Emperor Joonkar

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Emperor Joonkar
First appearance: "The Golden Sands of Keela-Wee"
Created by: Lee Falk and Sy Barry

Emperor Joonkar (also called Joonkoor, Joomkar, and Jookoor) was Emperor of a great African empire Nyahpura during the latter part of the 17th century.

Fictional Character Biography

According to Lee Falk

Remembered as the greatest of the black emperors, Joonkar's kingdom encompassed all of what is now present day Bangalla. Joonkar was a just ruler and a proud man whose vast palaces and mighty armies rivalled the best in the world.

One of Joonkar's favorite past-times was hunting, an activity that would at times take Joonkar deep into the jungle in search of large game. One fateful hunting expedition would unknowingly take the emperor into the heart of Phantom Country - the Bandar Preserve. On this day Joonkar, whilst hunting on foot, came across a large tiger. He attacked it but soon found himself helpless as his spear snapped. As the tiger attacked, unexpected help came as the 7th Phantom, who had been watching, fell upon the tiger, wrestling with it before sending it away with a mighty kick. The grateful Joonkar wished to reward the Phantom for saving his life. The Phantom replied that Joonkar could reward him by never returning to the land of the Bandar where hunting is forbidden. Taking great offense at being spoken to this way, the emperor (an expert unarmed fighter) challenged the Phantom to a fight to the death. After defeating the mighty Joonkar with two blows, the Phantom spared his life and Joonkar declared that the Phantom would be his friend for life.

Sometime after this Joonkar travelled to the Orient where he fell in love with the beautiful princess Sheba. Upon returning home Joonkar sent for her so they could be married, but en route her ship was attacked by Barbary pirates off the coast of Bengalla. Sheba was seized, and upon realising what a valuable prize they had, the pirates kept her as a ransom. After her rescue by the Phantom, Joonkar and Sheba were wed in a lavish ceremony with the Phantom as best man. They honeymooned in a hut made out of solid jade Joonkar had made for his bride as a wedding gift on the golden beach of Keela-Wee. Tragedy befell Joonkar one year later when his bride died in childbirth. The distraught emperor granted the jade hut of Keela-Wee to the Phantom and his descendants.

Saddened by his wife's death and weary of court life, the emperor began secretly taking to the streets of his cities disguised as workman in order to learn more about his people. On one of these trips the emperor learned too much and found himself drugged and shanghaied by pirates, awaking as a slave chained to the oar of a barque. Once more Joonkar's life would be saved by the Phantom.

Upon returning to Joonkar's kingdom, he and the Phantom discover a recent battlefield. The two great tribes Wembesi and Llongo were at war, a war that had spilled into Joonkars territory. Furious, Joonkar gathers his army and prepared to drive the two tribes back into the jungle. The Phantom, in hopes of avoiding a slaughter asks Joonkar to first be allowed to talk to the two tribes. As a battle raged between the Wambesi and Llongo, they suddenly paused fighting, amazed at the daring of Phantom as he rode into the battle between the two tribes. The Phantom, reasoning with them, telling them that if they don't end the war they will all be destroyed by Joonkar's armies. Realising that there is no other way, the Wambesi and Llongo made a truce, a truce that has lasted to this day.

Joonkar was amazed at the Phantom's peacemaking. Recalling both occasions that the Phantom had saved his life, the time he had saved his bride's life, and now after witnessing the Phantom ride into a bloody battle and single-handedly end a war and bring peace, Joonkar decided that there had to be a fitting monument to this man. And thus began work on creating a monument to the Phantom out of a mountain. Designed by Michelangelo himself who Joonkar had brought from Italy, and taking years to complete, the mountain would eventually be carved into what is now known as Phantom Head Peak.

Now nothing is left of Joonkars empire, his kingdom now just ruins long since reclaimed by the jungle, the remains of his grand palaces now home to lions and lizards. All that remains of The Great Black Emperor is Phantom Head Peak and his name, still spoken with reverence by the people of the jungle.

Notable appearances

Daily/Sunday stories

Title Writer Artist Set in Comments
"The Golden Sands of Keela-Wee" Falk Barry ?  
"Strangers at Keela-Wee" Falk Barry ? in flashback only
"Joonkar and the Slavers" Falk Barry ?  
"Vandal-Looters" Falk Barry ? mentioned, as Jookoor
"Phantom Head Peak" Falk Barry ?  
"Queen Amaza's Mate" Falk Barry 1685 The 7th Phantom saving bride of Emperor Joonkoor
"The Snake Goddess" Falk Barry ? mentioned as Joonkoor
"Nukes" Falk Barry ? mentioned only
"The Beasts of Phantom Head Peak" Falk Olesen, Williams "two centuries ago" mentioned, as Joonkoor
"Joomkar's Crown" Falk Olesen, Williams ? as Joomkar
"The Vanished Village" Falk Olesen, Fredericks ? mentioned, as Joomkar
"Ghost Quest" DePaul Olesen, Williams "the 17th century" mentioned
"Vigil at Phantom Head" DePaul Weigel "the 17th century" in flashback only

Team Fantomen stories

Title Writer Artist Set in Comments
"The Wedding Gifts" Avenell Felmang, Ferri, Benny 1682 mentioned only
"The Emperor's Gift" Bishop Spadari ? mentioned only
"The Black Phantom" Worker Felmang, Benny 1692  
"The Ibis Mystery, Part 1: The Evil Paradise" Worker Leppänen 1696  
"The Last Emperor" Worker Cruz 1710  

Moonstone stories

Title Writer Artist Set in Comments
"Attack on Phantom Head Peak" Fingeroth Purcell ?
"Enitan" Bullock Szilagyi, Mulko ?

Frew stories

Title Writer Artist Comment
"The Sword of the Caliph" Henriquez Caracuzzo