Best Phantom Story 2001

The winner of a one year subscription to Frew's Phantom comic, courtesy of Frew Publications, is Trevor Kittelty.

The Best Phantom Story 2001 is The Founding of the Jungle Patrol by Lee Falk and Sy Barry (1964/65 Sundays).

Phans were asked to vote for their favourite stories in Frew's Phantom comic for the year 2001. Since Frew publish a range of Phantom stories from different sources, I thought it would be fair to divide them into the following groups: new comic book stories from Egmont Scandinavia; Lee Falk classics reprinted in complete and unedited form; new comic strip stories from American newspapers; and reprints of old comic book stories from Gold Key / King / Charlton. The results of the poll are shown in the following lists.

New Comic Book Stories from Egmont Scandinavia

Voting in this category was quite close, but there was one clear winner. The best Egmont story in 2001 was The Invisible Phantom by the American pairing of Ben Raab and Paul Ryan. This fascinating story about the experiences of an FBI agent working with the Jungle Patrol was based on a theme that has puzzled many who have crossed paths with The Phantom -- how is it that The Phantom can operate so much in the shadows, and remain well removed from the Jungle Patrol (in person at least), when he has no qualms about making his presence felt in public in his continuing battles with evil-doers?
In second place, was The Tiger from Rangoon by Janne Lundström and Bertil Wilhelmsson, a reprinted story that first appeared in Sweden's Fantomen Nr.24 / 1974 and Frew #763 (1983). Third place was tied with The Prodigal Son by Claes Reimerthi and César Spadari, and The Treasure of the Swamp by Mats Jönsson and Romano Felmang.

PlaceVotesFrewStory TitleWriterArtistSource
1 101308The Invisible PhantomRaabRyanF 25/01
2 71309The Tiger from RangoonLundströmWilhelmssonF 24/74
3 61292The Prodigal SonReimerthiSpadariF 9/01
3 61304The Treasure of the SwampJönssonFelmangF 21/01
5 41287The Dark SecretDe PaulSpadariF 6/01
6 31281The Sword of Atan SinghJönssonSpadariF 24/00
6 31282The Baltimore MysteryDe PaulSpadariF 25/00
6 31283The Lady Luck Pt.1Falk/GranbergFelmangF 1/01
6 31303The Ghost HouseReimerthiBoixF 20/01
10 21284The Lady Luck Pt.2Falk/GranbergFelmangF 2/01
10 21285Island of Vengeance ReimerthiLindahlF 4/01
10 21286The Thirsty GoddessJönssonCruzF 5/01
10 21289Durham's CurseReimerthiBoixF 7/01
10 21290The Black CatLongstreetFelmangF 8/01
10 21299The SpyLindahlLindahlF 14/01
10 21306The Jungle RallyLindahlLindahlF 23/01
17 11296Night of the PiratesReimerthiBoixF 15/01
17 11300The Terrorists (The Shuttle)De PaulLeppänenF 17/01
17 11307ShipwreckedWorkerCruzF 24/01
17 11310Lost on The Phantom TrailPelerinLeppänenF 24/82
2101288Treasure of St LuciferReimerthiBadeF 3/01
2101295Death in the SkyGranbergVallvéF 13/01
2101298Revenge of the MafiaRaabFelmangF 16/01
2101301The Slaves (Da Silva's Slaves)HedmanSpadariF 18/01
2101305Lethal CargoHedmanPerlinF 22/01

Lee Falk Classics

The runaway winner of the best Lee Falk Classic in 2001 was The Founding of the Jungle Patrol, which captured one third of the total votes. This historical tale set in 1664, tells of the 6th Phantom's adventures with Redbeard the Pirate, followed by his marriage to Natala, Queen of Navarre. Sy Barry rates this as his favourite Phantom story, selecting it as the basis for his Phantom Portrait for 99.94 Editions.
In second place was another clear favourite, The Childhood of The Phantom. This was Falk's second version of the tale which appeared in Sunday newspapers during 1959/60. It is slightly different to the first version told in 1944/45 Sundays which is rumoured to have been ghosted by another writer (possibly Alfred Bester), as Falk was serving in the military at the time.
Third place was more closely fought, and eventually won by Bullets' Town, a 1960s Sy Barry classic.

PlaceVotesFrewStory TitleWriterArtistSource
1 201291The Founding of the Jungle PatrolFalkBarryS64
2 111280The Childhood of The PhantomFalkMcCoyS53
3 61302Bullets' TownFalkBarryD93
4 51302The Mysterious PassengerFalkBarryD113
5 41297Queen Samaris XIIFalkLignanteS59
5 41297Tale of the Good MarkFalkBarryS85
7 31280The Goggle Eye PiratesFalkMcCoyS56
8 11280Oogooru and the WitchmenFalkMcCoyD75
8 11280FluffyFalkMcCoyS57
8 11280The Bad OnesFalkBarryD90
8 11286The Astronaut and the PiratesFalkBarryS61
8 11291The Giant Bird of GandorFalkBarryS63
8 11293The Keeper of the PeaceFalkBarryD118
8 11294The VulturesFalkBarryD114
8 11297Wambo the GamblerFalkMcCoyD65
8 11310Queen Asta of TrondelayFalkMcCoyD28
1701280The Plant God of the MassauFalkMcCoyS51
1701280The River GangFalkMcCoyS54
1701280The Iron DragonFalkMcCoyD80
1701280The KillerFalkBarryD94
1701297Jungle KingFalkMcCoyS27
1701297The LimperFalkMcCoy/Infantino/LignanteS58

New Comic Strip Stories from American Newspapers

Voting for this category was fairly well spread, with no particular preference for any writer or artist. The best newspaper strip story in 2001 was Ghost Quest by Tony De Paul and George Olesen & Keith Williams. In close second place was The Lion's Head Tamarine by Claes Reimerthi and Graham Nolan, and not far behind in third was The Shipwreckers by Claes Reimerthi & Donne Avenell and George Olesen & Fred Fredericks.

PlaceVotesFrewStory TitleWriterArtistSource
1 181302Ghost QuestDe PaulOlesen/WilliamsD202
2 151310The Lion's Head TamarineReimerthiNolanS154
3 131280The ShipwreckersReimerthi/AvenellOlesen/FredericksS152
4 81286Woduro's Secret ReimerthiNolanS153
4 81291Valley of the GorillamanDe PaulOlesen/WilliamsD201

Old Comic Book Stories from Gold Key / King / Charlton

The above lists do not include The Girl Phantom by Bill Lignante, reprinted from Mandrake #4 in Frew #1291.
A total of 3 Phans selected this as their favourite story in 2001.

What type of Phantom story do you prefer?

The vast majority of Phantom Phans prefer reprints of Lee Falk classics, with this option taking 50% of the total count. Stories from Egmont are very popular in second place, but there were also a few hardcore Phans who vehemently opposed their place in Frew's Phantom comic. In third place were those who have no preference for any one source of Phantom stories - they like them all! I was pleased to see that nobody selected "don't know" which tells me that I'm successfully educating Phans about the source of the various Phantom stories.

31 Lee Falk classics (complete and unedited reprints of old dailies and Sundays)
15 New comic book stories from Egmont Scandinavia
9 No preference
3 New comic strip stories from American newspapers
3 Reprints of old comic book stories from Gold Key / King / Charlton
1 Another source not listed here
0Don't know

Old Stories from Semic (Egmont) Scandinavia

This year Frew printed a few old Semic stories from the 1970s and 1980s, one of which they had not previously published. There are well over a hundred Semic stories from this period that are yet to be printed by Frew. Only 9 people out of 62 who voted in this category, said that they did not want to see these old Semic stories reprinted by Frew. 85% of Phantom Phans were in favour of reprinting these old Semic stories. Hopefully this result will be reflected in the future publishing schedule for Frew's Phantom comic.

Return to The Phantom Poll 2001

Bryan Shedden /
Last updated 3 February 2002