by Paul Ryan & Tom Smith
- Return of the Halloween Gang
- Script: Claes Reimerthi
- Art: Paul Ryan
- First published in Fantomen Nr.6/2003 by Egmont, Scandinavia. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Brian Jensen.
- This story is a sequel to The Halloween Gang (Fantomen Nr.22/1999, Frew #1246), which was also redrawn as a daily strip (D197, 21 Oct 1999 - 15 Jan 2000) and appeared in Frew #1270.
- Message from the Publisher:
Just when we thought the Halloween gang boss, Carrion Crane, was safely behind bars, here he is again! This crazy character has escaped from prison to wreak his revenge on the world in general and The Phantom in particular!
Return of The Halloween Gang bounces from one drama to the next, with The Phantom hell-bent on preventing terrible carnage. Writer Claes Reimerthi and artist Paul Ryan have produced a mini-masterpiece with this adventure.
I recommend you look through your Frew collection for our Issue No 1246 The Halloween Gang (1999), written by Reimerthi and illustrated by Hans Lindahl. In that adventure, we met Carrion Crane for the first time and as the story developed, it became evident that Crane is, to put it mildly, mentally unstable. He also turned out to be an explosives and electronics genius and an unconventional plotter who had no trouble staying ahead of the police. Even The Phantom found it difficult to pin down Crane!
It's hard not to believe that this arch-villain will be back with us in the not too distant future. Reimerthi has created a human monster who is at once loathsome - and fascinating!
Since the very beginning, the wonderful world of comics developed so many characters who were simply too intriguing to retire once they made their mark. If you are a comics buff you will have no problem recalling some of the more famous ... Flatop from Dick Tracy, The Mangler from Rip Kirby, Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon, The Penguin and Two Face from Batman and so on ... Lee Falk, who created The Phantom, preferred to keep creating new villains, but if he were alive today, I fancy he would be hard-pressed to put Carrion Crane on ice for too long. Carrion Crane is just too unusual (and creepy) to be retired. I'll be surprised if he doesn't make another sensational escape from prison in the near future, this time to seek final revenge on the Ghost Who Walks!
The stunning covers for the edition you are now reading were created by Antonio Lemos, whose work just keeps getting better!
In our next edition (Frew No 1353, on sale 9 May), we will bring you yet another new adventure, The Mask of Gaguwara. In this story, we return to Kit and Heloise at that mysterious boarding school in Shymouth, Massachusetts, in the United States. The story revolves around a strange old Indian mask which generates eerie powers that overcome even The Phantom when he makes an urgent trip to Shymouth after learning Heloise has been stricken by a fever and is in hospital. Story by Claes Reimerthi and art by Joan Boix!
Stop Press! Mallon Publishing Pty Ltd has advised the winner of The Phantom Art Competition in The Phantom Diary 2003 is Chris Stout of Western Australia.