by Rolf Gohs
- Avenger from the Sea
- Script: Norman Worker
- Art: George Bess
- First published in Fantomen Nr.2/1978 by Semic, Sweden. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Phantom Kingdom.
- The Viking Fortress Mystery
- Script: Tony De Paul
- Art: Graham Nolan
- 160th Sunday newspaper story; 4 Apr - 26 Sep 2004.
- This story was adapted by Tony De Paul from his Egmont story The Viking Castle, originally illustrated by César Spadari. The story was first published by Egmont in Fantomen (Sweden) and Fantomet (Norway) Nr.7/1997, and then an English translation by Frew in #1172.
- First Frew appearance of this version of the story
- The Locust God
- Script: Tony De Paul
- Art: George Olesen & Keith Williams
- 211th daily newspaper story; 3 May - 28 Aug 2004.
- First Frew appearance
- Message from the Publisher:
Whatever happened to 2004? Suddenly, it's December and time for our regular Christmas Special! To mark the occasion, we present three new stories ... Avenger from the Sea, The Viking Fortress Mystery and The Locust God.
Avenger from the Sea was written by Norman Worker and illustrated by George Bess. It originally appeared in 1978, but is published for the first time by Frew in this edition. The adventure contains probably the longest sequence ever created about the death of a Phantom and the emergence of a new Ghost Who Walks - in this case, the 9th in line. We also meet Ingrid, wife (according to writer Worker) of the 8th Phantom, but as tradition demands, no clue is given about what happened to her after her husband's death, a curious idea initiated by Lee Falk and perpetuated by every other Phantom writer. Avenger from the Sea is a rip-roaring adventure in which the action never flags and a really nasty chief villain called Captain Blood wreaks havoc from beginning to end.
The Viking Fortress Mystery and The Locust God are respectively, new Sunday and daily newspaper strip stories created in the United States and both are published for the first time in a Frew edition. Graham Nolan created The Viking Fortress Mystery and as explained elsewhere in this edition, has fiddled with historical fact. The Vikings were adventurous travellers and explorers, travelling as far as North America, but never reached the east coast of the African continent, let alone established any buildings in that part of the world! (It is now generally accepted that "Phantom Country" is located somewhere on the African east coast, rather than originally believed, somewhere on the coast of India.) It is of minor importance. The comic art and story form does not necessarily have to stick rigidly to fact!
[Comment from Guran: Graham Nolan did not write the script for this story. It was adapted by Tony De Paul from his Egmont story The Viking Castle, originally illustrated by César Spadari. The story was first published by Egmont in Fantomen (Sweden) and Fantomet (Norway) Nr.7/1997, and then an English translation by Frew in #1172. So if it seems familiar, that explains why.]
George Olesen and Keith Williams joined forces to create The Locust God, George supplying the script and Keith the art.
[Comment from Guran: Wrong again Jim. George Olesen did the pencilling and Keith Williams did the inking. The script was written by Tony De Paul.]
As you will discover, there are links to some earlier Lee Falk Phantom stories based around mystical happenings at and near Walker's Table. Back in 1972, for example, Lee created a Sunday story called The Massacre which centred on an Indian tribe which once lived near Walker's Table. Most of the tribe was wiped out by soldiers and in the story The Phantom learns some gory facts about old happenings near his New Mexico hideaway. You will be interested to know that The Massacre is one of 13 stories which will be featured in our 2005 Annual Special edition, which goes on sale on 14 January.
Before the first BIG event of 2005 (the release of our 14th Annual Special!), we will publish another new story called The Eye of the Hurricane. This is another chapter in our continuing series of "Year One" stories about The Phantom. Hurricane, set in Florida, USA, will be on sale on 7 January.
In the meantime, I hope everybody enjoys this 2004 Christmas Special. Covers are by Antonio Lemos, who has come up with some stunning artwork - just as he has for the 2005 Annual Special. All at Frew have enjoyed entertaining you throughout 2004 and look forward to your company during 2005 and beyond.
Sincere best wishes from all at Frew, for a really joyful Christmas, good health and good fortune in the year to come.