Ethics & Moral Code
The greatest distinction between The Phantom and other costumed heroes, aside from the legend of his immortality, are his physical conditioning and his faultless morality. And the latter is likely the source of his appeal as one of the most enduring strip characters in comics history.
Any creator should seek to understand the Phantom’s motivation and philosophy if they seek to remain true to the character of The Phantom. It is worth exploring the accepted ethical philosophies as they apply to The Phantom to gain a greater understanding of why he does what he does.
The Phantom’s origins were in the 16th Century, when formal education included the classics and a grounding in philosophy. The man who would become the First Phantom, and his father were both sailors in a world of injustice and adversity.
Aristotlean or Values based ethics – This is the most appropriate label for The Phantom if we are going to assign him one. It is particularly fitting given Lee Falk’s classical influence and The Phantom’s foundation being inspired by Greek mythology, including displaying the eyes with no pupils like Greek statues.
This philosophy is based on living a life of moral character. The belief that if one embodies their values completely, they will live a life true to those values, regardless of the situation. This ideally sums up what drives The Phantom in his interactions. By honing virtuous habits, people will make the right decision when facing ethical challenges.