Retro Comics You Should Read: The Blonde Phantom

I am a great fan of all things obscure – music, movies, and of course comic books. I get incredible joy from knowing more about everything than other people, and I spend a lot of time delving into realms of comic books that many others don’t. This includes really old, really retro publications. You know – the books that only had eight issues, never caught on, were mini series, whatever. I began getting into these because I wanted to cosplay characters people had never heard of (I suppose I just get off on being pretentious), and actually found I really enjoyed reading and enjoying these comics, as well.
Well, I’m here to share the wealth of my perusal of thrift store bins full of comic books. Every once in awhile (when you’re least expecting it!), look for an installment of “Retro Comics you Should Read”, and then get reading.


For this very first stint of RCySR, I am about to introduce you to one of my absolute favourites: The Blonde Phantom.

Initially I became aware of the Blonde Phantom because I was going through Marvel character databases for cool costumes to cosplay. I immediately fell in love with her red dress and found some old copies of the comic on ebay. Of course I was instantly hooked, as it features a strong female character who is kind of a badass… and she can fight crime in a bright red dress and heels. Awesome.

The Blonde Phantom is a superhero like Bruce Wayne – she has no powers, she is just exceptionally athletic (she seems to be trained in martial arts but that is never really addressed) and has a wicked eye for marksmanship. She initially becomes the Blonde Phantom to assist her boss, who is a private detective. She is in love with him and works as his secretary, so to keep him out of danger she dons a red dress, a black velvet mask, and high heels and fights crime alongside him.

As with most retro comics, there is a “love triangle” so to speak, except in this case her employer (Mark Mason) is in love with the Blonde Phantom and not Louise Grant… who is, of course, the unmasked Blonde Phantom. This love angle fuels the comics for awhile, but eventually it branches off into other storylines. For example, Louise Grant gives birth to a daughter who eventually becomes the “Phantom Blonde”, and Grant also is an invaluable asset to She-Hulk.



I love this comic because of the clever dialogue and the history of the character’s origin – she was created as an answer to rising awareness of the feminine movement. Strong characters like the Blonde Phantom and Sun Girl were beginning to crop up in comics, an alternative to macho superheroes in the post war era.

The Blonde Phantom is also an interesting read because she did not belong to any one artist – her style changes subtly (or not so subtly!) from issue to issue and it’s really cool to see each penciler’s take on her. Artists like Vince Alascia, Ken Bald, Carl Burgos and many others.

So go peruse the dusty bins in the back of your old comic store, or do some internet shopping, because I highly recommend adding the Blonde Phantom to your collection.
Molly McIsaac enjoys wearing the colour red and wants a pet unicorn. You can follow her misadventures on twitter.


  1. I’ve been reading quite a bit of Golden Age stuff lately and I will be SO excited if this becomes a regular or semi-regular column. Excellent work!

  2. This looks so unbelievably cool – how have I not heard of this? Thanks Molly.

  3. I love Blonde Phantom. If you’re put off by Golden Age prices (I’m not sure what of her stories Marvel has reprinted) Paul Tobin uses quite often in his Marvel Adventures stories and she cropped up in the Timely 70th anniversary issues in All Select.

  4. Molly, based on the first paragraph of this article I feel compelled to ask: will you marry me?