InspirationPhantom 2040 is based on the cartoon series of the same name, which was an early Batman Beyond-like adaptation of the classic Phantom character set in the future.
Created by the legendary Lee Falk and first appearing in february 17th, 1936, The Phantom started his many adventures to rid the world from piracy and evildoers following the footsteps of his ancient lineage as the 21st "Walking Phantom" in the world. In practically no time Falk's newest creation rose to world fame under the King Features Syndicate banner, which placed it in tons of newspapers around the world (Falk was already a major-league player from his earlier success: Mandrake the Magician, and thus commanded true star treatment from his publishers) and remains to this day a well-known classic of comic book history.
The character also made the leap out of the comic books many times, with a collection of 15 serials in 1943 from Columbia Pictures, an animated series in 1986 (along Flash Gordon and Mandrake) as well as a motion picture starring Billy Zane in 1996 by Paramount (besides the aforementioned Phantom 2040 animated series which had the particularity of being helmed by Peter Chung of Aeon Flux fame). So far this is the only videogame adaptation of the long-running franchise.