12192016fixThis is my copy of Wings Comics #96 from Fiction House published August 1947.  Cover art is by Bob Lubbers.  Number #97 below is by the same artist.

Wings was a very popular ongoing series which ran a total of 124 issues between 1940 and 1954. The series featured characters such as Jane Martin, Captain Wings and Suicide Smith.

Click to readWings Comics #97 includes “The Phantom Falcon.”  There have been a number of Phantoms, including Phantom Lady, Phantom Eagle, Phantom Rider etc.,  There was even a different Phantom Falcon (alias of Chuck Benson) who appeared in four issues of publisher Holyoke’s Cat-Man Comics starting with #v2#15 (May 1942).  

This Phantom Falcon was created by Rick Ayers & Witmer Williams.  He was actually daredevil air ace Clipper Kirk throughout the first issues of Wings Comics #1-#68.

clipper1After being beat up and left for dead by some Axis supporters he was further attacked by cougar. Clipper later awakes being nursed back to health by a South Pacific Allied supporter named Marie Catoux. His “Falcon” superhero name is derived from the mark the cougar left scarred on his arm.  Clipper quickly decides to fake his death and adopt a costumed superhero identity.  Using the disguise to successfully vanquish his would-be assassins, he subsequently becomes the Phantom Falcon full time. The origin story is told in a two part Wings series, starting in Wings Comics #68 (April 1946) with “Who Is The Phantom Falcon?” and continuing in part 2 the next issue.  

Once World War II was over, he takes a civilian identity (Chet Horne) and works with the Chief of Police fighting criminals. The Phantom Falcon’s final appearance was in Wings Comics #110 (Winter 1949).

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The Phantom Falcon in Wings #84

I’ve also owned (and subsequently sold) several other copies of Wings – shown below.

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