Flash Gordon one of the most revived characters in comics, around since the 30’s (first published in 1934) originally in newspaper strips and later in movie serials, television shows and movies. Flash has been made over, rehashed, pimped, pastiched and paradied time and time again. I think he’s generally seen as dated, not really relevant anymore but it’s important however to remember that he was born in an era of fear and uncertainty. He was a true hero, out of his depth hopelessly out numbered and out gunned he nevertheless fights on. For the planet Earth! For all the planets of Mongo! For Freedom!
This most recent relaunch of our beloved hero comes to us from Dynamite Entertainment with art direction from Alex Ross. I can’t think of a better person for this book. They use the term “Zeitgeist” in the title, I looked it up (because you know you want to) its definition “the spirit of the times”. Ross’ style so perfectly fits with that theme and the spirit of this story and Daniel Indro and Slamet Mujiono bring that right to the page they really knock the art right out of the park.
I was first introduced to Flash by the 1980’s film with Max von Sydow, the man who came to personify Ming the Merciless and the soundtrack by Queen (FLASH! a-ah Savior of the Universe!). If you’ve seen that version then you must know how fitting it was to see the first line of dialogue from Ming “…Klytus I’m BORED”. I was immediately exicted and a little pensive. See I loved that movie but let’s be honest Citizen Kane in ain’t (but is Citizen Kane even Citizen Kane? Ah that’s another post).
I needn’t have worried, yes its campy but it works and it works really well. Eric Trautmann has written a wonderful script one that transports you into the pre-WWII world it was all I could do not to open this review with “Good evening Mr and Mrs America, from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let’s go to press.” All our favorites are there; Flash, Dale, Zarkov and a few new ones I was surprised by and loved immediately. This isn’t a retelling of the Flash of our youth this story has a cool subplot involving Hitler (c’mon its 1934 who else could be the big bad?).
Let’s see killer art? Check. Well plotted with good dialogue? Check. Added to my monthly pull list. CHECK.
Read this book, then come on back here and talk about it.