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!
The Phantom Detective launches a thrill-packed attack against the lawless perpetrators of a gigantic, sinister plot for the criminal domination and control of the Pacific, a tyrannical evil that The Phantom Detective will not allow!
The release of Street and Smith’s The Shadow magazine paved the way for what fans and collectors today refer to as the Hero Pulps, those magazines featuring heroic leads who were extraordinary in some form or fashion. Not one to let the opportunity to make a dime go by, Ned Pines, the man behind Thrilling Publications, sent his own crimefighting character into the mix in February 1933, capturing the second slot of such a magazine debuting just a month prior to Street and Smith’s other juggernaut, Doc Savage. Pines’ The Phantom Detective would take on the underworld and solve the unsolvable for 170 issues, ranking third in the hero pulps for most issues published, falling right behind Pulp’s two leading men, The Shadow and Doc Savage. Due to inconsistencies in its publishing schedule, however, The Phantom Detective does hold the title for longest running Pulp magazine, its last issue published in 1953.
Even though the magazine was entitled The Phantom Detective, Van Loan was never referred to as such in the stories inside, but simply as The Phantom. Some have theorized that the magazine title was meant to indicate the entire magazine was in fact a Detective pulp. Some have also said that it was an attempt to differentiate this character from another similarly named one, Lee Falk’s The Phantom. This theory is incorrect, however, as The Phantom did not debut until 1936.
The Island of Death was originally published in the June 1933 issue of The Phantom Detective Magazine and is read with pulse pounding intensity by award winning voice actor Milton Bagby.