Fact Check: Edited Image Shared To Suggest 1957 Comic Strip Had Warned About ‘China Virus’

An image of a comic strip featuring legendary superhero ‘The Phantom’ is being shared on social media where he can be seen urging people to wear masks to protect themselves from ‘China Virus’.

The image is being shared with the text, “Would you believe, this comic was published in 1957?”

Here’s the link to the above post.


NewsMobile fact-checked the post and found it t be fake.

Since we could see ‘The Phantom’ in the illustration, we ran a keyword search along with a Reverse Image Search and found a Tweet from October 2021, featuring the original image.

A Twitter user shared the image with the caption, “How easily misinformation spreads. Today someone in one of my WA groups posted a clip from a old Indrajal comics and a mention about ‘China Virus’, in 1957! A quick research revealed that the clip was from a 1979 story ‘Valley of no return’ and no mention about any China Virus!”

In the original image, the text read, “Tie it on as I do this will protect you from the ‘sleep death’ in the valley.” The original text does not mention anything about ‘China virus’.

We ran a search and found that the ‘The Valley of no Return‘ ran in newspapers from July 1, 1957, to September 21, 1957.

The entire series of The Phantom can be seen here and here. ‘The Valley of No Return’ can be read here.

Hence, from the above information, it is clear that the viral image has been digitally altered and is fake.

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