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The 12 Tasks

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The 12 Tasks
The 12 Tasks.jpg
Start date: December 29th, 1946
End date: June 29th 1947
# of strips: 27
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Ray Moore & Wilson McCoy
Original colorist: KFS staff
Preceded by: "The Scarlet Sorceress"
Followed by: "The Dragon God"

"The 12 tasks" is the 17th Phantom Sunday story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Ray Moore and Wilson McCoy.

Due to the fact that McCoy initially started to draw the story and then Moore continued, Diana looks totally different at the beginning, compared to how she looks later on.

Plot synopsis

Diana seeks a dressing room after a trip to the beach and is accidentally directed to a beauty contest in which the winner will marry Prince Pepe of Ptjar. Diana is declared winner as soon as she enters the stage but refuses to marry Prince Pepe and is therefore later abducted in order to be married by force.

The Phantom pursues Diana and is challenged by Prince Pepe to perform 12 Tasks, as the famous Hercules had to do, in order to relieve Diana of marriage. He gets tougher and tougher tasks every time.

The 1st task is to arrest the giant Broko who is a bandit roaming the mountains, which the Phantom succeeds with. The following tasks are such things as to empty a flood of piranhas, winning a 2 kilometer sprinting race against an antelope, catching a giant condor, defeating a group of gorillas that are living in the forest and terrorizing the population, empty the Bay of Sharks of sharks, preventing good soil to be washed out into the the red river, defeat the malaria infested valley, climbing the Glass Mountain (with the path populated by wolves and bears) and return in one day (previous record being four days), and swimming through the Channel of the Dead.

The 11th task is to stop all crime for one day which the Phantom succeeds with only since the ruler is hated and everyone therefore helps. When it comes to the last task, the ruler cannot come up with any more task, so he asks the people if they can give the Phantom a task. The people ask to get rid of the ruler, the Phantom then grabs the microphone and says that it is up to them to hold free elections and get democracy.

At the end Diana is set free and she and the Phantom can leave. Diana remarks: "I know that you could do anything, but honestly, there were times when I doubted." The Phantom replies "Between us, I did too".


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Prince Pepe
  • Broko






This story has been published in the following publications:

Mini argentina.gif Argentina

Mini australia.gif Australia

Mini brazil.gif Brazil

  • "Mistério no Oriente", Gibi #1269 – #1365 (1947-1948)
  • "As Doze Tarefas", Fantasma #59 (1961)

Mini canada.gif Canada

  • La Patrie December 29, 1946 – June 29, 1947
  • Le Soleil January 5, 1947 – June 29, 1947 - without the first week

Mini denmark.gif Denmark

Mini finland.gif Finland

Mini france.gif France

Mini india.gif India

Mini italy.gif Italy

Mini mexico.gif Mexico

  • El Informador June 8 (?), 1947 – December 28, 1947 - without the first week (?)

Mini nz.png New Zealand

Mini norway.gif Norway

Mini spainunderfranco.gif Mini spain.gif Spain

Mini sweden.gif Sweden

Mini turkey.gif Turkey

Mini usa.gif USA

Mini germany.gif West Germany

  • "Der König der Affen", Phantom #24 (1968; 5 panels used for a short story)
  • "Die menschenfressenden Fische", Phantom #26 (1969; 8 panels used for a short story)

Mini yugoslavia.png Yugoslavia