by Rolf Gohs
- The Racist Cult
- Script: Claes Reimerthi
- Art: Heiner Bade
- This is the second part in a series featuring Minerva Brooks, called Myth & Legend. See Frew #1420 for part 1.
- First published in Fantomen Nr.22/2005 by Egmont, Scandinavia with the title The Sons of Albion. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.
- Message from the Publisher:
In this edition, another new story which contains some fascinating flashbacks to early Phantom history.
In The Racist Cult, the 21st Phantom is reminded of the origins of the famous uniform design worn by all who preceded him. The first Phantom was inspired to create the design after seeing the statue of the demon "god" of the Wasaka Giants tribe. The Wasaka Giants actually kept the Bandar pygmies as slaves according to the official Phantom history of Lee Falk. The man who became the first Phantom rescued the Bandar, showed them how to make poison for their arrows and forced the Wasaka Giants to free his new-found pygmy friends. The Bandar led the first Phantom through the jungle and a waterfall to what was to become the home of all Phantoms - the fabled Skull Cave. The story was originally told by Lee Falk in his 1975 Sunday story, The First Phantom. The last Frew printing of this story was in issue #1032 which was the Blockbuster Annual Special for 1993.
Phantom historians will spot a number of differences between Lee's original story and a number of things which appear in The Racist Cult. Firstly, in Lee's story, the year the first Phantom came into being was given as 1550, which was clearly a mistake by the letterer. Secondly, the demon "god" of the Wasaka was far more human-looking as drawn by Sy Barry and thirdly, the "god" was not named. In The Racist Cult, the year of the first Phantom is correctly given as 1536, but the demon "god" is given the name "Urzuk" and is depicted as a crudely carved statue bearing little resemblance to a human being. For some reason, the demon "god" is described as having been crafted by the Bandar tribe, yet in Falk's original story, there is no mention of this! Nor is there any mention of the statue "crying blood"! Writer Reimerthi obviously decided to use a little licence to construct his plot more closely around the demon "god"! These are comparatively minor differences (except for the year of the emergence of the first Phantom!).
If you have Frew #1032 (the 1993 Annual Special), you will have fun going through The First Phantom by Lee and Sy. You will also pick up a curious misspelling! The Singh Pirates in Lee's story are called the "Singg" and the year 1550 is referred to more than once!
Writer Claes Reimerthi and veteran artist Heiner Bade have produced a good, old-fashioned cliff hanger with The Racist Cult. Along the way, we learn a little more about the demon "god" statue and how it came to be transported from Africa to England. Interestingly, there are many parallels to this scenario. For centuries, stronger, expanding countries have plundered other nations and taken away priceless treasures and relics for museums and private collections. Many nations stand accused, but it is an undeniable fact that the British were, to put it mildly, rather sticky-fingered! Understandably, countries such as Egypt and Greece, to mention only two, would like some of their history returned!
And we once again meet up with Minerva Brooks, a character now well known to fans. Reimerthi's script touches upon the worldwide scourge of racism! Sadly, there are many people in the world today who do not believe in the basic principle of every person being equal. As history records, this attitude has led to world wars and the current worldwide horror of terrorism.