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!
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.
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.
Merciless: The Rise of Ming #1 takes everyone’s second favorite guy in the Flash Gordon universe and reveals just how he came to rule the planet Mongo and just how he got so…well….merciless. It’s an origin that’s not needed, like Doctor Doom and Lex Luthor being evil just comes with the territory. But hey, Dynamite Entertainment decided to give us one, so why look a gift horse in the mouth, right?
Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #3 Plot & Script by Eric Trautmann
Plot & Art Direction by Alex Ross
Art by Daniel Indro & Ron Adrian
Colors by Slamet Mujiono
Letters by Simon Bowland
Covesr by Alex Ross, Paul Renaud, and Francesco Francavilla Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: February 15, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99
Reading Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #3, I’m reminded why I love the character so much. It’s the ultimate fish out of water story, except the fish knows how to fight and has a sword and ray gun.
Since both Eric Trautmann amd Alex Ross are credited with the story, I guess I have to praise them both for coming up with, really, what this book is supposed to be. Remember movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Back to the Future 2, when there was a cliffhanger almost every two minutes? Imagine that kind of story, in comic form, and that’s what you have here. Absolutely edge of your seat reading. New characters are introduced, there’s danger everywhere. THIS is why the phrase “page-turner” was coined.