, and will continue to, overlook this film because, they’ve heard it’s not as good as the rest of the movies released around this Phase in the MCU. It is. But as I mentioned before, it’s also harder to find; it isn’t on Disney+ right now, and I haven’t seen it on Netflix in awhile (bear in mind I live in Canada so this may be different for you).

Thankfully, I still have the DVD I purchased when the film first came out – one of only two MCU DVDs I have since I started going for Bluray with Iron Man 2. If you can find it, then it’s well worth checking out one of the most underrated movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Batman And Robin. Yes, The Movie. No, I Am Not Joking

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Batman And Robin.


You all know the general reputation of this movie. So bad that it ended the original run of Batman films. Nipples on the Batsuit and enough ice puns to chill a bottle of whiskey.

And let us not forget the Bat-credit card.

The last of the movie series that began with Tim Burton’s Batman is not thought of fondly, but I want you to think about a couple of points regarding the movie next time you want to hate on the only George Clooney Batman appearance.

  • It paved the way for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy
    Alright, so this isn’t necessarily a good thing about the movie, but at least the follow up Batman flick led to one of the strongest movies featuring the Dark Knight we’ve had yet.
  • It’s the only film in which Batman does purposefully or accidentally kill somebody.
    When I say accidentally kill somebody, I mean those moments where he doesn’t seem to care what happens to criminals after he’s run them off a bridge. Or shot their vehicle with missiles. Or left a man on a train.
  • Think of it as a continuation of the Adam West Batman.
    All of a sudden the movie takes on an entirely new look when you see it as being an homage to the biffing and powing of the 60’s.
  • Once you accept it’s not a great movie, it’s surprisingly fun.
    This will never place highly on any comic fans order of Batman movies – at best it might be in the bottom two or three – but it’s always going to place high on the silly and goofy list. Sometimes, after imbibing some mind altering substances, that’s exactly what you want. Don’t take this movie seriously, and you’ll find it a very ice film.
  • Arnold’s ice puns are awful.
    Seriously, they’re very uncool. And yet… you can’t help but laugh at the sheer delight Arnold has in delivering them.
  • It really is so bad it’s great.
    There’s only a few movies that are so shit that you enjoy them, and this is the best of the ones featuring Batman.

You didn’t really think I’d claim this as a good movie, did you? It’s awful. But it’s so awful that it’s really enjoyable (unlike the theatrical cut of Batman V Superman which is considerably worse than the extended version). So enjoyable that it’s almost an underrated gem – which makes it the perfect movie to rewatch when you’ve got a spare moment and want a laugh.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: The Rocketeer

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: The Rocketeer.


After watching The Phantom last week, I had a hankering to watch another movie from the same era; The Rocketeer.

Based on a character created in 1982 by Dave Stevens as an homage to the matinee heroes in serials from the 30’s to the 50’s, the character is both a racing and stunt pilot in the late 30’s who finds a jetpack. The rest, as is often the case in these types of situation, is history.

The character has been published intermittently over the years, and so it was that I was first introduced to the character through the 1991 movie The Rocketeer. In a strange twist for this column, I’ve never really been able to get into the comics, though I am sure that has as much to do with their lack of availability for me as a kid and even now (though they are far easier to get now online than ever before, I just don’t feel as inclined to do so), but the film?

As a kid, I remember loving the film.

It had all the things in a movie that I was looking for; humour, effects that made me believe a man could fly, a terrifying bad guy and a super suave bad guy, and a rugged hero who just happened to stumble onto an evil plan that only his fists could solve. I have no idea how many times I watched this movie as a kid, but I know it was one of only a few films that we had on VHS growing up that hadn’t been recorded from the television (I can honestly count those on one hand), and it was a movie I loved to watch.

My parents were more than happy for me to watch it given that it was a family friendly movie.

A few years ago I picked the movie up on Blu-ray, hoping that I’d still be able to find some enjoyment from a film that had been such a key part in my childhood background; two of the others, Hook and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, were also frequently on the VHS – and though Hook holds up magnificently, I haven’t brought myself to watch the other in twenty years. So it was with some trepidation that I pushed play on the movie after more than two decades (which reminds me I am old).

Would I still love the cheesy humour? Would the old school special effects feel too dated? Would the story be anything more than a good yarn, one that was good then but is average at best today? Would I watch the credits roll crushed as my childhood evaporated before my eyes.

It didn’t take me long to realize that while I remembered the movie differently, what I was watching was still pretty damn good. My nervousness at it’s quality was unfounded – though watching the things I loved about the movie with adult eyes did give me an interesting perspective. I found myself asking how the hell nobody noticed that the Rocketeer was wearing Cliff Secord’s clothing, and then decided that it didn’t matter.

Which is about how I reacted anytime my suspension of disbelief started to question the movie’s events, whether it was the utter obliviousness to the clothing of the hero or how easy non-authorized personnel seemed to be able to get to places they shouldn’t. Because the movie never does it in a way that you feel is hamfisted or forced. It happens because the plot needs it to, much like it usually does in movies of that era and before.

Once I let go of that, essentially finding the inner child who just wanted to love the movie again, I realized that any of the things that should bother me didn’t.

And you know what? The movie still holds up.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: The Phantom

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: The Phantom.


First appearing in newspapers on February 17, 1936, the Phantom was the first character to wear the skintight costume that has become emblematic of the superhero (inspired, it turns out, by stage productions of Robin Hood). He was also the first character to wear a mask with no visible pupils; the Phantom’s creator, Lee Falk, explained  that Ancient Greek busts inspired the idea of the not showing the Phantom’s pupils when he was wearing his mask, incorrectly believing that the statues had no pupils, when instead it was just that the paint had faded over the centuries. But Falk felt the pupil-less eyes gave the statues an inhuman, awe-inspiring appearance – ideal for the Ghost That Walks.

The Phantom has been in continuous publication since he debuted as a newspaper strip in 1936, with Lee Falk continuing to write the character until his death in 1999 (let that sink in for a moment. That’s sixty three years on the same character), although before he died, Falk dictated his final Phantom story to his wife from his death bed.

The essence of the Phantom is that he is an undying ghost destined to protect the fictional country of Bengala, located in Africa, from the evil Singh Brotherhood – originally a gang of pirates, though they manage to evolve with the times. The Phantom’s reputation as The Ghost That Walks comes from his longevity – Bengala has been protected by the Phantom since the early 1500’s, but it hasn’t always been the same man. Son takes over the mantle from father, over and over, giving the impression of immortality to his enemies (establishing the character as the first true legacy hero in comics).

The reason I’ve gone in to such detail about the character is because I have finally found the 1996 movie on DVD from Amazon. I say finally because I’ve been looking on and off for this movie for quite some time. It hasn’t been on any streaming service that I subscribe to, and it comes and goes from online stores – usually for more than I want to pay for a Blu-ray. In the end, I needed to bulk up an Amazon order for free shipping, and the DVD was $7* or so – well worth the price for the movie.

*(Before you ask, my wife has Amazon Prime, so I could have gotten free shipping, but for some reason the item I wanted, a low end drawing tablet, gave me a coupon and not her so in the end the DVD was closer to $2 – which is an absolute bargain).

It had been nearly twenty years since I had seen this movie, and after the glut of big budget super hero films, and so I was curious as to whether it would hold up as more than a nostalgic diversion or whether it would still be a good film in its own right. Billy Zane’s performance is solid enough, though the script doesn’t give him much to do; Treat Williams commands the screen as a wonderfully camp comic book villain with just enough of a sinister bent to make you nervous; Kirsty Swanson and Catherine Zeta Jones are both able to play strong, if fairly one dimensional characters; and James Remar is James Remar – an actor who will never give a bad performance (you may see a bad movie with him in it, but it wasn’t bad because of him).

You might think that I’m going to start ragging on the movie, but I genuinely enjoyed it. It was exactly what I hoped it would be, and indeed remembered it as; a good movie that stuck to the core concepts of the Phantom (as I remembered them); the Phantom doesn’t shoot to kill, his horse and wolf are in the movie, the stunts and effects haven’t aged brilliantly, but they’re still not terrible (the only time that you really notice anything is anytime a vehicle crashes into a ball of flames; everything else is forgivable or still holds up).

Yes, it’s a kitschy movie, and the Phantom isn’t the one man wrecking machine that super heroes have become in movies today – which oddly keeps the flick pretty grounded – but it is a really fun film.

I am absolutely going to watch the movie again. And again.

If you’re curious about the Phantom in the comics, well although the character has been in continuous publication in newspaper strips from the 30’s, The Ghost Who Walks has also appeared in several comic books throughout the last few decades – the most recent of which was Dynamite Entertainment’s The Last Phantom, a fantastic 12 issue modern take on this legendary character that I highly recommend. You can find the issues collected under The Last Phantom: Ghost Walk and Jungle Rules


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.