The Phantom:
A Publishing History in Sweden

by Andreas Eriksson

The Early Years

With little fanfare, The Phantom made his first appearance in Sweden on 26th May 1940 in Nr.21 of the weekly magazine Vecko-Revyn. The magazine published one page of the Phantom every week. You might think that with this format they would use the Sundays, but instead dailies were edited into a one-page format. The first story was "Adventure in Algiers", and it was published in two colors - red and blue in various nuances. The Phantom's costume was a greyish blue color. The pages in Vecko-Revyn were later collected and published in albums, the first released in 1944.

The next appearance of the Phantom in Sweden was in the daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet from Stockholm. The publishers felt that "The Phantom" was too scary as a title, and changed it into "Dragos - the Mysterious Man" when the Phantom appeared on 8th June 1942. The first story published was "Diana Aviatrix Lost". Svenska Dagbladet still carries The Phantom, and kept the name Dragos until 1980. Some Swedish newspapers even kept the name Dragos until after the year 2000!

So where did the name "Dragos" come from anyway? The answer is Denmark, where Lee Falk's other creation, Mandrake, was published under the name Dragos from 1938 to 1959. It was derived from the botannical name of the mandrake root ... "mandragora".

The Phantom's popularity grew during these years, and laid the foundation for the success of the Fantomen magazine which was released in 1950.


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Bryan Shedden /
Last updated 6 July 2003