With the success of Lee Falk's The Phantom, currently getting the archival reprint treatment from Hermes Press, the recent archives featuring Alex Raymond's fantstic Flash Gordon, the only member of the King Features "Big Three" not to have gotten a quality reprint package is Mandrake the Magician. Like both The Phantom and Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician was a key element of the King Features push into comic books in 1967.
The debut issue was drawn by "Dashing" Don Heck, a member of Marvel's illustrious Bullpen. The subsequent issues featured a hodge-podge of art and story, some original to the series and some imported from Europe. Alas Mandrake never seemed to break through like the Phantom and Flash who both found homes later at Charlton after King Features dropped out of the comic book game.
Mandrake even suffered the ignominy of a never-completed trilogy when briefly Marvel held control of the King license in the 90's. Mandrake and Lothar were part of the Defenders of the Earth team at Marvel's Star Comics brand during the 80's.
It was announced a few years ago that Mandrake would join Flash Gordon and The Phantom at Dynamite Comics, but while there have been comics for the other two, so far nothing that I'm aware of for Lee Falk's Magician.
Mandrake never seemed to find the respect among fans that his long tenure as a comic hero merits. He deserves an archive of his own, ideally collecting the vintage work which graced the newsstands in the late Silver Age. He deserves a place on the bookshelf next to Phantom and Flash.
While we wait (perhaps for a very long time alas), enjoy this cover gallery of Mandrake's King Features comic run. There's some intriguing images, many by long-time Mandrake artist Fred Fredericks, suggestive of stories that any fan might yearn to read.