Mandrake the Magician
is a syndicated newspaper comic strip, created by Lee Falk (before he created The Phantom). Mandrake began publication on June 11, 1934. Phil Davis soon took over as the strip's illustrator, while Falk continued to script. The strip is distributed by King Features Syndicate.
Mandrake, along with the Phantom Magician in Mel Graff's The Adventures of Patsy, are regarded by comics historians as the first superheroes of comics. Comics historian Don Markstein writes, "Some people say Mandrake the Magician, who started in 1934, was comics' first superhero."
Davis worked on the strip until his death in 1964, when Falk recruited current artist Fred Fredericks. With Falk's death in 1999, Fredericks became both writer and artist. The Sunday Mandrake strip ended December 29, 2002. The daily strip ended mid-story on July 6, 2013 when Fred Fredericks retired, and a reprint of D220 "Pursuit of the Cobra" from 1995 began on July 8, 2013.
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