Some funny timing: Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the release of The Phantom, the adaptation of the old comic strip hero created by Lee Falk. Falk was a prodigious talent who also worked as a theater director and novelist; as a comic-strip creator he also founded the long-running strip Mandrake the Magician, about a guy who used his magic powers (like hypnosis, invisibility, levitation) to fight crime. Created in 1934, Mandrake is sometimes billed as the first superhero. (He arrived about four years before Superman’s debut in Action Comics #1.) And 20 years after The Phantom movie, Mandrake will follow his colleague to the screen.