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REVIEW: Bastei Freunde #50, Celebrating The Phantom

As mentioned in our interview with Peter Mennigen, there is a new magazine now out that celebrates the Phantom and the publisher Bastei. We shared the news on our Facebook account and now we can share the details and contents of the magazine which includes a never before seen Phantom story and artwork.

Bastei Freunde (translated to 'Friends') is a magazine dedicated to comics published by Bastei-Verlag in Germany. The magazine is produced by fans and contains articles and interviews related to Bastei's comics.

Previous issues (#26, #27, #31, #39, #41, #42 & #45) have Phantom related articles, illustrations and or covers. However this magazine is pretty much all about the Phantom and its relationship with the publisher.

The magazine is 52 pages, in colour besides the comic page art and measures 29.7cm x 21cm.

Included with the magazine is a new story by Peter Mennigen, which is based off a Phantom script that was never published with the cancellation of the "Phantom" magazine. The title is "The Slaves" and has been rewritten into a prose adventure. Included in the magazine are examples of the script and two pages of the original never before seen artwork from this story that was started 35 plus years ago. The two pages will be completed with text in the speech bubbles as it was originally intended.

Issue #238 is where the original Bastei comic series stopped and "The Slaves" as intended here was originally intended to be issue #242. Makes you wonder how many other complete stories and covers were created and maybe also awaiting to be discovered.

Also included is a short biography on Phantom artist Ortiz Tafalla, information about writer Peter Mennigen, an article on the elements with the Phantom, an interview with the founder of the magazine Martin Hilland and a memorial piece on the former editor-in-chief of the youth department at Bastei publishing house Werner Geismar who passed away in 2018.

If you are interested in getting yourself a copy, I would recommend contacting Ulrich Wick at


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