Indian Publisher Shakti Comics is back with their 9th Phantom Comic. After the usual delays, the comics came out on 2nd July. But with timely delivery from the courier, I received it very fast and could do this review on time.
The Phantom story in this comic is:
"The Phantom Stamp" by Tony De Paul and Mike Manley
The Comic features a cover by Abhishek Biswas. It's a quite good looking cover and is printed in a laminated finish.
Due to it being a small story and the paper quality less thick than past comics, the thickness of the comic became very small - It made the comic feel like a standard comic magazine.
The printing quality of the story was also another problem with this issue. The panels of the story were more brightened and it made the colours look weird. The blacks, especially looked very strange in some of the panels. It can be understood more from the video review. When asked, Shakti replied that this was the fault of their printer and they are looking to change them from the issue onwards.
While this can be understood, it still is sad situation. As a buyer will get this issue from Shakti for the same price as before and will get a copy with strangely reprinted panels, smaller size and same price. This should be kept in mind by Shakti and continue delivering good products like before. The suggestion for the need of a fixed format also comes again. Thus, this issue didnot seem sub par.
While the previous paragraphs explained what went wrong with this recent issue, they also did some good things with the set. The publishers have started to include an information page in the same vein as Fantomen and Frew for the readers since the first issue last year.
This page features a gallery of various stamps made about the phantom from around the world. While incomplete, this list will definitely interest the readers as they get to learn something new with the story. It is very much a welcome move from them.
They also have the story synopsis, which is moved to the back cover.
The comic comes with a freebie of a phantom stamp lookalike card. It's funny because in the story the phantom doesn't want a stamp with him on it but in this comic we are getting information about the Phantom on past stamps and now free stamps.
I hope Shakti continues to publish great products like before. They just need to keep in mind of their quality and suggestions from the buyers. They also needs to come up with a fixed format. Wishing them the best on their next 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.