The story in this issue is one that has inspired a generation of fans. The words are courtesy of Noman Worker and with art by Karl Leppanen. “The Test”, follows the adventure of Kit as he
explains to Diana why it was he missed her 14th birthday many years previously. The reason for his absence was to undergo the test. This is a right of passage tale. Armed with a knife given
to him by his father, a Bandar bow and special arrows from Guran and know doubt inspired by a reading of “Huckleberry Finn”, the 17 year old Kit is sent out alone into the jungle to complete
an arduous treasure hunt and endurance survival test.
Many and varied are the items he must find on a tight time line. He carries with him a rescued monkey on his back by the name of Duffy as he goes looking for a feather from a Bengali
condor, a dragon’s tear and a tiger orchid.
Along the journey he encounters Wandy a village girl in distress and in need of a rescue and bad men intent on evil doing. Kit doesn’t really have the time to complete his tasks and sort out all
the bad men but he does of course stop to give them all a good whacking and in the process show his metal as a potential Phantom. He is a little tardy completing the tasks set but his
indefatigable defence of those in need demonstrated that his moral compass is so undeniably true that to pass with flying colours was the only option available.
The last two panels of this comic book are a gem of a time when the woman’s role was not as it is today. It’s a statement of coming change as the future of gender equality was in the wind.