by Paul Ryan & Jim Shepherd
(this edition is the 1436th actually printed)
Release Date: 25 February 2005
- Pages: 36
- Price: $2.20 inc. GST
- Cover: Paul Ryan & Jim Shepherd
- No Phantom Forum in this issue
by Paul Ryan & Tom Smith
- The Grim Reaper
- Script: Claes Reimerthi
- Art: Paul Ryan
- First published in Fantomen Nr.3/2005 by Egmont, Scandinavia. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.
- Message from the Publisher:
In this issue we commence a new and quite startling series devoted to the 21st Phantom.
This first episode is called The Grim Reaper and best I warn everybody in advance it contains some quite horrific scenes. Written by Claes Reimerthi and illustrated by Paul Ryan, The Grim Reaper has any number of messages and asks many questions - but one especially, which is quite dramatic ... what would happen if The Phantom's entire family was wiped out? There would be no heir to The Phantom's throne and short of remarrying and starting a new family, The Phantom line would come to an end! What you have to decide as you read this first episode in a five-part series is whether what is projected onto the pages is true - or a figment of an injured Phantom's imagination!
The series is not only intriguing but so involved that a team of artists had to be assembled to tackle one of the most demanding scenarios in the long history of The Ghost Who Walks. All future episodes of this story have been written by Claes Reimerthi, but in order after this first episode, the art is by Joan Boix, Hans Lindahl and César Spadari, with Lindahl handling the final episode. Intrigued? I'll guarantee you will become completely absorbed as the adventure unfolds!
I have not yet decided whether to run the entire series without a break, or extend the suspense by giving everybody a short respite from the saga with one or two new gems we have obtained from the Egmont organisation. We have in reserve, four stories which are new to Australian fans and which feature art by Lindahl, Spadari, Carlos Cruz and Felmang and scripts by "Michael Tierres" (in real life, Claes Reimerthi), Sverre Årnes, Donne Avenell and Tony De Paul. That decision will be made shortly.
Meanwhile, more background.on The Grim Reaper and what is to follow. Claes Reimerthi, who is probably the most inventive Phantom writer at the moment, devotes the next episode to an incredible battle between the Singh Pirates and the Jungle Patrol, led "in person" this time by the "Unknown Commander"! Yes, The Phantom finally emerges from the shadows and takes charge of the Patrol! Or, so it seems! Are we involved in a Phantom nightmare or does it really happen? You will be the judge.
And ... you will have to continue acting as judge, all the way to the final episode when this brilliant plot is finally explained!
The five parts of this long adventure contain loads of clues about where the story is heading. But you will have to read everything carefully (and study the art) to put everything together. It's a sort of Da Vinci Code experiment in comics writing!
Just as engrossing as Reimerthi's script is the art by all the creators previously mentioned. It's as if all concerned were staging a private competition to see who could devise the most detailed and spectacular scenes! In a word - breathtaking!
I'm not about to take sides with any opinion about which artist best captured the basic theme of the series, but I'll be interested in comments from readers. Let's hear from you. I'll be fascinated with your comments! I have a feeling there may be some criticism of the heavy action scenes! If anybody feels some of the scenes are too vivid - even gory ... let me know. Let fly if you have any constructive criticism. I'll ensure any such correspondence is sent to the Egmont company in Scandinavia.
Future issues planned as of 28 January 2005 (subject to change without notice):
- #1409 (4 Mar) Annihilate All Singh (Reimerthi & Boix, Fantomen Nr.4/2005)
- #1410 (18 Mar) Death at the Fun Park (Reimerthi & Lindahl, Fantomen Nr.5/2005)
Check the New@Egmont 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 ...
- History of Frew Publications
- 50th Anniversary Celebrations
- Complete Publishing Chronology
- Archive of Covers from #1 to #100
- Frew in Review: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
- Annual Specials: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.
- Phantom Poll: 2001, 2002.
- Subscriptions & Back Issues
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Bryan Shedden / email@example.com
Last updated 19 February 2005