by Hans Lindahl & Jim Shepherd
(this edition is the 1397th actually printed)
Release Date: 14 November 2003
- Pages: 36
- Price: $2.20 inc. GST
- Cover: Hans Lindahl & Jim Shepherd
- No Phantom Forum in this issue
by Rolf Gohs
- Secret of the Skulls Pt.1
- Script: Claes Reimerthi
- Art: Hans Lindahl
- First published in Fantomen Nr.23/2003 by Egmont, Scandinavia (30 Oct 2003). Original Swedish cover shown on the left, thanks to Brian Jensen.
- Message from the Publisher:
Commencing the three part series Secret of the Skulls! The second and third parts will appear in Frew #1370 and #1371, on sale 28 November and 12 December respectively. I feel really confident that after reading this first part, you will agree with me that Secret of the Skulls wins hands down as the top story of the year!
Written by Claes Reimerthi and illustrated by a team of artists commencing with the brilliant Hans Lindahl, Skulls is the near-ultimate Phantom adventure, with action and suspense taking us back to creator Lee Falk's golden years.
Study this first part of the adventure carefully and you will spot many ideas adapted from Lee's The Singh Brotherhood, the 1936 story which launched The Phantom around the world.
Nothing wrong with that approach! The Singh Brotherhood is still recognised by many comics historians as one of the most innovative stories in world history and one of the most successful introductions of a revolutionary new character!
We never tire of Phantom adventures involving the Singh Brotherhood and Dogai Singh and Secret of the Skulls takes the never-ending struggle between The Ghost Who Walks and his arch enemies to a powerful new level.
There is an enormous amount of action in this first episode, but wait until you read episode two! As I recently said, there are more thrills in part two than in a half dozen Indiana Jones movies! If that is not enough, I must add that the climax of the adventure in part three is quite incredible. Reimerthi's scripting never flags and all artists involved have excelled themselves. This is a rare flashback to the great years of comics when writers and artists never stopped striving to hold audiences with thrills and entertainment.
After part three of Secret of the Skulls we will publish our 2003 Christmas Special edition which will be on sale on 19 December, giving everybody plenty of time to purchase an extra copy as a very special Christmas present for somebody who has a special affinity with The Phantom and comics generally. This year's Christmas issue will again be a 100-page special containing at least two classic Lee Falk Phantom adventures and a new story.
And - a reminder that this year's Christmas Special will be the 1400th edition of The Phantom comic book published by Frew since the company was launched in September 1948. Not quite the same magical ring to that issue number as our 1000th edition published in 1991, or for that matter our up-coming 1500th issue, but it's an important milestone and one which ranks highly in the minds of collectors who have a special feel for Phantom items which quickly multiply in value. The 1000th edition for example, which retailed in 1991 for $10, now brings up to $60 in the marketplace if it has been retained in the original plastic sleeve! The 1400th edition will probably not increase in value anywhere near as quickly, but remember to store it away carefully - out of the light and preferably in an acid free plastic bag.
Future issues planned as of 21 November 2003 (subject to change without notice):
- #1370 (28 Nov) The Secret of the Skulls Pt.2 (Reimerthi & McLeod, Fantomen Nr.24/2003)
- #1371 (12 Dec) The Secret of the Skulls Pt.3 (Reimerthi & Ryan, Fantomen Nr.25/2003)
- #1372 (19 Dec) - 100 page Christmas Special
- The Masked Marvel (Falk & McCoy, 1948/49 daily, D33, Frew #972)
- The Monkey Mail (The Diamond Hunters) (Falk & McCoy, 1960 daily, D77, Frew #1230)
- Terror in Mawitaan (De Paul & Nolan, 2003 Sunday, S158)
- #1373 (9 Jan) - 2004 Annual Special (content unknown at present)
- Other stories scheduled for 2004:
- The Treasure from Rhodes (Worker & Leppänen, Fantomen Nr.6/1980)
- The Malicious Messenger (Worker & Leppänen, Fantomen Nr.4/1984)
- The Deadliest Animals in the Jungle (Falk & Barry, S121, Frew #840A)
- The Tarashima Terrorists (Falk & Barry, D160, Frew #880A)
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 22 November 2003