by Rolf Gohs
- The Wolfman
- Script: Janne Lundström
- Art: Jaime Vallvé
- First published in Fantomen by Semic, Scandinavia in Nr.2/1976. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Phantom Kingdom.
- This story is the 4th in a new series of previously unpublished Semic Classics. For others see #1339, #1341 and #1342.
- Message from the Publisher:
In this edition, a new Phantom adventure to stir your imagination! The Wolfman, written by Janne Lundström and illustrated by Jaime Vallvé, brings us a new side of the long-established character Trader Joe. It also delves into the possibility that a young boy could be reared by a pack of wild wolves (in real life this has actually happened!) and gives us a little insight into the anger which sometimes drives The Ghost Who Walks.
In an editorial which follows the story, you will learn more about the fascination writers and scientists have long had with children living their lives with wild animals. I think you will be surprised at some of the revelations. You will, however, be more surprised about writer Lundström's expansion of the life of Trader Joe. The character was created by Lee Falk for the 1942 Sunday story, The Impostor. In that adventure, "Trader Joe" was depicted as a villain and was again a villain in his second appearance in the 1950-51 Sunday story, The Phantom's Ring. Lee Falk was experimenting with the character in those days, because in the two stories, "Trader Joe" was a different person! Everything changed in 1962, when "Trader Joe" was transformed into a third character, this time, a lovable old proprietor of a jungle store. The then artist, Sy Barry, came up with a character who bore no resemblance to the hefty villain drawn by Ray Moore for The Impostor or the smaller, but similarly disagreeable "Trader Joe" drawn by Wilson McCoy for The Phantom's Ring. Barry's Trader Joe was given the handlebar moustache he still wears, a rotund figure and a gentle manner. Trader Joe's fourth appearance was in the 1962-63 daily adventure, The Mysterious Ambassador and since that story, he has bobbed up in five more stories spanning 1978-1998. He has appeared many times in stories created for Scandinavian publishers.
The Wolfman originally appeared in a Scandinavian Phantom adventure in February 1976 and you will immediately spot something interesting in this story. Writer Lundström gives "Trader" as Joe's surname. Lee Falk had never even hinted at this and we all naturally assumed that the word "Trader" was a nickname.
Our next issue will go on sale on 7 February and will feature another new story, Treasure of the Aztecs, in which the sixteenth Phantom returns to the American wild west and Mexico and becomes involved in an incredible adventure. Plenty of gun-slinging, swordplay, bloodthirsty bandits - and of course, a mysterious lost treasure! It is written and illustrated in Indiana Jones-style and the action never ceases!