Was Orson Welles influenced by THE PHANTOM? The above panels are from a 1940 comic strip storyline by Lee Falk. As you can see, the hero uses a hall of mirrors to confuse a villain, driving the villain to shoot at mirrors maniacally. This exact same scenario happens during the climax of Orson Welles’ 1947 LADY FROM SHANGHAI, which is based on Sherwood King’s 1938 novel IF I DIE BEFORE I WAKE. The novel, by all accounts, does not feature the “Hall of Mirrors” scene. This scene is also paid homage in Woody Allen’s MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY.
If Welles was inspired by THE PHANTOM, it only cements his place as one of the great cornerstones of nerd media. It also once again proves just how influential The Phantom’s adventures were.