The fiendish and cowardly General Bababu has a starring role in our new story, The Invasion of Baronkhan. For those who just came in, best I explain that Bababu made his first appearance in a Phantom adventure in the 1962-63 Lee Falk daily story, The Mysterious Ambassador.
When we first met him he had recently overthrown the Premier, Doctor Lamanda Luaga, was recognised as the Dictator of Bengali and commanded an army of 20,000 soldiers.
The Phantom helps Luaga regain power and ever since, General Bababu (whose little-used first name is Babo) has been a pain in the side of both.
He has murdered, been exiled and imprisoned, yet somehow, always managed to overcome the odds and come back, more dangerous and powerful than ever.
Interestingly, there is a special twist in the ‘relationship’ of Bababu with The Phantom and Lamanda Luaga!
In a story called -The Frame-Up (and also, The President’s Son) published in Frew No 380 in 1968, something quite extraordinary happens….Luaga’s son Lon marries Bababu’s daughter, Lila!
Phantom historians still ponder that strange event!
Lee Falk never even hinted at using the union as a means of reforming Bababu and using his organizational skills to help him become a valuable ally of Luaga.
Perhaps he did have that in mind, because in the 1979-80 daily, The Return of General Bababu, Luaga actually pardoned Bababu.
Whatever his reasons, Lee later veered completely away from the possibility of turning Bababu into a useful citizen.
The marriage of the children of two sworn enemies was never mentioned again!