The Chicago Sun-Times wrote about a publisher from Wisconsin producing a comic called Phantom Phoenix, which is aimed at Catholic family audiences, set a century ago, and draws from historical figures for inspiration:
When Wisconsin publishers Phil Kosloski and Michael LaVoy wanted to broaden their publishing house’s offerings, they looked to a bit of little-known Chicago history for their first comic book series.
Coming out in May, “The Phantom Phoenix” will be the first comic book from their Voyage Comics & Publishing, a Wisconsin publisher that specializes in Catholic-oriented entertainment.
“We create good, quality stories that have a universal message that is uplifting and also family-friendly,” says Kosloski, the founder. “It’s hard to be original or to create a superhero that is different than all the rest. What we wanted to do with ‘Phantom Phoenix’ is create an unlikely superhero.”
Chicago circa the 1920s is the backdrop for the comic book series.
“Phoenix” is Martin Claver, a Black homeless war veteran. He and Josephine Wilson, a Black Chicago police officer, are the comic book’s main characters. They were inspired by lesser-known historical figures, some with Chicago connections.
Wilson — who helps women and children and is growing suspicious of corruption in the police department — was inspired by two real-life Chicago cops: Grace Wilson, the city’s first Black female police officer, and Alice Clement, the first woman in the department to be a detective.
Claver’s character — an ace World War I fighter pilot who suffered a devastating leg injury in combat — was inspired by Eugene Bullard, an U.S.-born, Black fighter pilot who fought for France, and St. Moses the Strong, a fourth century ascetic monk who came from a life of crime.
See, this is also the right way to cast POC in a story – by creating new characters. And they have the additional significance of drawing from early figures in law enforcement and aviation for building their characters on. And provided they ensure the merit of the finished product is good, that’ll make this a very admirable production, in contrast to the mainstream, who’re flubbing everything even as we speak.
Originally published here.