Flash Gordon #1
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Evan Shaner
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Simon Bowland
Edits by Nate Cosby
Covers by Gabriel Hardman, Jonathan Case, DeClan Shalvey, Marc Laming, Stephen Mooney, Ken Haeser
Release Date: April 9, 2014
Cover A | Cover B
Cover Price: $3.99
Let’s be honest, I KNEW I was going to like Flash Gordon #1, but what I had NO idea about, was that I was going to absolutely LOVE it! Seriously, in one issue it’s all ready my favorite Flash comic since the 1980s.
OK, so you’re launching a comic series that is based on something that is, at it’s very core, FUN. Light-hearted. Lively. And, witty. So, your obvious choice? Jeff. Parker. The man who has written a ton of comics, none of which have made anyone want to shoot themselves in the head. He’s the guy who brought all the fun, charm, and wit out of the Batman ’66 TV show and put it into comic form! But, let’s stick to this book.
You know me, I don’t do spoilers, but what impressed me about this issue was that Parker drops the needless introduction. You jump right in, feet first into some fast paced action that is really well-scripted and clever and it doesn’t really stop until the last panel of the last page. Parker also really updates the characters for modern times. And I’m not just talking about their jobs. Parker gives the characters THEMSELVES updates. They’re not a stubborn reporter, a mad scientist, and a millionaire playboy anymore; they have actual layers and depth to them.
Another thing that impressed me was just how much story Parker was able to give us using so little. We didn’t see Flash come face to face with Ming this issue. We didn’t see him encounter Princess Aura. Heck, she’s not even mentioned yet! There is still so much that we haven’t seen on Mongo, and that’s fine, because what we got to see this issue was more than entertaining, adventurous, and full of mystery. This is one of the best written comics I’ve come across in some time.
With writing this strong, you’ve got to figure the weak part is the art, right? Well, you’d be wrong on that one. Welcome Evan “Doc” Shaner into the mix, everyone. I don’t know what Mr. Shaner is a doctor of, but after reading this, I’m pretty sure it’s drawing awesome Flash Gordon comics. I can’t even begin to tell you how fantastic the art is here. He gives the world of Mongo a really fresh, new take, all the while keeping some of its trademark looks that long time fans of the Flash Gordon property will know and still love. We barely get to touch down upon some of the other worlds that Flash and Company visit, but when you see them, you won’t be as anxious as I am for the story to eventually take us there. Shaner makes a lot of things that, at the hands of a lesser artist would look “hokey,” look like they were designed and created just for this series. I’m talking primarily about the costumes and fashions that the citizenry of Mongo wear. They have a neat 1940s vibe to them, but look very much of the modern day. I could go on and on, but let me just say — SUPERB art all the way around!!
Flash Gordon #1 is one of the most entertaining books that will be out this week, hands down. Will you pick it up? Good God, you better!! Give yourself a break from the mutants. Give yourself a break from the Forever Evil. Give yourself a break from the zombies. Do something for YOU. Take the time to grab this book and read a comic that makes you feel 10 years old again. When comics were all that mattered.
Get LOST in this comic, because it’s so easy to. You’re gonna close this book and have a huge grin on your face. Remember those? Comics that made you, you know, HAPPY? Yeah, they’re still out there. And Flash Gordon #1 is leading the pack.