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The Phantom returns to Assam, India

2022 has been a great year so far for Phantom phans in India with publishers like Regal Publishers, Shakti Comics and most recently Lion - Muthu Comics publishing multiple comic books of The Phantom. This has seen a big return of the character to India.

We have seen a new Tamil Phantom TPB released in January, regular issues from Shakti Comics and Regal Publishers and now the new TPB from Regal. Indian phans have been seeing a lot of good content coming out. A few other newspapers and magazines are also continuously printing The Phantom Daily and Sunday strips as well. To add to this, Phantom has also returned to the magazine Sofura in the state Assam in their local language.

Assam is a state situated in the north-eastern part of India. The Assamese language is written and spoken there. Assam has always had a phanbase, particularly during the era of Indrajal and Diamond Comics.

The popularity there has also led to The Phantom's publication in several newspapers, magazines, comic books as well as the creation of original stories. The children's magazine Dipok published The Phantom strip in Assamese from 1963 to 1964, making it one of the earlier publications of the phantom in India.

Other magazines like Bismoi published The Phantom Sunday strip in Assamese from 1981 to 2003, while other magazines also published original stories in special issues in Assamese.

Diamond Comics published three issues of The Phantom in Assamese. Meanwhile, The Assam Tribune (newspaper) has continuously been publishing The Phantom daily strip in English.

Although Sofura is one of the oldest Assamese magazines, they never featured an appearance of the Phantom until now, even though they always published serialised comics created by different authors from the very beginning. They have also printed some comics from other artists from other states of India.

The Phantom first appeared on the pages of Sofura in the February issue of this year, which is nearly two decades after the magazine Bismoi ceased publishing the comics. The story that they are printing is a Gold Key story "The Super Apes" written by Bill Harris with art by Bill Lignante, which was a remake of a Daily story by Lee Falk and Wilson McCoy.

The story was originally published in Gold Key #7 . The story was also published in English Indrajal comics no. 34 as 'The Phantom meets The Super Apes'. In the Sofura version the name of the story is translated as "Phantom Aru Danob Bon Manuh" (ফেণ্টম আৰু দানৱ বন মানুহ in Assamese).

After a brief chat with the editor of the magazine, we learned that the story is taken from the Indrajal comics reprint and acknowledgement has been made of Indrajal Comics. They are publishing the story one page per issue and have reached the 4th page in May. At that pace it will take them more than a year to finish this 23 page story. They are also planning on giving an introduction to the phantom in the July issue since they weren't able to add it in previous issues.

It is indeed great to see The Phantom returning to India in many different forms. We hope all those publishers can continue publishing The Phantom, and we can enjoy the return of our hero once again becoming the number one hero to India.

Please Note: We cannot confirm if these magazines are licensed.


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