by Romano Felmang &
- Diana's Crisis Pt.1: The Mysterious Wreck
- Script: Magnus Seter
- Art: Romano Felmang & Anthony Benny
- First published in Fantomen Nr.8/2005 by Egmont, Scandinavia. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.
- Message from the Publisher:
Our new story, The Mysterious Wreck, winds up the recent series involving The Phantom living out his most dreaded dreams. We catch up with The Ghost Who Walks as he begins what is planned as a relaxing recuperation after his lifethreatening operation. His much-needed rest lasts only a brief time as he and Diana are embroiled in a real-life battle with the Singh Pirates!
New writer Magnus Seter is joined by illustrator Romano Felmang in a most unusual story presentation which is light on dialogue, but heavy on action!
Now, I'll let you in on a little secret! The captain of the Singh Pirate submarine is based on real life Phantom enthusiast, Pete Klaus, of Baltimore, Maryland, USA! Pete is a key figure in the long-running "Friends of The Phantom" organization, along with co-founder Ed Rhoades, and is the proud owner of one of the biggest (if not the biggest) collections of Phantom memorabilia in the world. Both Pete and Ed have been included as bit players in a number of Phantom comic book and newspaper strips over the years. Felmang and Pete have long been correspondents and the artist decided to give his pen pal a semi-starring role in this story, as the (unnamed) Singh submarine captain. I've met Pete on many occasions and I know he will not mind me observing that he is a perfect choice as a physically imposing comics character. Pete, a High School Physical Education (PE) master and sports coach, is as big and as powerful looking in real life as he is depicted by the artist in The Mysterious Wreck! He also has a wonderful sense of humour, so I know he will not be offended by the scenes in which The Phantom man-handles him with ease!
At the end of this story, you'll note that we throw to our next issue which is entitled Diana Disappears. This will be part one of a four-part adventure and the first episode has been scripted by Claes Reimerthi and illustrated by Paul Ryan. All three following parts will be written by Tony De Paul and illustrated by Felmang.
The abduction of Diana was a favourite theme used by Lee Falk and he injected such plots into stories like The Slave Traders, The Diamond Hunters, The 12 Tasks, The Sea Horse, The Mermaids of Melo Straits and The Haunted Castle, just to mention some. The Phantom naturally went to her rescue and all the stories had quite different endings. So too does Diana Disappears! However, unlike all the previous similar themes, this adventure has a quite different beginning!
*** START SPOILER WARNING ***
You'll note that at the end of The Mysterious Wreck, Diana tells The Phantom that she has to go to the bank and although this appears to be an innocent remark, The Phantom is clearly puzzled about Diana's behaviour. That is underlined in the first episode of Diana Disappears, which is actually a continuation of The Mysterious Wreck. To confuse us - let alone The Phantom - Diana is not seen in the first episode of Diana Disappears! Intrigued? The Phantom is convinced Diana has been kidnapped by a gang of bank robbers, who feature largely in the first episode. Understandably, as you will discover! A female member of the gang closely resembles Diana and all the clues point to Diana being taken away as a hostage by the bank robbers!
*** END SPOILER WARNING ***