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Return to Tarakimo

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Return to Tarakimo
Start date: April 17th, 1978
End date: September 16th, 1978
# of strips: 132 (22 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Sy Barry
Original colorist: N/A
Preceded by: "The Three Bandits"
Followed by: "Jungle City"

"Return to Tarakimo" is the 138th Phantom daily story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Sy Barry.

Plot Summary

After meeting the the Phantom and Diana, General Tara is still humiliated and plans his revenge; to kidnap Diana. After several unsuccessful attempts, the general's henchmen finally succeed in abducting her. Diana is then smuggled into Tarakimo drugged and dressed as an old woman.

Meanwhile, the Phantom finds that Diana's abduction points to Tarakimo, and confronts Dr. Henry about taking official action. Henry reluctantly agrees to investigate the matter, but is nervous about the ramifications of accusing a head of state of such a crime. The Phantom takes matters into his own hands and departs for Tarakimo.

In the general's palace, Diana has been bathed by harem girls and Major Isamu provides her with a skimpy harem outfit. Diana is however defiant towards the general, who believes he is in complete control of her now. He is however no match for Diana's quick Judo moves, and Tara is soon flying across his throne room, into a large wall.

Isamu casually questions Diana, hinting at the repercussions she will now face for her "attempt on the general's life." During their exchange, he tricks her into a subtle admission that the Phantom is her husband, which he and the general have suspected for some time.

After the general recovers from Diana's attack, he realizes he must both render her helpless and dole out a suitable punishment for her. He orders Major Isamu to display her for him, in a steel cage hanging above his throne room. He does, after telling Diana she will surely be executed, as are all "criminals" who are caged for the general.


When the Phantom arrives, he is swiftly escorted by the general's henchmen to the palace. Just as they enter the palace gates, the Phantom executes two double-fisted punches, knocking all of the men out, and sending the military jeep they are in crashing into a giant statue of the general.

Tara, safely gloating in his throne room over Diana's helpless predicament, hears the crash and demands to know what's going on. Chaos reigns in Tarakimo late into the evening as a thousand of Tara's minions race to find the "stranger." Finally, Tara, departs for bed, frustrated, telling Isamu to wake him when they find "Mr. Walker" --- he will supervise his punishment "personally."

While Tara (and his guards) doze, Kit executes a daring rescue, silently slicing a square opening in the glass dome above Diana's cage, and then breaking the padlock on her prison cell. After releasing her, he breaks into the general's bedroom and, places the sleeping general in one of his own cages, outside the palace walls.

The general awakes, and realises his situation when the public scream and throw garbage at him. General Tara is hauled off in chains, as a new dictator, Colonel, now Field Marshall, Dito ascends Tarakimo's throne under the auspices of democracy.

The Phantom and Diana return to New York and meet Dr. Henry, only to find Field Marshall Dito there to apply for U.N. membership and negotiate a loan from the US. Dito assures Diana that since Tarakimo is a democracy now, General Tara will be given a fair trial, where he will be found guilty and later hung.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Oscar
  • Corbett, Security Guard
  • Mac
  • Marko
  • Colonel Dito



Old Jungle Sayings

  • Phantom moves faster than eye can see.
  • It is terror for the evil man to awake in darkness and see the Phantom.
  • Biggest tree makes most noise when it falls.

Related stories


Behind the scenes

  • Lee Falk has been quoted[citation needed] as saying that The Tyrant of Tarakimo and Return to Tarakimo (the story's sequel) were his personal "statements" on the growing number of harsh third-world dictatorships fueled by torture cartels.
  • Return To Tarakimo is sometimes identified erroneously as the 125th story in the daily series in some Frew publications.


This story has been published in the following publications:

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  • Tíminn December 20, 1978 – June 9, 1979

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  • "கூண்டில் தொங்கிய சர்வாதிகாரி" (romanized as "Koontil Thonkiya Sarvathikari"), Muthu Comics #110 (1980)
  • "The Revenge of the Ghost", Indrajal Comics #349#351 (1980)
  • "General Tara", Phantom #19
  • "இரும்பு கூண்டு" (romanized as "Irumbu Koondu"), Rani Comics #274 (1995)

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