"Collectors Replica Series #12" - story by Lee Falk and art by Wilson Mc Coy.
New Cover with the sculpture created by Eden Small.
Story :This is the 12th issue in Frew’s ‘Collectors Replica Series’ and reprints issues
166, 165 and 164 from 1960.
No. 166 contains the very first publication of two significant Sunday
stories. The first is the incredible 1954 story ‘The Belt’ and its partner story
which followed directly after ‘The Belt’ finished its newspaper run, the
unforgettable ‘The Master Spy.’ Wilson McCoy was the artist for both these
‘The Belt’ is one of the most moving Phantom stories written by Lee Falk
since ‘The Governor and Suzie’ back in 1943/44. One day each year The
Phantom honors the anniversary of his father’s death. Over ten years ago
The Phantom’s father destroyed the Singh Pirates flagship with the aid of an
informer who later stabbed him in the back and stole his gunbelt.
Calder tells a story at The Explorers’ Club of how he met Rama, the
uncrowned king of Gullique Island and saw The Phantom’s gunbelt framed
on the wall like a trophy. The story is relayed to The Phantom who then
visits Gullique. An old saying is remembered by the pirates ‘If The Phantom
comes to destroy Gullique, There’ll be a double rainbow in the sky.’
‘The Master Spy’ is a Jungle Patrol story. Patrolman Smyth returns for
the third time now a Lieutenant. Dr Heg says he is an historian writing a
history on The Jungle Patrol but in fact he is a spy trying to find out who
the Commander of the patrol is. Heg describes himself as the greatest spy
on earth. The Phantom talks face to face with Lieutenant Smyth, Phantom
“You know the patrol saying ‘Old timers stop asking who the Commander is’
you’re an old timer.” Heg sees a person (The Phantom) leaving the old well
and investigates. The well sign reads ‘well water condemned stay away.’ He
learns how the Commander’s orders get into the safe and sets out to destroy
the patrol. One of the rare stories where The Phantom speaks face to face
with Colonel Weeks! Colonel “He didn’t tell me who he was…. could he be the
unknown Commander? ‘The Belt’ was published complete in No. 1219 and
more recently in No. 1503 and ‘The Master Spy’ in No. 1177.
No. 165 features the second publication of the 1953 daily story ‘The Lady
from Nowhere’ with art by Wilson McCoy. The story was first published in
No. 82 back in 1955. Lee Falk creates a fantastic mystery adventure for The
Phantom in this story of a young attractive woman hanging motionless in a
parachute from the jungle treetops. She is a woman without a memory!
The lady from nowhere is in fact Lydia Land the world’s richest woman
whose guardian, Mr James, has been gambling her money away. James
owes a lot of money to Dice who is behind several attempts to murder
Lydia. The Phantom parachutes, at night, to the deck of the S.S.Volna,
reminiscent of the good old days of ‘The Singh Brotherhood.’ In a dramatic
scene and one of the most fantastic devised by Lee Falk, The Phantom uses
an elephant gun to shoot and explode a torpedo sent to sink the Volna!
Phantom as he punches Dice “Dice, I dislike hitting people but this is a
pleasure.” This story was published complete in No. 1181.
No. 164 features the second publication of the 1944 daily story ‘The
Crooner’ again with art by Wilson McCoy. The story was first published in
No. 77 back in 1955. In this story Uncle Dave is still in his military uniform
and readers watch The Phantom exercising – a five mile swim, chin-ups
200ft above the river, then a 10 mile run.
For the first time a racket with a phoney skull mark ring where The Crooner
leaves The Phantom’s mark at the scene of crimes his gang commit so that
The Phantom will be blamed. The Phantom catches up with The Crooner –
Crooner “First let me make the mark of The Phantom.” Phantom “No, let me
do it. I’ve had more experience making that mark! I’ll start by leaving my
mark on you – Phony!” Lee Falk certainly has a sense of humour when The
Phantom catches the gang and calls out to a policeman “Boooo.” Reminiscent
of the 1943 daily story “Bent Beak Broder” when Jag calls to Sniff in the
meat van and The Phantom replies “Moooooooooo.” This story was published
complete in No. 1063 and more recently in No. 1560.