The Masked Marvel

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The Masked Marvel
Start date: November 1st, 1948
End date: February 19th, 1949
# of strips: 96 (16 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Wilson McCoy
Original colorist: N/A
Preceded by: "The Girls"
Followed by: "Fathers and Sons"

"The Masked Marvel" is the 33rd Phantom daily story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Wilson McCoy.

Plot synopsis

The famous boxer known as "The Masked Marvel" is frustrated that no one recognizes him. He ends up in a bar where he starts fights with everyone, finally, the Phantom enters the bar. The Masked Marvel asks the Phantom if he could recognize him from the poster with him, when the Phantom turns out to be totally uninterested and also orders sandwiches and milk, the Masked Marvel starts a fight which immediately ends with the Phantom knocking him out. The Phantom leaves the bar.

Diana calls her mother and finds out that she is ill. Diana then immediately wants to go back to the US so that she could care for her mother. Unfortunately, every places at the airplanes have been taken and no boat goes until after a week.

Then the Masked Marvel turns up again and start trying to seduce Diana and harrasses her. The Phantom shows up and a fight starts which ends with another knockout. This time, the Masked Marvel comes in such bad shape that he have to stay at hospital for at least a month. Since the Masked Marvel is supposed to have a match tomorrow night, his manager is in deep trouble and immediately offers the Phantom money to go up in the match instead. The Phantom accepts at the condition that they take Diana to the US and her ill mother, since they have a private plane. The manager accepts.

The match is to take place in Gorgaza. Instead of using the clothes of the Masked Marvel, the Phantom uses his own suit. At the beginning of the match, the Phantom is surprised and blinded by the sharp lights and takes a couple of hits by his opponent, Tiger Thomas. He goes down in the flour but is up again at eight and immediately knocks Tiger Thomas out. The match takes hardly two minutes.

The manager then informs the Phantom that it says in his contract that if he wins the first match, he must continue. The Phantom informs the manager that he has helped the manager and the manager has helped him and that everything is over, plus that he does not like fraudulent persons, then he leaves.

The Phantom has, however, hardly began to think on getting a plane to the US and Diana, when he discover a fire at a hospital for handicapped children. Two children is trapped at the highest floor and the hopes of saving them are gone. The Phantom manage to save them.

The insurance does not cover the costs of rebuilding the hospital. The Phantom then contacts the manager and informs him that he will fight for money and give all his share to the rebuilding of the hospital and the manager Joe will give half of his share. Joe reluctantly agrees.

Meanwhile, Diana and her mother wonders where the Phantom is, Lily tries to show that the Phantom is only an adventure seeking man, Diana do not agree.

The Phantom are fighting his way through as a professional boxer, wantng to fight every evening to raise the money as soon as possible. The next opponent is Kid Boff, whose manager is in league with gangsters, trying to make them fix the Phantom, the Phantom refutes all attacks.

The time for the match with Kid Boff has come and the manager Joe gets threats that if "The Masked Marvel" win, he and Joe would get in big trouble. Joe, however, cannot miss such a chance and says nothing to the Phantom. Kid Boff affirms that it will not take much time. Then the match begins and ends immediately when Boff goes to attack and the Phantom knocks him out with only one hit.

The problem with the gangsters is solved since he is a national hero by now and any attack at him would be unwise.

The Phantom calculates that he only needs to go a match against Kid Hercules, the world champion, about his title, then he would have assembled enough money for the hospital.

The news that he is going to meet Kid Hercules reaches Diana, who first now gets an idea of what he has been doing. The Phantom then shows up with the purpose of explaining everything, Diana, however, does not give him the opportunity and instead accuses him of being seduced by the fame and brutality, having abandoned the fight against evil that his forefathers have done and using his strength instead for his own sole benefit. She then declares that she has lost the man she loved. The Phantom gets no chance whatsoever of explaining his purposes.

Depressed by Diana's reaction, the Phantom wonders if it was worth it, at the thought of the handicapped children, he answers the question with a yes.

The Phantom and Kid Hercules then signs the contract.

Diana does not want to hear the match at the radio and goes out for a walk. The match starts and proves to be a tough one. Diana accidentily goes by a loudspeaker at a depesch office and start listening to the match. The Phantom receives a telegram after the sixth round from the hospital in Bartena. The children writes that they are listening and that they know that nothing could beat him. In the seventh round, the Phantom knocks Kid Hercules out.

Diana arrives home and tells Dave that he won.

The Phantom is congratulated by Kid Hercules and then receives the check with the last money needed from his manager Joe, then he tells Joe that he is quitting his career as planed, since he has gathered enough money. The Phantom telegraphs the money to the child hospital in Bartena and disappears.

Diana reads the newspapers and realizes that she has been unfair.

Meanwhile, the Phantom is turned into a legend throughout the boxing world and a statue is erected outside the child hospital in Bartena that he helped.

Diana decides to find him, while the Phantom travels home. Diana starts with asking his manager Joe where he could be found. Joe tells her that he disappeared because she did not want to hear anything from him and that he, Joe, told him that she would come back when he had become champion as that is the way women are. Diana replies that not all are that way. Joe then says that the interest probably will cool down, because it is true that he as quitted, is it not? Diana replies that it is exactly therefore that she wants to see him.

Diana guesses that the Phantom has returned to the Skull Cave and travels to Bengali. Later, the Phantom arrives to Morristown, and enters the jungle where Hero is waiting. At the same time has Diana arrived to an airport in Bengali and hires a plane to fly her over the jungle. She brings with her a parachute and when she is over the Deep Woods, she parachutes. Meanwhile, the Phantom reaches the Deep Woods.

When the Phantom finally arrives to the Skull Cave, Diana is already waiting for him, sitting at the Skull Throne.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Sam




  • Daily Spectator

Behind the scenes

  • Bartena and Gorgaza both are Central-/South-American countries, being located "below the Rio Grande".
  • The Phantom is seen ordering milk at a bar.
  • The Phantom's weight is given as 198 pounds (about 90 kilograms)
  • Diana is seen sitting on the Skull Throne.

Related stories

Remade as

Refers to


This story has been published in the following publications:

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  • Hejmdal July 31, 1950 – November 18, 1950

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