Thursday, September 12, 2013

No Relation To The Opera Guy


Name This Marvel Villain??

An accidental dip in a radioactive pool of water gave handicapped best-seller author Travis Hoyt super-strength and freedom from his wheelchair, but with a regrettable side-effect--corrosion to his skin, forcing him to bandage his scarred face. Bitter and angry at the technological "progress" occurring on his island retreat, he assumed the identity of the Night Phantom and began terrorizing the locals and destroying industry plants.

Unfortunately, one such plant belonged to Tony Stark, bringing the Night Phantom into conflict with Iron Man:

Seeking to replenish his power and overwhelm Iron Man, the Night Phantom plunged into his pool, but fell victim to a crack in its bottom and was swept down, presumably buried. Villains have recovered from lesser fates, of course, but I doubt anyone was sorry to see the Phantom disappear.

Later, back in the States, another villain, Mister Kline, created a robot of the Phantom and sicced it on Iron Man. Don't ask me about Mister Kline, because we'd be here all day going over the various items on his agenda. I'll just say that the robot Night Phantom apparently was just as much up for a brawl with Iron Man as the real McCoy:

This was during the period when Iron Man was easy pickings for just about any villain who wanted a piece of him, due to his weakened heart always giving out on him because his pacemaker would be drained of power during a battle. Stark and Aunt May really should have been in the same support group.

But naturally, once Iron Man rewires his whatsis in order to use his "power booster," he's back in the ball game:

Which is the last we saw of the Night Phantom, robot or otherwise. Understandable, since his only distinguishing features are his bandaged face (though I thought that was kind of cool) and his grudge against technology--and his super-strength was nothing that couldn't be duplicated in any number of foes. And outside of his island environment where superstition played a key role in his ability to instill fear, he was just another bruiser. It's possible Hoyt will rise from the dead someday to wreak havoc anew--but for now, I think we can safely say the Night Phantom has been silenced along with the drumbeats that once heralded his coming.

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