by Hans Lindahl
- The Redeemer Pt.1: Healing Hands
- Part 1 of a five part story arc about the return of Lubanga
- Script: Claes Reimerthi
- Art: Kari Leppänen
- First published in Fantomen Nr.15/2005 by Egmont, Scandinavia. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.
- Message from the Publisher:
Lubanga returns to haunt The Phantom and President Luaga in this edition, which features the story, Healing Hands, part one of a short series called The Redeemer.
Lubanga, arch-fiend, witchdoctor, hypnotist and illusionist, had been sentenced by Luaga to a life term in a remote jungle prison. At the start of Healing Hands he escapes and although there is no explanation of how he manages it, we must presume for the time being, that he has hypnotised his guards.
Lubanga has been a thorn in the side of The Phantom and President Luaga on many previous occasions. Possibly the worst moment for Luaga was featured in Frew #1162 published in 1997. In that double issue, we ran two stories - The Peace Prize and The Last Battle - Death of Lubanga. It is worth revisiting both stories, because you will learn how Lubanga overthrew Luaga and tricked his way into becoming President of Bengali. In the same issue, an editorial piece traces the rise of Kigali Lubanga. You will probably be surprised to discover that Lubanga has been around for a long time. He made his first appearance way back in 1994 in Election in Bengali Pt 1 (Frew #1079) and after rising to power, actually had Luaga sent to Boomsby prison for life on a trumped-up charge. Luaga managed to escape, met up with The Phantom - and then had a falling-out with his old friend. Lubanga reappeared in a long run of stories, but everything turned around when Luaga and The Phantom were reunited in Frew #1152, a story called Blood Brothers. At one stage Lubanga went to great lengths to destroy Morristown, designing an intricate electrical system beneath the Presidential Palace! At another point in a long run of stories he actually had the dreaded General Bababu as his close ally! Eventually, Luaga and The Phantom managed to restore order and peace. Well, peace of a sort! Bababu escaped, still threatening to one day take over Bengali and Lubanga, after trying to fake his own death, is captured and jailed for life. That was yesterday!
Lubanga has now returned - as a prison escapee hiding behind his latest ruse the leader of a strange and powerful religious order. It is worth pointing out that Lubanga has no super powers, but he is one of the most deadly and inventive foes ever to challenge The Phantom. That's what makes this first part of a short series of adventures so engrossing. What an earth does Lubanga plan in his quest for revenge on President Luaga and the Ghost Who Walks? Stand by - all will be shortly revealed!
While we wait, a reminder that in our next edition, we will return to the mystery of Diana's disappearance. Part two of the saga will be an sale on 9 September (Frew #1425). The mystery deepens, but I'll let you into a secret - at the end of #1425, even your wildest guesses about the possible outcome may well be short of the mark! In this episode, Kit and Heloise disappear along with Diana! The Phantom is confused and so too is Guran, who sees Diana and the children all leave the Skull Cave. The Phantom, it must be said, is in for a worrying time. Not only has Diana departed the jungle with the children, but Lubanga is on the loose and on the warpath! They are, of course, separate stories, but the plots stress the enormous pressures faced by The Phantom as he tries to maintain peace in the jungle!