The Phantom: Original Fantomen Story #1000

In 1950 the Swedish comic book starring The Phantom began with reprints translated from the U.S. comic strip. A dozen years later they were getting close to using up all the strips. In order to keep the popular comic going the publishers contacted King Features Syndicate and a licensing agreement allowed for new stories to be produced for the Scandanavian market. Now, nearly 60 years later, the 1000th original Fantomen comic story of The Phantom has been published.

above: 1st Fantomen (1950), 1st original story (1963), 1000th original story (2021)

From the Chronicle Chamber:

The very first Team Fantomen story was produced in 1963 and very few would think nearly sixty years later that there would be more Phantom stories produced in the nordics than newspaper stories.

When licensing a famous IP like the Phantom, the licensed product seldom holds up to the original. However the Team Fantomens stories are truly loved by its readers.

From publisher Egmont’s press release (via Google Translate):

For more than 70 years, the Phantom has stood up for Swedish values such as human rights, democracy and equality. For almost as long, the Swedish Phantom editorial staff has managed and further developed the world of the wandering ghost. In Phantom numbers 25–26, the 1000th Swedish-produced adventure is published: “Singh’s true brotherhood”. A milestone for both The Phantom and Swedish series.

The 1000th adventure, “Singh’s true brotherhood”, follows in the same footsteps by highlighting the series’ many female characters while the Phantom stays in the shadows. Andreas Eriksson, the magazine’s editor and author of the adventure, has not only taken care to write a relevant adventure but also created a dignified anniversary adventure for the wandering ghost’s biggest fans. 

The Phantom Fan details the history over 1600 Fantomen issues:

With its first issue release in October 1950, Fantomen is one of the earliest Swedish regularly published comic books, with over 1,600 issues having been published since then, second only to Frew Publications in Australia.

Fantomen has been the template for many similar publications in other countries within that region, for example in counties such Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Estonia and Russia, with the Norweigan edition, Fantomet, being the most enduring.

As noted above Fantomen is second to Australia’s Frew comic book of The Phantom which has recently surpassed number 1900.

The Phantom is © King Features Syndicate

Even the United States’ longest lasting Phantom comic book runs must be considered only mini-series when compared to the rest of the world.