Space Phantoms are an alien species that feature in Marvel Comics.
According to one account, the Space Phantoms were inhabitants of the planet Phantus who had mastered the many intricacies of time travel long before they had attempted space travel. This development saw them make use of time travel to declare war on one another where they used it as a platform to either launch their attacks or escape them. Their use of time travel, however, did not confer mastery of it to them and its constant use began to ravage the temporal balance of their homeworld which created diverging possibilities caused by the endless chronal wars. One member of the species was determined to survive and fled the world in a chronal capsule but it became damaged leading to him being stranded in Limbo. Once there, he encountered the realm's ruler Immortus where a deal was struck between the two whereby the Phantom brought subjects to study and in return he would be given the power of physical displacement. Despite despising Immortus, the Space Phantom obeyed his new master and infiltrated both Earth and the Avengers. This events were opportunities, however, for the Phantom to study the planet itself and determine if it was ripe for conquest by his kind once Phantus died from time-induced entropy. (Thor v1 #281)
During his quest to uncover the past of the Celestials, Thor encounters the Space Phantom who asked for his help in saving his home planet. Phantus by this point was stuck between Limbo and the normal chronal universe with it eventually being destroyed by the vortex in the planet's core. Thor agreed to help the Phantom after his hammer had been lost with the creature stating that it was in the core. However, this was a trick as the Space Phantom intended for Thor to serve as a cosmic plug to stop the vortex from destroying his homeworld. (Thor v1 #281) Thor managed to escape though still agreed to save Phantus where Immortus provided his hammer back to him but stated that the act of blasting Phantus out of Limbo and into the regular time/space continuum would have drained Mjolnir of its power. Despite this being the case, Thor Odinson decided to do it anyway in order to save the planet. (Thor v1 #282) In reality, this was a deception made by Immortus designed to rob Thor of his abilities to travel through time. (Avengers Forever v1 #8)
Deception was an ethic that was a cultural trait within Space Phantom society as they saw no honor in negotiation. Similarly, it was not within the ethics of their species to give thanks for acts of kindness done to them. (Thor v1 #282)
- The Space Phantom was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby where he made his first appearance in Avengers v1 #2 (November 1963).
- Originally, the Space Phantom was a single alien but the idea of their being multiple Space Phantoms who were the agents of Immortus was revealed in Avengers Forever v1 #8.
- In The Marvel Super Heroes episodes "The Space Phantom", "Sting of the Wasp" and "Exit of the Hulk" the Space Phantom arrives on Earth among passing meteors and changed to his natural form where he planned to conquer the planet. He planned to infiltrate the Avengers after observing them prior to his arrival and took a human form but because two identical objects could not occupy the same place it meant that the original was banished to limbo which was a dimension between shadow and substance. At the Avengers Mansion, he is confronted by the Hulk who gets banished to limbo with the Space Phantom taking his form whereupon he creates a fight between them and starts attacking different sites. He later impersonates several Avengers during his battle with the team but is defeated when he attempts to impersonate Thor but the power of the Asgardian meant the Space Phantom instead is banished into limbo.
- In The Super Hero Squad episode "Revenge of the Baby Sat!", the Space Phantoms were shown to be the inhabitants of limbo which is a dimension where all timelines intersect and guarded the Time Tower. A temporal energy bubble causes Thor, Falcon and Scarlet Witch to regress into toddlers leading to Thor, Miss Marvel and HERBIE travelling into limbo to find a means of reversing the process. Upon arrival, they are attacked by Space Phantoms who were defending their realm until Thor reveals that they came in peace. The Space Phantom tells them that what they seek resides in the Time Tower and guides them to the structure. Arriving at the site, the Space Phantoms that were guarded the site were revealed to had been defeated by Doctor Doom and his allies who were seeking to control all of time. HERBIE manages to patch into the Tower and bring the child Super Hero Squad members who defeat Doom who gets turned into a toddler and left within the company of the Space Phantoms who regain control of limbo.
- In Avengers Assemble episode "Ghost of a Chance", the Space Phantoms appear as dark ghostly entities made of dark matter and native to the extradimensional realm of limbo. They claim that they had conquered many worlds but had long coveted Earth with one of their kind enters when Tony Stark develops as a machine that causes a rift into their home dimension. The Space Phantom takes Hawkeyes form and re-uses the machine to allow more of his brethren to emerge which begin to replace the Avengers leaving only Falcon behind. He manages to enter into limbo and aids the Avengers in fighting off the extradimensional invasion whereupon they destroy the machine to prevent the gateway from being opened again. During the battle, Captain America is the person who refers to the alien as Space Phantoms.
- Avengers v1 #2: "The Avengers Battle the Space Phantom" (1963)
- Thor v1 #281: "This Hammer Lost!" (1979)
- Thor v1 #282: "Rite of Passage"
- Avengers Forever v1 #8: