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Fantomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle

Real Name


First Appearance

Jungle Comics #2 (Feb 1940)

Original Publisher

Fiction House

Created by

Fletcher Hanks

Golden Age Origin[]

The transformation of Fantomah.

Fantomah is a mysterious goddess-like being who protects the jungles of Africa. She has vast magical power, to the point of being practically omnipotent, and can transform herself into a frightening blue phantom/skeleton creature as well as a floating skull with blonde hair. Like her fellow Fletcher Hanks creation, Stardust, Fantomah often used her vast magical powers to sentence her enemies to bizarre and brutal punishments. For instance, in Jungle Comics #7 she transforms a band of greedy diamond miners who oppressed the natives into one man, then sends that man to an "unfound world" to be enslaved by hideous green fanged monsters, then sent into a pit of cobras, and then absorbed into a wall by a giant hand. Besides greedy treasure hunters and slavers she wreaked her brutal vengeance on such bizarre foes as Org, who controlled giant spiders with a hypnotic drum, and Professor Zomax, who wanted revenge on nature after being successively attacked by a lion, an elephant, gnats, a snake, and a gorilla.

Fantomah as the "Daughter of the Pharoahs"

Later writers and artists who lacked Fletcher Hanks's uniquely grotesque imagination portrayed Fantomah as an ordinary human adventurer. Initially she was a conventional "jungle girl" character along the lines of Sheena or Tiger Girl, although she retained more limited mystical powers. In still later stories she was "Fantomah, Daughter of the Pharoahs," the queen of a lost civilization descended from the ancient Egyptians. She had a pet black panther named Fury. In this incarnation her enemies included Ghazia, "priestess of the vulture-headed goddess," who commanded an army of mummies.


Fantomah was comics' first female hero.