created by Arthur Peddy
and published by DC
. The Phantom Lady first appeared in Police Comics #1
When Dr. Fredric Wertham wrote Seduction of the Innocent, one
of the images that he used to prove his point that comic books
were corrupting the youth of America was the cover of Phantom
Lady #11. The cover showed the heroine Phantom Lady dressed in
a blue halter-top with a plunging neckline and short shorts
split up the sides while tied with rope to the pillar of a pier.
The overall image is mild by today's standards, where she would be
considered overdressed if appearing on the cover of a muscle car
magazine, but by 1950's standards, she was the word slut personified.
Sadly, the heroine Phantom Lady though in the midst of scandal, did
not start out this way.
The Phantom Lady was Sandra Knight, daughter of Henry Knight, a
U.S. senator from Opal City. A member of the Washington social set,
Sandra became interested in being a hero after saving her father
from assassination by defeating two men with a rolled-up newspaper. Her heroic nature was not surprising as her cousin was Ted Knight, the original Starman.
Deciding she wanted to get involved as one of the mystery men
who had begun appearing, she used an invention of Dr. Abraham
Davis to create an identity for herself as the Phantom Lady.
The invention was a "black light" that when directed at others
caused them to be blinded temporarily. Inexplicably, the ray
could tell when it was directed against its holder, because rather
than blinding the user, it caused them to become invisible for a
time. The "black light" was later found to have a mesmerizing effect on teenage boys
when shown on oddly-colored posters by two university professors named Spencer,
who parleyed it into a profitable, albiet low-brow, chain of
Dressing initally in a yellow bathing suit and green cape, the Phantom
Lady fought crime for many years. She became a member of the
war time group the All-Star Squadron and later the Freedom
Fighters. She met and had a child by the hero Arn "Iron" Monroe
though her child was taken by the villain Baron Blitkreig.
More recently, the mantle of the Phantom Lady has been taken
up by Delilah "Dee" Tyler, a former student from a private
school where Sandra Knight serves as head mistress. This new Phantom Lady operates out to Opal City and has assisted the newest Starman and others in defeating the Mist.
Thanks to NothingLasts4Ever for help with the Knight family tree and recent spottings of scantily-clad women.