The Phantom:
A Publishing History in Israel

by Eli Eshed and Bryan Shedden

The comic book industry in Israel is very small in comparison to many countries. Yet, The Phantom is one of the most popular Israeli comic book heroes judging by the number of stories published in different books. This web-page is an attempt to compile an index of The Phantom publishing history in Israel. If anyone has any further ammendments we would welcome your input -- please send your contributions to Eli Eshed or Bryan Shedden.

Nimrod (1954)

Nimrod was the second series of comics published in Israel. The title of the series comes from the name of a biblical character. The comics reprinted daily and Sunday strips of various King Features characters including The Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon, and Jungle Jim. Details of the Phantom stories that appeared in these comics are not known at present. There were a total of 16 issues in the series. One of the stories printed was The Belt (S37, 1954 Sundays).

Olam Apele (1956)

Apparently a continuation of Nimrod, Olam Apele (Wonder World) used a similar format with black and white printing. Like Nimrod it printed King Features characters such as Mandrake, Brik Bradford, and The Phantom. Each title was given a page in each issue (sometimes a half page). The cover page was always devoted to the feature character, Flash Gordon, although one issue also shared the cover page with The Phantom (see above). The serialised Phantom story in these comics was The Rope People from the 1951 Sundays (S29), with art by Wilson McCoy. Olam Apele was cancelled before the story reached it's conclusion, after a total of 11 issues.

Bucky (1967-1971)

Bucky #2

Bucky #5

Bucky #22

Bucky #42

Bucky #44

The title of this series was taken from the character Buck Rogers, who was the premier character in the first years of publication. This comic is Israel's longest running series, with a total of 170 issues published over four years. Each issue included several stories in black and white, selected from various sources, including American newspaper strips and comic books. Some of the characters included Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Mandrake, Superman, Batman, Thor, The X-Men, Ironman, and the British super criminal Spider, in addition to various western, war and crime stories. An index of The Phantom's appearances in Bucky is listed in the following table. The Phantom was featured on 9 covers of these series. Some covers were illustrated by Israeli graphic artist Asher Dickstein. Many had obvious religious or political messages. The cover of #44 shows The Phantom and the Hebrew historical hero Bar-Cochva taming a lion, and the cover of #42 shows The Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers, in a jeep alongside an Israeli soldier with Israeli flag waving in the background! Earlier covers reprinted the artwork used for the American King Phantom Comics.

IssuesHebrew TitleEnglish TitleArtistSource
2-3Sod Bizot AmavethThe Swamp RatsWilson McCoyD74
15Pishey Anasich KokanThe Crimes of Prince KokanSy BarryS70
22-23Sod Aar AkasumThe Secret of Magic MountainBill LignanteKing #22
38-41Phantom Neged Shoddey AsilonThe Super Jet PiratesSy BarryS71
50-52Phantom Neged Shodedey AzhavStrangers at Keela-WeeSy BarryS72
57-58Milchemet Agamadim (incomplete)The Little OnesSy BarryS73
124-126Milchemet Agamadim (complete)The Little OnesSy BarryS73

Phantomas (c 1974)

This was the first Israeli comic series devoted entirely to The Phantom, or as as he was called in this case, Phantomas (all previous comics had called him Phantom). Half of the pages in each issue were in colour, with the other half in black and white. Each comic contained a complete 24 page story, plus an 8 page serialised crime story in prose (non-Phantom). All issues had colour covers of The Phantom. There were only four issues in total, and the following table summarises their content.

IssuesHebrew TitleEnglish TitleSource
1Aele Shenafal MashamiyimeThe God Who Fell from the SkyAmerican Adventures #227 (France)
2Akrave Al AnaareThe Battle on the River?
4Amatos AaavudThe Lost Airplane?
None of these stories are from the newspaper strips. It would appear they were sourced from the Phantom comics published by Fratelli Spada of Italy. Emile Lavigne has confirmed that The God Who Fell from the Sky was originally published in the French version of Fratelli Spada's American Adventures #227, January 18, 1969. This was probably preceded by an Italian version of American Adventures: 2nd Series with an issue number in the 80s or 90s.

Yedioth Acaronot Leyeladim (1980)

This one-off comic book was a childs supplement to Israel's biggest newspaper Yedioth Acaronot (Last News). It printed several Flash Gordon stories and one Phantom story in black and white: the 1969/70 Sunday story The Golden People (S78) with art by Sy Barry.

Mashew (1992)

Issues #93 and #94 of this childrens magazine printed a colour version of the 1991/92 Sunday story The Fourth Son (S137). This was the first Israeli Phantom comic to include credits for the writer and artist, Lee Falk and Sy Barry. It is also the last to have been published.


Return to The Phantom Reference Guide

Bryan Shedden /
Last Updated 4 August 2001