Phantom 2040

For the video game of the same name, see Phantom 2040 (video game).
Phantom 2040

Phantom 2040 Poster.
Genre Action/Adventure
Science fiction
Superhero fiction
Created by Lee Falk
with David J. Corbett
Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Judith Reeves-Stevens
Developed by Hearst entertainment, Inc.
Minos S.A.
France 3[1]
Written by Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Judith Reeves-Stevens
Brynne Stephens
Richard Merwin
Shari Goodhartz
Directed by Vincent Bassols
Bertrand Tager Kagan
Michael Kaweski
Michel Lyman
Stu Rosen
Starring Scott Valentine
J.D. Hall
Leah Remini
Ron Perlman
Margot Kidder
Jeff Bennett
Mark Hamill
Country of origin France
United States
No. of episodes 35[2]
Running time 25 minutes
Original network syndicated
Original release September 18, 1994 – March 3, 1996

Phantom 2040 is a French-American animated series loosely based on the comic strip hero The Phantom, created by Lee Falk. The central character of the series is said to be the 24th Phantom.

The show was developed for television by executive producer David J. Corbett and executive story editors Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. In addition to story-editing both seasons, the Reeves-Stevens devised the show's writers' bible,[3] and scripted numerous episodes, including the two-part pilot (Generation Unto Generation). Other key writers on the show included Brynne Stephens and Michael Reaves; despite the similarity of names, Reaves and Stephens are in no way related to the Reeves-Stevenses.

The unusual character designs were the distinctive work of Peter Chung, creator of Æon Flux.

The show debuted in 1994 to rave reviews, though it survived only 35 episodes before it was relegated to weekend repeats in 1996. Along with action sequences, stories focused on intelligent plotting and character development, winning the series praise for its subtle teaching of such values as individuality, freedom and the volatility of humanity.

Along with Andrea Romano's equally pioneering work on Batman: The Animated Series, Stuart M. Rosen's voice direction on Phantom 2040 had a lasting impact on animated adventure television. Romano and Rosen cast accomplished dramatic actors and introduced a new level of maturity and complexity to their show's vocal performances that set the standard for all TV animation that followed.

Phantom 2040's unique voice cast included Scott Valentine, Margot Kidder, Ron Perlman, Leah Remini, J.D. Hall, Alan Oppenheimer, Richard Lynch and Jeff Bennett - while Mark Hamill, Debbie Harry, Rob Paulsen and Paul Williams had recurring roles.

The show inspired a four-part tie-in comic book series illustrated by Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko.


In the year 2040, environmental disasters and the economic Resource Wars of the early 21st century have decimated the fragile ecological balance of an Earth once teeming with life. Everywhere, the privileged and wealthy continue to thrive in expensive real estate developments that tower above the suffering masses. The victims of Earth’s misfortune have been forced to subsist on scavenged refuse from the past on the mangled streets of forlorn city-states.

In Metropia (once known as New York City), the largest and most powerful of the city-states, the powerful robotics manufacturing corporation Maximum Inc. has slowly shaped a cold, steely urban center, consisting of huge, residential towers intertwined with TubeTrain tunnels. Maximum's robotic "biots" (Biological Optical Transputer System) have replaced enormous amounts of human labour, and the corporation is illegally producing prohibited combat biots to form Maximum's private underground army. Under this guise of efficient progress, Maximum has own plans for the future, all known as the Maximum Era. Through the construction the fortress of Cyberville, an immense survival shelter where only the wealthiest and most elite humans will retreat, and the take over of Metropia by Maximum's biot armies, their plans all ultimately involve the dark path of decline and extinction as the culminating result of man's prior errors and efforts, once Earth finally succumbs to its slowly deteriorating state.

The only hope for the survival of humanity is the Ghost Jungle — thousands of square miles of mutated vegetation that may be the planet's salvation. This secret source of life is submerged beneath Metropia,unseen by most. College student Kit Walker Jr. is chosen by fate to save the world, donning the black mask and purple suit of his people’s savior, the 24th Phantom.

The role of the Phantom has been passed on from father to son since the 16th century, leading the world to believe that the Phantom is a single immortal individual. Kit, the 24th in the line, is young, unsure, and inexperienced, but he finds within him the courage and might to battle the evil that threatens to destroy the Earth.



Video game

A Phantom 2040 video game was produced for Sega Genesis, Game Gear and Super NES, and like the animated series, it received very positive reviews despite its obscurity. It is possible to play as both the Phantom and, in the Game Gear version, his alter-ego, Kit Walker. The game has over 20 different endings, depending on the choices the player makes while progressing through the story, and revolves around Rebecca Madison's attempts to create a biot army, revive her dead husband and seize control of both Metropia and the world.

Comic books

Phantom 2040 was adapted into a comic book series by Marvel Comics in 1995 (cover dated May–August 1995). Only four issues were published, released as a mini-series. The stories were only loosely based on the TV series, and had a different tone than the dark, complicated animated show. The comic book was written by Peter Quinones, pencilled by legendary Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko and inked by Bill Reinhold. Each issue featured a free poster drawn by such artists as John Romita Sr.

VHS and DVD editions

A complete series DVD collection is yet to be released but Season One is currently available as a four disc set in Australia.

Family Home Entertainment VHS Releases 1994/1995 (USA)

A straight-to-video compilation titled Phantom 2040: The Ghost Who Walks was released in the USA on VHS by Family Home Entertainment in 1994 (and re-released on May 21, 1996). Phantom 2040: The Ghost Who Walks is made up of the first four episodes of the series edited into a single movie.

Family Home Entertainment subsequently released eight first-season episodes across four commercially available VHS tapes (in the USA) on August 22, 1995:

1) Generation Unto Generation Parts 1 and 2

2) Fire and I.C.E. / The Sum of the Parts

3) Dark Orbit Parts 1 and 2

4) The Ghost in the Machine / The Biot in Red

Lions Gate DVD Release 2004 (USA)

Phantom 2040: The Ghost Who Walks was re-released on DVD by Lions Gate on September 21, 2004 and remains available for purchase in most counties as a US import.

Via Vision Entertainment DVD Release 2013 (Australia)

In Australia (where the popularity of Lee Falk's original Phantom comic strip has never waned), Season One was released as a four-disc DVD collection (containing the first twenty episodes of the show) by Via Vision Entertainment on 6 November 2013


  1. "Phantom 2040 (TV series)". Show credits. 2012-11-11.
  2. "Phantom 2040 synopsis". Hearst Animation. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  3. "". Reeves-Stephens Phantom 2040 writing credits. 2014-03-16.
  4. Johnson, Allan (1995-02-14). "SCOTT VALENTINE IS A SWEETHEART HE PUT UP WITH TEACHER'S LAME IDEA; NOW HE LIKES HIS NAME". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
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