by Bob McLeod
- The Doomsday Ship
- Script: David Bishop
- Art: Bob McLeod
- First published in Fantomen Nr.1/2005 by Egmont, Scandinavia. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.
- Message from the Publisher:
I think you will agree that The Doomsday Ship is a most unusual Phantom adventure! Enjoyable - but unusual, because it is stacked full of strange happenings, some of which are linked to real-life history and many of which are linked to the Singh Brotherhood and old Phantom history.
*** START SPOILER WARNING ***
The Phantom is again based in Florida in the United States and the story is a follow-on from Eye of the Hurricane (Frew #1404). The Ghost Who Walks has only one thought in mind at the beginning of the story - to return to the Deep Woods but a strange turn of events starts a chain reaction of unusual happenings and eerie coincidences! Captain Hopper, whom The Phantom meets early in the story, provides a link with the dropping of an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima near the end of World War Two. The captain's ship is full of animals and that provides a link to Noah's Ark. (The captain, as you will discover, is convinced most of the world is nearing the end and is determined to find a safe haven for his menagerie and save a selection of animal life on earth! The Phantom fits into his plan to start afresh with the human species!) The girl in this Adam and Eve scenario links The Phantom with the Singh Brotherhood and the dreaded Rama, who killed The Phantom's father. Somehow, creators David Bishop and Bob McLeod manage to combine everything to make perfect sense! That, as you are about to discover, was no mean feat! The plot has many intricate turns and an unusually large cast of players! However, the creators not only overcame all the problems, but came up with a very clever ending. How and why? Because at the end of this adventure, The Phantom's thoughts are focused on Rama and the island of Gullique.
*** END SPOILER WARNING ***
In our next edition, we will bring you a slightly revamped version of the story The Belt in which The Phantom goes looking for his father's gun belt, which was stolen by Rama and hung on the wall as a trophy on his island hideout. This plot originally appeared way back in 1954 as a Sunday story called The Belt, written by Lee Falk and illustrated by Wilson McCoy and was published in Frew #792 in 1984 [Comment from Guran: ... and most recently in Frew #1219, the 1999 Annual Special]. In 1996, Frew published an adaptation of the story in issue #1127 under the title, Gullique - The Island of Doom. The new version of Lee Falk's story was adapted by Ulf Granberg and completely re-drawn by Kari Leppänen, and now that same story has been readapted and re-named, Gullique and the Double Rainbow.
In this up-dated version, which brings to an end our "Year One" series, Lee's original plot is closely followed, but the modern art gives a new dimension to a famous adventure. You will spot a number of differences between Frew #1127 and #1407, both in the art layout and the script. Gullique and the Double Rainbow will be on sale everywhere in Australia on 11th February and a little later in New Zealand.
In the following Frew edition (#1408, on sale on 25th February), we will bring you yet another new adventure. The story has been written by Claes Reimerthi and illustrated by Paul Ryan. It is guaranteed to cause a great deal of controversy! More about this powerful jungle drama at a later stage! Suffice to say that Claes Reimerthi and Paul Ryan explore some tragic possibilities in the life of the current Phantom - and the dreaded Kabai Singh and his Singh Brotherhood members play an important part in the story!