What didn’t help the people who brushed off the basement comment as a joke was the fact that Lyman reappeared in the “Scary Scavenger Hunt” web game where Garfield explores a haunted mansion only to find Lyman chained in the basement. Quite a coincidence, right? To make matters worse, in the second part of the game “Scary Scavenger Hunt 2”, one can find Lyman’s head in the oven. Now that’s definitely creepy.
As if sensing the fans’ desperation over these facts and the many frightening theories they were coming up with, the writers decided to come up with some sort of explanation and finally address Lyman’s disappearance which they did in The Garfield Show’s “Long Lost Lyman” episode that aired in 2012.
The episode explains that Lyman left Jon, Odie, and Garfield to venture out to Australia where he was searching for a mythological creature called Zabadu. While exploring in the jungle, Lyman got lost and injured and was rescued by Zabadu, who was actually a doctor in disguise. The doctor helped Lyman with his injuries and revealed that he pretended to be a mythological creature to protect the jungle from poachers. Since Lyman was in the middle of the jungle, he couldn’t contact anyone outside, thus explaining why he disappeared without a trace. After the doctor died, Lyman decided to take over his role as the Zabadu and protect the jungle.
Although the “Long Lost Lyman” explains Lyman’s absence for decades somewhat perfectly, it still doesn’t solve the puzzle of why would Lyman be chained up in the basement. As Tumblr users point out, though, there are plenty of creepy details and inconsistencies in such a large story as Garfield’s. So, even if Lyman is still pretending to be a mythological creature in Australia, that means that in some other continuity, Lyman ended his days chained up in the basement. And perhaps Jon had something to do with it?