The winner of a one year subscription to Frew's Phantom comic, courtesy of Frew Publications, is Trevor Kittelty.
The Best Phantom Story 2001 is The Founding of the Jungle Patrol by Lee Falk and Sy Barry (1964/65 Sundays).
Phans were asked to vote for their favourite stories in Frew's Phantom comic for the year 2001. Since Frew publish a range of Phantom stories from different sources, I thought it would be fair to divide them into the following groups: new comic book stories from Egmont Scandinavia; Lee Falk classics reprinted in complete and unedited form; new comic strip stories from American newspapers; and reprints of old comic book stories from Gold Key / King / Charlton. The results of the poll are shown in the following lists.
Voting in this category was quite close, but there was one clear winner. The best Egmont story in 2001 was The Invisible Phantom by the American pairing of Ben Raab and Paul Ryan. This fascinating story about the experiences of an FBI agent working with the Jungle Patrol was based on a theme that has puzzled many who have crossed paths with The Phantom -- how is it that The Phantom can operate so much in the shadows, and remain well removed from the Jungle Patrol (in person at least), when he has no qualms about making his presence felt in public in his continuing battles with evil-doers?
In second place, was The Tiger from Rangoon by Janne Lundström and Bertil Wilhelmsson, a reprinted story that first appeared in Sweden's Fantomen Nr.24 / 1974 and Frew #763 (1983). Third place was tied with The Prodigal Son by Claes Reimerthi and César Spadari, and The Treasure of the Swamp by Mats Jönsson and Romano Felmang.
|1||10||1308||The Invisible Phantom||Raab||Ryan||F 25/01|
|2||7||1309||The Tiger from Rangoon||Lundström||Wilhelmsson||F 24/74|
|3||6||1292||The Prodigal Son||Reimerthi||Spadari||F 9/01|
|3||6||1304||The Treasure of the Swamp||Jönsson||Felmang||F 21/01|
|5||4||1287||The Dark Secret||De Paul||Spadari||F 6/01|
|6||3||1281||The Sword of Atan Singh||Jönsson||Spadari||F 24/00|
|6||3||1282||The Baltimore Mystery||De Paul||Spadari||F 25/00|
|6||3||1283||The Lady Luck Pt.1||Falk/Granberg||Felmang||F 1/01|
|6||3||1303||The Ghost House||Reimerthi||Boix||F 20/01|
|10||2||1284||The Lady Luck Pt.2||Falk/Granberg||Felmang||F 2/01|
|10||2||1285||Island of Vengeance||Reimerthi||Lindahl||F 4/01|
|10||2||1286||The Thirsty Goddess||Jönsson||Cruz||F 5/01|
|10||2||1289||Durham's Curse||Reimerthi||Boix||F 7/01|
|10||2||1290||The Black Cat||Longstreet||Felmang||F 8/01|
|10||2||1299||The Spy||Lindahl||Lindahl||F 14/01|
|10||2||1306||The Jungle Rally||Lindahl||Lindahl||F 23/01|
|17||1||1296||Night of the Pirates||Reimerthi||Boix||F 15/01|
|17||1||1300||The Terrorists (The Shuttle)||De Paul||Leppänen||F 17/01|
|17||1||1310||Lost on The Phantom Trail||Pelerin||Leppänen||F 24/82|
|21||0||1288||Treasure of St Lucifer||Reimerthi||Bade||F 3/01|
|21||0||1295||Death in the Sky||Granberg||Vallvé||F 13/01|
|21||0||1298||Revenge of the Mafia||Raab||Felmang||F 16/01|
|21||0||1301||The Slaves (Da Silva's Slaves)||Hedman||Spadari||F 18/01|
|21||0||1305||Lethal Cargo||Hedman||Perlin||F 22/01|
- The "Source" column in the above list refers to the original Fantomen issue number for each story.
- Death in the Sky was first printed in Fantomen Nr.8 / 1977, and was reprinted in Nr.13 / 2001 in tribute to the late Jaime Vallvé.
- Fantomen Nr.10, 11 and 12 / 2001 were also Vallvé tribute issues, but they were not reprinted by Frew.
- Fantomen Nr.26 / 2000 and 19 / 2001 contained only Lee Falk classics.
- The stories in #1309 and #1310 are reprints from #763 and #838, respectively.
The runaway winner of the best Lee Falk Classic in 2001 was The Founding of the Jungle Patrol, which captured one third of the total votes. This historical tale set in 1664, tells of the 6th Phantom's adventures with Redbeard the Pirate, followed by his marriage to Natala, Queen of Navarre. Sy Barry rates this as his favourite Phantom story, selecting it as the basis for his Phantom Portrait for 99.94 Editions.
In second place was another clear favourite, The Childhood of The Phantom. This was Falk's second version of the tale which appeared in Sunday newspapers during 1959/60. It is slightly different to the first version told in 1944/45 Sundays which is rumoured to have been ghosted by another writer (possibly Alfred Bester), as Falk was serving in the military at the time.
Third place was more closely fought, and eventually won by Bullets' Town, a 1960s Sy Barry classic.
|1||20||1291||The Founding of the Jungle Patrol||Falk||Barry||S64|
|2||11||1280||The Childhood of The Phantom||Falk||McCoy||S53|
|4||5||1302||The Mysterious Passenger||Falk||Barry||D113|
|5||4||1297||Queen Samaris XII||Falk||Lignante||S59|
|5||4||1297||Tale of the Good Mark||Falk||Barry||S85|
|7||3||1280||The Goggle Eye Pirates||Falk||McCoy||S56|
|8||1||1280||Oogooru and the Witchmen||Falk||McCoy||D75|
|8||1||1280||The Bad Ones||Falk||Barry||D90|
|8||1||1286||The Astronaut and the Pirates||Falk||Barry||S61|
|8||1||1291||The Giant Bird of Gandor||Falk||Barry||S63|
|8||1||1293||The Keeper of the Peace||Falk||Barry||D118|
|8||1||1297||Wambo the Gambler||Falk||McCoy||D65|
|8||1||1310||Queen Asta of Trondelay||Falk||McCoy||D28|
|17||0||1280||The Plant God of the Massau||Falk||McCoy||S51|
|17||0||1280||The River Gang||Falk||McCoy||S54|
|17||0||1280||The Iron Dragon||Falk||McCoy||D80|
Voting for this category was fairly well spread, with no particular preference for any writer or artist. The best newspaper strip story in 2001 was Ghost Quest by Tony De Paul and George Olesen & Keith Williams. In close second place was The Lion's Head Tamarine by Claes Reimerthi and Graham Nolan, and not far behind in third was The Shipwreckers by Claes Reimerthi & Donne Avenell and George Olesen & Fred Fredericks.
|1||18||1302||Ghost Quest||De Paul||Olesen/Williams||D202|
|2||15||1310||The Lion's Head Tamarine||Reimerthi||Nolan||S154|
|4||8||1291||Valley of the Gorillaman||De Paul||Olesen/Williams||D201|
The above lists do not include The Girl Phantom by Bill Lignante, reprinted from Mandrake #4 in Frew #1291.
A total of 3 Phans selected this as their favourite story in 2001.
The vast majority of Phantom Phans prefer reprints of Lee Falk classics, with this option taking 50% of the total count. Stories from Egmont are very popular in second place, but there were also a few hardcore Phans who vehemently opposed their place in Frew's Phantom comic. In third place were those who have no preference for any one source of Phantom stories - they like them all! I was pleased to see that nobody selected "don't know" which tells me that I'm successfully educating Phans about the source of the various Phantom stories.
|31||Lee Falk classics (complete and unedited reprints of old dailies and Sundays)|
|15||New comic book stories from Egmont Scandinavia|
|3||New comic strip stories from American newspapers|
|3||Reprints of old comic book stories from Gold Key / King / Charlton|
|1||Another source not listed here|
This year Frew printed a few old Semic stories from the 1970s and 1980s, one of which they had not previously published. There are well over a hundred Semic stories from this period that are yet to be printed by Frew. Only 9 people out of 62 who voted in this category, said that they did not want to see these old Semic stories reprinted by Frew. 85% of Phantom Phans were in favour of reprinting these old Semic stories. Hopefully this result will be reflected in the future publishing schedule for Frew's Phantom comic.
Return to The Phantom Poll 2001