The Phantom, 5/3/05
So it turns out that the Phantom is not going to defeat his enemies by shooting them in the back of the head. Instead, much more humanely, he’s going to avail himself of non-FDA-approved “Bandar medicine” to brainwash them, leaving them with shattered Manchurian Candidate-style psyches and glimpsed half-memories for the rest of their miserable lives.
The men at least are lucky: they’re just going to be dragged off to a filthy hut somewhere, be injected with the essence of God knows what quasipoisonous tropical root, and have their minds cleansed in a quick and business-like fashion. Mina, however, seems destined to first be brought (blindfolded, natch) into the Phantom’s waterfall-shrouded Love Cavern. Trust the Ghost-Who-Puts-The-Moves-On: no one will be harmed, but someone might have to listen to R. Kelly’s Chocolate Factory and deal with some scented candles.
A new artistic team recently took over The Phantom, and it’s good to see that they’re sticking to the strip’s proud tradition of baffling punctuation marks. Most people would have been satisfied with some wacky onomatopoetic noises in panel three, but I like the fact that they’ve rendered Sputt! as an exclamation, but Blubb!? as a question. “Blubb!?” Yes, Mina: blubb.