More Phantom comics being published and new stories being created is a great thing, and going by their social media posts on 10th and 11th of February 2024, it looks like the Irish comic publisher Lightning Strike are back - maybe lightning does indeed strike twice!
Between 2016 and 2019 Lightning Strike published 6 comics consisting of 19 stories with a mixture of short and full-length stories. Many of these stories were very well received, including the introduction of a great character called Scarlet who we need to see more of.
"Masks of the Phantom", created by Arild Wærness and Mike Collins, was commissioned and published by Lightning Strike and has been already re-published in Norway in 2019. The social posts over the last few days tell as that it will be published again in 2024, this time by Fantomen.
Eoin McAuley has used his teaser posts to announce that their catalogue of stories are looking to be reprinted by other publishers around the world. He has also strongly hinted that they will also be producing new Phantom content.
Unfortunately, many phans never got their hands on the original comics for numerous reasons which caused angst with those phans affected. Hopefully the news of Fantomen republishing the "Masks of the Phantom" will ease some nerves on this announcement. We hope Frew and/or some of the Indian and German publishers will also follow suite with this or other stories.
The way we read the posts, it looks like they will commission and create their own Lightning Strike stories, much like the Team Fantomen and Frew Crew stories. The significant point of difference seems to be that they will not be printing or publishing the stories themselves, instead selling them as a complete and ready-to-go package to "partner publishers", who will then publish and distribute. Who those partner publishers turn out to be remains a mystery - but Egmont and Frew would seem to be a logical starting point.
We would also love to see Lightning Strike compile a TPB collection of all their stories and also publish some other stories in a regular comic. A regular comic being published in English in Europe is a must to help grow and create more phans.
However, it appears that Lightning Strike have moved this way to improve their distribution after a disastrous end to their initial KFS Phantom license, and we certainly wish them all the best in their new venture.
We would love to get Eoin McAuley on a future podcast when they produce more stories and hopefully comics are also available to buy and read.