The latest Phantom comic from Indian publisher Shakti Comics was released on 10th May of this year, more than a month later (1st April) since pre orders started. The Phantom story included in the issue is:
"Luck and Wealth" by Lee Falk and Sy Barry
This is their first time Shakti has published a story by Lee Falk, while the other Indian publisher Regal has published a few already.
The comic comes in two variant cover versions. The main cover is drawn by Abhishek Biswas and the variant cover is Inked by Lou Manna and coloured by Abhishek Biswas.
Abhishek Biswas seems to have become Shakti's main colourist, which is great as his work has improved a lot since he first started. He has done a very good job with the main cover, which also reminds me of one of the Indrajal covers when the story was first published there.
The variant cover inked by Lou Manna was good as well. It is also great for Shakti to hire an international Phantom artist to do a cover for them. The colouring of the cover was pretty good, even though he chose to have the phantom wear a blue coloured costume instead of the familiar purple. The main cover caught my eye more than the variant one.
The story "Luck and Wealth" is the 153rd Phantom Daily story and was coloured for Shakti by a colourist named Rudrakash. His colouring makes me think of the Indrajal colouring work, even though it uses new techniques. Apart from very few criticisms his colouring seems to be very good and somewhat more preferable than the Regal colours.
It is also interesting to mention that he chose to have the Phantom's trunks coloured black and red instead of the black and blue or black and white stripes we are used to seeing. He also brought back the blue coloured Mr. Walker overcoat like Indrajal and Diamond did in the past, while Regal had coloured it brown or grey.
The story is printed on the same thick paper as the previous two issues but since the cover is not printed on a thicker paper, it still feels like a standard magazine as it can be bent easily. Also this time they have priced both the Main and Variant cover issues the same, which does prove that they are listing to the Phan suggestions and complaints.
Two standies of Devil and Old man Mozz are given for free with the two versions of the comic.
Shakti has been doing a lot of experiments to get to a fixed format for their comics. However, they do need to need be mindful of keeping the quality same and massive delays. Wishing them the best on their future ventures.
All Shakti reviews will be included in our monthly X-Band: The Phantom Podcasts. You can find out more at our website and or subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos.