by Rolf Gohs
- The Lethal Trap
- Script: Claes Reimerthi
- Art: Kari Leppänen
- "First" published in Fantomen Nr.22/2004 by Egmont, Scandinavia (not until 22 Oct!). Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Simon Treschow.
- Message from the Publisher:
Continuing the saga of the first year of the 21st Phantom!
In this episode, writer Claes Reimerthi and artist Kari Leppänen join forces on The Lethal Trap. Kit Walker, still torn between revealing his new role as The Phantom to Diana, Dave Palmer and Lily and preparing all of them for the revelation, has his work cut out in this adventure! He not only has to battle Mafia criminals, but save Dave Palmer's career and reputation and expose a turncoat in the local Police Department. A great story, wrapped in some eye-catching covers by Antonio Lemos.
It is obvious (to me at least) that Phantom devotees will pick up on a great many technical points in this adventure.
I'm sure, for instance, that the real buffs will once again point out that the American automobile models in the story are too modern for the time, that Elvis Presley was not around and that, for instance, motels as we know them today, were either not in existence or were called something other than "Motor Lodges".
[Comment from Guran: This story is firmly set in June 1959 according to the dates shown on the Watertown Herald newspaper on pages 26 and 33. Dave Palmer appears to be driving a 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air on pages 12-13 and 28-29. There's also what appears to be a 1959 Dodge Coronet on pages 30-31, and several older cars including a 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air on page 5, and a 1954 Oldsmobile 98 on page 7. And of course, Elvis Presley was around in 1959; he was serving in the US Army in West Germany around then, but still releasing hit singles and appearing in movies. So I'm not too sure what Jim's complaining about here because the historical details are perfectly consistent with the setting of the story!]
As we have received a heavy volume of such correspondence since this series commenced, best I encourage everybody to keep the letters and faxes flowing. About all I can offer in defence of the writers and artists is that because the comic art form is timeless and characters are not expected to age, all the "errors" in the series should be accepted as the creators using loads of artistic licence.
Did Elvis Presley really sing the song he was supposed to in this story? Not being an expert on that subject, I cannot offer even an educated guess. Doubtless all will be revealed when the mail bags are opened!
[Comment from Guran: Yes, Elvis did sing this song Jim. Elvis Presley first released "I Got Stung" as a 45rpm single (RCA 2696, "One Night" on the b-side) on 6 November 1958, written by Aaron Schroeder and David Hill. Click on the following links for samples of the first verse and last verse. The complete lyrics are here.]
Meanwhile, we have received loads of comment on Alex Saviuk's art which appeared in the recent story, The Courier (Frew #1392). Alex made his Frew debut in that edition and the reaction of the fans is highly favourable! Alex may be new to Frew readers, but he has been involved in comics for many years ... working on everything from Green Lantern to Flash, Superman, Hawkman, Spiderman and Defenders Of The Earth (for Marvel) and was the subject of a lengthy interview in the Summer 2004 edition of the Friends Of The Phantom fanzine newsletter, a publication I recommend to Phantom enthusiasts. For subscription details, write to Ed Rhoades at 465 East Main Street, Catawissa, PA 17820, USA, email email@example.com.
Some more information: Alex Saviuk occasionally sells his art on eBay. You can make contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And a little more data. Sy Barry is featured in an interview in the June 2004 (#37) edition of the American fanzine Alter Ego. I cannot recommend this edition too highly. You will learn so much more about Sy's career and especially his 30-year plus association with The Phantom and naturally, Lee Falk. Alter Ego has been on sale in many Australian speciality comics shops (Kings Comics in Sydney, for example) but if you cannot track down a copy, your local speciality store may be able to order one. Alternatively, you can write direct to Alter Ego at TwoMorrows, 10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614, USA., or try their email roydann@ntinetcom. If you are a serious student of The Phantom, you should have this issue!
Now that all the plugs have been handled, a reminder that Frew's next edition will be on sale throughout Australia on 15 October and after that we will continue the series of the life of the 21st Phantom.