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Comic Review: Flash Gordon #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Flash Gordon #1 cover by Gabriel Hardman

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
Dynamite Entertainment
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.

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Comic Review: Kings Watch #5
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Kings Watch #5 cover header

Kings Watch #5
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Marc Laming
Colors by Jordan Boyd
Letters by Simon Bowland
Edits by Nate Cosby
Covers by Marc Laming & Jordan Boyd,Ramon Perez
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 9, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Kings Watch #5 is seriously one of the most stunning comics that I’ve read in MONTHS. And I read a LOT of comics. It’s not your usual licensed comic fare. I really hope that Dynamite picks up this ball and runs with it; they could get a lot of mileage out of the conclusion of this series.

Jeff Parker turns in an absolutely incredible script that had more twists and turns than I could possibly count. This is not your typical “all the heroes save the day” comic. I never saw any of this coming in the issues leading up to this issue. Now I wish that this mini series was actually an ongoing, because I think there’s more than enough story here to carry one for years.

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Fox Developing ‘Flash Gordon’ Movie Penned By ‘Star Trek 3’ Writers
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Flash Gordon

It’s being reported that 20th Century Fox has acquired the movie rights to Flash Gordon, the popular pulp comic that was first created way back in 1934.

The acquisition is a package deal that includes producer John Davis, who spent over a year trying to secure the rights after previous rights holders such as Universal, Sony, and Manderlay Pictures were unable to make the movie happen, and Star Trek 3 writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay working on the script.

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Book Review: Flash Gordon On The Planet Mongo: The Complete Flash Gordon Library, Vol.1
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BAADASSSSS!   |  
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Flash Gordon On The Planet MongoFlash Gordon On The Planet Mongo
The Complete Flash Gordon Library, Vol. 1
Hardcover
By Alex Raymond and Don Moore
Introduction by Alex Ross
Titan Books
206 pages
Release Date: September 25, 2012

I grew up reading the comics section of my local newspaper every day and on Sundays I anticipated my parents getting that day’s paper on our doorstep bright and early so I could tear into that brick of smudgy newsprint and pluck the full-color comics supplement from its depressing clutches. Back then I cared little for what was happening in the world because kids didn’t really need to know; we had plenty of time to fret over foreign wars, rigged elections, and skyrocketing gasoline prices when we got older. When I began my decade plus-dalliance with comics it was the funnier strips like Blondie, The Family Circus, Hagar the Horrible, Funky Winkerbean, and of course Beetle Bailey that I favored above all others.

Back then it was not necessarily my choice because the superhero, sci-fi, and adventure strips that my peers from decades before the birth of my own parents thrilled to on a daily basis were all but a distant memory. At least in my city’s newspapers they were. I had to venture to my local public library to check out volumes of the collected comic strip escapades of Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy, a boyhood hero of mine for a short while following the release of the 1990 movie directed by and starring Warren Beatty. Once I entered my teen years and embraced comic books I stopped reading the daily comics section almost completely, with exceptions made for certain rare days when I would be having breakfast and only lacked decent reading material within my grasp.

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Comic Review: Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #9
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #9Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #9
Plot & Script by Eric Trautmann
Plot & Art Direction by Alex Ross
Art by Ron Adrian
Colors by Slamet Mujiono
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover by Alex Ross
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: January 30, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

In Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #9, things really start to change as far as the dynamic of the story goes. At this point, Ming is defeated and everyone on Mongo is at peace…or so we think. This issue is FULL of twists and turns and cliffhangers. Just like a Flash Gordon comic should be.

Eric Trautmann continues to do a fantastic job of keeping us on the edge of our seats. Just when we think that the next two issues of this series are going to have a nice, quiet wrap-up, he takes us on a WHOLE different adventure for Flash & company. This issue is mostly political in nature, but it’s not without its share of action scenes, which are pretty spectacular. We also check back in with the Mongoan task force that’s fighting the war on Earth. All in all, things are kind of starting to wrap up, and this issue was a great penultimate chapter. VERY strange alliances are made, secrets are discovered, new events are set in motion, and you won’t believe who the new Emperor of Mongo turns out to be. All in all, an issue full of surprises and high adventure!

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Comic Review: Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #8
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #8Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #8
Plot and Script by Eric Trautmann
Plot and Art Direction by Alex Ross
Art by Daniel Indro
Colors by Slamet Mujiono
Letters by Simon Bowland
Covers by Alex Ross and Francesco Francavilla
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: January 2, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #8 focuses almost exclusively on one of the most underrated characters in the Flash Gordon mythos – Dr Hans Zarkov. Now, we could argue that Zarkov is the one who’s responsible for the whole situation that Flash and company are in, but that’s besides the point.

Writers Eric Trautmann and Alex Ross take a time out from the nonstop action to give us a pretty cool character study in this issue. Turns out, Hans Zarkov is a pretty interesting guy. Honestly, you only get a couple panels of the other characters, but this issue is about Zarkov trying to outwit Ming’s control that he has over the device that can get them all home. I LOVE the back story that the writers gave the character. It really lets you know how and why he came to be in the circumstances that he’s in in the beginning of the series. Not only that, but it’s really interesting. And a good, solid story. They also manage to sneak in a good amount of action.

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Comic Review: Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #7
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #7Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #7
Plot & Script by Eric Trautmann
Plot & Art Direction by Alex Ross
Art by Daniel Indro
Colors by Slamet Mujiono
Letters by Simon Bowland
Covers by Alex Ross & Francesco Francavilla
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 7, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #7 is, quite literally, a tour de force. And I don’t even know what that means. But whatever it means, I’m sure it can be used to describe this issue. It’s by far the best of the series to date, and that’s saying something. Now, if Dynamite could only figure out how to get this book out on time…

Writers Eric Trautmann and Alex Ross have a love of these characters that almost rivals…. me. I can’t tell which of the two is the bigger fan of Flash Gordon. There’s some FANTASTIC Easters eggs thrown into this book from previous incarnations of Flash Gordon, ranging from the 1980 live action movie (look at that cover!) to the 1979-1980 cartoon series by Filmation. This is the epic conclusion of the first storyline, and it’s not without its shocks and surprises. I have to admit, the story plays a little too close to the feature film for my tastes; I wish it would’ve been a little more original, but it’s still a great ending to an awesome first arc. Just about every single loose end is tied up, and what’s left open will have your imagination running wild the moment you close the back cover.

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Comic Review: Merciless: The Rise of Ming #3
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Dynamite Entertainment: Merciless: The Rise of Ming #3Merciless: The Rise of Ming #3
Written by Scott Beatty
Art by Ron Adrian
Colors by Roni Setiawan
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover by Alex Ross
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: August 1, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Merciless: The Rise of Ming #3 is a great sci-fi action/thriller. From front to back, it’s got everything that fans of classic science fiction could ask for. And it’s cooler because it’s Ming the Merciless.

Writer Scott Beatty gives us another chapter in the origin of Ming the Merciless, and it’s a great roller coaster ride. This is CLASSIC sci-fi writing, but the format is updated for today’s audience. It’s action from cover to cover and you only catch your breath and the very end…and then there’s the last page. Beatty has been a fantastic science fiction writer for awhile now (his Buck Rogers series from Dynamite is totally underrated), and it’s nice to see him take the reins on another series. What I also like about this series is that it’s not just a spin-off of Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist that doesn’t need to exist. The audience needs to know how Ming got so merciless, and it’s nice that it flows into the current Flash Gordon series.

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Comic Review: Merciless: The Rise of Ming #2
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Dynamite Entertainment: Merciless: The Rise of Ming #2Merciless: The Rise of Ming #2
Written by Scott Beatty
Art by Ron Adrian
Colors by Roni Setiawan
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover by Alex Ross
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 20, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

In Merciless: The Rise of Ming #2, I’m not sure what happens. Either Ming’s already beyond-repair black soul falls deeper and deeper into the abyss of Hell or more of his own personality comes out. Maybe it’s a little of each. All I know is, it’s pretty fun to watch.

Imagine the creation of Darth Vader. No, not THAT one, the 1983 one. The one that you envisioned in your head after you saw Return of the Jedi and Obi-Wan explained, without too much detail (thanks for that, Ben!) that Anakin Skywalker had indeed fallen to The Dark Side of the Force and became Darth Vader. Remember the story you came up with in your head on the way home from the theater? Well, that’s pretty much what Scott Beatty has done here for Ming the Merciless.

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Comic Review: Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #5
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Flash Gordon Zeitgeist 5Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #5
Plot & Script by Eric Trautmann
Plot & Art Direction by Alex Ross
Art by Daniel Indro
Colors by Slamet Mujiono
Letters by Slamet Mujiono
Covers by Alex Ross, Paul Renaud & Francesco Francavilla
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 13, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #5 is a big-budget action movie contained within a single issue comic book. Honestly, this book is one of THE most action-packed comics out there right now, and if you’re not reading it, you’re really missing out. Another FANTASTIC issue by Eric Trautmann. Now, I know in my reviews that I’ve given almost sole credit for the writing on this book to him, but that’s only because I have no clue as to what degree Alex Ross was involved in the plot. Either way, it totally works and I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

This issue takes place both on Mongo and on Earth, and as I said before, this really reminds me of a big budget sci-fi movie in comic form. You can HEAR the dialogue coming out of the characters’ mouths. You can SEE the action, explosions, and other worldly adventures in your mind. This, is truly a great comic for anyone who wants to escape reality for 15 minutes. Without going into spoilers, there’s some pretty important things that take place in this issue and a moment that we all knew was coming, yet Trautmann still manages to shock us with it when it happens.

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