Regal Publishers: The Phantom '85th Anniversary Special' Issues #7 & #8 Review
India's Regal Publishers kicks off their 2021 with Issues #7 & #8 of their ongoing English full colour comics series of 'The Phantom'. 17th February, 2021 marks 85 Years of 'The Phantom' being in existence and in publication in newspaper strips since its inception in 1936 - and these issues came out just in time to commemorate this historical milestone.
Regal continue their usage of thick gloss paper which was introduced from their previous #5 & #6 '2020 Christmas Special' issues, and some free supplements with each issue. Issue #7 comes with a mini poster featuring the cover art of the same issue while #8 comes with a card with the picture of The Phantom taken from the cover art of issue #7.
Issue #7 features cover art by Vincent Moses Raja, who seems to have been featured in majority of the covers and supplement art. Issue #8 has covers drawn by Abhilash Chako, who was also responsible for the cover of Issue #3. There are two unique new Phantom art by legendary Italian artist Felmang in each issue's inside covers.
Stories on both issues are reprints of Sunday strips however #7 features a Lee Falk story for the first time in this comic series. So far Regal had been reprinting Sundays of all the post-Falk era, however with 'The Floradon Mystery' they take their first step into an original Falk story in this series. Quite apt considering its the 85th Anniversary, and its natural that a story by the original creator will be featured.
Speaking about firsts, Issue #7 also for the first time features the art of Terry Beaty in this publication with the modern classic Sunday story 'Mandrake's Bon Voyage' - written by Tony DePaul. This also is the first appearance of another of Lee Falk's legendary character, Mandrake in this series. Quite an introduction considering that Regal have already announced that they will soon be publishing a 'Mandrake the Magician' series later this year.
Issue #8 features two Sundays written by Tony DePaul and illustrated by Graham Nolan, 'On The Trail of An Assassin' and 'The Mystery of Fire Head Peak'. Both solid tales - the former an intense action drama, while the latter is a very Falkish fantasy adventure story.
The price for each issue is 200 Indian Rupees which is about: $3.50 Australian Dollars, $2.80 US Dollars, 2.27 Euro & 23 Swedish Krona.
Regal have raised the bar very high for 'The Phantom' monthly comics with their premium quality paper and high fidelity colour printing. Regal have been going from strength to strength with each issue however all their efforts are still unfortunately hampered by the broken distribution chain - an aftermath of the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to licensing limitations, Regal can only sell & ship to addresses within India - so for Phans living outside India, I recommend you befriend an Indian Phan & have these books bought & shipped to you by them. If not, FREW are selling some copies of this series via their website, and I'm sure these issues too will show up for order there - although in very limited quantity.
For any assistance regarding ordering these books directly you can contact Regal Publishers here:
Whatsapp & Phone No: +91 94810 52592
If you would like to learn more about the creators, you can find interviews here: