Forged in war, The Phantom Detective wages a one-man battle on crime! Solving impossible mysteries and delivering his own justice, he is the underworld’s masked nightmare!
Crime’s recruits, salvaged from death row, join forces in a fiendish slaughter conspiracy! Follow the world’s greatest sleuth on a perilous trail of desperate lawbreakers!
Although similar to other masked men featured in Pulp Magazines and in a way an immediate descendant of The Shadow, The Phantom Detective can actually be credited with at least two influences on later characters, both those to follow in pulps and one in particular to come to life in comic books.
Because he wore a mask and was so skilled at the art of disguise, Richard Curtis Van Loan had to come up with a way to identify himself to law enforcement officials as the actual Phantom Detective. To this end, he fashioned a platinum badge in the shape of a domino mask, like the one he wore to conceal his identity. This concept of having or leaving a calling card would be found in innumerable heroes to follow in unique ways, including The Spider.
Another even more influential invention on the future of a certain caped crusader came in the form of a red beacon that Frank Havens, the only person to know the Phantom Detective’s true identity, had installed on the roof of his newspaper building. This was used whenever the Clarion’s owner needed to summon The Phantom from somewhere else in the city. Obviously, this is very similar to the signal used to summon Batman in comics in later years, but the connection between the two is not mere supposition. Jack Schiff and Mort Weisinger both edited The Phantom Detective under the leadership of Leo Margulies before moving on to editing in a different format and a different character - Batman in comics books.
‘The Henchmen of Death’ was originally published in the March 1937 issue of The Phantom Detective Magazine and is read with pulse pounding intensity by award winning voice actor Milton Bagby.