Frew #1475
by the photocopier
(this edition is the 1503rd actually issued)

Release Date: 4 May 2007

  • Pages: 36
  • Price: $2.50 inc. GST
  • Cover: the photocopier
  • No Phantom Forum in this issue
  • Mystery of the Phantom Families by Jim Shepherd
  • The Heirs
    • Story: Lee Falk
    • Art: Sy Barry
    • 108th Sunday newspaper story; 12 Nov 1978 - 20 May 1979.
    • Previous Frew appearance: #972 (1991).

  • Message from the Publisher:
    Presenting - one of Lee Falk's most famous and loved stories! The Heirs a 1978-79 classic, is the story of the birth of Kit and Heloise and was so important, it ran as both a daily and Sunday story.
    Comics lovers throughout the world, but especially devotees of The Phantom, hung on every frame and every word as the story spanned 12 November 1978 (when the first episode of the Sunday story appeared) through 20 May 1979.
    Letters to the Editor columns in newspapers were filled with comments both pro and con, about Diana having her babies in a cave in the deep jungle with only Dr Axel and native women assisting. Talkback radio existed in those days and the airwaves were filled with similar arguments. Women's magazines of the time also carried articles and because Heloise was unnamed at birth, the media was jammed with suggestions. As we all know, the name Heloise eventually appeared for Kit's twin sister in a story recounting the adventures of an earlier Phantom who had married Heloise, the so-called Hanta Witch. The biggest surprise of The Heirs was the birth of twins! Lee Falk had hinted early in the piece that Diana may give birth only to a daughter! This was clearly intended to keep readers in suspense - and it worked!
    Apart from the famous Wedding of The Phantom story in 1977, no adventure of The Ghost Who Walks created quite so much international fervour. However, just like The Wedding of The Phantom saga, it was impossible to align the birthdates of both Kit and Heloise in the daily and Sunday stories. In the daily version, Kit is born on Monday 30 April 1979 and Heloise on Monday 7 May 1979. In the Sunday version, Kit is born on Sunday 29 April 1979 and Heloise on Sunday 6 May. The discrepancies were obviously unavoidable, but it didn't stop many fans posting birth notices in newspapers around the world!
    Lee Falk excelled himself in The Heirs. He built up loads of suspense, including Chee-Chee the monkey mailman being held up by a leopard as he tries to deliver a cable from Diana to The Phantom advising she is on her way to the Deep Woods. And - Diana being surrounded by fierce hyenas as she waits for The Phantom to meet her in the jungle. And - the nail-biting moment after Kit has been delivered, when Dr Axel urgently summons The Phantom back into the Skull Cave. Hearts briefly stopped around the world. Has Diana taken a turn for the worse? All is quickly resolved when The Phantom re-emerges from the Skull Cave proudly holding two babies! Not only did Lee Falk excel. Sy Barry's artwork (embellished, as Sy always admitted, by an assistant or two) is brilliant beyond belief!
    Look for the odd jungle saying ... "e;They say he ran so fast the earth caught fire."e; And Old Man Mozz explaining to a puzzled Dr Axe ... "e;When baby comes to him, Ghost Who Walks dances with Bandar people"e;. All wonderful comics writing in a story of immense significance.
    I hope everybody enjoys this trip down memory lane. The Heirs has been out of print for far too long!
    In our next issue, we'll go back even further when we present part one of Excalibur, a part fantasy adventure which delves into the legend of King Arthur, his legendary sword and the Knights of the Round Table.

Jim Shepherd

Future issues planned as of 5th May 2007 (subject to change without notice):

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 ...

Return to the Deep Woods

Bryan Shedden /
Last updated 5 May 2007