Updated: Sep 7, 2020
The other day, I saw a group of children playing with tiny replica of super heroes. I could spot most of the modern generation super heroes like Spider man, Superman, X-man, Ironman, wonder women. My eyes scanned for my favorite ones - the two very pioneers in the business, Phantom – ‘The Ghost who walks’ and Mandrake – ‘The Magician’. They were the super heroes till the series of ‘Men’ took over the arena and a bit later the ‘Women folks’ joined the bandwagon. My super heroes were a bit unlucky. They lived in an era when the Television had not reached the common household and the software for cartoon creation and adding wonderful effects were non-existent, forget the hi-fi weapons that the modern ones possess. We were to content with the comic strips in the newspaper and in the very rare comic books, mostly in black and white, till the colour printing became common much later.
Phantom’s official residence was at the Eden island, a beautiful island in the deep woods of Bangalla, all surrounded by piranha infested waters. Kit Walker, the 21st generation from the clan, was the phantom in charge during our times. Though, he used to live mostly in the forest, he was well educated and sophisticated – and we all celebrated his marriage to Diana Palmer, during the early 80’s. He had a few close associates like Guran - the tribal chief, Devil – a wolf, Hero – a white horse, Fraka – a falcon, lions, dolphins and many animals. He used to fight with bare hands, always leaving a scar of a skull mark on the enemy’s face, with the ring he wears on his right hand.
On the contrary, Mandrake – the magician, my other super hero, lived in Xanadu - a high tech mansion in New York, mostly remained in a magician costume – a hat, cloak and wand, passed down to him from his father Theron. He had mastered the techniques like hypnotism, levitation and teleporting and had powers to become invincible. Narda – originally a princess and a model by profession, was his wife. Lothar – the strongest man in the world, used to be his crime fighting associate. Karma – Lothers’s girlfriend, Hojo – the chef, Bradely – the police chief were the other main associates.
Where are they? No one knows. Probably, once the flashy super heroes with swanky costumes and deadly gadgets flooded the arena, our generation too left tracking them. May be, they both have decided to retire, as they found there were too many heroes in the business – and probably a realization that the brute power and tricks are no more significant in this crime filled world. But I miss my super heroes, Phantom and Mandrake and dream to watch them again in action again - leading the battalion of super heroes from the front, to fight the crime and wipe out the evil.