"Collectors Replica Series #9" - story by Lee Falk and art by Wilson Mc Coy.
Cover art by Steve Shepherd.
Story : This issue is number nine in Frew’s ‘Collectors Replica Series’ and reprints issues 175, 174 and 173 from 1960. I suggest reading 174 (part 1) before reading 175 (part 2)! No. 174 and No. 175 contain the second publication of part 1 and part 2 of the 1943/44 daily story ‘The Governor and Suzie’ with art by Wilson McCoy. This story was previously published in three issues No. 79, 80 and 81 back in 1955. This story follows on from ‘The Phantom’s Engagement’, complete in issue No. 1154 and 1340, when Diana told the Phantom she was going to marry Byron. At the end of ‘The Phantom’s Engagement’ there is a caption leading into the next story, ‘Next Week: High Seas Highjacker’. Whether this is meant to be the story title for ‘The Governor and Suzie’ or just a lead in telling readers what was coming up is open to debate as Lee Falk did not title the actual story. The Phantom boards the S.S.Harvey. This is the fifth time the Phantom stays in cabin 14! On deck Suzie desperately tries to meet the mysterious ‘Mr Walker.’ Reminiscent of Trudy in ‘The Shark’s Nest.’ Suzie and the General talk about the Phantom,“…it was a native legend of a man who had lived for centuries – who was rough on all lawbreakers – but especially rough with pirates – a man, they said, ‘with the strength of ten tigers’...” A few panels further the caption reads ‘The Phantom moves behind them, as silently as a cat.’ Lee Falk had not yet invented old jungle sayings but you can see where they came from. Suzie offers to help the Phantom escape. Phantom: “Suzie, I’m in a tight spot – I’ve been in tight spots before – I’ve gotten out of them – But I’ve never lied my way out of them…” The Phantom had a similar offer of help from Sala in ‘The Singh Brotherhood’ just before he was led to the vat of boiling oil! (see pages 150 and 151 of No. 1128). The General to Suzie: “Remember, the only one who can help any of my employees to quit is the undertaker.” One of the most dramatic scenes in a Phantom story as the Governor shoots to kill the Phantom, Suzie runs between them and is shot. With Suzie gasping for life on the floor, the Phantom is filled with fury – he swings hard – and the Governor cheats the hangman after all. The saddest sequence Lee Falk ever wrote for a Phantom story, even more compelling than the fate of ‘Queen Asta of Trondelay.’ Commencing on 19 February 1944 Suzie’s request , once read, never forgotten, as she lies dying in a hospital bed. “You’re the first man I’ve ever really loved...yet I’ve never seen your face...will you...let me see...what you really...look like?” And the Phantom unmasks for Suzie on 22 February 1944! Suzie: “You look... As I imagined... You’d look.” This story was published complete by Jim Shepherd in Frew No. 1184 which has one of the finest covers you will ever see. The story was more recently published in issue No. 1623. No. 173 contains the very first publication of the new 1960 daily story ‘The Reporter’ with art by Wilson McCoy. Jungle Patrol territory stretches from the coast for a hundred miles into the jungle – and a thousand miles long, crossing six countries. ‘World’ magazine sends Maggy and Blake to do a story on the Jungle Patrol. Col. Weeks: “We get a thousand applications a week, out of them one or two may make it…” Col. Weeks: “This room is top secret. You broke in here. It is permitted in my orders to put you both against that wall and execute you by this firing squad. Now!” The well sign reads, ‘Well water condemned stay out Commander J.P.’ but at the end of the story the sign has changed to ‘Stay out well water condemned Commander J.P.’ Blake is the second person (after the master spy Heg) to discover the secret of the well and the identity of the Unknown Commander of the Jungle Patrol. This story was published complete in No. 1187.