The mysterious Archie Comics character descends on New York in a new take from James III and Richard Ortiz this November
Archie Comics is bringing the classic superhero BOB PHANTOM out of the Golden Age vault and into the modern era in an all-new one-shot comic book hitting stores in November! Writer James III (Netflix’s Astronomy Club) and artist Richard Ortiz (THE FOX) set their mind-bending noir-tinged adventure in the shadowy alleyways of New York City’s theater district, with a hero who may be the story’s villain, as well.
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“[James] is the exact type of person you want on a project like this,” said Archie Comics Senior Director of Editorial Jamie L. Rotante. “He’s dusting off Bob Phantom’s cobwebs and giving him a second chance to be a main event player.”
Bob Phantom was one of Archie’s earliest superhero characters, introduced in 1939’s BLUE RIBBON COMICS #2 in a story drawn by comics legend Irv Novick. Boasting a multitude of superpowers and talents, he fought crime by night and worked as theater critic and gossip columnist Walt Whitney by day, often antagonizing police. In the new version, James III explores the possibility that Walt’s anti-authoritarian streak may run deeper than the surface as he creates news in order to report it.
James said, “With BOB PHANTOM, I wanted to explore what it means to write news today when everyone gets their news from the headlines on their Twitter feed without reading the articles, and you can’t tell what’s legitimate and what’s fake. (To use loaded terminology.) This might make you question your validity as a journalist and your worth as a person in society. I was heavily inspired by crime stories with news elements like Road to Perdition and Nightcrawler. What brings a person to snap pictures first and provide assistance later or not at all?”
Bob Phantom’s fanciful powers may be too fanciful to be true, as well, as the new story takes a surreal turn into Walt’s dreams. Jamie added, “We’ll see glimpses of the cold realities of the real world alongside dreamscapes of the imagination. The juxtaposition of the two takes this from a standard superhero story to something that deftly blends surrealism with noir. There’s a lot going on in this story, and a lot that can be carried over into more in the future!”
BOB PHANTOM releases November 16 in comic shops nationwide and is available for pre-order now. It will feature a cover by Tim Seeley and Matt Herms as well as an open-to-order variant cover by Jamal Igle.
BOB PHANTOM (ONE SHOT)
By day, he’s Walter Whitney, a fledgling theater columnist with a wild imagination, but by night he’s Bob Phantom, the “Scourge of the Underworld” — or is he? Using his power to become immaterial, Walt beats up criminals and then breaks the news of his exploits in his newspaper column . . . but New York City is not as it once was, and with less crime that means less news. So, if there’s no crime left to fight, there’s only one thing to do: create enemies. Is Bob Phantom really the Scourge of the Underworld, or its leader?
Script: James III
Art: Richard Ortiz, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Tim Seeley, Matt Herms
Variant Cover: Jamal Igle
On Sale Date: 11/16
32-page, full color comic