by Rolf Gohs
- Script: Ingebjørg Berg Holm
- Art: Dick Giordano
- First published in Fantomen Nr.9/2003 by Egmont, Scandinavia. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Brian Jensen.
- Message from the Publisher:
Here it is - the ultra-controversial story, Giovanna!
Written by Ingebjørg Berg Holm and illustrated by American comics veteran Dick Giordano, Giovanna crosses into previously uncharted territory.
The adventure comes from Chronicles written by the fourth Phantom, but to add to many mysteries, the writer has deliberately (it seems to me!) tried to be vague about a number of things. For example, the fourth Phantom, according to Lee Falk's official history, married Princess Pura, the daughter of an Indian Maharajah, in 1616 and the fifth Phantom married Juliet Adams sometime in 1640. As you will quickly spot, the writer has glossed around the fact of the death of The Phantom's wife. This can only be that, for reasons which were never made clear, creator Lee Falk rarely touched upon the subject. Only the death of the wife of the 20th Phantom (Maude Thorne) was ever covered in any detail.
The writer has also edged around the mystery of how a female could pass herself off as a male within the Roman Catholic Church, rise to become a Cardinal and almost, the Pope. I make no comment about the truth or otherwise, of the alleged shadowy and evil happenings within the Church!
Readers can ponder for themselves what would have happened if Giovanna had survived, left the Church, married The Phantom and settled in the Skull Cave. But consider the possibility that had all this happened and the child survived to be the only one of the marriage, the next Phantom in line would, in theory, have been a female!
I hope everybody gains from reading this adventure and I sincerely hope everybody will remember it is based on a lot of theory by the writer, who worked outside of Lee Falk's accepted guidelines.
Our next edition will be a 100-page special which will reach newsagents on 18 July. The feature story is called Flame, an old Scandinavian adventure which has never been published by Frew. Story by Norman Worker and art by Georges Bess. This one first appeared in 1980. It will be backed up by another new American story, The Secret of Snake Goddess Island and the first complete printing of the Lee Falk-Sy Barry 1965 classic, Mystery of Wamba Falls Inn. This was Sy Barry's seventh Sunday adventure and he was already close to perfecting his technique of ultradetailed inking. Patrolman Smyth now has an "e" tacked onto his surname. Patrolman Sandy is such a strong character, Lee brings him back in The Veiled Lady. The scene-stealer, however, is a hotel cigarette girl named Eureda.