|Produced for:||Fantomen 8/1977|
|# of pgs:||33|
In the Libyan desert, a band of treasure hunters retrieve a treasure buried during World War II by Erwin Rommel during the North African Campaign. The treasure hunters are the brothers Luigi, Piero and Gianni Grandezza and their leader Goldhand, whose name is derived from his prosthetic hand which is made of 15 kilograms of pure gold.
The band heads to Malta with their yacht "The Golden Venture", to meet a man named Manuel Figuera. Figuera presents Goldhand with evidence that the Phantom treasure is real and not just a legend. Manuel's ancestor João Figuera wrote a diary in 1802 while mapping the river delta south of Morristown on assignment from the Governor of Bengali. One day he was captured by pirates of the Singh Brotherhood and held for ransom. Figuera was held captive on an island in the river delta that was surrounded by piranha fish. One night, a masked man appeared on the island to save Figuera. Their escape was discovered and the masked man fell into the water with the piranhas, but was saved by Figuera. After helping the masked man to the Deep Woods and the Skull Cave, Figuera was given a necklace with the good mark by the man, who presented himself as the Phantom. Figuera was shown the treasures of the Skull Cave before he was taken back to Morristown and later returned to Portugal.
The diary alone does not convince Goldhand, but Figuera can also present an accurate map that his ancestor had made. The band heads for Bengali where they do some research that corroborates Figuera's story. They head for the island were João Figuera was held prisoner (which is Eden) and Figuera and the Grandezza brothers make their way towards the Skull Cave according to the old map. When they reach the Deep Woods, they are stopped by Bandar guards who let them in to meet Guran after Figuera shows the Good mark amulet. Figuera tells the story of his ancestor who saved the life of the Phantom, and Guran invites them to stay in the Bandar village. They are not let in to the cave since the Phantom is not at home at the moment.
Rex and Tom-Tom verify Figuera's story after reading in the Chronicles of the 13th Phantom, but they and Guran are still suspicious. Meanwhile, the treasure hunters believe that Guran is bluffing and that the Phantom was an ordinary man who died a long time ago. Using a thymoleptic drug, they poison the Bandar village water supply and shortly everyone in the Deep Woods are subdued. They are discovered when the Bandar hunter Roban returns, and Gianni kills him. The treasure hunters take as much as they can of the Phantom treasure and put it in canoes.
The Bandar guards notice that something is wrong when they are not relieved of duty. When they discover what has happened, the send a message by drums to the Phantom, who is on his way home from the Misty Mountains. He contacts Doctor Axel who explains that the effects of the drug will wear off in a few days. The Phantom sends a message by drums to Wambesi and asks them to stop the thieves as they come down the river. The Wambesi are however no match to the thieves, as they use a flame thrower. With help from the Mori, the Phantom finds the thieves' yacht and sneaks on board.
On the ship, Figuera and Goldhand argue over the money. When Figuera goes to his cabin, he discovers the Phantom reading the old diary of João Figuera. The Phantom knocks out Figuera and takes back the Good mark amulet. Piero Grandezza is sent to kill Figuera, but is surprised by the Phantom and also knocked out. Rumors are spreading amongst the ship's crew that the Phantom is on board. The Phantom sabotages the ship's engine, but is accidentaly knocked out in the process. He is tied up and questioned by Goldhand who does not believe the Phantom legend.
The Phantom is locked up in a vault with the treasure. Meanwhile, Figuera realises that he is not safe. He kills Piero Grandezza and offers to release the Phantom in exchange for half of the treasure. The Phantom refuses, and Figuera is killed by Goldhand who strikes his neck with the prosthetic hand. Out of curiosity, Goldhand decides to unmask the Phantom, undeterred by the old jungle saying "He who looks upon the Phantom's face will a die a horrible death". Goldhand leaves the unmasked Phantom in the vault. The Phantom manages to untie himself and put the mask on, but cannot get out of the vault.
The yacht is stopped by hundreds of canoes blocking the river. Goldhand sends the Grandezza brothers to the vault to get the Phantom out, but the untied Phantom surprises them. In the fight that follows, Luigi is accidentaly stabbed to death by his brother, who is then knocked out by the Phantom.
The Phantom goes up on deck and throws diamonds out to the crew men, who forget all about their orders to capture the Phantom and instead fight each other for the gems. Goldhand attacks the Phantom, and in the fight the Phantom's arm is broken after a blow from the prosthetic hand. However, Goldhand falls over board and is pulled to the depths by the weight of his hand.
Bandar warriors have taken control of the yacht and captured all crew men. He returns to the Skull Cave with Gianni Grandezza, who will work for Roban's family as punishment for the murder.
- The 21st Phantom
- The 13th Phantom
- Colonel Worubu
- Doctor Axel
- Roban of Bandar
- Manuel Figuera
- João Figuera
- Mr. Erzenberger
- Luigi Grandezza
- Piero Grandezza
- Gianni Grandezza
- Captain Stuve
- Aran of Bandar
This story has been published in the following publications:
- "Goldhand", The Phantom #1215 (1998)
- "Goldhand", Fantomen 8/1977
- "Goldhand", Fantomen 14/1987
- "Goldhand", Fantomen 21/1998
- "Goldhand", Fantomen Krönika 1/2008