Lion Muthu comics is a comic book publisher from the South Indian State Tamil Nadu. Since 2022 they have released two hardcover comic collections of The Phantom. In this review we're going to review the first one of the collections, released in 2022. The second book will be reviewed soon.
The state Tamil Nadu have had many Phantom publications in the Tamil language. The first one being the Indrajal Comics and after Indrajal ended it's publication Muthu Comics published the phantom from 1972 to 1980.
If we follow the publishing chronology this hardcover book is actually the 459th book in the Muthu comics series. There was also Rani comics which published the phantom from 1990 to 2005.
17 years after Rani Comics ceased publication, The Phantom has returned in the Lion - Muthu Comics hardcover books. The book has a cover by Turkish artist Ertuğrul Edirne. It is taken from the 'Kizilmaske 16' book from 2014. It is worth noting that they kept the phantom's costume red as it was in the original cover, unlike Wick comics from Germany who changed the colour to the traditional purple.
A maxi poster based on the cover artwork is given for free with the book as well. In the first and last pages of the book, a few illustrations of The Phantom by Sy Barry, Bob McLeod and Sal Valluto are also featured.
The book prints nine Lee Falk and Sy Barry daily stories in black and white. The stories are printed very nicely and it really makes you appreciate the Black and white artwork. There are also title pages for each story with the publishing information, some cool trivia about the character are also mentioned in each title page.
Overall, it's a very nice production. It collects and presents the stories really well in a great format.
Only disadvantage being is that the book is only published in Tamil. But that is also an advantage as it can attract new Tamil readers and bring old Tamil readers back to the Phantom.
The book can be purchased by contacting Lion- Muthu comics. They also have a website but the book is nowhere to be seen there.
The stories are:
"வாரிசைத் தேடி" (romanized as "Vaarisaith Thedi"; Rex, the Missing Heir") by Lee Falk and Sy Barry.
"ஜும்போவைக் கொல்" (romanized as "Jumbovaik Kol"; The Rogue Elephant") by Lee Falk and Sy Barry.
"ஒரு முகமூடித் திருவிழா" (romanized as "Oru Mugamooti thiruvizha"; The Masked Ball") by Lee Falk and Sy Barry.
"கானக ஒலிம்பிக்ஸ்" (romanized as "Kanaga Olimpiks"; Jungle Olympics") by Lee Falk and Sy Barry.
"வாரிசுக்கு வலை" (romanized as "Vaarisukku Valai"; The Frame-Up") by Lee Falk and Sy Barry.
"வேதாளரின் மேடை" (romanized as "Vethalarin Medai"; The Art Thieves") by Lee Falk and Sy Barry.
"க்ரைம் ஸ்கூல்" (romanized as "Crime School"; The Crime School") by Lee Falk and Sy Barry.
"காற்றில் கரைந்த Daddy" (romanized as "Kaatril Karaintha Daddy"; The Missing Daddy") by Lee Falk and Sy Barry.
"ஆழ்கடலில் மயானம்" (romanized as "Aazhkatalil Mayaanam"; Deadman's Point") by Lee Falk and Sy Barry.