November 9th, 2013
by DePaul (Scripts), Manley (Daily Art) & Weigel (Sunday Art)
It’s The Aeronaut’s denouement up ahead, over the next three weeks.
The Phantom, as you know, is ever nonchalant about how one thing leads to another. No matter how the trail winds, he just rolls with it. The Aeronaut saga started in April, when Old Man Mozz dreamed that something from beyond the grave would “reach out” to the Phantom. All right, we’ll see about that. But in the meantime the Phantom has a job to do; mopping up the jungle floor with some guys caught loading drugs onto a transcontinental jet.
Another day at the office, and it might have ended there. But, apropos of the warning from Mozz, the dust up on the airstrip leads to unexplained phenomena manifesting in the Deep Woods.
The Bandar spot an 18th-century balloon in the night sky…
And before the night is over, Devil runs to ground a lost boy, who wears the uniform of an American flier from World War I.
The boy’s disappearance sends the Phantom into Skull Cave to consult the Chronicles. All he knows for certain is that forces he doesn’t understand are sending him to New York to collar Ted West, the jet pilot who managed to escape justice at that remote landing strip.
The Phantom doesn’t know it yet, but he’s in New York not simply to apprehend West, but to save his life, and that of his wife and son. The reasons why stretch all the way back to 1918 and the adventures of the 19th Phantom.
We finish Week 32 of the saga tomorrow, Saturday, November 9. In the final three weeks, up next, the Phantom and those around him come to understand that they’ve been brought together by a man who’s been dead for decades — the Aeronaut.
Some readers picked up on the visual clues and made connections early on. Like this one in panel 2, from May 3.
And here again, panel 3, May 17.
When it appears again next week, the Phantom makes the final connection in this adventure!
Tony DePaul, November 8, 2013, Rhode Island, USA
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