by Olesen/Williams & Jim Shepherd
(this edition is the 1374th actually printed)
Release Date: 21 February 2003
- Pages: 36
- Price: $2.20 inc. GST
- Cover: George Olesen / Keith Williams & Jim Shepherd
- No Phantom Forum in this issue
- The Crusaders' Treasure
- Script: Tony De Paul
- Art: George Olesen & Keith Williams
- 206th daily newspaper story; 5 Aug - 28 Dec 2002.
- First Frew appearance
- Message from the Publisher:
Now, here's a story to start you thinking! The Crusaders' Treasure is built around what may have happened after the Fourth Crusade and the failed invasion of Egypt. Writer Tony De Paul has really used his imagination and artists George Olesen and Keith Williams have tossed caution to the winds in their attempts to depict the outcome of the visit to Bangalla by the Crusaders.
(Comment from Guran: throughout this editorial, Jim Shepherd wrongly credited this script to Claes Reimerthi -- I've corrected this mistake here)
A little look back at history is required here! The Crusades (or Wars of the Cross), were carried on by European nations against Mohammedanism between the 11th and 13th centuries. The movement was continuous for more than two centuries and hardly a decade passed without one or more expeditions.
There were several attempts to invade Egypt and most were failures. Andrew of Hungary and others went on a crusade against the Muslim power in Egypt in the period 1217-1221. This was a failure, but another crusade headed by Frederick II was a success.
The crusade by Louis IX of France (St Louis) in 1249, was, like the 1217 debacle, also directed against Egypt and proved equally disastrous. Louis, with the greater part of his army, was captured and had to pay 800,000 pieces of gold as ransom. Those of his army who escaped may well have found their way into northern Africa, which more and more is emerging as the "site" of Bangalla.
Louis' failed Crusade seems to be the cornerstone of De Paul's strange story. (The story of the Crusades is too complicated to even attempt to explain here and those interested in learning more, have a wide range of choice of famous books on the subject. Recommended is the 1972 publication, The Crusades, by H E Mayer.)
If you are wondering whether there is any truth in De Paul's suggestion that European scholars, who are descendants of the original crusaders, still believe in old weapons used possessing super or magical powers. take it from me this is not fantasy. A surprising number of secret groups with strange links to many of the Crusades, actually exist in Europe.
Without wishing to enter into any debates about the merits or otherwise of the Crusades, it can be said that the Crusades benefited Europe indirectly in many ways. Trade between Europe and Asia Minor was enhanced, soldiers learned many lessons from the Saracens in art and war. Products such as sugar and cotton were introduced into Europe through the Crusades and there was a highly beneficial effect on the medieval learnings of Europe which to an extent, paved the way for the Renaissance. Not to mention, of course the fact that the merchants and mariners of Venice and Genoa, for example, eventually saw their shipping empires expand.
However, somewhere in the mists of time began the stories that some of the crusaders either possessed or obtained special powers. The search for these mysterious forces continues to this day! Writer De Paul only skirts around the edges, but he manages to turn what is probably myth into what is equally, a chilling truth. That after all the centuries, men of learning remain convinced that there are many things yet to be revealed!
Future issues planned as of 17th February (subject to change without notice):
- #1347 (7 Mar) Revenge of the Shipwreckers (Reimerthi & Giordano, Fantomen Nr.2/2003)
- #1348 (14 Mar) 100 page special
- The Kali Sect (Worker & Vallvé, Fantomen Nr.4/1977)
- Flame (Worker & Bess, Fantomen Special 1980)
- one more story
- #1349 (28 Mar) The Weapon of Terror (Lindahl, Fantomen Nr.5/2003)
- Other stories scheduled for 2003:
- The Swamp Goddess's Island (Reimerthi & Nolan, 2002 Sunday)
- 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 / email@example.com
Last updated 17 February 2003