Fantomah first appeared in Jungle Comics #2, published in February 1940 by Fiction House. The character was created by writer and artist Fletcher Hanks, who is known for his unconventional storytelling and bizarre character designs.
Fantomah is considered one of the first female superheroes in comic book history. She is a mysterious and powerful woman who possesses supernatural abilities, including the power to transform her appearance, control animals, and manipulate matter. Fantomah is portrayed as a beautiful woman with long, flowing blonde hair, who can transform into a fearsome, skull-faced creature when using her powers.
Jungle Comics was an anthology series that featured a variety of adventure, mystery, and superhero stories set in exotic and remote locations. Fantomah was one of the main features of the series, appearing alongside characters like Kaanga, Camilla, and Wambi the Jungle Boy.
Fantomah’s adventures continued in several issues of Jungle Comics throughout the early 1940s, with Fletcher Hanks providing the stories and art for most of her appearances.
From a young age, Fantomah felt an inexplicable bond with the jungle. She spent countless hours among its inhabitants, particularly the elephants, whose young she adored. Her affinity for them was reciprocated, an uncommon gift of trust.
One fateful day, while frolicking with the baby elephants, Fantomah witnessed one become ensnared in quicksand. Without hesitation, she employed her resourcefulness to rescue the trapped creature. From that moment, the jungle seemed to embrace her, revealing hidden paths and fostering extraordinary connections with its diverse inhabitants.
As Fantomah matured, she recognized the responsibility to safeguard the jungle and its creatures. However, she soon discovered the presence of malevolent forces seeking to exploit the environment for their own benefit. Poachers prowled the land, mercilessly slaughtering animals for their valuable body parts. Determined to halt their devastation, Fantomah resolved to confront them.
During a routine patrol, Fantomah encountered a group of poachers targeting her cherished elephant family. Despite her valiant efforts, she was overpowered by the ruthless criminals. Gravely injured, she helplessly witnessed the slaughter of her beloved elephants.
In that instant of despair, a surge of energy erupted from Fantomah, annihilating the poachers. Although she could not comprehend the source of this power, she sensed it as a gift from the jungle.
The sole surviving elephant, the one she had saved from quicksand years before, carried Fantomah’s lifeless body to a hidden elephant graveyard. There, the jungle’s essence revitalized her and bestowed upon her unfathomable abilities.
With her newfound powers, Fantomah vowed to protect the jungle and its creatures, ensuring the preservation of their delicate balance and standing as a relentless guardian against those who sought to disrupt it.
Nature and Energy Manipulation – Connection to the jungle, ability to harness its power and energy, animal communication and influence.
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