Issue by Issue – Flash Gordon #1 (2014)

Writer – Jeff Parker
Artist – Evan Shaner
Colours – Jordie Bellaire
Letters – Simon Bowland

The first issue of the new series from Dynamite features Flash Gordon, Zarkov and Dale Arden on the run from some of Ming’s men. For those new to the property, Ming is Gordon’s enemy and should he or his friends be caught, only bad things would ensue as he is as they say, merciless. Flying through portal after portal with each world worse than the one before, Flash and company are running out of fuel for their ship when they finally find a planet of trees called Arboria. It is there that Flash manages to get them all into a little trouble when they are saved by the locals and in turn almost gets them in even more trouble when Dale eventually ends up saving the day. This was a great first issue from Jeff Parker after his stint on the Kings Watch miniseries and a welcome one to boot as the world should always have a Flash Gordon comic book on the stands. Parker starts the book off with a little bit of a flashback but then gets right into the action which is where our pulp hero should be. The artwork by Evan Shaner is a great fit for the book, nailing the drama and action with a nice clean and open, yet detailed style. Ming looks fantastic and perfectly evil and it will be good to really see him get into the thick of things come later issues, hopefully getting his hands dirty instead of leaving things to his minions. It is nice to see the supporting characters in Dale and Zarkov get as much time as Flash does, though as they seem to be travelling with him, it would have happened anyways and makes the book feel more well-rounded because of it. Though there is not really a sense of where Parker wants to take the book at the moment, except with our heroes wanting to get to Earth, it is a strong first issue of a book that has everything going for it in all the right places.

4.5 out of 5

2 replies »

  1. I loved Kings Watch and all the spin-offs Dynamite did off of it, including this run of Flash Gordon. Whereas pulp heroes had a bit of a stumble re-entering the public eye back in the 90’s, by the 2010’s it feels like writers really had it figured out. Given it was post Great Recession and we were just seeing the beginnings of the rise of the Global Right, perhaps the conditions that created these original pulp heroes were themselves getting a resurgence. Or maybe I’m pontificating too much on this New Year’s Eve. Either way, thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

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