Monday, September 17, 2012

Guest Review: Flash Gordon Zeitgeist #6

Our man Glen Davis has been on fire lately - today he provides another guest review based on a comic that stars a classic comic strip hero:

Dynamite Comics has become a force in the industry in a fairly short amount of time, but there is one glaring weakness of the company. It seems that after acquiring a property, they lose interest after three or four issues in favor of whatever new property they've liscensed.

This Flash Gordon series seems to have fallen prey to this tendency, and Flash, a seminal comics property, deserves better.

This incarnation is set during World War II. It seems the destructive meteor showers that were destroying Earth were sent by Ming the Merciless to aid Hitler, a mere pawn of Ming. Flash, Dale Arden and Dr. Zarkov all wind up on the planet Mongo. Ming decides to marry Dale, and Flash starts a revolution to topple Ming with Zarkov's aid. Meanwhile, some denizens of Mongo are in Germany to assasinate Hitler.

With this issue, Flash finally forges his coalition of rebels to invade Ming's city, while Ming is going through with his marriage. Ming's daughter is engaging in skullduggery, and the denizens on earth are resisting the Nazis. And Zarkov is doing... something.

The comic is okay, but decompression doesn't really suit the Flash Gordon story at all. The pages set on Earth slow the story down, and seem completely unnecessary. The muddy coloring doesn't really suit Flash Gordon either. It seems a little tired.

On the plus side, they are capturing some of the dangerous unpredictability that should be part of Zarkov that so many others have missed.

The earlier issues were more dynamic and interesting. I'm hoping the series goes somewhere.

Grade: B-


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