Name: The Space Phantom
Super? (Has Super Powers/Special Abilities/Technology): Yes
Number of Appearances: 28
Enemy of: The Avengers
Worked for: Immortus
Race: Space Phantom
The Space Phantom first appeared in Avengers (vol. 1) #1. He is an alien who has the ability to assume th form of any other person (and even objects). When he assumes somebody's form, the original person is shifted into a nether-dimension known as "Limbo."
The Space Phantom arrived on Earth as a would-be conqueror of the planet. He wanted to conquer the Avengers, confident that doing so would pave the way for his people to conquer all of Earth. But the Space Phantom was defeated by the Avengers.
The Space Phantom's race is known alternatively as "Space Phantoms" or simply "Phantoms."
BELOW: More than mere words: Thor's status as the "God of Thunder" causes the Space Phantom's power to backfire: For the third time in this issue, Thor refers to himself as the "God of Thunder." Here is a demonstration of the fact that this isn't mere braggadocio. Thor's divine nature actually causes the Space Phantom's alien abilities (which are presumably scientifically-based) to backfire. Instead of sending Thor to Limbo, the Space Phantom is himself forced into Limbo. Thor tells the Phantom, "Your power only affects humans!" Of course, we have already seen the Space Phantom's power affect insects and meta-humans (such as the Hulk). But apparently the Space Phantom's power doesn't work on a powerful divine Asgardian deity such as Thor.
Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #2 (Nov. 1963): "The Avengers Battle... the Space Phantom", pg. 21-22. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: gods; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Thor (Donald Blake); The Space Phantom
BELOW: The Wasp senses an evil presence: The Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) here demonstrates an unusual ability sometimes attributed to her in early Marvel stories but later forgotten: the ability to sense evil. In this scene, the Wasp is sensing the evil Space Phantom, who has transformed himself into a wasp in order to escape detection from the Avengers. Comic book writers with a more scientific outlook, such as Mark Gruenwald, have made the point that "evil" is an abstract religious concept and doesn't really have a scientifically discernible physical manifestation, despite how it is sometimes portrayed in comics. Thus, "sensing evil" would be a purely spiritual (or at least mystical ability). Yet the Wasp's powers were given to her by purely scientific means by Hank Pym, a very secular-minded scientist. Wasp's ability to sense "evil" is particularly interesting because throughout her career as a super-hero, she herself has largely been a secular character.
Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #2 (Nov. 1963): "The Avengers Battle... the Space Phantom", pg. 14, panels 4-5. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: evil; The Wasp (Janet van Dyne); The Space Phantom
BELOW: The Wasp's ability to sense evil ascribed to "half female intuition, half insect super-sense": The Wasp's ability to sense "evil" is not explicitly identified as a "spiritual" or "religious" ability (although "evil" is a religious/spiritual concept). Rather , it is said to be "half female intuition, half insect super-sense." Early Marvel writers often spoke of "female intuition" as a mysterious, almost mystical sixth sense.
Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #2 (Nov. 1963): "The Avengers Battle... the Space Phantom", pg. 15, panel 1. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: intution; The Wasp (Janet van Dyne); The Space Phantom
Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: