Phantom Lady IV
+ Doll Man IV

Created by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Amanda Conner

Phantom Lady IV

NAME + ALIASES:
Jennifer Knight

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Harry Knight and unnamed mother (parents, deceased)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
None

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Phantom Lady #1 (Oct. 2012)

APPEARANCES:

Phantom Lady #1-4 (2012)

Doll Man IV

NAME + ALIASES:
Dane Maxwell

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
None

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Phantom Lady #1 (Oct. 2012)

APPEARANCES:

Phantom Lady #1-4 (2012)

+ History

Robert Bender murders Jennifer's parents. From Phantom Lady #1 (2012). Art by Cat Staggs and Tom Derenick.

The new heroes are Jennifer Knight (originally Sandra Knight) and Dane Maxwell (originally Darrel Dane). Their personal lives are intertwined, having known each other since childhood. And they share a romantic connection (so no Doll Girls on the horizon here!).

Jennifer's story is similarly tied into that of her father's, Harry Knight, a renown writer for the Daily Planet. When Jen was six, Knight's stories about Robert Bender, head of the Bender crime family, earned him and his wife a ticket to early graves.

Like so many super-heroes, Jennifer became motivated by grief and so she took up her father's former profession and became a journalist herself. She was so bold as to go after the family's new boss, Cyrus Bender, widely considered to have killed his own father. Her byline appeared mostly on stories about Metropolis nightlife, but she wrote about the Benders anonymously. They found her out, threatened her, and beat her friend. In the commotion, she stole Cyrus's cell phone and took it directly to her number one confidant—Dane Maxwell.

       
Left: Cover of issue #1. Art by Amanda Conner.
Right: Jennifer and her oldest friend (and occasional lover), inventor Dane Maxwell. From Phantom Lady #1 (2012).

Maxwell was a technological genius with a lab headquartered in his own junkyard.  The two of them have an off-and-on sexual relationship (and some unrequited feelings from Dane). Jennifer had Dane hack the phone and he discovered video of Cyrus murdering his father. Knowing that this kind of information could get Jen killed, he mailed the phone back to Bender and copied the video. But foolishly, he'd used the phone and the Benders tracked them down to the junkyard.

Bender's men shot Jennifer in the leg and Dane retreated inside one of his experiments—a cell made to test the process of miniaturization. The thugs turned on the machine and Dane apparently disappeared into smoke. They left with Jennifer and Dane emerged—shrunken to no more than six inches tall. (Phantom Lady #1)

Doll Man's debut, from Phantom Lady #2 (2012).
Art by Cat Staggs and Tom Derenick.

Bender tortured Jennifer instead of killing her. When he and his men left, Dane came to her rescue—in costume, sporting a mask and armor outfitted with a jet pack and laser weapons. When they returned to his lab, he bestowed her with weapons of her own. One that allows her to become intangible. The others were gauntlets controlled by a neural interace woven into the hood of her uniform. With them, she could fashion shadowy matter into any form.

The two spent some time at Calvin City Lake where they trained and Jennifer coined her own codename: Phantom Lady. In turn she suggested some for Dane, settling on Doll Man because his clothes were made for dolls (he doesn't like it). While sparring, Dane experienced the nature of her shadows: like death, a different plane, claustrophobic.

After they began their costumed campaign against the Benders, Cyrus hired his own meta-muscle: Funerella. Notes: Calvin City was the home of the Golden Age Atom. Funerella was a villain in the 2010 Freedom Fighters series; she looks the same here. (#2)

+ Powers

Dane Maxwell invented Phantom Lady's formidable blacklight gloves. The gloves are controlled by a neural interace woven into the hood of her uniform. They give her the ability to manipulate a form of shadow-matter called "hard light," and to move within shadows (an ability which mirrors much of what her immediate predecessor could do). She can create, mold, and bend shadows to her will using her gauntlets. They can become solid, malleable, and also allow her to "shadow slide" between locations via the darkness. The shadowy void is one of total sadness, like death, and claustrophobic.  A second device allows her to make herself immaterial. Her uniform requires recharging every two hours.

This is very similar to the powers of DC's other  heroine, Nightshade (originally a Charlton character)

As Doll Man, Dane Maxwell wears a masked, armored outfit with a jet pack on the back and laser weapons on his wrists. Even at his six inch size, he carries the weight of a 200 lb. man.