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Kenneth Stanton (Earth-616) 002

Kenneth Stanton

Kenneth Stanton was a lawyer employed by the wealthy millionaire John J. Curtis. By 1947 he had owed massive gambling debts to photographer Bruce Fearing, who happened to be dating his employer's daughter Joyce at the time. In order to pay his debts, Kenneth embezzled money from the Curtis Trust Fund. When Bruce learned this, he threatened to expose Kenneth's theft. Kenneth then ended up learning that Bruce's partner at the Hi-Style Studio -- Armand Wright -- sought to become sole owner of the company and the two conspired to murder Bruce. To this end, they took advantage of one of Bruce and Joyce's regular arguments about Bruce's drinking and gambling addictions. When Bruce dared Joyce to shoot him with his own gun, Kenneth and Armand knocked the two out with a camera that released a chloroform gas. While the two were dazed, they shot Bruce dead and placed the gun in Joyce's hand. When Joyce revived she was horrified, wiped her prints from the gun and fled the scene. Telling her father, John decided to keep it quiet so that his daughter would not have to go to jail.

Kenneth then continued to plot to recoup the money he lost by developing the guise of the Photo Phantom. Doctoring a photo that made it look like Joyce had shot Bruce, he sent a ransom note to John hoping to recoup the money lost and put it back in the trust fund before anyone noticed that he had embezzled it. However, when his first ransom note was delivered, John Curtis called in the Human Torch and Toro to investigate the threat. The Torch and Toro suggested that John follow the ransom instructions so that they could catch the man responsible. Unaware that Kenneth was the one making the ransom, John had Kenneth drive him to the abandoned warehouse and told him the plan. When changing into the Photo Phantom, Kenneth was able to stash a fire extinguisher which he used against he Torch and Toro when they interfered and fled with the stolen money, then quickly changed back to his civilian guise and waited out in the car, leaving the heroes and John none the wiser.

Later, when the Torch and Toro were investigating at the Hi-Style Studio, evidence implicating Kenneth was found by employee Lolita Hillson who called out to the heroes. However, before they could come to her the Photo Phantom gunned her down and tried to steal the negative she found that implicated him. When the Torch and Toro attempted to capture him he tossed a bottle of flammable developing fluid at the pair forcing them to pull back. However, they found part of the negative in Lolita's hands and deduced that Kenneth was the Photo Phantom. Realizing this, Kenneth took Joyce hostage to keep the Torch and Toro at bay long enough for Armande to knock them out. They then tied the trio up in asbestos rope and explained their entire plot. They then plotted to eliminate the trio by snapping a camera that would fire a powerful acid. However the Torch managed to flame on his foot and kick a fireball at the camera causing the volatile acid to explode, freeing the captives and knocking Kenneth and Armande out. They were then turned over to the authorities. Although the Torch alluded to the fact that they would be executed for their crimes of murder, their ultimate fate is unknown. [1]

Powers

No known paranormal powers.




Equipment

As the Photo Phantom, Kenneth used a specially rigged camera that would spray chemicals such as chlorine gas and Trychotolene acid.

Weapons

Kenneth wielded a pistol.

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