The Phantom Blot is a recurring villain from Disney who is arguably one of Mickey Mouse's most recurring foes next to Peg Leg Pete himself - The Phantom Blot is also one of the most dangerous villains in the Disney universe (at least the part in which Mickey Mouse resides in).
This was not always the case, however, and originally The Phantom Blot was simply a hooded thief whom Mickey helped capture, it was not until later that The Phantom Blot would evolve into a criminal mastermind and a much bigger threat to the security of the world - adding such sinister abilities as hypnotism, manipulation, great knowledge of psychology, blackmailing and a mastery of escape into his arsenal: making him more formidable.
HistoryThe Phantom Blot has minor relationships with other Disney Villains as well, such as the Beagle Boys (from Duck Tales) and Mad Madam Mim (from Sword In The Stone) - unfortunately for poor Blot, Madame Mim is apparently haplessly in love with him despite him thinking of her as a complete lunatic (which she technically is). Then, making a cameo with the Episode "In Like Blunt" of (Darkwing Duck), Those villains of Disney Character TV, is Stole a The S.H.U.S.H Agency List.
The Phantom Blot was originally the main antagonist of the video game Epic Mickey - which has Mickey reimagined in a much darker setting than most fans remember and most of the corruption is down to The Phantom Blot. In Epic Mickey, the Phantom Blot is also re-envisioned as a more demonic figure, he is also considerably more powerful and lords over a dark version of a world originally designed to be the home to forgotten Disney characters and rides of the past (amongst them Oswald the Lucky Rabbit). Phantom Blot is also renamed in Epic Mickey, going by the alter-ego of Shadow Blot - he is no longer a cloaked man but an actual living puddle of ink. The original version of the Phantom Blot was originally going to be in the game as a villain, but was taken out because it would be too confusing to tell which blot people were talking about: the criminal or the ink monster.
The Phantom Blot, or simply "The Blot", made his first appearance in Mickey Mouse Outwits The Phantom Blot. In this story, Chief O'Hara hires Mickey to capture this new criminal who calls himself The Blot. According to O'Hara, he is the smartest thief they've ever met. Detective Casey, however, calls this new criminal a loony. The only thing he steals is cameras of a special type and he smashes them open on the spot. The strange crime and the motive behind it resembles closely the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Six Napoleons. In the end, Blot is captured and unmasked. Most later stories featuring the villain don't unmask him, in order to give him a more mysterious character.
Many artists and writers have furthered the Phantom Blot throughout the years. The first re-appearance was in the Italian story Topolino e il doppio segreto di Macchia Nera, written by Guido Martina and drawn by Romano Scarpa, published in 1955 in issues 116-119 of Topolino, the main Italian Disney magazine. In the United States, after a long absence, he was revived in the serial "The Return of The Phantom Blot" (drawn by Paul Murry) that ran in issues 284-287 (May–August 1964) of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. This was followed by a comic book series of seven issues (1964 to 1966) devoted to the Blot and his crimes. He next turned up in the mid-1970s in two issues of Super Goof written by Mark Evanier and drawn by Roger Armstrong. Comic book historian Joe Torcivia notes Armstrong was the first to draw the character with a mouth, making him look like a shadow instead of someone under a black cloak. This convention has since been followed by many artists, including Murry.
The Phantom Blot was unmasked at the end of Mickey Mouse Outwits The Phantom Blot. The Phantom Blot's gaunt face and thin mustaches, as revealed at the end of Mickey Mouse Outwits The Phantom Blot, were reportedly based on the features of Walt Disney himself. While still being a criminal, he usually operates as the mastermind behind gangs rather than as a common crook. He prefers pulling strings rather than being directly involved.
During his career, he steals large amounts of money and invests them in business. His relative wealth allows him to finance his ambitious plans. He is a skillful hypnotist, and occasionally uses this skill to force others to do his bidding. He has even ordered Mickey himself to act as a criminal in order to frame him. He has quite a talent in acting. The Blot often operates in disguise and has acted under various aliases and identities, adopting many different personalities to suit his parts. He has some scientific knowledge (mainly in physics, mechanics and biology), and has often used this in his plans. He has invented various devices he uses as weapons. He claims to have an artistic nature and has considerable skill in painting, which he uses to create forgeries of famous works of art. He later proceeds in stealing the original and leaving his copy behind.
He seems to have ways to get information about everything that is going on in the city and even from the police headquarters. His ways of persuading others to follow him include using their own greed, promising them means of revenge or blackmailing them. He enjoys seducing citizens with no criminal records to act as his agents. He has a fairly good knowledge of psychology and is very skilled in spreading fear to his victims, causing them to doubt their relationships and (in some cases) even their own sanity. He often uses their vanity to turn them into pawns.
He is a master of escape. Even if the police do manage to capture and imprison him (which rarely happens), he is soon out again. Other times, he takes advantage of the terrain or weather. In one issue, where he is attempting a robbery on a winter night, he is seen in his normal black outfit. Goofy, who has taken a job as a night watchman, is patrolling the businesses when the Blot realizes he must abort his plans and says "I always come prepared", where he removes his black robes and replaces them with white ones, allowing himself to camouflage with the snowy streets. Though he desires money and power, his greatest lust is for fame. Some of his plans have no monetary gain for him, but their purpose is to spread fear to the public, adding to his reputation. The Blot is, himself, very vain and his desire for money and power is only surpassed by his desire to immortalize his name in "the annals of crime".
Along with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Scrooge McDuck, Gyro Gearloose, Super Goof, Eega Beeva, Minnie Mouse, and Chief O'Hara have all encountered the Blot, and thus successfully tried to stop him. The Blot sometimes teams up with other bad guys like the Beagle Boys and Mad Madam Mim, who is madly in love with him (while he considers her a lunatic). At the height of the villain's popularity, he was given his own comic book, The New Adventures of the Phantom Blot, which lasted for seven issues. Recently, the Phantom Blot has appeared as a major antagonist in the Ducktales and Darkwing Duck comics published by Boom! Studios, uniting various villains from both series.
The Blot's Daughter
The Blot has a daughter: she appeared for the first time in the last panel of "The Big Fall" in Mickey Mouse Adventures #7, and then soon after in "A Phantom Blot Bedtime Story" in #8. Apparently, there was a plan to make her a regular character, but that never happened. She was called "Phantom Brat" in the editorial page of issue 8, although with quotation marks around her name, so it is unclear whether that was her actual name.
His depiction in Disney comics has varied with the artists using him: in stories published by Egmont, as well as French stories, he is always shown wearing his hood, while in Italian ones, he frequently appears unmasked, sometimes not wearing his cloak at all. In these, he wears everyday clothes and is unmasked, though he is still up to criminal schemes ranging from robbery and smuggling to espionage, sabotage and extortion.
French translators often took liberties with Italian material and apparently decided that the Phantom Blot's appearances without his cloak and mask should be classified as depicting a completely different character. In the French translations of the Italian stories where the Blot appeared unmasked, he was frequently given the name Jo Crisse (a term usually used as a form of insult), while he retained his Italian name Macchia Nera in the original Italian versions. In European stories, he is often presented as a more dangerous figure than the American version. While still trying to kill Mickey and his allies, he has other agendas as well. He has also frequently clashed with Super Goof.
The Phantom Blot, under his new name "Lord of Deception", appeared as the main villain in the Italian comic book saga Wizards of Mickey, unmasked, though he still operates by pulling strings. Depicted as a powerful evil sorcerer, the Phantom Blot seeks to reconfigurate the Diamagics (also dubbed "Crystals"), special gemstones that are actually fragmented pieces of the Great Crown (also sometimes known as the "Supreme Sorcerer's Crown" or "Sorcerer Supreme's Crown"), a magical golden relic that will anyone who wears it to become the Supreme Sorcerer (often referred to as "Sorcerer Supreme") and rule ove the magical world of Dolmen. He formed the evil band of magicians called Black Phantom (also commonly known as "Team Black Phantom") comprising Pete and the Beagle Boys, and he employed them to help him recover the missing pieces. At the end of the first arc in a battle with Mickey Mouse, he is defeated and trapped in a shadowy form resembling an inky version of his cloaked appearance. In the second arc, he succeeds in manipulating Mickey into dabbling more in dark magic and also manages to bring Minnie Mouse under his control leading to a battle between the two. He was defeated in the end of the comic book saga and Mickey later became the Supreme Sorcerer of Dolmen.
In the Italian comic series Darkenblot, he and Mickey are put into a futuristic world, where he is given a slightly altered design.
The Phantom Blot's first appearance in animation was in the DuckTales episode "All Ducks on Deck", voiced by Frank Welker. In that episode, he steals a secret bomber (which can turn invisible) from the Navy aircraft carrier on which Donald Duck serves, planning to make more invisible planes so that he can take over the world.
The Phantom Blot later appeared in a short featured on Mickey Mouse Works, based on the comic strips in which he first appeared in, titled "Mickey Foils the Phantom Blot" and originally broadcast on November 7, 1999. In this short, he steals a "radium card" from Ludwig Von Drake and uses it to rob every bank in the world. As the title suggests, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy manage to foil his plans. The short was double the length of most of the shorts featured on the series and is considered by many Disney fans to be the best of the Mickey Mouse Works shorts.
The Blot soon reappeared in another Mouse Works short titled "Mickey and the Color Caper", this one featured in the Disney's House of Mouse episode "Where's Minnie?" In this short, the Blot is now stealing colors from everything in the world, including Minnie Mouse. As Mick Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy went on an investigation, they bumped into the Phantom Blot's vehicle, who appears from it with a ray gun that drains the trio of their colors. He then drove away to his secret hideout. There, he went up to a picture of his parents and complained about how he's bored with his inky black cloth. He then triggers a device that pours the colors all over his body, turning him into the "Phantom Rainbow." Just then, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy appeared before him, telling him that they're returning the colors to their rightful owners. The Phantom Rainbow shot a beam from his finger at Donald, turning his body pink. Mickey grabs a rope and swings around the room with Phantom Blot repeatedly shooting several colorful beams at him. Mickey knocked him over, but the Phantom Blot shot him that time, turning his body blue and causing him to fall right by the machine. As Goofy was worried that they're losing, he began to run around, wondering what to do, until he fell down onto a lever, causing the machine to reverse. As the Phantom Rainbow corners Mickey, he was about to turn him black and white again with his ray gun until the contraption he was standing under begins to drains him of his colors and reverts him back to black ink-like state. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy escaped his lair before it exploded, due to his machine overloading, causing the world to be colorful again.
The Blot made one more appearance so far in the House of Mouse episode "House of Crime", which was wrapped around his first Mouseworks short. Here, he is stealing things from all over the house and then kidnaps various characters both good and evil. Unbeknownst to everyone, the Blot was hiding in a device that Ludwig Von Drake has invented to give out clues to find the criminal, so he continually makes the machine give out clues that don't lead the good guys anywhere. After everybody but him disappears, Mickey soon figures out that the Blot is behind this and corners him. In his attempt to escape on his newly-repaired blimp from his first Mickey Mouse Works appearance (shown as the featured cartoon earlier), it pops and the Blot is foiled once again. In both Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse, the Blot was voiced by John O'Hurley.
The character (known as Mancha Negra in Disney's Brazilian comics - Portuguese for Black Stain) is used as a symbol by various Brazilian associations of soccer fans (or torcidas organizadas), in order to feature their team colors, like Palmeiras' Mancha Alviverde (one of most famous Brazilian fans' associations, that features a totally green Phantom Blot), Cruzeiro's Mancha Azul (a blue one) and Vasco da Gama's Mancha Negra (where Phantom Blot keeps his original black color). There's also a samba school named "Mancha Verde", also associated with Palmeiras, that uses also a Green Phantom Blot as its symbol. An altered version of the Phantom Blot appears in the videogame Epic Mickey as the primary villain, known as the "Shadow Blot".
- Unmasked, the Phantom Blot looks like Walt Disney himself.
- He is unable to kill someone, so he creates torture machine or plans that will lead his foes to kill themselves.
- In today's European comics books, he often appears to be bloothirsty when it comes to kill Mickey Mouse.
- In an Italian comic book gag series "Topomiti", placing the Mouscatown inhabitants in the ancient Greek mythology, he played the role of Hades.
- The Phantom Blot is also one of the many Disney Villains who is added by many fans in many Kingdom Hearts fanfiction. It is even notable that he is even turned into a half-Heartless throughout the series.
- The Blot's kidnapping of the entire audience of the House of Mouse (which included almost every major and minor Disney character from movies and shorts that existed prior to the series such as Maleficent, Jafar, The Genie, the Wizard from Fantasia, Ursula, Neptune, The Horned King, Chernabog and even Hades and Zeus) may cement the Phantom Blot as one of the most powerful characters in the Disney universe.
- In the Wizards of Mickey series, he always carries a gold medallion with the letter "M" on it and intentionally as part of his evil plan, temporarily etched on the front gate of the Fang Castle before his defeat by Mickey Mouse's hands. Meaning that probably his real name is "Mob" (a word meaning a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence), which is a play on his alias "Bob".
- AniMat refers the Phantom Blot as the Disney version of Sideshow Bob.