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The Black Gold Pirates

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The Black Gold Pirates
The Black Gold Pirates.jpg
Start date: August 18th, 1968
End date: December 29th, 1968
# of strips: 20 pages
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Sy Barry
Original colorist: KFS staff
Preceded by: "The Little Ones"
Followed by: "Walker's Table"

"The Black Gold Pirates" is the 74th Phantom Sunday story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Sy Barry.

Plot synopsis

In the jungle, Rex and Tom-Tom are playing pirates, with Rex having to walk the plank. Back in the Skull cave, Tom-Tom asks the Phantom if there are still pirates today. "There will always be crooks", the Phantom replies.

A big oil tanker has left the Persian Gulf. In the middle of the ocean, men in diving gear climb aboard and take the crew hostage. No other ships are nearby. While the crew is locked up, the men unload all the oil in the tanker, although it is not explained how since they do not appear to have any vessel with them. The incident becomes a major news item.

Diana Palmer is enjoying time off in a country club. Count Petro, an oil millionaire, asks her to have a drink with him at his table. She asks him how a large oil tanker could have its oil stolen. Count Petro is just as baffled as everybody else. The count promises her that he will take her for a visit on a large oil tanker. When she is picked up she is instead taken to the count's private yacht. At dinner with champagne he explains that he is a terribly lonely man.

The Jungle Patrol has had a tip that somebody is recruiting divers in Morristown. Asking around for information, the Phantom visits the bar The Anchor and asks the bartender if he knows of any vacancies for a professional diver. The bartender denies knowing anything but the Phantom gets into a fight with five men who think he is asking too many questions. After having beaten them up, the Phantom follows the limping men to the docks where they go aboard on a tugboat which is heading for a submarine offshore. The Phantom changes places with one of the divers, tying him up in a cabin. With the other divers, they leave the tugboat and climb into a submarine. The Phantom overhears the other divers talking about the big boss coming to oversee the operation himself.

At count Petro's yacht, the count is becoming grabby and Diana performs a judo throw on him. The count finally agrees to let her visit an oil tanker. When Diana tries to leave, she is locked up in a cabin. When the yacht meets up with the submarine, Diana is allowed to climb into the submarine, immediately spotted by a surprised Phantom.

The divers board the oil tanker Gold Star, quickly locking the crew up and unloading the oil into an enormous plastic bag. Now that Diana knows that count Petro is responsible for the recent daring raids on oil tankers, he plans to have her killed. Before he can do anything, the Phantom steps forward and interrupts the count. With both Diana and the Phantom holding an automatic rifle, it is not long before aircraft and destroyers arrive to have the count and his men arrested. The Phantom vanishes, the news headlines telling the story of how a single woman could stop a criminal gang using a submarine to raid oil tankers.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Count Petro




  • Gold Star, super oil tanker

Old Jungle Sayings

  • "There are times when the Phantom leaves the jungle and walks the streets of the town like an ordinary man."
  • "The Phantom is rough with roughnecks."


This story has been published in the following publications:

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  • Le Soleil August 16, 1968 – December 27, 1966
  • La Patrie August 18, 1968 – December 29, 1966

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  • El Tiempo November 17, 1968 – March 30, 1969

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Mini Fiji.png Fiji

Mini greece.png Greece

  • "Πειρατες μαυρου χρυσου" (romanized as "Peirates mavrou chrysou"), Fantom #18 (1975)

Mini finland.gif Finland

Mini france.gif France

Mini iceland.gif Iceland

  • Vikan May 29, 1969 – October 2, 1969

Mini india.gif India

Mini ireland.gif Ireland

Mini italy.gif Italy

Mini mexico.gif Mexico

Mini netherlands.gif Netherlands

Mini norway.gif Norway

Mini Portugal.gif Portugal

Mini rsa obb.gif South Africa

Mini spain.gif Spain

Mini sweden.gif Sweden

Mini turkey.gif Turkey

Mini usa.gif USA

Mini germany.gif West Germany

Mini yugoslavia.png Yugoslavia