by Hans Lindahl
- The Phantom - Man or Myth?
- Script: Claes Reimerthi
- Art: Alex Saviuk
- First published in Fantomen Nr.11/2005 by Egmont, Scandinavia. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.
- Message from the Publisher:
Stand by for some incredible action! The Phantom - Man or Myth? starts at a furious pace and the spectacle and the tension never flag. Claes Reimerthi's amazing script literally explodes onto the pages, courtesy of American artist Alex Saviuk who combines exquisite lighting effects, clever use of perspective and wonderful movement to capture the eerie feel of a museum at night. Alex has also rendered the covers for this edition!
One of the key players in this adventure is Minerva Brooks, who is no stranger to Phantom stories. To save you racking your brains, Minerva also had a starring role in the three-part, Secret of the Skulls saga, which ran in Frew editions #1369, #1370 and #1371 in 2003. The Ethnographic Museum in Morristown was first depicted in the opening episode of that story and Minerva Brooks meets The Phantom (as Mr. Walker). This is where it gets interesting! In the final episode of Secret of the Skulls, Minerva is rescued by a uniformed Phantom and she actually speaks with him. She therefore knows there is such a person and that The Phantom is no myth! As you will discover in The Phantom - Man or Myth?, Minerva seems to have forgotten that meeting! Which is rather strange, to say the least! Another Phantom mystery? See if you can work it out!
One other old Phantom foe reappears in the story, this time under a false name. The Phantom is pre-warned about impending trouble by Old Man Moz and mentions the name "Chumar". The name only rings a vague bell with The Phantom, but when he does recall Chumar, he remembers a museum curator named Dr T'Uande who became possessed with "dark powers". The dark powers have a lot to do with artificially induced super-human strength. The Phantom is to meet Dr T'Uande in this new story, but his looks - and his name - have changed and because The Ghost Who Walks does not recognise him, he falls into a shocking trap! You'll have to concentrate a little on this story. There are more twists and turns than a switchback rail line!
I've mentioned Alex Saviuk's expert handling of the art. When you reach the final page, look carefully at the last two frames. You may recognise a few faces. In the second last frame, you will see, among others, The Phantom (as Mr Walker) at far left and myself at roughly dead centre. In the final frame, the three gentlemen to Minerva Brooks' right are, in order, Alex Saviuk himself and two key players in the American-based Friends of The Phantom organization Ed Rhoades and Pete Klaus. Pete, whose image loomed large in the recent The Mysterious Wreck story, is fast becoming something of a star! It's all in fun, of course, and at the end of this gripping adventure, I think a little light relief is not such a bad thing!
The Phantom - Man or Myth? is, as you are about to discover, a story so dramatic it verges on the harrowing!
Frew's next edition will be another new adventure. Watch out for The King of Norway (#1421, on sale 22 July) with wonderful covers by Antonio Lemos. This adventure, written by Nils Nordberg and illustrated by Hans Lindahl, is a comparatively modern story. It is action-packed, contains some dramatic fight scenes and features a wonderful array of truly nasty villains and roughnecks! I guarantee you will enjoy every frame as the adventure bounces from one crisis to another!