Frew #1395
by Hans Lindahl & Jim Shepherd
(this edition is the 1423rd actually printed)

Release Date: 17 Sep 2004

  • Pages: 36
  • Price: $2.20 inc. GST
  • Cover: Hans Lindahl & Jim Shepherd
  • No Phantom Forum in this issue

Fantomen Nr.21/2004
by Hans Lindahl

  • Johnny Hotwire Rides Again
    • Script: Tony De Paul
    • Art: Hans Lindahl
    • "First" published in Fantomen Nr.21/2004 by Egmont, Scandinavia (not until 7 Oct!). Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Simon Treschow.

  • Message from the Publisher:
    The series about the first year in the life of the 21st Phantom continues with this episode written by Tony De Paul and illustrated by Hans Lindahl. Johnny Hotwire Rides Again is, as you about to discover, an engrossing adventure!
    While Tony De Paul has taken a few liberties to underline the developing instincts and character of the new Ghost Who Walks, nothing is beyond belief. As previous episodes have highlighted Diana's surprise about seeing Kit again - and Kit's failure to even attempt to explain his new role in life - it is easy to accept that both are still confused about their feelings towards each other.
    Lee Falk never even hinted that the 21st Phantom could be interested in a girl other than Diana, but in the circumstances created by Tony De Paul, the possibility is believable.
    Artist Hans Lindahl has put all of his remarkable skill into the story and some of the fight scenes are the most spectacular he has rendered for some time.
    I covered most of the car and motorcycle irregularities in our last issue and will not repeat any of them here. However, it's worth mentioning that both De Paul and Lindahl have jumped many years into the future with the car models depicted!
    While Lee Falk was always deliberately unspecific about the actual years in which the 21st Phantom operated in his early career, the time was obviously well before the United States manufactured the sort of motor vehicles shown in Johnny Hotwire Rides Again!
    Tony and Hans have used considerable licence in their time setting in the story, but it doesn't really matter. If anything, their technique has followed a very special tradition linked to The Phantom - one which no other creator of a major character came close to matching in the entire history of comics. Lee Falk's Phantom chronology never set out to painstakingly move from one year into the next and therein lays the fascination we all have with the adventures of The Ghost Who Walks. The Phantom stories have always appeared in a time-jumbled form and turning the clock backwards and forwards has only reinforced the legend of The Man Who Cannot Die, the nemesis of evil doers who seems to have lived for centuries and whose secret is still known to only a few. Mystery always abounded in his adventures and this is repeated throughout the series of stories dealing with the first year of the 21st Phantom.
    So many secrets about Lee Falk's plans to reveal more about the early life of his world-famous comics character disappeared forever with Lee's sad passing in 1999. Now, we will never be certain about the end of so many Phantoms in the line and of almost every wife of The Phantom. Lee, deliberately it seems, left many blank spaces in the history of The Phantom and it is just too tempting for today's story creators to make some educated guesses! So far, I have enjoyed all the stories and judging by the correspondence we have received, so have the vast majority of enthusiasts!
    The pace of the series is hotting up at about the same rate as the development of The Phantom's character. I join with the vast majority of correspondents who say they want this series to go on - and on. It will end well before the end of 2004, but I can promise you some very special surprises on the way to an equally surprising climax which may well be voted as our most popular story for the year.

Jim Shepherd

Coming Soon:

Future issues planned as of 20 August 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 12 September 2004