I guess for some, its the same as Australia but let us leave that to another discussion.
The Phantom has not made many visits to the Oceania region and let us be honest - He Should Be! In podcasts in the past I have made claims that one of the reasons why Australian Phans tend not to like to the Egmont stories is because they are jealous the Phantom visiting Europe and the like. Well I reckon this may change with the Phantom visiting New Zealand in an upcoming story which was released in Sweden in August, in issue 17/2017. Even if it's an average or rubbish story, the Australia and New Zealand phans will enjoy this.
The same story also features not one, or even two but three Marshall Sisters.... Now I am sure this has you thinking back to the classic Lee Falk stories trying to think of the name of third Marshall Sister, let me stop you using that gray matter and put your brain at ease and inform you that it features a new set of Marshall sisters that are relatives to the original ones we love. How are they related? Well let us leave something to surprise you when you read the comic for yourself.
It does feature a great flashback of the Phantom kissing Greta (above) and below I have included that along with the original back in the 1940's drawn by Wilson McCoy. I have also included photos of the first few pages to wet your appetite.
This was created by David Bishop and Rafael Ruiz. Ruiz has been doing some great work with Egmont and David Bishop is a native New Zealander which I am sure is why we have seen the Phantom hanging out with some Bros down under. It has been a while since we have seen David Bishop writing Phantom scripts and it is nice to see him back.
In a post on his personal blog, David tells a little about the plot of the story: "Red Zone is set in 2013 Christchurch, two years after the big earthquake that killed so many people, inspired by a visit there. Much of Christchurch was still in ruins that year, but there was an amazing spirit among the locals, everyone determined to rebuild and reinvent their city. Hopefully my entirely fictitious story captures some of that spirit, as well as giving the Phantom an exciting new adventure."
I myself would love to see this in a Frew comic sooner than later and some more classic Falk characters in new stories - take note Phantom writers. I would love to see Mr Hog back, Sala, the Marshall sisters, Lily and Dave and some more villains. What about you?
Thank you to Andreas and Kjell for your help in this article.