Frew #1342
by Jaime Vallvé & Jim Shepherd
(this edition is the 1370th actually printed)

Release Date: 3 January 2003

  • Pages: 36
  • Price: $2.20 inc. GST
  • Cover: Jaime Vallvé & Jim Shepherd
  • No Phantom Forum in this issue

Fantomen Nr.25/1977
by Jaime Vallvé

  • Mystery in Rome
    • Script: Ulf Granberg
    • Art: Jaime Vallvé
    • First published by Egmont, Scandinavia in Fantomen Nr.25/1977. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Phantom Kingdom.

  • Message from the Publisher:
    Welcome to our first edition for 2003!
    Mystery in Rome, which appears in this issue, is a follow-on from The Ring (Frew No 1341), which was our last presentation for 2002 and writer Ulf Granberg and artist Jaime Vallvé throw more new light on the history of the famous Skull Ring.
    Many enthusiasts have already questioned some of the theories put forward by Granberg. If you like researching, I suggest you try to locate a copy of Frew No 1209 which was our 50th Anniversary Special published in 1998. In that edition you will find a story called The Phantom's Ring, written by Lee Falk and illustrated by Wilson McCoy which first appeared in 1950-51. In that story, Lee gave the first explanation of how the first Phantom obtained the Skull Ring ... "He was the first Phantom! As he swore the famous oath, he received an ancient Death's-Head ring from the jungle kings..."
    If you continue your research in an attempt to discover whether Lee Falk ever changed that history, you will not only be in for a long slog, but will discover that the design of the Skull Ring mysteriously changed many times!
    As you enjoy Mystery in Rome you haven't long to wait until our 2003 Annual Special appears. It will be a weighty 268 pages with a replica copy of Frew edition No 12 from 1949 inside the plastic sleeve. That's a total of 400 pages at the unchanged retail price of $11.00 including GST!
    [Comment from Guran: A bit of strange arithmetic here from Jim! Time will tell us exactly how many pages are in this special.]
    To make it even greater value for money, the Annual Special is wrapped in beautifully hand-painted covers by Antonio Lemos! There will be 11 stories in this year's Special, all in their original entirety! If there is one very special thing about this year's Annual it is the long-awaited first complete presentation of three elusive Sunday stories from 1940-41 The Fire Goddess, The Beachcomber and The Saboteurs with art by the great Ray Moore. Until now, Frew has been unable to publish any of these three classics in their unedited form. Our long search for complete copies of the original art finally came to a happy end in the United States late last year.
    And here's something interesting! After studying our huge collection of overseas editions of The Phantom, we have now come to the conclusion that no comic book publisher in the world has ever succeeded in presenting The Fire Goddess without resorting to trimming of frames.

Jim Shepherd

Future issues planned as of 10 December (subject to change without notice):

Check the New@Egmont and Frew Reprint Schedule 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 26 December 2002