The Phantom, 6/11/16
The Phantom is of course the 21st in a sequence of Walkers who’ve dished out vigilante justice to southern Africa from their cave HQ over the past 480 years. Over that time, he and his forebears have had to adjust to certain social and technological changes in order to keep up. For instance, at some point some Phantom traded in his flintlock for the modern-day pistol he now carres. The Internet is a recent enough development that I assume that it was the current Phantom who somehow got hundreds of miles of cable laid from the nearest city all the way into his Animal Head Room over at the Skull Cave, then erased the technicians’ minds with “Bandar medicine” so they could never reveal his location. As a modern superhero, he knows that he can’t do without the Internet’s research capabilities; but as a man of action, he’s got to resent that he’s now starring in scenes like this, where he’s sitting in front of his computer and then flashes back to an earlier point in time when he was also sitting in front of his computer, only back then he was wearing his skin-tight purple costume for some reason.
I admit to never having actually watched the Gotham TV show, but I do like the idea of an “origins” series, where you see the world we live in bit by bit become a well-known exaggerated, cartoonish fictional universe. So while Crankshaft remains in general the sunnier of the two Funkyverse strips, I enjoy it when you can see hints of the dystopian horror that lies 10 years off in Funky Winkerbean, like when stone-faced cops forced terrified children up against their squad cars.