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The Singh Brotherhood (story)

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The Singh Brotherhood
Start date: February 17th, 1936
End date: November 7th, 1936
# of strips: 228 (38 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Lee Falk, Ray Moore
Original colorist: unknown
Preceded by: N/A
Followed by: "The Sky Band"

"The Singh Brotherhood" is the first Phantom story, as well as the very first Phantom story all categories. It was originally published in American newspapers from February 17th to November 7th, 1936.

The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Ray Moore, with pencils by Falk for the first few weeks.

Plot Summary

The spotted flag of The Singh Brotherhood.

Diana Palmer returns to New York after two years in the South Seas. Her ship is however, attacked by New York based gangster Fats Horgan and his men before it reaches the port. A mysterious stranger then appears, The Phantom, and saves Diana and the valuable cargo of ambergris that she has brought with her. We also learn that Achmed Singh of the Singh Brotherhood is behind the attempts to steal the ambergris. Achmed attempts twice to kidnap Diana, who is the only one who knows the exact location of the graveyard of the whales where enormous amounts of ambergris exist. The Phantom, however, foils both attempts. Subsequently Diana learns some very intriguing things about the Phantom when an old family friend Dr. James Dodd tells her that he saw the Phantom when he was a young boy seventy years ago. Diana decides to go back to get some more ambergris and is supported by the Phantom when he learns that she needs the money for a child hospital.

Diana is, however, kidnapped again by the Singh Brotherhood and taken to their leader Kabai Singh at their base at the bottom of the sea. The Phantom manages to rescue Diana and escape but he has to swim to the surface with only a diving helmet on his head and becomes severely injured by this. He disappears shortly before Diana is picked up by a British naval ship that destroys the base.

The Phantom is found by the Bandars, the tribe that he lives with, and their medicine man Guran tries to drive off the demons that he believes possess the injured Phantom. The Phantom persuades them to bring the British military doctor Melville Horton. Horton heals The Phantom's injuries and is rewarded with a ruby necklace for his beloved. Horton gives the necklace to Diana, even though she doesn't want to marry him. The Phantom shows up at the wrong moment and believes that Diana and Horton are a couple.

Horton is then sent on a suicide mission with too few men against savage natives who slay every one of them except Horton, whom they decide to burn alive. The Phantom saves him and sends him back to Diana with some treasures that would help finance an expedition to retrieve the rest of the ambergris. Horton realises that the Phantom thinks that he and Diana are a couple and tries explain that Diana loves the Phantom, but the Phantom has already gone. The Phantom then guards the expedition from afar and manages to stop an attempt to steal the ambergris by the Singh Brotherhood. He then reveals himself to Diana and tells her the story of how the Phantom originated.

Sala saves the life of The Phantom.

Back at land the Phantom is participating in an attempt to destroy the new Singh base and is caught as he tries to enter alone. Kabai Singh's protegé, Sala, falls in love with the Phantom and offers to help him if he returns her love, but he refuses as he cannot lie to her. The Phantom is sentenced to be boiled but is rescued by Sala who cannot see him die, even though he doesn't return her love. At that moment, the Royal Air Force attacks with bombs falling everywhere. Kabai tries to kill the Phantom once and for all, but is instead stabbed by Sala. Sala then gets injured by shrapnel and, thinking that she is dying, reveals that she never was a real member of the Singh Brotherhood, but a spy for an organisation called "The Sky Band". The Phantom takes her information seriously, but the British officials are skeptical. The Phantom, however, decides to investigate.


Recurring characters

One-time characters





  • S.S. Trotter
  • HMS Valor



  • Several elements of the Phantom myth are introduced, including The Phantom and his alias "The Ghost Who Walks", Devil, Diana, Guran, the Bandar tribe, the Singh Brotherhood, the Skull Mark, the Oath of the Skull, the Skull Cave, the Skull Throne and others.
  • The Bandar is said to be cannibals and Guran is introduced as "the fanatical witch-doctor" of the tribe.
  • Diana is introduced as a "famed young explorer" and is notably wealthy.
  • The home of the Phantom is given to be the island of Luntok in the Dutch East Indies, a British protectorate between Java and Sumatra.
  • The name of the man who became the first Phantom is reported as Sir Christopher Standish, and the year in witch he swore the Oath of the Skull as 1525.
  • The current Phantom is seen swearing the Oath while his father was still alive.
  • The story features the first meeting between the Phantom and Diana, as well as the first time the Phantom propose to her. Diana is also asked to marry Jimmy Wells as well as Melville Horton.
  • The phrase "The Phantom only warns once", years later given as an old jungle saying, is mentioned by the Phantom himself three times.
  • The Phantom suit is said to be gray.

Related stories

Followed by


This story has been published in the following publications:

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Best Story Winners
Mini finland.gif  Finland

1985: "The Prisoner at Capitolium" | 1986: "The Moor of Death"

Mini norway.gif  Norway

1979: "The Heirs" | 1983: "Tale of Rex" | 1984: "Hero" | 1985: "Pirates of the Yellow Snake" | 1986: "The Beanstalk" & "Race Against Death" (tie) | 1987: "Devil's Adventure" | 1988: "Eden" | 1989: "The Last Unicorn" | 1990: "The Last Emperor" | 1991: "Death of a Patrolman, Part 2: Tracking the Killers" | 1992: "The Wolf is Coming" | 1993: "Aron" | 1994: "The Commander is Dead" | 1995: "The Demon's Image" | 1996: "Johnny Hotwire" | 1997: "The Ghost Who Died Twice" | 1998: "The Last Phantom, Part 1: The Eighth Circle" | 1999: "Devil's Story" | 2000: "The Phantom vs Singh 2050" | 2001: "The Invisible Phantom" | 2002: "In A Strange Land, Part 2" | 2003: "My Darling Pirate" | 2004: "Son of the Pirate Queen" | 2005: "The King of Norway" | 2006: "The Singh Brotherhood" | 2007: "Dogai - The Road to Power" & "The Commander is Dead" (best reprint) | 2008: "The Devil of Ravenscar" & "Kingdom of the Amazons" (best reprint) | 2009: "Duel at Deadman's Gulch" | 2010: "The Cabin Boy and the Princess" | 2011: "The Gulf of Aden Pirates" | 2012: "The Pirates' Prisoner" | 2013: "The Slave Ship Zong" | 2014: "Death of a Pirate Queen" | 2015: "A Plague in Venice" | 2016: "John X" & "Patrolman X" | 2017: "The Karabasan League"

Mini sweden.gif  Sweden

1978: "The Avenger from the Sea" & "Phantom Wedding" (tie) | 1979: "Devil's Story" | 1980: "The Treasure from Rhodes" | 1981: "The Legend of the Swords, Part 1: Excalibur" | 1982: "The Stone Carving People" | 1983: "The Water of Life" | 1984: "The First Phantom" | 1985: "The Beanstalk" | 1986: "The Battle on Malta" & "Devil's Story" (best reprint) | 1987: "The King is Dead" | 1988: "Eden" | 1989: "The Last Unicorn" | 1990: "The Cathedral Mystery" | 1991: "Devil's Story" | 1992: "Hoogan's Revenge" | 1993: "The Test" | 1994: "The Commander is Dead" | 1995: "The Set Up, Part 1" & Part 2 | 1996: "The Last Viking" | 1997: "The Ghost Who Died Twice" | 1998: "Return of the Zombies" | 1999: "Devil's Story" | 2000: "The Phantom vs Singh 2050" | 2001: "The Prodigal Son" | 2002: "The Long Bow of Little John" | 2003: "My Darling Pirate" | 2004: "Son of the Pirate Queen" | 2005: "The Battle on Malta" | 2006: "The Singh Brotherhood" | 2007: "The Phantom Crusader, Part 1" & "The Commander is Dead" (best reprint) | 2008: "The Castaways" & "Kingdom of the Amazons" (best reprint)" | 2009: "The  Phantom Gladiator, Part 1" | 2010: "The Cabin Boy and the Princess" & "The Dragon Throne" | 2011: "The Sons of Captain Walker" | 2012: "The Pirates' Prisoner" | 2013: "Year 1349" | 2014: "Death of a Pirate Queen" | 2015: "A Plague in Venice" | 2016: "Nat Turner's Spirit, Part 6: The King of Louisiana" | 2017: "Farewell to the Deep Woods" | 2018: "The Ghost at Gallows' Inn" | 2019: "The Devil in Stockholm" | 2020: "A Reckoning with the Nomad" | 2021: "Devil's Story"