KING: FLASH GORDON #1

PrintE-mail Written by Ian White

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: KING: FLASH GORDON #1 / AUTHOR: BEN ACKER, BEN BLACKER / ARTIST: LEE FERGUSON, DARWYN COLE / PUBLISHER: DYNAMITE / RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 28TH

Okay, we all know it’s impossible to talk about Flash Gordon without bursting into that cheesy 1980s Queen song, so let’s get that part out of the way first and then move on.

“Flash! AA-aah! Saviour of the Universe! Flash! AA-aah! He’ll save every one of us!”

And that’s enough of that.

Flash Gordon is one of those old reliable superheroes you can always depend upon, a blonde-and-buffed but slightly boy-scout athlete from planet Earth who set out with his scientist friend Dr Hans Zarkov and beautiful reporter Dale Arden to save their home planet from the vicious despot Ming the Merciless. In creator Alex Raymond’s hands, the original Flash Gordon comic strips were gems of graphic science fiction, exquisitely drawn and packed with gung-ho extra-terrestrial adventure. After Raymond’s passing, many other writers and artists got their pens and pencils on Flash with varying results – indeed, every generation seems to have had at least one version of Flash Gordon to call their own - but no matter how flawed some of those results were, the characters of Flash and his friends have always endured.

Worryingly, the front cover of King: Flash Gordon #1 suggests this might be the incarnation that buries him. The oddly ballet-dancery-looking and out of proportion Flash imagined by artist Darwyn Cooke doesn’t bode well for what’s inside. But thankfully the interior story art, by Lee Ferguson, almost readdresses the balance even though his updated reimaginings of the characters we know so well are hit-and-miss affairs – Zarkov looks great but Flash has a pretty-but-dumb-country-hick thing about him, and Dale, with an impressive pony tail, is cute but unrecognisable.

The supporting characters are a similarly mixed bag. There’s a generic beautiful Princess who looks like she’s stolen She-Ra’s tiara, and a bunch of green skinned aliens that resemble undernourished cousins of The Mekon from Dan Dare. And there’s not nearly enough Ming, although in the rare moments he appears he does look reassuringly Ming-like. Let’s face it, it would be sacrilege for any artist to mess with Ming.

Like the art, Ben Acker and Ben Blacker‘s writing flip-flops all over the place too. This is a slight story, some nonsense about hijacking Ming’s communication system and replacing all the pictures of Ming’s enemies with Ming’s own face. It doesn’t make a lot of sense and, given how Raymond’s Flash Gordon was all about inter-Mongo power-politics and uniting warring kingdoms to fight against the baldy bad-ass’ tyranny, it’s a bit sad. This new reboot needs a rethink. Bringing back Prince Barin and Brian Blessed-with-wings would be a good start. And Princess Aurora… this definitely needs a dose of Princess Aurora…
 

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG

Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.

CLICK TO BUY!

MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB:


Suggested Articles:
The US presidential elections always throw up candidates who say they will blow the lid off the UFO
As you may well guess, Spies takes us into the dark and violent world of secret agents. Three brief
A while back, a Japanese group of artists took a cult short film, Call Girl - directed by Jill Gevar
It’s hard to believe that four decades have passed since the rock supergroup KISS made kisstory by
scroll back to top

Comments  

 
0 #2 Ed Fortune 2015-01-22 23:56
Oh, if the events of Kings Watch are anything to go by, I don't think we'll have to wait long for Barin and Vultan. Not long at all.
Quote
 
 
+1 #1 Andrew Marshall 2015-01-22 21:37
There are few things in the world that can't be fixed with a dose of Princess Aura.
Quote
 

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Comic Book Reviews

SAUCER STATE 25 May 2017

SPIES #1 19 May 2017

EL GIGANTE - THE COMIC 03 May 2017

KISS: THE ELDER VOL 1 – A WORLD WITHOUT SUN 22 April 2017

SLAUGHTERHOUSE FARM IV 19 April 2017

JUDGE DREDD: CAPE AND COWL CRIMES 11 April 2017

INVINCIBLE 10 April 2017

ANGEL CATBIRD VOLUME 1 07 April 2017

LEVELS #1 29 March 2017

MANDY THE MONSTER HUNTER: THE FACE IN THE CURTAIN 29 March 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner