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Edited by Joe Gentile and Mike Bullock, volume 2 of THE PHANTOM CHRONICLES is the latest collection from Moonstone, new stories of Lee Falk’s famous creation, The Ghost Who Walks. The stories feature different Phantoms from the Walker family line, that unbroken chain going back more than four hundred years, giving rise to the legends of He who never dies, protector of the innocent. An introduction by Falk’s daughter, Diane M. Falk-Fitzpatrick, opens the book.

Fifteen new stories from such writers as Ed Gorman, Jeff Mariotte, Will Murray, Win Scott Eckart, Tom DeFalco, and Harlan Ellison among others. The editors offer stories as well.

Here the Phantom has to deal with Nazis during WWII, pirates in the early nineteenth century, a blackmail plot in late nineteenth century London involving a certain missing English Lord and his wife, presumed killed when their ship sank off the coast of Africa, modern day warlords in a far different Africa from those of Falk’s classic tales. There’s even the story of how the Phantom first hooked up with his friend, the big gray wolf, Devil.

And the Phantom deals with them all in his own unique manner.

A fine collection told in the wonderful old pulp style. The cover of my edition is by Douglas Klauba, interior illustrations by Stephen Bryant, except for Harlan Ellison’s tale of how he set out to write of the meeting between the Phantom and the Green Hornet. The artwork for that one are by Reuben Procopio and Jeff Butler.

I’ve been a fan, like many of us here, of The Phantom for most of my life. I have a complete set of the paperback novels, mostly ghost written I believe, from the early seventies. I know Falk wrote the first one and Ron Goulart some of the others, but don’t know who else was involved.

One final word here on the recent Syfy(shudder at that name) miniseries. I was surprised at how respectful they were to the source material. Not the greatest thing I’ve ever watched(but the best I’ve seen from them), my only real problem was the updated suit. I understand, though, they were going for a younger audience that likes geegaws and flashy stuff. A planned series, I don’t know what happened there, it was much better than the ill-conceived Flash Gordon series that, happily, died a quiet death I believe.

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