Best Phantom Story 2002

The winner of a one year subscription to Frew's Phantom comic, courtesy of Frew Publications, is Marcus Cristy.

Phans were asked to vote for their favourite stories in Frew's Phantom comic for the year 2002. 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; Semic classics featuring old stories from Scandinavia; Lee Falk classics reprinted in complete and unedited form; and new comic strip stories from American newspapers. Each entrant than had to nominate their Best Phantom Story 2002 by selecting the matching category. The results of the poll are shown in the following lists.

New Comic Book Stories from Egmont Scandinavia

The runaway winner of the Best Egmont Story 2002 was The Long Bow of Little John written by David Bishop from New Zealand (living in Scotland), and illustrated by Paul Ryan from USA. This is the second year running that Paul Ryan has taken out the Best Egmont Story, proving that he has been a highly successful addition to Team Fantomen. David Bishop also made his debut on The Phantom this year and an enormous number of Phans have clearly enjoyed his work so far.
In distant second place, was Patrolman Weeks Suspended by Claes Reimerthi & Romano Felmang. Third place was tied with The Hellhound by Claes Reimerthi & Carlos Cruz, and The Outcasts by Hans Lindahl.

PlaceVotesFrewStory TitleWriterArtistSource
1 241329The Long Bow of Little JohnBishopRyanF 15/02
2 121337Patrolman Weeks SuspendedReimerthiFelmangF 23/02
3 61321The HellhoundReimerthiCruzF 8/02
3 61334The OutcastsLindahlLindahlF 21/02
5 51323The Clock MakerDe PaulBadeF 10/02
5 51338The Eye of MerlinMobergCruzF 25/02
7 41336The Highland MurdersBishopRyanF 22/02
8 31316The New PupilReimerthiBoixF 4/02
8 31322The Floating CemeteryLindahlLindahlF 9/02
8 31328The Bandani PiratesFrognesFelmangF 14/02
8 31332In A Strange Land Pt.1ReimerthiSpadariF 19/02
8 31333In A Strange Land Pt.2ReimerthiSpadariF 20/02
13 21311Convent IslandBishopSpadariF 26/01
13 21313The Witch HuntReimerthiBoixF 1/02
13 21320The Wizard's HouseLongstreetGiordanoF 7/02
13 21327The InquisitorLongstreetSpadariF 12/02
17 11314The Search for El Dorado Pt.1FrognesFrognesF 2/02
17 11331The Mute AvengerHedmanBadeF 17/02
1901315The Search for El Dorado Pt.2FrognesFrognesF 3/02
1901318The Bank Robbers Pt.1MobergFelmangF 5/02
1901319The Bank Robbers Pt.2MobergFelmangF 6/02

Semic Classics

This year Frew reprinted several old stories that were originally created by Team Fantomen from Semic (now known as Egmont). Most were simply reprints of stories that Frew had already published, and in three cases they even included the cover art from that previous edition (#1324, #1325, #1326). However, The Ghost Pirate (#1330) had not been published before by Frew, and this was followed by the first two stories in a new series of Semic Classics that have never appeared in Australia.
The winner of the Best Semic Classic 2002 was The Ring written by Ulf Granberg and Jaime Vallvé. This landmark story about how the 1st Phantom was given his legendary skull mark ring, was obviously very popular amongst Frew readers. The result of this poll is also a great indication that the new Semic Classics series should be a success for Frew.
In distant second place, was Hoogan's Revenge by Lennart Moberg & Jean-Yves Mitton. In third place was Kingdom of the Amazons by Scott Goodall & Romano Felmang / Germano Ferri.

PlaceVotesFrewStory TitleWriterArtistSourceReprint of
1 301341The RingGranbergVallvéF 11/77n/a
2 151324Hoogan's RevengeMobergMittonF 12/921028
3 121326Kingdom of the AmazonsGoodallFelmang/FerriF 10/91993
4 101339Escape from Devil's IslandGranbergBadeF 7/77n/a
5 61330The Ghost PirateAvenellBadeF 19/87n/a
6 41312The Master MagicianWorkerLindahlF 25/83853A
6 41317The Last AssignmentWorkerEralp/WilhelmssonF 2/77776
6 41325The Fire of LifeTierresLindahlF 19/851031
9 21312The Floating IslandDarellLindahlF 2/84850

Lee Falk Classics

Frew have gained much credit for their policy of producing complete reprints of old dailies and Sundays. A total of 16 stories were brought back to life in 2002.
The runaway winner of the Best Falk Classic 2002 was The Slave Market of Mucar, which captured 33% of the votes. This story marked Sy Barry's debut on The Phantom in 1961/62 and is clearly a favourite with the Phans. As one voter put it "this is a top action story that combines ingenuity, courage, and humour - great hallmarks of The Phantom!"
In second place was another clear favourite, The Phantom's Engagement from 1943 dailies. It is a source of some amazement that after The Phantom proposed to Diana in this story, Lee Falk managed to stretch out their romance for another 34 years before they finally wed in 1977.
Third place was closely fought, and eventually won by The Hanta Witch, a 1960s Falk-Barry classic followed by Wilson McCoy's The Chain, a wonderful story of patience and determination overcoming adversity.

PlaceVotesFrewStory TitleWriterArtistSource
1 291312The Slave Market of MucarFalkBarryD82
2 161340The Phantom's EngagementFalkMcCoyD18
3 81312The Hanta WitchFalkBarryD91
4 71312The ChainFalkMcCoyS34
5 51317Colonel Winn's SecretFalkMooreS2
5 51329The Snake GoddessFalkBarryD161
7 41312The Lost City of PheenixFalkBarryD115
7 41335YesFalkBarryD111
9 31335The Golden PeopleFalkBarryS78
10 21340Drug BustersFalkBarryD157
10 21340The Embassy SiegeFalkBarryD155
12 11312The Sea GodFalkBarryD95
12 11335The White PrincessFalkMcCoyD66
1401312The FenceFalkBarryD112
1401312The HeirsFalkBarryD140
1401317The Trophy BearerFalkBarryS83

New Comic Strip Stories from American Newspapers

Yet another clear winner in this category. The Best New Strip Story 2002 was Shadows on Devil Road by Fred Fredericks. Fans of both The Phantom and Mandrake were obviously pleased with this unique crossover story. In distant second place was The Animal Collector by Tony De Paul & George Olesen / Keith Williams, and not far behind in a tie for third was The War Mongers and The Immortal Man.

PlaceVotesFrewStory TitleWriterArtistSource
1 271340Shadows on Devil RoadFredericksFredericksMandrake
2 171323The Animal CollectorDe PaulOlesen/WilliamsD204
3 141323The War MongersReimerthiNolanS155
3 141329The Immortal ManDe PaulOlesen/WilliamsD205
5 81317The Ghost PiratesDe PaulOlesen/WilliamsD203
6 71335The BriefcaseReimerthiNolanS156

Best Phantom Story 2002 - Outright Winner

The outright winner of the Best Phantom Story 2002 was decided by voters selecting from their four choices above, the category of the story that corresponded to their favourite for the year. The vast majority chose stories from Falk Classics (45%), followed by New Egmont (33%), Semic Classics (11%), and lastly New Strips (10%).
The Slave Market of Mucar topped the poll earning the title of Best Phantom Story 2002. The Long Bow of Little John took out second place, and third was a tie between Shadows on Devil Road and The Phantom's Engagement. The top ten places are shown below.

PlaceVotesFrewStory TitleWriterArtistSourceCategory
1 161312The Slave Market of MucarFalkBarryD82Falk Classic
2 101329The Long Bow of Little JohnBishopRyanF 15/02New Egmont
3 71340Shadows on Devil RoadFredericksFredericksMandrakeNew Strip
3 71340The Phantom's EngagementFalkMcCoyD18Falk Classic
5 51341The RingGranbergVallvéF 11/77Semic Classic
6 41312The Hanta WitchFalkBarryD91Falk Classic
7 31312The ChainFalkMcCoyS34Falk Classic
7 31323The Clock MakerDe PaulBadeF 10/02New Egmont
7 31329The Snake GoddessFalkBarryD161Falk Classic
10 21312The Lost City of PheenixFalkBarryD115Falk Classic
10 21324Hoogan's RevengeMobergMittonF 12/92Semic Classic
10 21332In A Strange Land Pt.1ReimerthiSpadariF 19/02New Egmont
10 21333In A Strange Land Pt.2ReimerthiSpadariF 20/02New Egmont
10 21334The OutcastsLindahlLindahlF 21/02New Egmont
10 21335YesFalkBarryD111Falk Classic
10 21337Patrolman Weeks SuspendedReimerthiFelmangF 23/02New Egmont

Return to The Phantom Poll 2002

Bryan Shedden /
Last updated 2 February 2003