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Phantom #11

Posted: Saturday, July 1, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"Nanamaru"

Writer: Ben Raab
Artists: Rich Burchett, Andy B. (c)
Publisher: Moonstone

Former Batman artist Rich Burchett tries his hand at another masked crimefighter, this time one with an older and wider known history. Burchett's work for the Phantom simply put excels his past work, and he does the art in his own style not the modified version that he used for the Timm tie-ins.

Ben Raab gives Burchett plenty with which to work. This story represents Raab's return to the Phantom series, and he takes the daring move of opening the story with the Phantom's children. Not everybody likes these kids. Raab though gives them personalities that explain their actions and breathes life into those that started out basically as just plot devices.

Heloise, the Phantom's daughter, and Kit, the Phantom's son, explore the mystery of a body that washes up on the shores of Bangalla. They were visiting a fishing village, and this village's legends and culture will become invaluable to their survival.

Captured by pirates--the traditional enemy of the Phantom--things look grim for the Phantom's kids. Fortunately, the tribes of Bangalla look out for each other. The jungle drums soon reach the Skull Cave to interrupt a domestic skit expertly timed by the Phantom and his vivacious wife, Diana.

Raab presents an interesting personal dilemma for the Phantom, and he uses it to inform readers unfamiliar with the legend of the Ghost Who Walks. The Phantom doesn't drag his feet. By the book's end, he rescues the children, leaves his mark on a plug-ugly and ponders his own mortality. The story will likely continue, but the chapter itself is a stand-alone.



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