Tony DePaul recently dropped a bombshell on how one error made by artist Paul Ryan in the Daily newspaper story "Chatu's Fate" made Tony create a newspaper story to help rectify the error.
The story with the original mistake fixed is "Terror's Mutiny". The problematic panel is the third panel below where the Phantom has a gun pointed at him by Chatu in a final showdown after he has rescued Diana from the Rodian maximin prison.
What is interesting is that some versions of this strip has the correct text inserted. However the Comics Kingdom website and Frew #1602 (2011) where majority of us have read the story shows the incorrect version. In the Swedish version Fantomen 20/2011 this panel does not appear and was edited out.
Here’s the original panel as scripted (provided by Tony DePaul)
Tony is a much more elegant writer so we have quoted his comments below:
"The problem is that the meaning is skewed by how Paul composed the panel. With two balloons instead of one, the meaning of the scripted line changes. The Phantom code becomes one of no violence."
"A can of worms here in changing just one word and breaking the line into two parts, Paul has now turned the meaning of the line on its head. Paul’s composition changes the meaning of the word “do.” "Do" becomes a synonym for “uphold,” the word Paul inserted, so I imagine that must be why he saw “uphold” as a better choice of words."
"Clearly, the Phantom wanted to kill Chatu, but he knew he had to put his own life at stake to dispatch the villain in a way consistent with his oath and his code of conduct. Obviously, the Phantom’s using the word 'violence' ironically. He means to do no violence to his code while doing extreme violence to Chatu."
So to fix this small blunder which may have left some die hard phans a little bemused, Tony wrote this following sequence of panels into the "Terror's Mutiny" newspaper story.
Where you one of the phans who was bemused originally? Did you even pick up the error? Would the Phantom have been justified killing Chatu? Would the 21st Phantom dishonored the oath and legacy if he had killed Chatu even if it were self-defence?