They both predate the modern superhero.  They both exemplify important tropes of the modern superhero.  They both had weirdly unsatisfying movies in the 1990s.  Pulp star The Shadow, and comic strip headliner The Phantom are part of an elite proto-superhero world, fighting crime with the power of the animals and/or a network of operatives, and keeping New York City, and the jungles of Africa safe from all manner of nefariosity.  They also both have nebulous super abilities but lean most on the super power of “a pair of high caliber pistols,” leading to today’s mysterious masked query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) gives The Ghost Who Walks gets the edge over the Master of Men solely because he looks more like a traditional superhero, and I’m kind of a sucker for that, asking: Shadow or Phantom?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Daniel Langsdale on

    Phantom, because I like the generational nature of the character, and how we’ve gotten to see multiple successive Kit Walkers over the years.

  2. The Shadow! Why? Because he has appeared in 339 pulp novels, and stories; 677 radio episodes; at least 478 comic books; 14 films; and numerous collectibles, over the past nine decades. I don’t think The Phantom can come anywhere near matching that record.

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