Phantom enthusiasts will have a field day debating our new story!
The Whispering Statue is one of the few full-length Phantom adventures largely based on the mysterious Whispering Grove—a unique forest to the east of the Deep Woods, towards Phantom Peak and the Misty Mountains.
The wood of the forest has a golden colour, is said to be the hardest timber in the world and is found nowhere else in the world!
The local Oogaan (also known as the Oogan) tribe, jealously guards the Whispering Grove and it has long been claimed that only a handful of the Oogaan tribesmen know how to carve the Grove’s wood.
Lee Falk recorded that these master craftsmen created all the trophies presented for competition in the Jungle Olympics.
Most mysterious of all, is that all the trees in the Whispering Grove not only have a strange marking which resembles a human face (or to be more correct, something which falls between the exterior appearance of The Phantom’s Skull Cave and the design of The Phantom’s Skull Ring) - but are claimed to actually speak!
The latter claim is, of course, simply part of an old jungle legend.
The ‘speech’ heard boils down to a single word—a whispered ... Phantom … which we have long known is created by wind passing through the tree foliage.
Lee Falk first mentioned the Whispering Grove in the 1966 daily, The Sea God (Frew No 341), followed with another mention in the 1970-71 Sunday, Alexander’s Diamond Cup (Frew No 1156) and really expanded on the Whispering Grove’s history and importance in the 1973 Sunday, The Golden Wood (Frew
If you have a large Frew Phantom collection, it will be rewarding to check back over these old stories!
You will discover, for example, that only a handful of experts from the Oogaan tribe ever mastered the art of carving the ‘golden wood’ from the Whispering Grove.
In this new story, the sculptor to the Misty Mountains ruler seems to have no difficulty carving a lifelike statue with simple implements!
Nor do the two workmen who use only axes to fell a tree!