Name: Karl Kaufman
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Other Aliases: None known
Place of Birth: Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Place of Death: Alsace, France
Marital Status: Presumed
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Freedom's
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: MARVEL
SUPER HEROES #16
Final Appearance: GHOST RIDER (second series) #12
History: Karl Kaufman was an expert pilot who
had been born in America of German parents who had since
returned to their homeland. He wanted to use his piloting
skills in missions against the Germans during World War
I but feared reprisals against his parents. To protect
them, Kaufman adopted the masked identity of the Phantom
Eagle. The Phantom Eagle engaged in many aerial battles,
downed a remarkable number of German planes, and thus
became known as perhaps the greatest aerial warrior of
the First World War.
The Phantom Eagle joined the Freedom's Five, a team of
costumed operatives who were instrumental in bringing
about a number of significant victories for the Allies
during World War I. The Phantom Eagle was the sole American
member of Freedom's Five. One of the greatest adversaries
that the Eagle battled as a member of the group was Baron
One night shortly before the war's end, the Phantom Eagle
flew to his parents' home in Germany so he could fight
the Germans under his own name. He was discovered by a
German pilot, Hermann von Reitberger, who slaughtered
Kaufman and his parents with machine gun fire while they
were still on the ground. Determined to gain his vengeance
on von Reitberger, the Phantom Eagle's spirit remained
on Earth. Only a week after his corporeal death, the Phantom
Eagle, flying a ghostly plane, shot von Reitberger's plane
out of the sky. Von Reitberger survived, but was too frightened
to fly again. For decades the Phantom Eagle's ghost haunted
von Reitberger. Sometimes von Reitberger somehow managed
to escape from the ghost for years at a time, but inevitably
the Eagle caught up with him.
Finally, in recent years, Johnny
Blaze, who was then the Ghost Rider, encountered both
the aged von Reitberger and the Phantom Eagle's pursuing
ghost. Driven to desperation, von Reitberger challenged
the Eagle to aerial combat. Von Reitberger piloted a World
War I plane in order to battle the Eagle in his spectral
one. During the combat, the Eagle maneuvered von Reitberger
into crashing his plane into a hangar. Von Reitberger
died in the crash, and the spirit of Karl Kaufman, finally
freed from his mission of vengeance, finally passed from
the mortal plane.
Height: 5 ft. 11 in.
Weight: 175 lbs.
Strength Level: The Phantom Eagle possessed the
normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and
build who engaged in moderate regular exercise.
Known Superhuman Powers: When he was alive, the
Phantom Eagle possessed no superhuman powers.
Other Abilities: The Phantom Eagle was an extraordinary
pilot, exceptionally skillful in aerial combat. He was
also a good hand-to-hand combatant.