The Phantom: Moonstone Fires Back

Moonstone Still Has Phantom

It looks like the complicated story of “The Ghost Who Walks,” who is also called “The Man Who Cannot Die,” is getting more complicated?

Yesterday, we checked in with Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci on the publisher’s recent Wizard World: Chicago announcement that it had acquired the rights to Lee Falk’s The Phantom.

Today, Moonstone’s Joe Gentile, who recently told us in an interview that the company still has the rights to The Phantom and outlined the company’s upcoming plans, which include a new Annual that will feature the first ever Moonstone Phantom/Mandrake team-up and a one-shot spotlighting Julie, who temporarily became the female Phantom when her twin brother, Kip, was injured, sent Newsarama the following statement:

We at Moonstone were surprised and disappointed to read of Dynamite's recent decision to postpone their plans for a Phantom re-imagining. As the long-time publisher of The Phantom (through our partnership with King Features), we felt there was plenty of room in the marketplace for Dynamite's new version of The Phantom.

We were also surprised that there may be some confusion about our relationship with King Features. There seems to be quite a bit of inaccurate information out there on how this all works. Both publishers have a Phantom comics license. That’s it. Odd perhaps, but nothing complicated.

We had no intention of letting the license lapse, as we were already in discussion with King Features to renew, exactly the same way we have done it every [two] years. Each contract with King Features is for two years. Every two years it has to be reviewed. That’s just the way it is. For everybody. Therefore, it was quite a surprise to hear Dynamite’s announcement at Wizard Chicago that they had obtained the license.

We did not make any public statement until after we spoke with King Features, which was the following Monday. And that statement was right here on Newsarama for all to see. We have made NO official public comments about Dynamite, Nick, or King Features. Not one.

I have no problem with Nick, never have. If I had known about Dynamite’s plans earlier, I would like to think that Nick and I could have had a discussion about it. I plan to reach out to him shortly, for I had always thought of him as a good guy and a fellow publisher who made good.

We continue to be passionate about comics and classic characters - and look forward telling our stories as well as reading great stories from other innovative publishers like Dynamite.

This is a lot of fuss about nothing, really. We are just a small press company working 24/7 to put cool projects together, and there just isn’t any time for sleep, let alone any grand machinations.

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