|Danny Fenton / Danny Phantom|
"Hey, if not me, who's gonna protect this town? Besides, it's not like I can ignore a scream for help."
Danny is the son of scientists Jack and Maddie Fenton. His parents have dedicated their lives to the study and extermination of ghosts to a near obsessive level. While his parents always had their hearts in the right place, the two of them frequently had trouble separating their work from their personal lives. From time to time, their preoccupation with the supernatural left them ignorant to their children's emotional - and sometimes physical - needs. Many times Danny's older sister, Jazz, had to step in and provide the guidance and emotional support that Danny needed. Despite their absent-mindedness, however, Jack and Maddie love their children deeply and care for them to the best of their ability. Danny and Jazz love and respect their parents in return.
Growing up, Danny never had enough money or charisma to be one of the "cool" kids. At school, he resided at the bottom of the social food chain, a common target for bullying by jocks like Dash and Kwan, and never caught the attention of the popular girls he admired like Paulina. In fact, pretty much his only two constant friends were his buddies since middle school, tech geek Tucker Foley and social rebel goth chick Sam Manson. The three of them are very close.
Danny's parents are avid inventors of ghost-hunting technology and weaponry, and occasionally carelessly leave it within reach of their children. That was how the trouble started for Danny. Shortly after he turned fourteen, his parents had completed a device that would open a portal into an alternate dimension called the "Ghost Zone". However, they couldn't get the portal to activate. Curious, Danny brought his two best friends, Tucker and Sam, down to the lab and inspected the device himself. Danny managed to get the portal to activate properly — while he was still inside.
The energy from the Ghost Portal affected Danny's body on a molecular level, altering his DNA and giving him ghost powers. He gained the ability to switch between his human form and a newly-acquired "ghost form", and gained access to ghost powers such as intangibility and flight.
However, the changes in Danny's DNA weren't the only result of the portal's activation. Now that the gateway to the Ghost Zone was open, ghosts began escaping into the human world and wreaking havoc. Danny took it upon himself to use his newfound powers to fight the escaped ghosts and send them back where they belong. He used his new ghost form as a disguise and took on the pseudonym Danny Phantom to fight as his hometown's new superhero.
For the first few months, as Danny was getting used to his powers, he only had to worry about small, weak ghost pests that could go down with a few punches and kicks. The first real test of Danny's ghost-fighting powers came when the ghost of his school's old lunch lady slipped through and went on a violent, meat-themed rampage in response to the school's menu being changed. He not only had to rely on his powers but on strategy to defeat her, and was able to capture her inside his father's newest invention, the Fenton Thermos — a device designed to suck up and store ghosts until they could be safely released into the Ghost Zone.
Danny chose not to tell his parents about his secret new powers. As much as he loved them, he knew how they felt about ghosts, and he was terrified that they might try to dissect him — or worse, obliterate him outright. After all, they had a bit of a history of placing their ghost research above their children's safety. He only shared his secret with Tucker and Sam, who lent their aid in his ghost-fighting escapades however they could.
As more and more powerful ghosts escaped from the Ghost Zone, Danny slowly learned more and more about his powers, himself, and what it means to be both a Good Guy and a good person. With every new power he gained, he learned a lesson in using it responsibly, such as when he learned to Overshadow other people and take control of their bodies. At first he used it to humiliate bullies and manipulate his teacher, but an encounter with a vengeful ghost showed him just how terrifying it can be to lose control of your body. As time passed he began to realize that it's both unfair and dangerous to carelessly use his powers for personal gain. He also began to learn more about how the Ghost Zone worked: Many of the ghosts he fought weren't just monsters, but beings with identities, personalities, hopes and ambitions of their own. He also learned that, in the Ghost Zone, he'd been gaining something of a reputation. There were whispers and rumors among ghosts about the "Halfa" - Half-a-Boy, Half-a-Ghost.
Fate tested all of the lessons Danny had learned up to that point when his family took a vacation up to Wisconsin to visit Jack and Maddie's old college buddy, Vlad Masters. The three had been very close in their younger days until an experiment with a prototype ghost portal exploded onto Vlad's face - literally. He was hospitalized with a terrible case of "Ecto-Acne", thus ruining the remainder of his college career. Jack and Vlad didn't speak to each other for twenty years after that.
As it turns out, Vlad's Ghost Portal accident was very similar to Danny's — up to and including the superpowers Vlad gained from it. Suddenly, Danny learned he was not unique; There was one other person on Earth who had Danny's ghost powers and he had twenty years of extra experience. To add insult to injury, he never learned the lessons in responsibility that Danny did, and used his powers to become a multi-billionaire through very underhanded means. Still, money couldn't win him the one thing he wanted most: Danny's mother. Vlad had stewed for twenty years and become a lonely, bitter old man who wanted revenge on Jack for ruining both his social life and his chances with Maddie.
When Vlad and Danny discovered each other, Vlad wasted no time in pointing out how young, awkward and inexperienced Danny was. He offered to take Danny in and mentor him, but only if Danny was willing to renounce and humiliate his own father. Danny refused outright out of love and respect for his father and was disgusted by Vlad's bitter, vengeful ways and blatant misuse of his powers. Still, Vlad was too powerful for Danny to defeat in combat. He could only stop Vlad's plan for revenge by blackmailing him. Vlad delighted in telling Danny that blackmail is something he would do, too.
It was a wake-up call to show Danny just how much he didn't know about what he was and the things he was fighting, and it shook him up quite a bit. He resolved to improve his skill and make sure he never turned out to be like Vlad. Still, the physical strain of ghost fighting combined with the stress of being a teenager and the fear of his parents finding out began to take its toll on him emotionally. Danny became more frustrated, aggressive, and insecure. He began to lose confidence in himself, though he strived to continue doing what was right regardless.
Soon after Danny had his first real, extended foray into the Ghost Zone when he accidentally lost his father's anniversary present through the portal. What he saw on the other side surprised him - it wasn't just an alternate dimension full of "monsters". The ghosts had, in their own way, formed a sort of anarchic ghost society in their massive pocket dimension. Unfortunately Danny got on the wrong side of a ghost named Walker, who was obsessed with instilling some kind of order in the chaotic dimension. Walker threw Danny into a ghost prison where he met with many of the ghosts he'd fought in the past, none of whom were very pleased with him. However, Danny managed to convince them to work together with him and stage a jail break so they could escape. It was the first of many times that Danny would learn to work with his enemies to achieve a common goal.
The night after the jailbreak, as he was settling into bed, Danny received the Call and Woke Up in Nautilus.
Danny's a typical teenager from an eccentric family and he's managed to grow up with a well-tuned moral compass. He immediately took responsibility for capturing the escaped ghosts upon receiving his powers, showing that he has a good heart and cares about the well-being of others. However, his unusual upbringing (what with his parents being ghost-hunting scientists) left him an outcast at school, and he suffers from perpetually low self-esteem. Danny's extremely insecure about himself and his identity, and is often jumps at the opportunity to improve his reputation. He hides his insecurity behind a thick layer of snark, approaching the world with a dry humor that makes the constant bullying, trouble at school, and stress of crimefighting a bit more bearable as a whole.
In general, Danny is an underachiever in his daily life. It's not that he doesn't know the material at school, he just has less time to study now that he's fighting ghosts - and admittedly, he's often too lazy to begin or complete his schoolwork at a reasonable time. There have been hints that he's a lot smarter than he gives himself credit for, but low confidence, low drive, and less time means he doesn't get the chance to shine. However, this lazy attitude doesn't apply to his ghost hunting in the slightest. Danny knows he's the only one who can go up against the ghost threat plaguing his town, so when he goes into battle, he gives it his all.
Despite his low self-esteem, or perhaps because of it, Danny approaches the life with a mix of humor, cynicism and sarcasm. He's quick to make a joke or a pun about any situation, especially in battle. When the stakes get high, however, he knows how to buckle down and take the situation seriously. While he's outwardly friendly, that cynical attitude makes it difficult for many people to get very close to Danny. If and when you do get close, however, you've gained a loyal and protective friend for life. A quick way to bypass his emotional defenses is to enjoy the same nerdy things he does. Danny loves video games, comic books, and action movies, and is interested in Astronomy (he wants to be an astronaut).
Lately - particularly since going up against Vlad and only winning through blackmail - Danny's been feeling very down about his own powers, or lack thereof. Knowing there are far more powerful ghosts out there that he couldn't even scratch troubles him deeply. He's begun to internalize the stress and negative feelings and is much harder on himself as a result.
- Ghost Aura - Even in human form, Danny gives off trace amounts of ectoplasmic energy and can be detected by any equipment designed to track down ghosts. This aura is more powerful in his Ghost Form, and it causes him to glow faintly.
- Ghost Sense - If there is a ghost nearby, Danny's body becomes very cold, and a wisp of mist escapes his mouth.
- Transformation - Danny has the ability to change from an ordinary, human child into a ghost child. A ring of light encircles his middle then splits into two, each moving vertically along his body toward his head and feet. His normal appearance gives way to white hair, darker skin, glowing green eyes, and a black bodysuit with white accents. While in ghost form, Danny's ghost powers increase in effectiveness. Danny can change back voluntarily. If he's exhausted or knocked unconscious, he may involuntarily change back. The transformation back into a human is the same.
- Flight (Ghost form only)
- Limited Shapeshifting (Ghost form only) - Danny can twist, stretch and contort his body to dodge attacks. He can also turn his lower half into a wispy ghost tail to increase speed during flight.
- Enhanced Strength and Speed (Ghost Form Only)
- Ectoplasmic Ray - Danny can shoot beams of energy from his hands.
- Invisibility - Danny can render himself and anyone/anything he is in contact with invisible. Goes hand-in-hand with intangibility below.
- Intangibility - Danny can make either parts of himself (such as an arm) or his whole body intangible, allowing him to walk through solid objects. He can share this power with anyone or anything he is in contact with.
- Overshadowing - Danny can go intangible and enter another person's body. If the person is weak-willed or otherwise mentally occupied, Danny can use their body like a puppet. Anyone being overshadowed by Danny has glowing green eyes, and speaks in Danny's voice.
- Fenton Thermos - While not a power per se, when Danny has defeated a powerful ghost, he'll use the Fenton Thermos to trap them and carry them back to the Ghost Portal, where they can be released in their proper dimension.
[Crossed-out names are characters that have returned to Sleep]
Ai Haibara: Danny's relationship with Haibara was
Ben Tennyson: Ben Tennyson is one of Danny's best friends in Nautilus. Together with Kid Flash,
Kid Flash: Danny met Kid Flash at a movie p
Six: Agent Six was one of the first people Danny met in Nautilus, and the man is currently giving Danny formal martial arts lessons. Though they met prior to Six's amnesia, Danny never got to know the "old" Six well enough to be truly affected when those memories were lost. Danny holds Six in high regard, respecting him as both a teacher and mentor, and caring for him as a friend.
For a while Danny was afraid Six was only training him out of obligation, since Danny had made a contract with him before his amnesia. But during the nightmare storm, when Six had helped him overcome a nightmare about Vlad, Six admitted that he genuinely wanted to see Danny succeed - an admission that strengthened both their friendship and Danny's own faith in himself.
Spider-Man: Danny only met Spider-Man once, and impressed (or perhaps just baffled) the fellow superhero when he explained his superhero name. Despite being a few letters away from his civilian name, Danny was able to maintain his secret identity back home. It seems Spider-Man has since gone back to sleep… someday, Danny may know more about this mysterious Spider-Man.
Sqwydd: Sqwydd wasn't the type to regularly socialize in person, and so he and Danny only spoke on video. Despite that, Sqwydd was willing to help Danny out with his party by giving tips and providing music. Unfortunately, Danny never got the chance to properly thank him before he returned to Sleep.