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The Search for Byron

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The Search for Byron
Search for Byron.jpg
Produced for: The Phantom #1131
# of pgs: 40
Writer: Jim Shepherd
Artist: Glenn Ford
Original colorist: N/A
Producer: Frew Publications


"The Search for Byron" from 1996 is the fourth story to be produced by Frew. It is written by Jim Shepherd, and drawn by Glenn Ford.

Plot synopsis

Captain Byron, who saved the life of Diana during the Japanese invasion of the Deep Woods The Phantom Goes to War, has been reported missing on a Burma expedition, and The Phantom flies to Burma to find him.

Meeting up with the son of the chief of the Nakhon tribe, an old friend of his from a previous visit to Burma, The Phantom learns that the area where Byron has gone missing is regarded taboo among the natives of the Burma jungle, following the supposed possession of the area by a "flame-god" half a century ago. Further more, the area is inhabited by both headhunters and lethal spiders.

In the aftermath of a fight at a local pub, the Phantom hires a group of men with jungle knowledge to guide him into the jungle. Following days of marching through the jungle, the group is taken captured by the Bilauk tribe. After having defeated the giant Bilauk fighter, Mr. Walker reveals himself as The Phantom, and learns that Byron is about to be scarified by the Marita tribe, because they believe Byron to be the flame god who possessed the jungle when Kingsford-Smith crashed in the area.

Arriving in the Marita village, The Phantom finds Byron suffering from fever, but is able to convince the Maritas to let him go. Before returning to the city, The Phantom finally learns the truth about the fire god legend - it arose following the crash of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, famous Australian aviator who went missing in the area, along with co-pilot Tommy Pethybridge, in November 1935.

With Byron safely returned to America, The Phantom is able to go back to the Deep Woods, not only having saved the life of his old friend, but also having solved a half-a-century old mystery and returning the relics to Australia.

Appearances

Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Chief Tola-Tola of Nakhon (mentioned)
  • Chief of Nakhon
  • Chief of Marita
  • Josh
  • Pete

Real-life characters

Locations

  • The Deep Woods
  • Burma
    • Bilauktaung Mountains
      • Ye
        • Ye Airport
        • The Paradise Inn
      • the Nakhon Village
        • Nakhon Hospital
        • Nakhon Airport
      • the Bilauk Village
      • the Marita Village
    • Akyab (mentioned)
    • Rangoon (mentioned)
  • Australia (mentioned)
    • Sydney (mentioned)
  • USA (mentioned)
  • England (mentioned)
    • London (mentioned)
      • Hamble Airport (mentioned)
  • Iraq (implied)
    • Baghdad (mentioned)
  • India (implied)
    • Allahabad (mentioned)
    • Calcutta (mentioned)
    • Bay of Bengal (mentioned)
  • Singapore (mentioned)
  • The Pacific Ocean (mentioned)

Tribes

Organisations

Aeroplanes

Objects

  • Piece of metal marked "ROS" in the Major Treasure Room
  • Pieces of metal marked "SS", "SOU", and "LAD" with Byron
  • Wreckage of Lady Southern Cross

Phantom lore

Old jungle sayings

  • "When the Phantom moves, lightning stands still..."


Trivia

  • Although not specifically stated, the war in which Captain Byron saved Diana is World War II, resulting in quite a problematic time frame of the story, since the crash of Sir Kingsford-Smith in 1936 is said to have taken place about half a century ago.
  • This story marks the first and only post-1940's appearance of Captain Byron, not counting the 1971 Team Fantomen remake of his original appearance in "The Slave Traders".
  • In the wraparound cover for The Phantom #1740 (2015) the back cover has livery very similar to the one Kingsford-Smith flew, but marked "C-ADUS".

Related stories

Refers to

Reprints

This story has been published in the following publications:

Mini australia.gif Australia