The Phantom:
A Publishing History in India

by Bryan Shedden with thanks to Denzil Jones, Vineeth Abraham, and Aman King.

Diamond Comics Digest

Diamond Comics (1990-2000)








When Indrajal stopped publishing The Phantom in 1990, the rights were quickly picked up by Diamond Comics in New Delhi. The Phantom was added as a regular feature in the Diamond Comics Digest, a monthly set of digest format issues (155mm x 195mm). The digests were numbered by Roman numerals and the first Phantom comic was in Diamond Comics Digest XLV (#45). The Phantom appeared in about every second issue and each Phantom edition was assigned a sequential number in addition to the digest number. Other editions of Diamond Comics Digest featured Mandrake the Magician, James Bond, Spiderman, Guiness Book of Records, or various Indian comic characters. With the exception of the last few issues, publication dates were not printed anywhere in the comic. However, the series was not like most comic books, as it was common for the publisher to keep a stock of all issues and whenever they sold out of a particular number, more copies would be printed, sometimes with a different cover price.

All issues featured locally drawn cover art, contained between 68 and 140 pages all in full colour, and were priced between 12 and 20 Rs. Both English and Hindi versions of each issue were published. Most of the Falk-Barry stories from 1961-1992 were printed at least once - some stories appeared in up to three different issue numbers. The stories were all heavily edited with many panels being cropped and/or stretched with extra inking in order to suit the small page size of the digests. And of course, the story titles were often quite different to the official titles - sometimes the cover title was even different to the given title inside. A total of 101 Phantom comics were published as part of the Diamond Comics Digest, the last appearing in about June 2000. The digests are still being published but The Phantom does not appear in them.

An incomplete index of all Phantom stories in Diamond Comics Digest is shown below. Note that the digest numbers have been converted from Roman numerials to conventional Arabic numerals. The last column shows the first Phantom issue number for stories that had previously appeared in the series.

Phantom #Digest #PagesPrice
Story TitleCodeReprint
14510020Pirates of Black GoldS074 
2?10020Mystery of Wamba Falls InnS066 
2?10020The Star of BangallaD129 
2?10020The Peculiar Revenge? 
3?10020Drug Merchants? 
3?10020Phantom Treasure? 
4?10012Ancestor's Tale? 
4?10012Trial by FireD083 
5?10012The Fall of Dictator? 
5?10012The Conspiracy to Murder ? 
6?10012Head Peak of the MountainS125 
6?10012The Dreadful Witch? 
7?10012Evil Drummers of TimpenniD087 
7?10012The Old BaldyS062 
8?10012The Mysterious IslandD086 
9?10012The Deep Conspiracy? 
9?10012The Great Web of SpideraS065 
10?10012The God of GandorS063 
10?10012The Escaped Convicts? 
11?11615The Jungle PatrolS064 
11?11615Hanta WitchD091 
12?12415Doctor CaryD089 
12?12415The Bad OnesD090 
13?12415The Bullet's TownD093 
13?12415Prince HaliD092 
146510815The Veiled LadyS067 
146510815The KillerD094 
156711620The Treasure of the RobbersS068 
156711620The Wicked PrinceS070 
166911620The Pirates of Super-JetS071 
166911620The Treasure of Black PearlsD095 
166911620The Golden SandsS069 
17?11615The Discovery of the New WorldS075 
17?11615The Hijacked PlanesS076 
17?11615The Treasure HuntD098 
18?11615The Rogue ElephantD099 
18?11615The Ex-convicts? 
18?11615The Dictator? 
197711615General TaraD138 
197711615The Mysterious Land of DwarfsS073 
20?11620The Dangerous Smuggler? 
20?11620The Deep Conspiracy? 
20?11620Phantom's EyrieD103 
26?6815The Notorious Poachers? 
27?6815Mysterious KarapuraS118 
28966815The Castle in FlameS124 
28966815The Robbers of Keela-Wee Golden BeachS120 
29?6815Phantom's GenerationsD140 
30?6815The Diamond Cup of Alexander? 
31?6815Monster Creatures? 
32 (*)?6815The DespotD110 
33?6815Prince of Dwarfs? 
33?6815The Confrontation with a Monster? 
34?6815The Diamond SearchD154 
35?6815The Jungle LawD170 
361096815The Secret of Golden WoodsS092 
371106815The Great OnesS130 
371106815The Trouble ShooterS102 
381116815The Smuggling Racket? 
381116815The Man of Words? 
391126815Three ConvictsD146 
401136815Penic in EdenD169 
41?6815The Wonder of Jungle WorldD174 
421166815The Secret of Poisonous GasS133 
43?6815The VulturesD114 
44?6815The Tale of WigS084 
44?6815A MassacreS087 
451206815The Horrible TirangiD116 
461216815The Whispering GroveS123 
461216815The Rider's Gang? 
471226815The Tanker JackersD117 
481236815Rebel Army Commander? 
491246815Princess BonabelS095 
501256815A Holy IdolD124 
511266815Ordinary LifeD125 
52?6815The Swamp DragonS101 
531296815Panic in MawitaanD131 
541306815The Death HouseD102 
551326815Golden BeachS079 
551326815(continuation of S079)S080 
561336815The Giant of KalugaD119 
571346815The Blue GiantS098 
581356815Urban ThievesS097 
591366815Bandit QueenS134 
601376815The Mysterious Eastern Dark? 
611386815Jhatun Khan (Pt.1)S137 
62?6815Princess Vhatta (Pt.2)S137 
6314211620The Discovery of the New WorldS07517
6314211620The Hijacked PlanesS07617
6314211620The Treasure HuntD09817
64?11620The Treasure of the RobbersS06815
64?11620The Wicked PrinceS07015
65?11620The Pirates of Super-JetS07116
65?11620The Treasure of Black PearlsD09516
65?11620The Golden SandsS06916
66?10020Drug Merchants?3
66?10020Phantom Treasure?3
7015811620The Mysterious IslandD0868
72?11620The God of GandorS06310
72?11620The Escaped Convicts?10
73?13220The Jungle PatrolS06411
73?13220Hanta WitchD09111
74?12420The Bullet's TownD09313
74?12420Prince HaliD09213
7516910820The Veiled LadyS06714
7516910820The KillerD09414
76?8420The Notorious Poachers?26
771748820Mysterious KarapuraS11827
78???Gold Robbers??
80?12020The Dangerous Smuggler?20
80?12020The Deep Conspiracy?9
80?12020Phantom's EyrieD10320
8419014025The Castle in FlameS12428
8419014025The Robbers of Keela-Wee Golden BeachS12028
8419014025Phantom's GenerationsD14029
85?14020The Diamond Cup of Alexander?30
85?14020Monster Creatures?31
86?14020The DespotD11032
86?14020Prince of Dwarfs?33
86?14020The Confrontation with a Monster?33
8920414020The Diamond SearchD15434
8920414020The Jungle LawD17035
9020513220The Secret of Golden WoodsS09236
9020513220The Great OnesS13037
9020513220The Trouble ShooterS10237
93?14020The Smuggling Racket?38
93?14020The Man of Words?38
93?14020Three ConvictsD14639
9421414020Penic in EdenD16940
9421414020The Wonder of Jungle WorldD17441
97 (*)22413220Doctor CaryD08912
97 (*)22413220The Bad OnesD09012
9822710820The Mysterious IslandD0868
100 (*)23312020(Untitled)D173 
100 (*)23312020(Untitled)S072 
101 (*)2367215The Castle in FlameS12428
101 (*)2367215The Robbers of Keela-Wee Golden BeachS12028



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Bryan Shedden /
Last updated 12 July 2003