Tuesday, February 16, 2016


We're in for a real treat, a couple of King Features Flash Gordon comic book (issues #9 & #10) featuring Alex Raymond artwork! Raymond created Flash Gordon back in 1934, the year this particular story heralds from. He used live models in his work and inspired many a young artist, the likes of Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, Russ Manning and of course, Al Williamson. In fact, Raymond was a major influence to George Lucas on his Star Wars motion pictures.

Alex Raymond was asked by King Features to create a Sunday comic strip to compete with Buck Rogers. Alongside ghostwriter and pulp-fiction veteran Don Moore, he created Flash Gordon and the rest...is history.

Raymond's first Flash Gordon comic strip introduced the "world-famous polo player", improbably roped into a space adventure alongside love-interest Dale Arden and scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov. Transported by rocket to the planet Mongo, which was about to collide with Earth. The trio immediately became embroiled in the affairs of Mongo's inhabitants—particularly those of its insidious warlord, Ming the Merciless, who would become Flash Gordon's most infamous nemesis.

Flash Gordon #9
Cover by Alex Raymond!
"The Tournament of Mongo Part I"
Flash Gordon brings new hope to the people of Mongo. Under his leadership they are uniting against a common enemy, Ming the Merciless. Vultan of the Hawkmen announces a Tournament of Death. 
Script & art by Alex Raymond.
Text, coloring and panel layout changed from the original Sunday strip.
"The Prison of Mongo"
Tale of prison break from the rugged mountain prison for hardened criminals, just outside the city of Alania. 
Written by Gary Poole with art by Al Williamson.
Text story.
Jack Sparling back-up story. 

"The Tournament of Mongo" was reprinted in The Flash Gordon Comic-Book Archives Volume Two hardcover.

Eric (Smallville) Johnson played Flash Gordon with Gina (Supernatual) Holden as Dale Arden.

Recently, I remembered Sam Jones having appeared in the 2007 television series Flash Gordon. His cameo was as a character named Krebb, an old prisoner who claimed to have met Flash's father.

As I reflect on the show, the Flash Gordon TV series reminds me of the spirit in the current The Flash superhero TV series. I remember it as a good show developing into a better series just before being cancelled. Johnson did make a good Flash Gordon.
In this series, Flash Gordon thought that his father died in a fire 13 years ago. Actually, Professor Gordon disappeared through a "rift", traveling to the planet Mongo...and now something has come back through the rift, looking for a mysterious artifact that Gordon left behind.

Flash Gordon has been available on DVD a few times after the show was cancelled.
Flash is forced to team up with his ex-girlfriend, Dale Arden, who travels with him to Mongo to meet Ming, the planet's brutal dictator. When they arrive, Ming imprisons Flash and sends Dale to his harem to be prepared for his pleasure. In the end, Flash and Dale escape back to Earth.

Flash Gordon Limited Collector Edition Volume One hardcover with slipcase, from Nostalgia Press in 1967, advertised in this issue of King Features Flash Gordon comic book.
Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!

Flash Gordon Limited Collector Edition Volume Two hardcover with slipcase, from Nostalgia Press in 1967. Collection of Sunday newspaper comic strips from April 12, 1936 through October 30, 1938. Comic strips written by Don Moore with art by Alex Raymond.


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