Claes Reimerthi is retiring and it is going to leave a huge gap in the Phantom world. There will be questions on everyone's lips after the news broken by stalwart Kari Lappanen who posted on his own website that the story he is currently working on is his last script.
Claes Reimerthi has been writing Phantom since 1984 and has just under 300 credited Phantom stories published for Team Fantomen, the Daily and the Sunday newspaper stories.
Claes is second behind only Lee Falk as the most credited Phantom writer who wrote 345 Phantom stories between 1936 and his death in 1999. It was always interesting to some if Claes could ever take over as the most published Phantom writer. Unless he decides to write freelance, he will fall short.
We can confirm after speaking with outgoing Team Fantomen editor Mikael Sol that Claes is retiring so he can focus on his own writings. With Claes Reimerthi retiring it leaves me with three BIG QUESTIONS that must be asked.
Question One: Who will take over as the main Team Fantomen writer?
Out of the last 50 stories published by Team Fantomen, 32 of those were written by Claes Reimerthi. Along with 7 stories also written by Mikael Sol in the past 50 stories who both have now moved on from Team Fantomen it leaves a huge hole for new editor Andreas Eriksson and Jacob Habinc to fill. We can also confirm that Mikael has been asked to freelance future stories.
Will they however find one main writer or will they go for several writers to help fill the void?
Question Two: What does this mean for the 22nd Phantom Saga?
Claes Reimerthi struck gold with his 22nd Phantom saga which sees the complete 21st Phantom world as we know it all in upheaval. The 21st Phantom is missing, Diana is separated from him, Kit and Heloise were fighting, General Bababu is in control of a war torn Bengalla and Hero and Devil all or were missing.
We can confirm that 22nd Phantom artist Janusz Ordon has two other Claes scripts he is working on currently but after that?
Most phans love the series so let us hope that the new team hires someone with enough Phantom experience to continue on with the great work he has given us so far.
Question Three: What about the Sandal Singh ongoing saga with the illegitimate son Nadir Singh?
Some phans enjoy it, a lot do not like it and others are in the wait and see what happens before they storm the Egmont castle with their pitchforks.
While Claes struck gold with the 22nd Phantom saga, the Sandal Singh storyline has some phans upset. What will happen? Was The Phantom raped? Is the son, the 21st Phantoms? Has Claes written down a storyline map for this storyline? If the mapped out storyline exists, will that remain or will the new writer take it in a new direction?
Thanks to Norwegian phan Thomas Askjellerud for informing us about this huge development plus Mikael Sol who confirmed the retirement for Chronicle Chamber.
Lastly, we must thank Claes Reimerthi for his huge amount of work and dedication he has given so we can enjoy the Phantom! As in perfect Phantom tradition, the mantle is now passed onto the next generation to battle evil. As you were gentlemen!