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The Phantom beats up homophobes with a Pride flag in latest comic book

Written by gaytourism

The Phantom takes on homophobes in Poland. | Photo: Egmont publishers

The Swedish version of comic book hero, The Phantom, is getting a lot of attention for its latest front cover.

Known as Fantomen in Sweden, the latest edition see the superhero attend a Pride parade in Poland’s capital, Warsaw.

But then a group of ultra-nationalists in colorless military style uniforms descend on the parade, chanting homophobic slurs and waving polish flags.

The Phantom swings into action quickly to protect the parade participants and spectators.

‘I have to act quickly before blood flows on the streets!’ The Phantom says as he picks up a rainbow flag on a pole to use as a weapon against the homophobes.

Warsaw-based, Philip Madden, wrote the latest edition of Fantomen. For Madden, the story reflected actual events in Poland and the country’s problem with homophobia.

His editor, Mikael Sol, at Egmont publishing knew that the front cover would turn heads, but stands by the decision to publish it.

‘I thought it was a nice symbol, with the colourful flag, which stands for tolerance, against the colourless gray dressed villain who stands for intolerance,’ Sol told Expressen.

‘I understand clearly that the cover is controversial, but sometimes you have to feel comfortable and stand safe in your choice.’

Two blocks from the Phantom comic book showing him fighting homophobes using a rainbow flag

Fantomen. | Photo: Egmont publishing

Lee Falk created The Phantom character in 1936 as a crime-fighting super hero.

The Phantom’s fight against homophobes in the latest Swedish comic book ties into the character’s history of getting political. During the Cold War, The Phantom destroyed nuclear weapons and fought against apartheid in South Africa.

“Basically, the Phantom is always about to do the right thing and to stand on the vulnerable side. It may be against companies that for economic gain ruin our environment or eradicate animal species, and it may be to fight slave trade or stand up for religious freedom,’ Sol said.

Poland’s not happy

The reaction in Poland to the comic book has not been so positive.

Polish broadcaster Telewizja Republika released an English language news report criticizing Sweden and the comic for taking aim at Poland.

‘Sweden is once again being ridiculed for its attempt to be the vanguard of (the) global social justice movement,’ the newsreader said.

On Twitter, the national broadcaster suggested ‘Captain Sweden’ should have been sent to the Pride parade instead.

It then shared a meme created by far-right nationalist groups depicting Captain Sweden in fishnet stockings. In the cartoon he has his foot on a bin labelled ‘cis white scum’.

a crudely drawn cartoon with a man dressed in a swedish flag top wearing fishnet stockings has his foot on a bin saying cis het scum. behind him buildings are on fire.

Captain Sweden. | Photo: Poland Daily

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