Princess Valerie

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Princess Valerie
Valerie.jpg
Start date: February 18th, 1946
End date: July 13th, 1946
# of strips: 126 strips (21 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Ray Moore & Wilson McCoy
Original colorist: N/A
Preceded by: "The Mermaids of
Melo Straits
"
Followed by: "Queen Asta of Trondelay"

"Princess Valerie" is the 27th Phantom daily story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Ray Moore and Wilson McCoy.

Plot summary

The Phantom encounters a lonely girl on the road late one evening. He asks her who she is and she introduces herself as Princess Valerie, almost six years old and looking for her grandfather. The Phantom brings her home to Diana with the intent of finding her grandfather the next day. They have been, however, observed and followed and in the middle of the night, Princess Valerie is kidnapped. The Phantom tracks the kidnappers and confronts them nearby an airplane. It turns out that they are messengers from The White Rajah of Volara, Princess Valerie's grandfather, and that they are to take her to her grandfather. The Rajah is General Cordney, who led the forces that liberated Volara and in gratitude was elected Rajah. Convinced by their papers, the Phantom lets them go, even though he does not like their looks.

Meanwhile, the sick Rajah is waiting for his granddaughter, unaware that two of his closest men, Vizar and Beli, are plotting to kill her so that he then will die of grief and they could rule.

The two men that took Valerie then land their plane and put it on fire, take Valerie away a little bit, before leaving her to be taken by the jungle. The leader of the two then brings the news that Valerie and the pilot have died in a plane crash (the pilot has actually been bribed to keep away). Vizar and Beli receive the news and inform the Rajah, who becomes unconscious and lands in a very critical condition.

Later, the Phantom reads in the newspaper that Valerie has been killed. Suspecting foul play, the Phantom decides to investigate.

Meanwhile, in the forest, Valerie starts wondering where the men had gone. It starts raining and she seeks shelter in a cave under the roots of a tree. Then by chance, a tiger kills a leopard, that had chosen to get Valerie as his dinner. The tiger then turns to a deer calf that seeks shelter in the same place as Valerie. Before the tiger could attack, however, comes a herd of elephants and crushes him. Meanwhile, some men from the cannibal tribe Tiwa, who are hunting, discover the crushed leopard and tiger and also Valerie hiding. Attributing the death of the animals to Valerie, they thinks she is a goddess and bring her to their village and treat her like a queen.

In Morristown, the pilot goes to Joe's Bar to celebrate. Unfortunately for him, the Phantom has just arrived to the city too and as a first step decides to go to Joe's Bar to see if he can find some clues. The Phantom recognizes the pilot and soon knows everything about what really happened. Quickly, the Phantom runs to the the place where he keeps Hero, bringing the pilot with him by using the threat of Devil's jaws. The pilot shows where they left Valerie. When the princess is not to be found there, the Phantom leaves him hanging from a tree from his waist.

Meanwhile in the Tiwa village, the medicine man feels threatened by Valerie's new powers and persuades the chief to think that she is a threat as she one day might replace him as chief. It is decided that the spirits are to be asked, which the medicine man does and then delivers the answer that she possesses great power and that she should be eaten by the Tiwa warriors so that they could share her power. Princess Valerie and the deer calf are placed in a huge cauldron with water but when one warrior is to light the fire, his torch is shot out of his hand by the Phantom. The Phantom quickly restores order and gives them the punishment that they must never again eat meat, threatening to destroy every member, should the ban be broken.

Meanwhile, the pilot has managed to escape from the tree and warn Vizar and Beli. The Phantom is too late to stop him. Then the Phantom and Valerie go straight for Volara, while the Volaran soldiers are placed around the palace, warned of a masked man riding on a white horse with a child. The Phantom and Valerie, nevertheless, manage to slip through the first line of defense and pass the crocodile-filled moat. In order not to be burdened with Valerie when he restores order, the Phantom places her in "Princess Valerie's Orphanage", disguised as a very poor girl and although the Princess is the royal protector of the place and has her portrait hanging on the wall, she is not recognized.

The Phantom then proceeds to infiltrate the palace and discover that it is Vizar and Beli that are behind the assassination attempt on Valerie's life. After being terrorized by the Phantom through the Skull Mark appearing everywhere, Vizar asks for the hairy twins to be brought before him. The hairy twins are notorious criminals, now serving time in prison. He offers them their freedom if they kill the Phantom, which they happily agree upon. Vizar arranges a trap by waiting in his room and having the twins wait in the next room. When the Phantom appears, he calls them in and locks the door. When everything is quiet, he opens the door and encounters the unconscious and tied twins falling out. Vizar end Beli then see their only chance in killing the Rajah, unfortunately the Phantom has already entered the Rajah's room and informed him that Valerie is still alive and when Vizar and Beli arrive to kill him, he easily prevents the attempt. The Phantom then makes them confess all their plans.

The next day, Princess Valerie gets chased by a boy and retaliates by smashing him into the wall in the sight of the female overseer of the orphanage, that gets her the punishment of cleaning the floor and contemplating how things could go that way. Then a message arrives that the Rajah is coming to visit the orphanage and everyone is to make themselves look nice, except Valerie who has been naughty and must finish cleaning the floor. The Rajah enters and discovers Valerie cleaning the floor. He heartily greets her while the male overseer is apologizing.

The news of Princess Valerie's return quickly spreads and the people feast for days.

Appearances

Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Reni
  • Vizar
  • Beli
  • The hairy twins
  • Honey (a happy fawn)

Locations

Tribes

Old jungle sayings

  • When the Phantom is angry the jungle shakes.
  • The Phantom strikes like lightning.


Behind the scenes

Title panel.
  • The title "Princess Valerie" appears in the first strip of the story.
  • The princess is named after and based on Lee Falk's daughter Valerie Falk, who turned six years old during the publication of this story (May 23).

Related stories

Remade as

Referenced in

Reprints

This story has been published in the following publications:

Mini argentina.gif Argentina

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  • "Prinsesse Valerie", Hejmdal December 6, 1947 – May 10, 1948

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  • "Prinsessa Valerie", Kaleva July 7, 1948 – December 2, 1948
  • "Naamio ja “Pikku Prinsessa”", Kippari Kalle 6/1955
  • "Prinsessa Valerie", Ilta-Sanomat November 29, 2017 – January 10, 2018

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  • "La princesa Valeria", El Informador April 17, 1946 – October 5, 1946

Mini nz.png New Zealand

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Mini germany.gif West Germany