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War in the Jungle

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War in the Jungle
War in the Jungle.jpg
Start date: April 12th, 1937
End date: September 18th, 1937
# of strips: 138 (23 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Ray Moore
Original colorist: N/A
Preceded by: "The Sky Band"
Followed by: "Little Toma"

"War in the Jungle" (also known as "The Diamond Hunters") is the third Phantom daily story. It was originally published in American newspapers from April 12th to September 18th, 1937.

The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Ray Moore.

Plot Summary

Rogue prospectors Smiley and Hill discover a rich deposit of diamond bearing clay in the Llongo territory but Llongo Chief Tari refuses to allow them to mine in the area. Smiley knows that Tari’s son Prince Kula and the Osi-Wey chief Kygani’s daughter Princess Ota are in love with each other. As Kygani is against the marriage Smiley tries to incite him to attack the Llongo but he refuses saying that he will not break the Phantom Peace of the jungle.

Smiley and Hill then kidnap Ota and the blame is put on Kula. When Smiley convinces Kygani that the Phantom is dead the war between the Llongo and the Osi-Wey starts and soon other tribes are also involved with Smiley providing rifles to the Osi-Wey. Meanwhile the Phantom, who was away fighting the Sky Band, returns to the jungle, gets to know the situation from the Bandar and Kula. He rescues Ota from the prospectors and at his intervention the war is stopped. Smiley however shoots Hill and escapes.

In the meantime, Diana who had left thinking Phantom is dead is told by Melville Horton that he is alive. She returns to Frasertown and takes a safari to the jungle to find Phantom. Smiley changes his appearance and becomes the guide for her safari and kidnaps her when he realises that she is Phantom’s love interest. He tries to sell her off for ransom rights but the Phantom comes to know about her kidnapping and rescues her killing Smiley in the process.

Back in the jungle the Phantom and Diana discuss marriage but Diana believes that Phantom should not leave the jungle while she cannot stay there forever. She, therefore, leaves at night leaving a note for the Phantom asking him not to follow her.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Smiley
  • Hill
  • Prince Kula of Llongo
  • Princess Ota of Osi-Wey
  • Chief Kygani of Osi-Wey
  • Captain Dufrais
  • Chief Tari of Llongo
  • Jim
  • Cotton
  • Zoli of Djarling
  • Pedro



Behind the scenes

  • Diana sees the Phantom without his mask for the first time, and has her first visit to the Bandar Village and the Phantom's home.
  • This story features one of the rare occasions where the Phantom kills - Smiley is shot down and dies.
  • The settlement at the outskirt of the Phantom's jungle is named for the first time: Frasertown. In the following story, "Little Toma", Frasertown is pinpointed to be in Bengal, India.
  • This story has often been reprinted with the title "The Diamond Hunters". However, the actual title "War in the Jungle" appears in the last daily strip of the preceding story.
  • This story marks the first appearance of the Llongo tribe.


This story has been published in the following publications:

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  • "Timanttien jäljillä", Ilta-Sanomat September 15, 2015 – October ?, 2015

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