The Phantom: The Treasures Of Bangalla
Moonstone Books (2002)
WRITER: Ron Goulart
PENCILER: Mike Collins
INKER: Art Nichols
COLORISTS: Ken Wolak & Dawn Groszewski
COVER ART: Joel Naprstek
LETTERER: Chuck Maly
EDITOR: Joe Gentile
Thieves make off with treasures headed to the Bangalla Museum, and even manage to beat the Phantom (but afraid of what the locals will do to them not kill him). He and British reporter Jennie Barr both try to track the thieves down, unaware that Barr’s boss, Sir Denis Griffith, is behind the theft. Meanwhile Diana is in England visiting her aunt with the kids and she has dinner with her friend Nadia Westerland, who happens to be Griffith’s niece, and knows a secret about her uncle. This was suppressed via brainwashing because he wants to protect the secret art storehouse she stumbled upon in her childhood, but the brainwashing is beginning to wear off. Nadia and Diana are taken to an asylum to be re-washed, as is Jennie as she gets closer to the thieves. The Phantom came to England to rescue Diana but with the two cases merged the Phantom rescues the ladies and recovers the stolen treasure.
What they got right: It’s always interesting to see the Phantom’s friends, although she only appears here according to the Phantom wiki. The art is pretty good and so is the story overall.
What they got wrong: However, the subplot with Nadia is one heck of a coincidence as is the timing of Diana meeting with her and getting involved. There’s a potential second tale here that may or may not have worked on its own but it connects oddly with the main plot. I’m not sure how to explain it but it didn’t work for me.
Recommendation: It’s still a decent Phantom take worth reading.