There's no doubt that one of the most enjoyable purchases that a phan could make at the Supanova comic convention in Sydney last month was the long-awaited The Phantom Gallery Series 2 trading cards.
Make sure you also check out our video review at the bottom of the page!
It really was a delight for phans from around Australia to come together, open packets of the shiny new cards and share what they'd found. Many of us took the opportunity of having like-minded individuals around us, and traded spare cards with each other to complete sets and to get extras for signatures from attending artists.
For everyone else, these cards will be available in newsagents around Australia from tomorrow and are already for sale on the Frew website right now.
Be in no doubt - the cards are an amazing product that most phans will absolutely love.
As a fun way to start the cards, producer Glenn Ford has brought us the conclusion to Death's Dark Path part 2, written by Chuck Dixon and masterfully illustrated by Graham Nolan. It's a fast-paced story that is perfectly suitable to be read as a standalone, but is best enjoyed by revisiting part 1 from The Phantom Gallery Series 1.
Glenn has also brought together over 75 artists from around the world in this 110 card set. These include a huge range of brand new and unpublished images of The Phantom, representing a wide and diverse mix of art styles, themed geographically and printed in outstanding detail.
The cards have art styles to appeal to almost every phan, from the Falkist to the Modernist, as well as to children with Kid Phantom and Fantomen Kids represented. It's also a huge amount of nostalgic fun to be opening cards and slotting them into the purpose-designed Collector's Album.
Complementing the Base set of 100 is the ten Chase cards - the six Level 3 cards from various artists are pictured below. With three embossed Sal Velluto cards and a very special embossed and debossed Sy Barry card rounding out the chase, there's certainly a little heart flutter with every packet opened.
Check out our detailed collector video review at the bottom of the page.
There was one hiccup in production however, which you will notice as you slot them into position: a small number of the cards contain minor editing errors.
This will not be a surprise to listeners of X-Band: The Phantom Podcast, with Glenn admitting as much when he announced the cards in Episode #121, "Just a couple of little mistakes that I made along the way..."
In the opinion of the ChronicleChamber team, while they are an unfortunate talking point, these errors do not detract greatly from the overall product.
To help alleviate any possible confusion ahead of time, ChronicleChamber and a group of eagle-eyed phans have gone through and identified those minor mistakes, listed below.
Glenn told us about the printing error on the box (listed first), and conceded that "there's a couple of numbers wrong [on the cards], but as long as you follow the little index at the back you'll be fine, that's all you need to do." We have, and this is it:
Box is headed "Gallery Series 3" - should be "Gallery Series 2"
Two cards numbered #11 - Predominantly red story card featuring "Give me my money" should be #20
Card numbered #T - should be #85
Two cards numbered #92 - Rafeal Lopez Espi (Phantom running, white background) should be #72
There are ONLY three Sal Velluto Chase Cards, not six as mentioned on the back of the cards. Covered in the video below.
The pedants at CC have also found a few editorial oversights on the rear of some cards, but these in no way detract from the beauty of the artwork or the quality of the collection.
It is worth noting that not all of these oversights are found on all cards. Most appear to have been picked up part way through the print run; for example, the error on Chase Card #G3 (rogue 'g' and missing text) only appears on some instances of the card - compare below. This will have completists reading diligently and investors hunting for the rare cards with printing variants!