Phantom 2040 was a notable four issues series published by Marvel Comics, based on an animated TV series, for the artwork by Steve Ditko. The unusual character designs in the show, were the distinctive work of Peter Chung , creator of Æon Flux (you got me there, big Aeon Flux fan.) Phantom 2040's unique voice cast included Scott Valentine, Margot Kidder, Ron (Hellboy, yeah!) Perlman, Leah Remini, J.D. Hall, Alan Oppenheimer, Richard Lynch - while Mark Hamill, Debbie Harry, Rob Paulsen and Paul Williams had recurring roles.
In the year 2040, environmental disasters and the economic Resource Wars of the early 21st century have decimated the fragile ecological balance of an Earth once teeming with life. Everywhere, the privileged and wealthy continue to thrive in expensive real estate developments that tower above the suffering masses. The victims of Earth’s misfortune have been forced to subsist on scavenged refuse from the past on the mangled streets of forlorn city-states.
In Metropia. once known as New York City, the largest and most powerful of the city-states, the powerful robotics manufacturing corporation Maximum Inc. has slowly shaped a cold, steely urban center, consisting of huge, residential towers intertwined with TubeTrain tunnels. Maximum's robotic "biots" (Biological Optical Transputer System) have replaced enormous amounts of human labor and the corporation is illegally producing prohibited combat biots (reminds me of Magnus, Robot Fighter) to form Maximum's private underground army. Under this guise of efficient progress, Maximum has own plans for the future, all known as the Maximum Era. Through the construction the fortress of Cyberville, an immense survival shelter where only the wealthiest and most elite humans will retreat, and the take over of Metropia by Maximum's biot armies, their plans all ultimately involve the dark path of decline and extinction as the culminating result of man's prior errors and efforts, once Earth finally succumbs to its slowly deteriorating state.
The only hope for the survival of humanity is the Ghost Jungle — thousands of square miles of mutated vegetation that may be the planet's salvation. This secret source of life is submerged beneath Metropia. College student Kit Walker Jr. is chosen by fate to save the world, donning the black mask and purple suit of his people’s savior, the 24th Phantom.
In the Marvel Comic tie-in. Peter (G.I. Joe) Quinones wrote the series with pencils by the legendary Steve (Speedball) Ditko, inked by Bill (Justice Machine) Reinhold. Believe me, there's still enough Ditko to enjoy here.
Phantom 2040 #1
Striking Neil (Badger) Hansen cover.
"Generation Unto Generation"
In 2024, the Phantom disappeared. Now, 16 years later, his son is contacted by the former Phantom's assistant to be trained and become the new Phantom. But the forces of Maximum, Inc. are eager on revenge for the death of their leader.
Included a pin up by Ditko & John Romita! Unusual to see Romita outside of Marvel comics.
Editorial, accompanied with an illustration that is used as a poster in #2.
Neil (Savage Sword of Conan) Hansen cover.
Maximum Inc. captures Guran and the Phantom has to go into their headquarters to free him.
Includes poster by Ditko & Jimmy (Daredevil, Time Bomb) Palmiotti.
Phantom 2040 #3 Cabal Strikes!
Cover by Dan (Doc Savage, Harley Quinn) Panosian.
Criminals steal the frozen body of one of their old compatriots and Phantom has to prevent them from thawing a crime tsar.
Includes poster by Mark (Elric, Doom's IV) Pacella.
Phantom 2040 #4 "Vision Quest"
Neil (Whisper) Hansen cover.
On a visit to Bangall, Africa, home of his ancestors, the Phantom comes across a female imposter, who has strange powers over both animals and men.
Includes poster by Ditko & Dan Panosian.
A promo ad for the series ran in Mandrake the Magician #1. "Humanity's Survival in the Future Only has a Ghost of a Chance"
The TV series was also spun off into a video game.
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