Bob Phantom

Real Name

Walt Whitney

First Appearance

Blue Ribbon Comics #2 (1939)

Original Publisher


Created by

Harry Shorten and Irv Novick


Walt Whitney was a New York City news reporter who wrote a gossip column called 'On Broadway.' It frequently made fun of law enforcement who failed to catch criminals and because of this Walt was unpopular with the police. He also served as a radio reporter in his early appearances. What most people didn't realize was that he secretly was the crime fighter Bob Phantom, whose names came from a stage magician who did a great disappearing act. From Top-Notch Comics #15 onward, he was assisted by Jinx Friday, an awkward but clever girl who became his secretary and (not much later) his girlfriend. His first recurring enemy was professional criminal Trigger Slumm, who reappeared to work for Ah Ku, a Chinese femme fatale and self-proclaimed princess of crime, who would go on to become his nemesis.

Powers and Abilities

Bob Phantom's powers included invulnerability and teleporting by disappearing in a cloud of smoke and then reappearing somewhere else.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Blue Ribbon Comics #2-3
  • Top-Notch Comics #3-25


  • Bob Phantom was the first costumed hero published by MLJ.
  • Bob Phantom's civilian identity may have been based on Walter Winchell, a popular radio host and America's first gossip columnist.

See Also

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