by Jaime Vallvé & Jim Shepherd
(this edition is the 1373rd actually printed)
Release Date: 7 February 2003
- Pages: 36
- Price: $2.20 inc. GST
- Cover: Jaime Vallvé & Jim Shepherd
- The Phantom in the Wild West by Jim Shepherd (2 pages)
- One page of Phantom Forum in this issue
by Jaime Vallvé
- Treasure of the Aztecs
- Script: Ulf Granberg
- Art: Jaime Vallvé
- First published in Fantomen by Semic, Scandinavia in Nr.5/1976. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Phantom Kingdom.
- This story is the 5th in a new series of previously unpublished Semic Classics. For others see #1339, #1341, #1342, #1344.
- Message from the Publisher:
Presenting a really unusual Phantom adventure! Treasure of the Aztecs, written by Ulf Granberg and illustrated by Jaime Vallvé, depicts The Phantom throughout the entire story in civilian clothing. Make that civilian clothing from a particular time. The story centres on the 16th Phantom and is largely based on the old wild west days.
While such an approach is relatively common in Scandinavian-created stories, it was a strategy Lee Falk used sparingly. Lee often admitted he was never comfortable building up stories about an out-of-uniform Phantom and he was almost certainly right in following that line. After all, this year, The Phantom will celebrate 67 years of syndication to newspapers throughout the world and the popularity of Lee's most famous comics creation is still incredibly widespread. That said, I know you will enjoy The Treasure of the Aztecs, with non-stop action in some exotic locations which are beautifully rendered by artist Vallvé.
The story first appeared in a Swedish Fantomen comic book in March 1976 and is one the many from the 1976-78 period Frew has obtained for publication throughout 2003 and into 2004.
There is a lot of gun play in the story and doubtless this will be regarded by the more radical anti-gun lobby of members as glorifying the use of weapons. Nothing could be further from the truth! The story is set in a time when weapons ruled the American wild west and rebellious Mexico. The use of weapons in Phantom adventures is part of the legend. It has to be remembered that The Phantom always used his hand guns to either disarm roughnecks or force them to abandon attacks on helpless people. Rarely has The Phantom killed or wounded an adversary and on the few occasions his shots found the mark, it was always in self defence. Excluding, of course, the famous The Phantom Goes to War epic! However, I know that explanation will not appease the anti-gun types. No apologies for publishing the story or for using such a graphic illustration on the front cover! Better, I feel, that the anti-gun types turn their attention to the old cowboy and gangster movies and television programmes which do glorify the use of guns. Treasure of the Aztecs, in part at least, is based very closely on old American/Mexican history and there is no point hiding from this historical fact. I have yet to read a case study of a criminal who used weapons which even hinted he or she may have been influenced by something contained in a comics story!
Future issues planned as of 31 January (subject to change without notice):
- #1346 (21 Feb) The Crusader's Treasure (De Paul & Olesen/Williams, 2002 daily)
- Other stories scheduled for 2003:
- The Swamp Goddess's Island (Reimerthi & Nolan, 2002 Sunday)
- The Kali Sect (Worker & Vallvé, Fantomen Nr.4/1977)
- The Power of the Singh Pirates (Granberg & Vallvé, Fantomen Nr.10/1978)
- The False Prince (Worker & Leppänen, Fantomen Nr.3/1979)
- The Treasure from Rhodes (Worker & Leppänen, Fantomen Nr.6/1980)
- The Malicious Messenger (Worker & Leppänen, Fantomen Nr.4/1984)
Check the New@Egmont, Frew Reprint Schedule, and The Missing Semic Stories pages for details of other upcoming stories.
My thanks to the staff of Frew Publications for providing this information.
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Bryan Shedden / firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated 1 February 2003