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|First appearance:||"The Singh Brotherhood"|
|Created by:||Lee Falk and Ray Moore|
Devil is a character in the American comic strip "The Phantom". He is a grey mountain wolf, found and raised by The 21st Phantom, and remains his ever-faithful companion when it comes to chasing the criminals.
Fictional Character Biography
Devil has been present ever since the first story, "The Singh Brotherhood", but his origins are not stated. More information about his past is given in "Devil's Story", a Team Fantomen story. It shows how the Phantom found Devil under the body of his dead mother, shot down by Colonel Bagshot, a merciless hunter. After his father's death, the Phantom found himself lonely, and takes the cub home, trying to ease his feelings of pain and solitude. He called him initially "Little Devil", since he was heir to the feared mountain wolf Satan.
"Little Devil" went soft, being loved and cared about like a puppy. He was not ready to face wilderness like a genuine wolf. Realising that, the Phantom trains him, teaching him to chase away both beast and man.
So begins their adventures together, and Devil even passes the chance of leading the wild pack of wolves after his father is killed along with Bagshot. It seems he'd rather stay with the Phantom. Over the years and after experiencing many adventures together they develop a very strong bond.
Devil has an advantage over Hero, in that he's able to follow his master into places where the horse wouldn't be able to, so he's more frequent seen with the Phantom fighting crime.
At times, Devil is mistaken for a dog, to which the Phantom readily replies: "he's not a dog, he's a wolf!" The trouble arises especially in planes, when he's told Devil won't be able to board, as they don't allow animals inside. They try to talk the Phantom into boarding him as cargo, but the Phantom said that that would make the wolf deaf. After convincing the attendants with his iron will, he usually ends up boarding with Devil with no further problems, much to the dismay of the other passengers. When they travel by air, the Phantom usually pays Devil's ticket as if he were an human being.
Devil is a faithful and extremely intelligent wolf. He's been portrayed as understanding what the Phantom tells him, and even plotted to save his master from danger several times. He's generally docile to children and friendly people, but when dealing with "roughnecks", he´s not shy to show his deadly fangs, even though he's likely to attack by command of his master, and not to kill.
Diana is affectionate with him. Many times Devil appeared in front of her in the USA, which could only mean that her love, the Phantom, would be right behind. Devil's also very keen of Mrs. Palmer, Diana´s mother, much to her despair, upon learning Devil is actually a savage wolf. These situations in the Palmers' house tend to be quite humorous.
Devil has appeared in a majority of the stories featuring the 21st Phantom. Some of the stories where Devil has featured most prominently are:
- "Tale of Devil" by Lee Falk and Wilson McCoy
- "The Werewolf" by Lee Falk and Wilson McCoy
- "Devil's Story" by Donne Avenell and Georges Bess
- "Devil's Adventure" by Norman Worker and John Stokes
- "Jungle Adventures: Devil in New York" by Sverre Årnes and César Spadari
- "Devil - The Wolf Who Cannot Die" by Hans Lindahl
In Other Media
In the 1943 Phantom movie serial, Devil was played by Ace, the Wonder Dog. This very same dog appeared in several other movies, but it's a German Sheperd, as opposed to the comics, in which Devil is a Wolf.
In the Phantom 2040 cartoon, a police officer has a part-mechanical grey wolf, which she calls DVL. Noticeably, a nod to "Devil". In the opening for the second season, a wolf is briefly shown together with a Phantom, presumably the 21st, at a white horse.
In the 1996 film, Devil was played by several wolves who previously appeared in the famous movie "Dancing with Wolves".