March 1, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #373: Blonde Phantom

Apparently, just being a blonde that can fill out a red dress is enough to be a hero sometimes.

Alright, here we go.  A superhero, co-created by Stan Lee in 1946, that had no special powers aside from being a skilled hand-to-hand combatant…and looking good in a red dress.

You just can’t make these things up sometimes, mostly because someone already did.  Here’s a quick look at the Blonde Phantom.

The Blonde Phantom was one Louise Grant, secretary to OSS agent Mark Mason.  Funny thing:  while a lot of superheroes compete with themselves over a love interest, Mason was actually interested in Louise instead of the Blonde Phantom.  Usually, as with the likes of almost any Silver Age DC hero that doesn’t live in Gotham City, the girlfriend was more smitten with the hero while making snide comments to the “ordinary” person in their life who took it in stride when the love interest went off on how great the hero was.

And yes, that included Wonder Woman with Steve Trevor’s barely showing interest in his secretary Diana Prince.

But no, Mark was more into Louise than Blonde Phantom, but never figured out the Phantom was Louise.  How that happened, I can’t say since the Blonde Phantom costume was just a sexy red dress and a domino mask.  Then again, Mark must have been kinda dumb since he actually managed to corner the Phantom, unmask her, and believed Louise when she claimed she was dressed like that simply to get his attention.

In the 50s, Louise and Mark got married and even had a couple kids, but Louise, as the Blonde Phantom, managed to work with Nick Fury on a 1950s covert Avengers team.

Is that…Sabretooth?!?

But it looks like the most interesting thing done with her may have been when John Byrne made her a supporting character in his She-Hulk series.  Louise was a widow, long since retired, and at some point she took a job as Jen Walters’s legal secretary.  By that point, her adult daughter Wanda had taken on the similarly named alias of the Phantom Blonde, but Louise’s own life of adventure wasn’t quite done.  An encounter with the Mole Man had her exposed to a magical potion that made her into her idea of what she should look like, which apparently was a somewhat overweight fortysomething housewife type.

And, apparently, she was shorter now?

In this new body, she actually started a relationship with Jen’s father Morris.  At one point, a captured She-Hulk tried a mind switch with Louise, but because of the gamma radiation in her body, she ended up swapping powers instead.  That lasted a bit because, to switch back, Louise had to subconsciously want to, something that only happened when Morris told her he liked her the way she was before.  From there, she apparently lost weight until she looked like she did in 1946 because of course she did, and went out to fight crime again.

Because I guess being a hot blonde in a red dress is all you need sometimes.