Frew #1388
by Antonio Lemos
(this edition is the 1416th actually printed)

Release Date: 2 Jul 2004

  • Pages: 36
  • Price: $2.20 inc. GST
  • Cover: Antonio Lemos
  • No Phantom Forum in this issue

Fantomen Nr.14/2004
by Hans Lindahl

  • The Poison Maker

  • Message from the Publisher:
    Hans Lindahl has come up with an intriguing plot in The Poison Maker, which he has written and illustrated! The purists will love it!
    The Phantom is back in the jungle (which Hans always captures so brilliantly!), a renegade native runs amok and the Bandar begin to doubt the capability of their chief, Guran. Great, vintage adventure stuff which builds to a most unusual climax!
    I doubt whether anybody other than Sy Barry ever matched Lindahl for his jungle scenes. They are so vivid you can almost feel the heat and smell the aroma of the foliage.
    This story was originally published in Scandinavia as The Poisoner, but we decided a slight change to the title would project the theme of the adventure just a little more strongly.
    Antonio Lemos designed and created the covers and in case you are already wondering about the front cover especially, a little explanation is necessary. The very large skull emblem on The Phantom's beltline not only appears in this story, but is exactly how Sy Barry drew a similar scene in Lee Falk's 1975 story, The First Phantom, which made its debut in Frew #587 in 1976. In that adventure, Lee and Sy went to enormous lengths to explain how the only survivor of that long-ago pirate attack became the first in the line of 21 Phantoms. Part of the explanation covered every detail of how The Phantom created his first uniform and in the story, he was shown wearing an oversized skull mark, which quickly disappeared from the scene. Obviously Lee Falk and the then regular daily and Sunday artist Sy Barry, decided the large skull mark was too cumbersome and artistically out of balance with The Phantom's uniform. It was also so obvious that The Phantom's movements would have been severely restricted had he continued to wear such a large emblem.
    Hans Lindahl has reincorporated all of this (Lee Falk) history into The Poison Maker. The scenes contained in The First Phantom story have always been a source of fascination for researchers of The Phantom, because Lee Falk never again went to so much trouble to provide a complete analysis of the beginnings of the legend of The Ghost Who Walks. If you have the original printing of The First Phantom, or any of the subsequent reprints (Frew #781 and #1032 for example), it will be worth your while referring to them, because The First Phantom also explains how the original Ghost Who Walks stumbled on the secret of the poison later to be used by the Bandar pygmy tribe on their supply of arrows and with which they became the most feared tribe in the jungle. The poison came from berries which grew in profusion in the jungle. The natives knew they were poisonous, but it was the first Phantom who hit upon the idea of extracting the juice of the berries and encouraging the Bandar to use it on the tips of their arrows. Because the Bandar could kill even the largest wild animals instantly with their poison arrows, other tribes and especially white roughnecks soon feared them. As time went by, the Bandar became known as the "Poison People", a phrase which is rarely used these days.
    It's a highly important part of history, because the central theme of The Poison Maker follows a fairly similar theme! Read on - you will enjoy this adventure!

Jim Shepherd

Coming Soon:

Future issues planned as of 22 June 2004 (subject to change without notice):

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.

More Frew stuff ...

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Bryan Shedden /
Last updated 26 June 2004