PHANTOM OF THE UNDERWORLD

Real Name: Dr. Doyle Denton (see comments)

Identity/Class: Normal human, conventional weapons user (World War II era)

Occupation: Police detective

Group Membership: Police department of unspecified city

Affiliations: Nurse Andrus, Chief Inspector Flynn

Enemies: Perrone

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Dr. Stewart (possibly many others, see notes)

Base of Operations: Unspecified city; 1940s era

First Appearance: Daring Mystery Comics#1/7 (January, 1940)

Powers/Abilities: "Doc" Denton is not only a clever and skilled detective, he is also a trained surgeon. He is knowledgeable about chemistry. In addition, he has some skill at impersonating others, and may in fact be a master of disguise.

History: (Daring Mystery Comics#1/7) - In 1940, a doctor named Stewart operated on Perrone, the head of one of the city's toughest gangs. Learning that the gang planned to recruit Stewart, "Doc" Denton took Stewart's place and accepted the gangsters' bribe. Denton gave the bribe to Stewart, telling him to "take a vacation", and moved into Stewart's practice.
   When Perrone sent for Stewart to tend to his bullet wound, Denton had Stewart's nurse, Miss Andrus, contact the police and arrange for them to raid the hideout. The police were ordered to arrest Denton so as to avoid blowing his cover, but the gang caught wind of the raid and held them off long enough for Perrone to escape. Denton tracked the remainder of the gang to the small town of Louisville. Shortly after he arrived, Perrone and his gang robbed a bank there, and Perrone was once again wounded. When his men went to find a doctor, they were pleased to run into Stewart.
   Denton went to Perrone's new hideout and removed the bullet, but Perrone told him he couldn't leave the house, as he was afraid of attracting attention (and possibly more suspicious than his fairly guileless henchmen). When Perrone began complaining of dizziness a few hours later, Denton saw his chance. He told Perrone he may have contracted an eye infection, and sent a man to Nurse Andrus to fetch a prescription. Andrus arrived with the solution personally, and when Perrone balked at allowing himself to be injected with the unknown medicine, she allowed herself to be inoculated first.
   The solution was formulated to cause temporary blindness. Denton injected everyone in the gang, and told them to keep their eyes closed for ten minutes. Before he could call the police and get Andrus to safety, however, one of the gangsters opened his eyes, and soon they had all discovered the trick. They began firing their guns wildly. Thinking fast, Denton prodded Perrone in the back with his pipe, pretending to have a gun. Once the police arrived, they took Perrone away, and Denton kept Andrus company until her vision returned.

Comments: Created by Maurice Gutwirth (and an unknown writer?).

The strip is titled "Phantom of the Underworld", although no one actually calls Denton that in the text. My hypothesis is that the name is derived from what is likely to have been Denton's gimmick in each installment -- that is, he would impersonate someone in order to combat the underworld. However, despite the promise of the last panel, Denton never reappeared, and so this must remain conjectural. One flaw in this idea is that Denton does not actually disguise himself as Stewart (a bespectacled man with a moustache) at all, but since Perrone doesn't even notice, maybe it wasn't important.

Nonetheless, I chose to title the page "Phantom of the Underworld" because, for crying out loud, the guy's name is DR. DENTON!

Unfortunately, my copies of the DMC stories are black-and-white photocopies from the commercially-available microfiche. If anyone has the ability to replace the images in this profile with better, color images, please contact us.

The cover of DMC#1 claims the comic features "Doc Doyle - Daring Underworld-Buster". There aren't any other Docs doing anything to the underworld in DMC#1, so this must refer to to Denton. I'm inclined to call it an error, but hell, it's not like "Doyle Denton" is a worse name than "Dr Denton" already is.

Profile by LV!

Clarifications: "Doc" Denton, the Phantom of the Underworld, has no known connection to

  • Dr. Denton, mutant child @ Slapstick#2
  • Phantom (Dr Birch) - frustrated Stark employee turned industrial saboteur @ Tales of Suspense I#63
  • Phantom - creator of the Evilizer and partner/enemy of Guardian @ Marvel Super-Heroes III#2
  • Phantom Blonde (Wanda Louise Mason) - Daughter of the Blonde Phantom and would-be superhero @ She-Hulk II#23
  • Phantom of Gamma-Ray Flats (Ephraim Soles) - gamma-irradiated monster @ Defenders I#132
  • Phantome - power-duplicating enemy of Vengeance @ Marvel Comics Presents#156/3
  • Phantom Raider (Slade) - Mustang rustler and enemy of Kid Colt in the 1800s American West @ Kid Colt, Outlaw#124
  • Any of the many, many other "Phantom" characters who do not have Appendix pages

Images:
Full shot - Daring Mystery Comics#1/7, p49, panel 1
Head shot - Daring Mystery Comics#1/7, p49, panel 4


Daring Mystery Comics#1/7 (Janurary 1940) - ? (script), Maurice Gutwirth (pencils and inks)


Last updated: 06/24/06

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
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