DC Database

The man who became known as the Phantom of Washington was once a French soldier named Achille Destinee.

In the 18th Century, he served in the Napoleonic Wars as a military engineer and general under Napoleon Bonaparte himself. When Napoleon invaded Egypt, Destinee explored the underground tombs where he discovered an ancient device capable of wielding incalculable power. After the war, he relocated from France to the United States where he was an apprentice under patriotic statesman Benjamin Franklin.

In 1814, Destinee approached President James Madison and offered his services to repel the British invasion. He showed him his artifact and swore that he could save the capitol. Madison rebuked his offer believing Destinee to be little more than a crackpot. Destinee decided to take matters into his own hands, so he rode off towards the Capitol Building determined to destroy the British soldiers. One soldier got the drop on him however, and fatally stabbed him with his bayonet. Before dying, Destinee hid his artifact inside the dome of the Capitol Building and swore that he would rise from the grave to haunt those too ungrateful to accept his aid.

The first recorded sighting of the Phantom of Washington was in 1861 when he appeared before President Abraham Lincoln at the onset of the American Civil War. He appeared again to President Woodrow Wilson at the early days of World War I. He appeared again in the presidential limousine of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in December of 1941 on the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Little is known of the ghost's activities following World War II, but for the fact that he usually appeared at the onset of a war, always offering the same advice he once presented to President Madison.

Enraged that no one would ever accept his aid, the Phantom decided to take his anger out upon the entire city. He used the spectral powers at his disposal to wreak havoc with notable landmarks including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building. Rex Mason, the hero known as Metamorpho, was present in the city during this string of attacks and used his elemental powers to combat the Phantom. During the melee, greedy inventor Simon Stagg stole the artifact and took it to Fort Knox in the hopes of using it to purloin the gold reserve. The Phantom and Metamorpho followed Stagg's trail, and the Phantom entered a sea of molten gold in an effort to retrieve his artifact. Metamorpho caused a chemical reaction in the liquid gold that dispelled the essence of the Phantom, seemingly for all time. Presumably, the Phantom's Egyptian artifact was destroyed as well.



  • This version of Achille Destinee, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • Although sometimes known as Doctor Destiny, Achille Destinee is not to be confused with the Justice League super-villain Doctor Destiny.
  • As a spirit, the Phantom of Washington was intangible, and able to levitate and move through solid objects. He could also become partially substantive, and was able to manipulate physical objects, similar to a poltergeist.
  • The Phantom carried a sword-cane, which was imbued with power siphoned from the Egyptian artifact.



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