Rex, the Missing Heir

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Rex, the Missing Heir
Rex, the Missing Heir.jpg
Start date: June 23rd, 1969
End date: October 4th, 1969
# of strips: 90 strips (15 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Sy Barry
Original colorist: N/A
Preceded by: "The Jungle Home"
Followed by: "The Gladiator"

"Rex, the Missing Heir" is the 106th Phantom daily story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Sy Barry.

Plot synopsis

Rex, the Phantom's adoptive son, is 10 years old and wants to know how he came to live in the Skull Cave. He would like to find his parents and the Phantom tells him that every year he puts up an advert asking for information regarding a newborn boy who was left at a mission 10 years ago. So far there have been no replies.

Meanwhile, Gus and Elsie, a couple living in Morristown has noticed the advert. They write a letter to the Phantom, saying that they know who Rex is. The Phantom and Rex travel to Morristown, Rex wearing shoes for the first time. At a hotel they meet Gus and Elsie and tell the Phantom that Elsie's sister Martha was Rex' mother. Rex was taken by an unknown elderly lady and Martha died of grief after having searched for the missing baby. They verify the story with a birth certificate and information about what clothes Rex wore when he got lost and a description of the jade medal he wore. The Phantom is satisfied that the story is genuine and leaves Rex with the couple.

They leave Bengali and fly to London to initiate the adoption process. Gus insists that Rex is eleven years old, despite Rex' protests. At the family court they insist that Rex' father was Lord Rich who left a large fortune without any known heirs. As soon as the legal process is through, Rex will be a millionaire. Rex asks Gus what a millionaire is. Rex writes to the Phantom every day and asks Gus to mail the letters. The Phantom also writes letters but the letters start to be returned since the recipient is unknown. After some time Rex learns that Gus destroys the letters instead of sending them.

With the help of the Jungle Patrol, the Phantom soon learns that Gus and Elsie flew to London and goes after them. Rex goes to the airport to try to get on the plane to Bengali, attempting to get a free ride hiding in the wheel well. Luckily he is found before he dies from hypoxia and hypothermia. He is sent back to Gus and Elsie's apartment. Gus has hired two bodyguards who will keep an eye on him at all times.

As Gus, Elsie, Rex and the bodyguard leave the apartment for the court hearing to decide if Rex indeed is the son of Lord Rich, the Phantom arrives at the address just a bit too late. He runs after their car and give a punch in the face to the two bodyguards and Gus. At the court hearing the Phantom denies that Rex is the heir and tells the judge that the evidence is false.

The Phantom and Rex return to Bengali. Rex takes off his shoes and promises never to leave the Deep Woods again.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Gus
  • Elsie
  • Lord Rich (mentioned)



Old Jungle Sayings

  • There are times when the Phantom leaves the jungle and walks the streets of the town like an ordinary man.
  • When the Phantom says sit, you sit.
  • The voice of the Phantom turns the blood to ice.
  • Phantom's cold fury chills even tiger's blood


This story has been published in the following publications:

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  • Le Nouvelliste July 7, 1969 – October 17, 1969
  • L'Action November 26, 1969 – February 27, 1970 - without the last two weeks

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  • "Η καταρα της χαμενης πολιτειας" (romanized as "I katara tis chamenis politeias"), Fantom #48 (1976)

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  • Tíminn December 19, 1969 – April 12, 1970

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Mini germany.gif West Germany

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