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The Ghost Who Clings to the Sides of Planes – The Phantom #44

October 14, 2010

I grew up reading the Phantom’s comic strip in the newspaper while I was being driven to school (The Plattsburgh Press-Republican was the paper, FYI), and I remember liking very much those serialized adventures. I also watched the Defenders of the Earth show, which co-starred The Ghost Who Walks:

If you look at that clip, you’ll likely have the same reaction that everyone else who watches it has — “Lothar?”

Unfortunately, this comic lacks the vim of the black-and-white daily stories. The stories within are wooden and sterile despite their lush jungle settings. Its main merit comes from the sequence teased on the cover and illustrated by Charlton’s MVP, Pat Boyette. In a two-page spread, the Phantom channels both the outlandish kick-assery of Jack Bauer and the clinging-to-the-hoods-of-moving-vehicles ability of T.J. Hooker. Enjoy!:

Just in case you don’t get the T.J. Hooker reference, here’s the intro to that old Shatner-infused show — the pertinent bits of action are about twenty and forty-eight seconds in:

The Phantom manages a pretty nice facsimile (though this story was published before the show, so I suppose he may very well have originated this maneuver), but he loses some style points by not keeping a hairpiece glued to his head.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2010 8:48 am

    There was a funny SNL skit that dealt with TJ Hooker’s “belligerent hood ornament” tactic. In it, Shatner (the evening’s host) spends the entire skit clinging to the hood of a moving car as it travels across what — if memory serves — seemed like half the U.S. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but I seem to remember him having his lunch on the hood and everything.

    I need to see if I can dig up my VHS copy of the episode. The “Hooker” skit seems to be largely forgotten, thanks to another skit hogging the limelight; the still-controversial “Star Trek Convention” skit in which Shatner (in)famously tells Trekkies to “Get a life!”

    I’m also reminded of the episode of “The Rockford Files” where Jim is driving his car and his passenger pulls a gun on him to make him pull over. Jim laughs at the guy, saying he’ll never shoot him if it means possible death to both of them, so he’s going to keep driving, rather than pull over and get shot. I think he even speeds up. Then the guy shoots him anyway and the car goes over a cliff. LOL

    Rockford gets off with a broken arm and other minor injuries, but I always loved how the “movie tough guy” cliches met the cold hard pavement of reality on that show.

    • October 15, 2010 9:56 am

      I actually remember the Shatner/Hooker SNL skit, and scoured the internet in search of it. Alas, the overlords at NBC/Universal have ensured that few SNL clips stay on the web for long. The Shatner episode was quite good (the infamous “Get a life!” sketch, a Star Trek spoof, the lost ending to It’s a Wonderful Life), but the highlight of the Hooker sketch (for me) was the fact that the crooks at one point had to pull over to get gas and Hooker stayed on the hood. Good stuff.

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