No 184 showcases the third printing of the very first Lee Falk and Ray Moore 1936 daily story ‘The Singh Brotherhood’ part two. The old guard at Frew originally published the story in Issue No 6 in 1949 and unfortunately this very first one was censored and so were all subsequent reprints. The story was finally published complete and uncensored by Jim Shepherd in Issue
No 918A and in the larger format Issue No 1128. Jim was able to source a complete very clean version of the art between 1988 and 1996. So for the best possible reproduction of this art look no further than Issue No 1128. In this censored issue check out Diana’s brief costume in Krakatan and see how it has been inked over so that more of her top and legs are covered. At the end of the story compare the brief attire of Sala as she appears in The Phantom’s cell on Mt Trepnich and saves The Phantom’s life twice, from the boiling oil and from Kabai Singh. In particular check out the date 29 October and see how Ray Moore’s brilliant artwork has been destroyed!
‘The Singh Brotherhood’ made its first appearance in Australia in ‘The Australian Woman’s Mirror’ weekly magazine commencing
01 September 1936. The Mirror was famous for changing the setting of this first story from New York Harbour to Sydney Harbour and even Diana became a young Sydney girl!
‘The Singh Brotherhood’ is perhaps the best and most famous Phantom story. It is believed that Lee Falk drew the first two weeks of the story before Ray Moore took over the artwork. Ray Moore first signed the strip on 02 March and drew The Phantom’s eyes or the appearance of his eyes on 16, 23 and 28 April and 12, 13, 14 and 15 May! There are at least five variations of the Skull Mark in this first story and Dabi is the first giant to face The Phantom. There are also several ancestors of old jungle sayings such as ‘The Phantom Warns Only Once,’ ‘The Phantom Always Returns’ and “We Phantoms Have Never Been Refused.”
Issue No 183 showcases the second printing of the 1955 daily story ‘Captain Kidder’s Treasure’ with art by Wilson McCoy. This story first appeared in No 95 back in 1956. This story has the first mention of the name ‘Gyp.’ A name that Lee Falk would use again in later stories. The Phantom reads an entry in the first book written by the first Phantom. The entry is dated May 1555 regarding the pirate stronghold of Tomas. The final entry in the chronicle on this story read ‘Capt. Kidder, though a rogue, had an odd sense of humor.’ The first complete printing of ‘Captain Kidder’s Treasure’ was published in No 1009.
Issue No 182 contains the second printing of the 1955 daily story ‘The Slimming of Prince Tagon’ with art by Wilson McCoy. The story was first published in No 94 in 1956. Prince Tagon saves The Phantom’s life. The Phantom would have given the Prince his ‘Good Mark’ except that Lee Falk had not yet invented this part of Phantom history. ’ ‘The Slimming of Prince Tagon’ was published complete in No 1187.
‘The Good Mark.’ In the 1947/48 daily story ‘The Devil Road,’ complete in No 1156, The Phantom places his Skull Mark on Connie’s palm for protection. Phantom “If any jungle people approach you, show them that. You won’t be molested…’. In the 1950/51 Sunday story ‘The Phantom’s Ring,’ complete in No 1075, ‘The wearer of The Phantom’s Skull Ring is proclaimed to be a friend of The Phantom and is protected by the Phantom.’ The first Good Mark applied by the Good Mark ring, appears in the 1958 daily story ‘Carlyle’s Good Mark’ complete in No. 1075. Prior to ‘The Devil Road’ The Phantom had twice sent his Skull Ring to the Bandar to summons them for help. The first time was in the 1936/37 daily story “The Sky Band’ complete in No 1147 and the second time in the 1939 Sunday story ‘The League of Lost Men’ complete in No 939A, when he gives his ring to Helen Thrush to take to the Bandar.