"Collectors Replica Series #11" - story by Lee Falk and art by Wilson Mc Coy.
New Cover with the sculpture created by Eden Small.
Story :This is the 11th issue in Frew’s ‘Collectors Replica Series’ and reprints issues 169, 168 and 167 from 1960. No. 169 contains the first publication of the 1959/60 daily story ‘Oogooru and the Witchmen’ with art of course by Wilson McCoy. This jungle adventure also features Dr Axel who first appeared in ‘Dr Axel and the Witchmen’ back in 1955. This story is the first to feature the good mark sign above the gates of Dr Axel’s jungle hospital. There are three versions of the good mark sign delivered by The Phantom’s ring and two other versions that are symbols. This story features the very first good mark ring design described as an ‘X’ with two sword hilts facing right and two facing left. In the second ‘X’ ring design the sword hilts all face to the right. Note that Lee Falk describes the good mark design as being ‘crossed swords for protection’ in the 1976 Sunday story ‘The Stolen Ring’ which was published last in No. 1343. Lee Falk notes early in the story that the jungle is filled with Phantom legends such as ‘The Phantom once killed four tigers at the same time, barehanded’ and then proceeds to tell us the legend of ‘The Flying Horse.’ Challenged by the Witchmen The Phantom faces off against the stone idol, Oogooru!. God of Death – Witchcraft and Murder, on Doom Peak. A spectacular scene as The Phantom on Hero, with Devil, leap from the great height of Doom Peak plunging into the lake below! Using a black helicopter, provided by Colonel Weeks, at night with a searchlight, The Phantom appears to be flying atop Hero, and crashes the stone idol of Oogooru amid the witchmen attacking Dr Axel’s hospital! This story also features the old jungle saying ‘The Phantom has eyes and ears everywhere,’ and confirms ‘The Phantom cannot refuse a challenge!’ Lastly the well sign at Jungle Patrol Headquarters reads ‘Poison water do not use Com J.P.’ This story was published complete by Jim Shepherd in No. 1216.
No. 168 features the second publication of the 1954 daily story ‘The Wrestling Tourney’ with art by Wilson McCoy. The story was first published in No. 85 back in 1955. Every year at this time each village enters a contestant in the wrestling tourney. The winner fights The Phantom and will rule the jungle for a year. The 1st Phantom entered the tourney and won and so The Phantom became Ruler of the Jungle! Ookon is the winner of the tribes and is the 17th giant to face The Phantom. Ookon and Conky devise a plan to beat The Phantom by putting sleeping powder in his toasting cup. Ookon defeats The Phantom! and becomes Ruler of the Jungle. Diana discovers the truth and The Phantom again faces Ookon in a rematch and this time The Phantom wins! Note in this story Ookon is of the Onaway tribe which is also spelt Onewey! Another saying, but not an old jungle saying, regarding the tourney is remembered ‘The Bandar know only one ruler in victory or defeat – The Phantom.’ This story was published complete in No. 1219 and more recently in No. 1653. Note: Lee Falk returned to this ‘Ruler of the Jungle Tourney’ theme in the 1956 Sunday story ‘The Jungle Tourneys.’ This 1956 story was one of the lost Phantom adventures never published by Frew before No. 1000 in 1992.
No. 167 features the second publication of the 1954 daily story ‘Ragon’s Game’ with art by Wilson McCoy. The story was first published in No. 83/84 back in 1955. Prince Ragon is the bored master of the Silver Palace and bears a striking resemblance to ‘The Old Man of the Mountains’ who appeared in the 1942/43 Sunday story ‘Castle in the Clouds.’ Ragon devises a plan to offer certain people a challenge to obtain their greatest wish which he places on his balcony. From his balcony Ragon watches, to alleviate his boredom, as each person tries to overcome his challenges. The Phantom spoils his fun and Ragon sets his sights on getting The Phantom to play his game. Ragon kidnaps Diana and places her on his balcony and The Phantom must now play his game. Challenges for The Phantom are: 1. A tiger. 2. Crocodiles. 3. Quicksand. 4. Giant hawks. 5. A mounted armored knight. 6. A wall of fire. 7. Finally an avalanche. The Phantom wins the game and takes Ragon to court charged with kidnapping Diana. Diana “It’s all over! Oh, darling – many men say they’ll go thru fire and water for a girl – but you really did!’ This story was published complete in No. 1187. Note: this story is reminiscent of the earlier 1946/47 Sunday story ‘The 12 Tasks’ of Ptjar where The Phantom must also perform feats of strength and cunning.