1957 comic did not predict the COVID-19 pandemic – FakeNews

The 1957 comic did not predict the COVID-19 pandemic

(Reuters) A digitally altered version of a 1957 comic cartoon is making the rounds on social media, with some users claiming the image is proof that adventure comic The Phantom predicted the COVID-19 pandemic.

Users share a scene from a story “The Valley of No Return” (here), depicting the Ghost telling another figure to tie a garment around his mouth. The image, however, has been digitally altered to include the words “Chinese Virus” in the dialogue.

Iterations of the digitally altered version can be seen here and here.

The unedited version shows that the main character actually tells a person to cover their mouth to protect against “the ‘death of sleep’ in the valley”.

Original comic art can be seen on an auction website here.

The Courier Post newspaper featured it in its August 24, 1957, edition. The excerpt in the New Jersey magazine archive also shows that the comic was about “death of sleep” in the Valley (see slide 1 here).

The Phantom, “a fictional costumed crime fighter who operates out of the fictional African country of Bangalla”, was created in 1936 by Lee Falk with artwork by Ray Moore and originally featured in a daily newspaper strip, followed by a version sunday color (here) (here).


Fake. A 1957 comic by The Phantom did not mention a “Chinese virus”. A version circulating online has been edited to include these words.

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