Frew #1476
by Antonio Lemos
(this edition is the 1504th actually issued)

Release Date: 11 May 2007

  • Pages: 36
  • Price: $2.50 inc. GST
  • Cover: Antonio Lemos
  • No Phantom Forum in this issue

Fantomen Nr.13/1981
by Jaime Vallvé

  • The Legend of the Sword Pt.1 Excalibur
    • Story: Norman Worker
    • Art: Jaime Vallvé
    • First published in Fantomen Nr.13/1981 by Egmont, Scandinavia. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.

  • Message from the Publisher:
    We take another trip back in time in this issue with Excalibur, part one of a two part adventure called The Legend of the Sword.
    Excalibur was written by the late Norman Worker and originally appeared in a Phantom comic book (Fantomen) in Sweden in 1981. Worker was a lifelong student of English history and mythology and in this adventure he cleverly builds a great story around Excalibur, the famous sword supposed to have been owned and used by King Arthur. The great sword has long been stored in The Phantom's Major Treasure Room, along with another equally famous sword, Durandal, which according to legend, was owned by Roland. The second part of this story deals with Roland's sword.
    The saga of King Arthur and Excalibur can easily be located on any number of web sites and will be well worth tracking down. Whether King Arthur actually existed has always been debated! If he lived, it would have been in the 6th or 7th century. To enjoy this story you must disregard mythology and accept what Norman Worker has scripted as fact! That way, you can actually accept the existence of dragons! Mystery and magic was part of life in England at the time Worker's story is set and over the centuries, both historians and story tellers have built up such a thick web of confusion that it is now difficult to establish what is mythology and what is undeniable fact.
    The story was illustrated by veteran artist Jaime Vallvé and while some of his images are best described as antiquated, his attention to detail has to be admired. Vallvé always excelled in rendering huge scenes jammed with people, in correctly depicting ancient clothing, weapons and buildings and striving to give amazing depth to so many of his drawings. If you have aspirations to become an artist, study his mastery of lighting and his very special feel for showing exactly how clothing moves and folds as characters move.
    Covers for this edition are by Antonio Lemos, who has also perfectly captured the romance and mystery of the time.
    On the subject of mystery, has it ever occurred to anybody that Lee Falk rarely explained how earlier Phantoms acquired most of the priceless items in the Major Treasure Room? Norman Worker's story may not have been exactly how Lee would have preferred to explain the existence of Excalibur in the Skull Cave, but it is most likely close to what Lee may have had in mind. So - this story reveals all about Excalibur and in our next edition, everything will be revealed about Roland's famous Durandal weapon. Norman Worker and Jaime Vallve again combined on this story, so the continuity is perfect. As you will discover in the next edition, the sword known as Durandal was supposed to have been originally used by Hector of Troy. It ended up with Roland, who served with the Frankish Emperor Charlemagne, the King of Cologne, who in or around the year 800, came to rule over most of Europe and is often regarded as the founder of the Holy Roman Empire. Roland's famous sword was apparently indestructible! To prevent Durandal falling into enemy hands, Roland is supposed to have thrown it into a poisoned stream! So how did it come into the possession of The Phantom? All will be revealed in Frew No 1477!

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 ...

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Bryan Shedden /
Last updated 5 May 2007