T

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T
T.jpg
Start date: April 21st, 1975
End date: September 13th, 1975
# of strips: 126
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Sy Barry
Original colorist: N/A
Preceded by: "The Cavelands"
Followed by: "Hzzz"

"T" is the 127th Phantom daily story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Sy Barry.

Plot Summary

President Luaga decides to take a little break from his job and goes on a holiday for a week in the jungle together with the Phantom.

Meanwhile, terrorists go through a plan to assassinate president Goranda, who will be inaugurated as the first president of Ivory-Land.

Luaga has a nice time in the jungle, and is introduced to miss Tara Tagama. He asks the Phantom to be present when his good friend Goranda is to be installed as president, and the Phantom accepts.

President Luaga returns from his week off together with the Phantom and they travel to Ivory-Lana. When they arrive to the airport at Ivory-Land, president Goranda greets them and introduces them to the commander, general Asolana.

When the installation is to begin at the balcony, general Asolana begins to act a little bit strange, then the Phantom hear to rifle shots and pulls Lamanda down. Goranda and the chief justice that is to install him are hit. The Phantom asks for doctors immediately and informs Luaga that Goranda is still breathing before he asks him to go inside. Then the Phantom takes up the chase of the hitmen by noticing from which window the shots came from. As he sees three men leaving the building, he immediately realises that they are the murderers, he tries to arrest them but they manage to escape in a car, leaving the Phantom with the only clue that at least one of them had a T tatooed at his forehand.

Back at the palace, Goranda is making it, but the judge is dead. When general Asolana hear that Goranda is still alive, he does not seem happy. The Phantom recounts his strange behavior just before the shots. The Phantom arranges to immediately get Luaga out of the country with his airplane.

The Phantom together with Devil then starts to chase the murderers from the airport in a borrowed motorcycle. He takes one of the assassins as they try to get onboard a seaplane, while the other two, Mork and Gus, escape. Meanwhile, the single man, Joe, that the Phantom captured has turned into two men. The plane tries to kill them all by open fire, but the Phantom makes sure that they survive. The Phantom immediately starts to interrogate them and they tell him everything they know. They had been approached by a guy and offered a lot of money for some undefined job that apparently needed rifle skills, they understood that it must be about to assassinate someone, but did not think it important enough to find out whom. The they both were tatooed with a T before they were informed that they were to assassinate the new president, then they tried to back out but it was too late; if they did not do it, they would be killed. They never found out who the boss was.

Far away, in the headquarters of T, the other two assassins arrive to meet the chief, Skul, who is very displeased with them as they did not succeed with their mission. While Gus is assigned to another job, Mork is given the task of blackmailing general Asolana to get some money.

The Phantom suspects that Asolana is involved and fakes a T-mark with a pen, he then turns up at Asolana's office and pretends to be from T, Asolana refuses to give a single cent as Goranda is alive and they failed. As the Phantom is shown the way, Mork comes to see the general, the Phantom immediately recognizes him as one of the assassins.

Mork does the same thing as the Phantom and Asolana is a little bit confused in the beginning before, Mork starts talking about the getting the payment so that they will keep quiet. Asolana explains that he has no half million as Goranda is still alive and he cannot take any from the government.

As Mork leaves, the Phantom secretly follows him and listen as Mork contacts Skul and it is arranged so that he will be picked upp, then the Phantom takes Mork out and informs Goranda via the walkie-talkie that Asolana has betrayed him.

As Asolana was just to meet him, Goranda quickly arranges so that he is arrested, accused of treason.

The Phantom dresses in Mork's coat and cap and lures the airplane to go down to pick him up, realizing to late that he is not Mork. The Phantom forces the pilots to fly to their headquarter, jumping into the water soon after their landing. The alarm is immediately raised. The pilots are interrogated by Skul, the Phantom secretly listening. He is upset as they only could tell him that he is tall, masked, and has a dog. Skul reveals that they have a contract at Luaga, worth a million, that has to be done within 24 hours. Realizing that does not have much time, the Phantom enters the radio room, awakes the sleepng operator and knocks him out, then he contacts colonel Worubu, who is in his bed, and instructs him to contact Luaga with a message.

Just as the Phantom have finished his transmission, he is discovered. He battles at least half a dozen of the assassins before he is overcome as he get them all on top of himself.

At the same time, Worubu delivers his message to Luaga: "Found the assassins' hideout...send a bomber and gunboat". Luaga is initially a little bit puzzled as they do not have any bombers, but the get an idea.

Back at the headquarter of T, the Phantom is offered a place in the group. Trying to win time, the Phantom asks for time to think over the proposal. Skul then explains their business idea; T is for Terror, they could be hired as assassins by anyone, but he himself does not trust a single one of his men and have everybody being checked by someone. No one ever leaves T.

Meanwhile, Luaga organizes an operation to attack the headquarter, commanding it himself from an airplane that is the advance troop of the attack.

As Skul is informed of the plane when it arrives, the Phantom uses the distraction to disappear.

Luaga then uses a loudspeaker in the arplane and informs them that the island is Bangalla territory and that they are all arrested.

The assassins try to use their cannon to down the airplane to kill Luaga and cash in one million. The airplane is hit and forced to land, a boat meets with it, containing Skul, but before they could kill Luaga, the Phantom opens fire with hte LV cannon which he has taken control of. He then dives into the sea from the tower where the cannon was positioned. He manages to tow the airplane into a cave where he uses to dynamite to blow up the castle. The Bangalla gunboat arrives and arrests the entire band.

The only question remaining is who hired them to kill Luaga. Luaga think that it might be the Old Generals' Club and promises to invastigate it.

Behind the scenes

  • Originally, there were three murderers, but they suddenly increased to four when the Phantom captured two of them.
  • The Phantom was early introduced to general Asolana as mr Walker, however, when he later showed up in the same clothes, claiming to be working for T, Asolana makes no connection with their previous meeting.

Related stories

Referenced in

Reprints

This story has been published in the following publications:

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  • "Στο μυστικο αρχηγειο τησ “T”" (romanized as "Sto mystiko archigeio tis “T”"), Fantom #60 (1976; part 2 only)

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  • Tíminn January 30, 1976 – June 24, 1976

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