Some say that mysterious are best left unsolved - Not me. For example, I want to know what happened to the New York gangster Fats Morgan? What is the Sunda Trough that the Phantom and Achmed Singh talk about before he is skull marked?
These are two questions I have always had since reading the first ever Phantom newspaper story "The Singh Brotherhood". Lee Falk obviously had Sunda Trough mentioned for a reason and Fats was built up as a mainstay character before suddenly disappearing for good. Achmed Singh is the same.
These two bad guys with so much time spent on them, were never seen and or mentioned again after the focus was turned to the next bad guy - Kabai Singh.
It seams I was not the only one who wondered similar questions. Thanks to some sneak peaks posted on his instagram page, phan phav creator Matt Kyme has strongly hinted that the story he is working on at the moment could well answer these questions that have been asked for the past 80+ years.
Matt Kyme would not tell us everything as we do have to buy the comic but he did have this to say:
Attempting to keep things strictly canonical is near impossible because Lee Falk himself made numerous revisions to the Phantom's early years. I've tried to construct a story that is faithful to Phantom lore and to popular Falk stories. I present to you the first time in my life I have ever drawn Fats Horgan, Lucy Walker, Dave and Lily Palmer and Rama Singh.... all on one page!
I will add a Sunda Trough scene which shows Prince Ahmed’s first encounter with the 20th Phantom. This can tie into a scene in the Childhood of the Phantom where a young Kit sees his ‘seldom seen’ father brought to the deep woods on a stretcher.
For Those Who Have Come In Late.
Fats Morgan is the first villain introduced in the Phantom universe, on the same day as Diana and even features before the Phantom himself. After Diana leaves the ship SS Trotter, we never seen him again. However we know Fats knows of the Phantom as one wise guy cracks a joke about being scared of ghosts and is almost killed for his joke.
On the 10 March 1936, we see the last of Fats as he and his henchmen disappear for good and are never seen again - until now!
The other piece that Matt Kyme is exploring is the story of Sunda Trough which featured in the conversation between the Phantom and Achmed Singh after the Phantom parachutes from a plane onto a speed boat.
Now it is very likely Lee Falk was making up Phantom Lore as he was going. The Ghost Who Walks and Oath of the Skull first mentioned here fast becomes lore but the Sunda Trough is never mentioned again. When Diana asks Dr Dodd about The Phantom, she mentions The Ghost Who Walks and Oath of the Skull but not Sunda Trough. It has never been mentioned again until now...
The obvious question most will ask is what is a Sunda Trough. Glad you asked.
A trough (or trench) is a geology term for a long, narrow depressions on the seafloor. These chasms are the deepest parts of the ocean—and some of the deepest natural spots on Earth (wiki link). What is interesting is there is actually a Sunda Trench off the coast of Java & Sumatra (Indonesia) which is where the fiction place of Luntok is described as being located (wiki link).
This trench is the deepest part of the Indian Ocean and experiences many earthquakes including the 2004 earthquake that saw 300+ deaths and many left homeless. There was also a 1935 7.7 magnitude earthquake (wiki link) which has me asking, was this caused by the Phantom and the reference to the incident between Achmed and the Phantom? Guess we will wait and see.
Are you looking forward to seeing how Matt Kyme explores these forgotten pieces of Phantom history in his new story?
Below is a gallery of some of the snippets that have been posted previously on Matt's Instagram along with the page featuring Fats Horgan, Lucy Walker, Dave and Lily Palmer and Rama Singh.... all on one page and shared for the first time here.