Iron Man #14
Issue(s): Iron Man #14
...who happens to be in love with Janice Cord.
Which is why he's attacking Stark. That and the fact that Stark's factory was inadvertently draining the radioactive water that was giving Hoyt the powers and embarrassing skin complexion that made him the Night Phantom.
The Phantom is defeated when the fake voodoo drums that Hoyt was pumping out of his subwoofers causes the radioactive pool to crack open and swallow him. Or maybe it was voodoo!
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Stark is shown briefly in Sub-Mariner #14 on the plane ride home from the Caribbean and then appears in Captain Marvel #14 before appearing in the next issue of Iron Man.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: Invincible Iron Man vol. 6
You have to wonder if Goodwin tailored this story specifically for Johnny Craig, considering all the Caribbean Zombie stories Craig did for EC in the 1950s.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 12, 2013 5:26 PM
Archie Goodwin's IM is usually good. Here's a case when it's not.
Posted by: kveto | December 26, 2016 8:00 PM
That's the Night Phantom's only appearance, right? (the robot duplicate doesn't count) He comes back during Avengers Standoff, but that was so many years later than even Iron Man almost forgot about him. Not to mention, out of scope.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | December 27, 2016 4:26 AM
The bit where the villain is unmasked resembles the climax reveal from MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM and HOUSE OF WAX.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | December 27, 2016 5:00 AM
I think issues #12-14 show Goodwin trying out a character concept: Both the Controller and the Night Phantom are designed as foils to Tony Stark. Where Stark's injuries led him to develop a life-support system and become (relatively) altruistic, the Controller and the Night Phantom both respond by becoming egomaniacal exploiters addicted to the methods by which they regain their mobility and gain powers. And both end up fighting Iron Man because Stark bucks his old instincts to do right by Janice and Haiti.
Of the two, the Controller has a more interesting powers and makes a better foil to Tony Stark, as both started out as egotistical inventors and, as Len Kaminski points out much later, his literal mind control reflects Tony's own habit of using people and tech to get what he wants.
But Hoyt is a foil to Stark in three ways that the Controller isn't. First, he's a bit of an eco-conscious Luddite, even after he discovers the source of his super-powers and becomes addicted to it. This "spoiled social conscience" idea will be revisited more successfully with Goodwin's creation of Firebrand.
Second, Hoyt is jealous of Stark's youth and charm, which could have been an interesting dynamic but is used only for the old-fashioned horror-movie trope of the monster carrying off the female lead.
Third, Hoyt's power is innate, the product of what may be industrial waste or the result of A-tests, so he's perhaps a walking consequence of the industries Stark represents.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 28, 2016 11:21 AM
On rereading, this seems to be a tribute to Craig's EC horror work as Mark Drummond suggests. The first few pages, featuring a flashback to the Night Phantom's attack, are very much in the "pictures with captions" style of the old EC books.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | April 13, 2018 7:10 AM
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