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Phantom Eagle

Real Name: Karl Kaufman
Occupation: Pilot
Identity: Secret
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 single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Freedom's Five
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 Blood.

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.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown

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.

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