I'd blissfully forgotten that Lee Falk's classic comic strip The Phantom was being updated by Syfy for a TV miniseries. But then the cable channel had to ruin my happy ignorance by releasing a trailer for what could easily be mistaken as a holdover from the late-'90s/early '00s heyday of the syndicated action-adventure (think Cleopatra 2525 or Mutant X).
Judging from the trailer, the creators seem to have stripped The Phantom of most of its distinguishable elements -- the African setting, the Jungle Patrol, Skull Cave, the white horse, the gray wolf -- leaving a pretty generic drama about a young man (Desperate Housewives' Ryan Carnes) who's approached by a shadowy, fedora-wearing organization to "assume the mantle" of his forefathers and battle injustice. The trademark purple bodysuit is still there, if only so young Kit Walker can scoff at it -- not that I blame him, mind you -- opting instead for a purple knit cap and then a costume that could very well be a refugee from the set of M.A.N.T.I.S. (That's the outfit in question at right. Suddenly Hawkman's ensemble from Smallville doesn't look so silly, does it?)
The Phantom debuts June 20 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy (so you've been warned). You can watch the trailer below.