Friday, April 17, 2015


This cover is optimistic.
He's easily one of the most powerful super-villains to ever trod the boards of the four-color format and yet, for some reason, they put him up against Fly-Man and Fly-Girl. Spoiler warning: He's too much for them and they have to call for help.

To learn all about Phantasmon, listen to the introductory text from the opening page of "Phantasmon the Terrible versus Fly Man and Fly Girl" (Fly-Man No.35, January 1966): "Sophisticated New Yorkers are flabbergasted ... to put it mildly ... as a fearsome invader whisks down from outer space astride a horrendous steed! Fly-Man and Fly Girl hurtle in to confront the menace! But if you think this is a routine "invasion" yarn, how wrong you are! The sizzling, whirlwind action and especially the "triple take" off-beat conclusion of this wondrous tale is something you'll yakety-yak about for many a moon!"

If that all seemed to descend into nonsense, then you've been given a pretty good taste of the story introducing "The mighty warlord of the planet Diablor"into comicdom's roles of villainy.

Phantasmon shows up on the aforementioned flying steed, bellowing to anyone who'll listen about how he's gonna all hell of conquer the Earth for not much in the way of reason. Luckily, he's confronted by Fly-Man and Fly Girl (I guess only one of them gets a hyphen?) who disable the steed, and then are shocked when it turns out Phantasmon can fly without it. I guess, in retrospect, that's not really so weird - we ride horses all the time, even though human beings can walk, run, trot and canter if we feel like it.

Among his seemingly limitless powers, Phantasmon can harmlessly engulf himself in flame (recharging his dyna-cells, evidently), transform and command matter, LITERALLY SHOOT LIGHTNING OUT OF HIS NOSE, stretch his arms and, most importantly, produce his evil servants - the "Alieog-Laboids" - out of thin air.


Despite sounding like an often-overlooked part of the female anatomy nonetheless vital to pleasurable lovemaking, the Alieog-Laboids  are Sorro ("I have a genius for spreading misery!"), Disastro ("Where I roam, disaster is bound to rear its ugly head") and The Crumbler ("Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven"). With his secondaries handling all the heavy lifting, Phantasmon is free to torture Fly-Man and Fly Girl with visions of the world succumbing to his power, which he accomplishes by turning a boulder into a television, which I guess is how the Flintstones do it too.

Unable to best Phantasmon, the Fly ends up telepathically summoning his terrible enemy BEE-MAN, who agrees to a truce in the face of the overwhelming menace of the alien warlord, and assembles the whole ding-dang Monsters, Incorporated to push back the intergalactic baddie.

See, we can all do math, so it seems pretty simple to figure out that Phantasmon > Fly-Man and Fly Girl, while Monsters Inc > Phantasmon, and by the transitive property Fly-Man and Fly Girl are dead meat basically. It was a good run while it lasted, and we all got a kick out of the Alieog-Laboids, I'm sure.

And then Fly-Man was murdered.


James W. Fry 3.0 said...

Whew1 Thank you, Jon. You HAD to get around to this guy sooner or later. I can breathe easier now. I've long considered this one of the greatest super-hero comics of all time. My friends and I used to use "lightning bolts crashing out of my nostrils". as the gold standard for flat-out awesomeness on the super-powers scale. Heat vision? Telekinesis? Time travel? FUCK THAT!

cup king said...

"Where I roam, disaster is bound to rear its ugly head" "Hey, I'm not ugly. And I'm standing right here!"

neofishboy said...

My wife briefly had a bout of the Alieog-Laboids, but she found a salve at the Rite-aid.

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