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The first Flash Gordon comic strip
|Publisher||King Features Syndicate|
|First appearance||January 7, 1934|
|Created by||Alex Raymond|
|Team affiliations||Dale Arden (love interest),|
Dr. Hans Zarkov (scientist)
Defenders of the Earth
In Australia, the character and strip were retitled Speed Gordon to avoid a negative connotation of the word "Flash". At the time, the predominant meaning of "flash" was "showy", connoting dishonesty. In France, his adventures were published in Le Journal de Mickey, under the name "Guy l'Éclair". Dale Arden was named Camille in the
The Flash Gordon comic strip has been translated into a wide variety of media, including motion pictures, television and animated series. The latest version, a Flash Gordon television series, appeared on the United States Sci-Fi Channel in 2007–2008 and then on the United Kingdom Sci-Fi Channel. A print comic book series by Brendan Deneen and Paul Green and
Characters and storypolo player and Yale University
For many years, the three companions have adventures on Mongo, traveling to the forest kingdom of Arboria, ruled by Prince Barin; the ice kingdom of Frigia, ruled by Queen Fria; the jungle kingdom of Tropica, ruled by Queen Desira; the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men, ruled by King Kala; and the flying city of the Hawkmen, ruled by Prince Vultan. They are joined in several early adventures by Prince Thun of the Lion Men. Eventually, Ming is overthrown, and Mongo is ruled by a council of leaders led by Barin. Flash and friends return to Earth and have some adventures before returning to Mongo and crashing in the kingdom of Tropica, before reuniting with Barin and others. Flash and his friends would travel to other worlds and frequently return to Mongo, where Prince Barin, married to Ming's daughter Princess Aura, has established a peaceful rule (except for frequent revolts led by Ming or by one of his many descendants). The long story of the Skorpii War takes Flash to other star systems, using starships that are faster than light.
- Sunday, Alex Raymond, 1934–1943
- daily, Austin Briggs, 1940–1944
- Sunday, Austin Briggs, 1944–1948
- Sunday, Mac Raboy, 1948–1967
- daily, Dan Barry, 1951–1990
- daily, Harry Harrison, writer, 1958–1964
- Sunday, Dan Barry, 1967–1990
- Sunday and daily, Ralph Reese & Bruce Jones, Gray Morrow, 1990–1991
- Sunday and daily, Thomas Warkentin, 1991–1992
- Sunday, Richard Bruning, Kevin VanHook, Thomas Warkentin, 1992–1996
- Sunday, Jim Keefe, 01/1996 - 03/2003
ReprintsAs Alex Raymond's work continues to inspire all manner of illustrators, his work is much-reprinted in a variety of full-color and black-and-white editions in both hardback and softback and a variety of shapes and sizes. It is Raymond's work, particularly his Sunday strips, that are the most prized and reprinted. They have seen print from a number of publishers, notably Nostalgia Press, Kitchen Sink Press and Checker Book Publishing Group.
The Mac Raboy Sundays have been reprinted by Dark Horse Comics in black and white, while Kitchen Sink began to collect both the Dan Barry and Austin Briggs daily strips. Those stories written by noted author Harry Harrison were reprinted in Comics Revue magazine, published by Manuscript Press. Tempo Books published six mass-market paperbacks reprinting strips from the 1970s in the 1980s.
Two stories from the Dan Barry dailies, D2-133 "Baldur Battles Skorpi" (February 24 to May 10, 1986) and D2-134 "The Bear" (May 12 to August 21, 1986), were reprinted in an oblong format, 6.5 by 10.5 paperback edition with two strips per page by Budget Books PTY of Melbourne, Australia in 1987 under the title The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, ISBN 0-86801-795-7.
FilmsMost of the Flash Gordon film and television adaptations retell the early adventures on the planet Mongo.
Film serialsFlash Gordon was featured in three serial films starring Buster Crabbe: Flash Gordon (1936), Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938), and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). The 1936 Flash Gordon serial was condensed into a feature-length film titled Flash Gordon or Rocket Ship or Space Soldiers or Flash Gordon: Spaceship to the Unknown; the 1938 serial into a feature-length film entitled Flash Gordon: The Deadly Ray from Mars and the 1940 serial into a feature-length film entitled The Purple Death from Outer Space.
The first Flash Gordon serial remains copyrighted, but the compilation made of the second serial, and the third serial itself are in the public domain.
1980 filmThe classic sci-fi adventure film Flash Gordon (1980) stars Sam J. Jones in the title role. Its plot is based loosely on the first few years of the comic strip (in particular the famous Alex Raymond Sunday page, "Flight of the Hawkmen",) revising Flash's backstory by making him the quarterback of the New York Jets instead of a polo player. Raymond's drawings feature heavily in the opening credits, as does the signature theme-song "Flash!" by rock band Queen, who composed and performed the entire musical score.
Star Wars, Superman, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Flash Gordon was not a critical success on release, but the film has been buoyed by its later cult-status, and is particularly lauded for the calibre of both its score and supporting cast, which featured many notable actors. Melody Anderson co-starred with Jones as Dale Arden, alongside Chaim Topol as Dr. Hans Zarkov, Max von Sydow as Ming, Timothy Dalton as Prince Barin, Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan, Peter Wyngarde as Klytus and Ornella Muti as Princess Aura. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis, with extraordinarily ornate production designs and costumes by Danilo Donati, the bright colors and retro effects were inspired directly by the comic strip and 1930s serials.
Brian Blessed's performance as the Hawkman Prince Vultan lodged the veteran stage and screen actor into the collective consciousness for the utterance of a single line – "GORDON'S ALIVE?!" – which, more than 30 years later, remains the most repeated, reused, and recycled quotation from both the film and Blessed's career.
Flash Gordon 3DIn 2010, it was announced that Breck Eisner had signed on to direct a 3D film version of Flash Gordon. "The film's story is in place and the screenplay is now being worked on."
Flash Gordon (1954-55 live-action)Steve Holland starred in a 1954-55 live-action television series which ran for 39 episodes. The first 26 episodes had the distinction of being filmed in West Berlin, Germany less than a decade after the end of World War II. This is notable, given that some episodes show the real-life destruction still evident in Germany several years after the war. The final 13 episodes were filmed in Marseille, France.
In this series, Flash, Dale (Irene Champlin) and Dr. Zarkov (Joseph Nash) worked for the Galactic Bureau of Investigation in the year 3203. The actual timeline was established in one episode, "Deadline at Noon", in which Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov went back in time to Berlin in the year 1953. The GBI agents traveled in the Skyflash and Skyflash II spaceships.
The series was syndicated, appearing on stations affiliated with the long-defunct DuMont Network, and many other independent stations in the United States. Stylistic similarities with the Buster Crabbe films are obvious, and may have been desired by the producers. It was recut into a movie in 1957.
Flash Gordon animated (1979-80)In 1979, Filmation produced an cartoon series, often referred to as The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, though it is actually titled Flash Gordon. The expanded title was used to distinguish it from previous versions. The project was originally designed as a TV film but NBC decided to change it into an animated series.
NBC was unhappy with the serial nature of the first season, as it clashed with their re-run style (details can be found on a documentary included on the DVD), so the second season was much changed and also aimed at a younger audience. Each episode included two stand-alone stories, often featuring a young dragon named Gremlin, introduced for comic relief. Unfortunately, this decision led to a decline in ratings and the show was canceled thereafter.
Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All (1982)Filmation produced this successful animated television movie, written by Star Trek writer Samuel A. Peeples, before they began their Saturday morning series, but the TV-movie did not actually air until 1982. It was critically well-received, and is considered one of the best film versions of Flash Gordon, though it would never be re-broadcast following its premiere.
This movie has yet to be commercially released in the United States, although some sources indicate that off-air bootlegs are prevalent. The only known commercial releases were by VAP Video in Japan (catalog #67019-128), c. 1983, in both laser disc and NTSC VHS videotape formats and in Bulgaria, where it was released on VHS "Van Chris" and "Drakar". The movie also aired numerous times on "Diema" Channel in the late 90s. In the Japanese release it is presented uncut with the original English voice track, with Japanese subtitles added for its intended audience. At the end of the movie is a trailer for the De Laurentiis live-action movie, as well as trailers for other titles from the VAP Video library at the time. The covers for both versions feature comic-strip panels, using stills taken from the movie. Its last listing was in VAP Video's catalog for 1983.
Defenders of the Earth (1986)In the 1986 cartoon Defenders of the Earth, Flash teamed up with fellow King Features heroes The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician in 65 episodes. This series took extreme liberties with all the characters, revealing that Flash and Dale Arden had conceived a son, Rick Gordon, who is in his mid-teens when the series begins. Dale has her mind torn from her body by Ming in the first episode and is preserved in a crystal, which Rick is able to recover and give to his father. Dale is reborn on Earth as Dynak-X, the strategic super-computer based in the Defenders' Headquarters.
Flash Gordon (1996)In 1996, Hearst Entertainment premiered an animated Flash Gordon television series. This version turned Flash and Dale into hoverboarding teenagers.
Flash Gordon (2007-08 live-action)The Sci-Fi Channel premiered its new Flash Gordon series in the United States on August 10, 2007. On January 12, 2007 at the Television Critics Association tour, it was announced that the live-action series would comprise 22 one-hour episodes, produced in Canada in early 2007. Under an agreement with King Features Syndicate, the series was produced by Reunion Pictures of Vancouver with Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. of RHI Entertainment serving as Executive Producers.
The characters of Ming, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov were drastically altered. Eric Johnson, best known for his earlier work on the WB's Smallville, played the title character of Steven "Flash" Gordon. Gina Holden (who has appeared in Fantastic Four and Aliens vs. Predator) played Dale Arden, Jody Racicot (Night at the Museum) played Dr. Hans Zarkov, and John Ralston portrayed the arch-villain, Ming.
Advertisements featured a cover version of Queen's "Flash's Theme" (from the 1980 film) performed by the band Louis XIV. The song was not present in any episode of the show. The show was officially canceled in early 2008.
Radio serialsStarting April 22, 1935, the strip was adapted into The Amazing Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon, a 26-episode weekly radio serial. The series followed the strip very closely, amounting to a week-by-week adaptation of the Sunday strip for most of its run.
Flash Gordon was played by Gale Gordon, later famous for his television roles in Our Miss Brooks, Dennis the Menace, The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy (the latter two with Lucille Ball). The cast also included Maurice Franklin as Dr. Zarkov and Bruno Wick as Ming the Merciless.
The radio series broke with the strip continuity in the last two episodes, when Flash, Dale and Zarkov returned to Earth. They make a crash landing in Africa, where they meet Jungle Jim, the star of another of Alex Raymond's comic strips.
The series ended on October 26, 1935 with Flash and Dale's marriage. The next week, The Adventures of Jungle Jim picked up in that Saturday timeslot.
Two days later, on October 28, The Further Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon debuted as a daily show, running five days a week. This series strayed further from Raymond's strip, involving Flash, Dale and Zarkov in an adventure in Atlantis. The series aired 74 episodes, ending on February 6, 1936.
Comic booksOver the years, several publishers have produced Flash Gordon comics, either reprints or original stories.
- David McKay Publications King Comics #1–155 (1936–1949) [strip reprints]
- Dell Comics Four Color Comics #10, 84, 173, 190, 204, 247, 424, 512; Flash Gordon #2 (1945–1953) [first 2 strip reprints]
- Harvey Comics #1–5 (1950) [strip reprints]
- Gold Key Comics #1 (1965) [reprints FC #173]
- King Comics #1–11 (1966–1967) (also in Phantom #18–20)
- Charlton Comics #12–18 (1969–1970)
- Gold Key Comics #19–27 (1978–1979); under their "Whitman Comics" #28–37 (1980–1982)
The series ran for the planned nine issues and was left with an open-ended conclusion. Though Mongo was not a threat to Earth in this series, Ming had every intention of conquering Earth once he coerced Dr. Zarkov into designing the needed ships.
In 1995, Marvel Comics did a two-issue series with art by Al Williamson in the style of the Flash comics he had produced for King and others.
A new comic book series was released by Ardden Entertainment in August 2008, though with inconsistent release dates for subsequent issues. The initital story arc concluded in mid-2009 with an open door to an announced new story arc to begin fall 2009. Ardden also published a Flash Gordon anthology entitled The Secret History of Mongo. Ardden's second Flash Gordon arc is titled Invasion of the Red Sword (2010). Two other arcs were completed.
A reprint of all of Al Williamson's Flash Gordon comic books in black and white was printed by Flesk in 2009.
In 2010, Dark Horse Comics began an archive reprint series in hardback, starting with the original comics published by Dell. The second volume covers the comics published by King Comics, the third covers the comics published by Charlton Comics, the fourth covers the comics published by Gold Key, and the fifth covers the comics published by Whitman.
In 2011, Dynamite Entertainment began a new series called Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist. The series is written by Eric Trautmann (Vampirella, Red Sonja), from a story and designs by Alex Ross (Kingdom Come, Marvels, Project: Superpowers) and illustrated by Daniel Lindro.The company also produced a spinoff miniseries, Merciless: The Rise of Ming, in 2012, with story and art by Scott Beatty and Ron Adrian.
Flash Gordon Strange Adventure MagazineIn 1936, one issue of Flash Gordon Strange Adventure Magazine was published by Harold Hersey, featuring a novel about Flash Gordon, entitled The Master of Mars. It was written by little-known author James Edison Northford. The saddle-stitched novel was based (more or less) on the comic strip story lines, and included color illustrations reminiscent of Alex Raymond's artwork. On the back pages a second installment, The Sun Men of Saturn, was promised, but it never saw print. Even though the series did not gain in popularity, the lone issue of Flash Gordon Strange Adventure Magazine has become a much sought-after item for pulp magazine collectors.
NovelsThe first novel based on the strip, Flash Gordon in the Caverns of Mongo, was published in 1936 by Grosset & Dunlap. The credited author was Alex Raymond. Like the pulp magazine of the same year, it failed to launch a series.
In 1973, Avon books launched a six-book series of adult-oriented Flash Gordon novels: The Lion Men of Mongo, The Plague of Sound, The Space Circus, The Time Trap of Ming XIII, The Witch Queen of Mongo and The War of the Cybernauts. Although the books were credited to Alex Raymond, they were all written by SF writer Ron Goulart.
In 1980, Tempo books released a series by David Hagberg: Massacre in the 22nd Century, War of the Citadels, Crisis on Citadel II, Forces from the Federation, Citadels under Attack and Citadels on Earth. Except for the names of the hero and his co-stars of Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov, this series had little to do with any other version of Flash Gordon.
1939 World's FairThe name "Flash Gordon" was emblazoned on the proscenium of a ride at the 1939 New York World's Fair. An article in Popular Science (March 1939) described how 150 people could enter a ride designed to resemble a rocket ship with a motion picture screen and vibrating seats for a simulated trip to another planet. The ride was located "at the opposite end of the amusement zone from the parachute tower". Fairgoers walked around a simulation of Venus as a jungle planet, inhabited by mechanical dinosaurs to enter a "Martian Headquarters", where "weirdly costumed Martians and mechanically animated models of giant beasts enact[ed] episodes from the adventures of Flash Gordon". The ride's Martians did not look like those in the 1938 serial, nor did the rocket ship.
ReprintsThe Alex Raymond Sunday strips have been reprinted by several publishers, notably Nostalgia Press, Kitchen Sink Press, and Checker Book Publishing Group. The Kitchen Sink and Checker versions are in color, Nostalgia Press did one in black and white and the others in color. The Mac Raboy Sundays have been reprinted by Dark Horse in black and white. The Dan Barry dailies have never been entirely reprinted, but the early years were published by Kitchen Sink and the stories written by Harry Harrison are reprinted in Comics Revue from Manuscript Press. Tempo Books published six mass market paperbacks reprinting strips from the 1970s into the 1980s. Some of the Austin Briggs dailies were reprinted by Kitchen Sink Press. A reprint of all of Al Williamson's Flash Gordon comic books was released in 2009.
- Flash Gordon on the Planet Mongo (1934–35), Nostalgia
- Flash Gordon in the Water World (1935–37), Nostalgia
- Flash Gordon Escapes to Arboria (1937–39), Nostalgia
- Flash Gordon vs Frozen Terrors (1939–40), Nostalgia
- Flash Gordon Joins the Power Men (1940–41), Nostalgia
- Mongo, Planet of Doom (1934–35), Kitchen Sink Press ISBN 0-87816-114-7
- Three Against Ming (1935–37), Kitchen Sink Press ISBN 0-87816-120-1
- The Tides of Battle (1937–39), Kitchen Sink Press ISBN 0-87816-162-7
- The Fall of Ming (1939–41), Kitchen Sink Press ISBN 0-87816-168-6
- Between Worlds at War (1941–43), Kitchen Sink Press ISBN 0-87816-177-5
- Triumph in Tropica (1943–44), Kitchen Sink Press ISBN 0-87816-199-6
- Flash Gordon: The Dailies by Austin Briggs 1940-1942 Volume 1, Kitchen Sink Press ISBN 0-87816-172-4 (strips from 1940)
- Flash Gordon: The Dailies by Austin Briggs 1940-1942 Volume 2, Kitchen Sink Press ISBN 0-87816-187-2 (strips from 1941)
- Flash Gordon The Complete Daily Strips 1951-1953, Kitchen Sink Press ISBN 0-87816-035-3
- Flash Gordon - Star Over Atlantis, Dan Barry, Manuscript Press, 2007, ISBN 0-936414-16-2, ISBN 978-0-936414-16-4, dailies 1953 - 1954.
- Flash Gordon: Volume 1 (1934–35), Checker Book Publishing Group ISBN 0-9741664-3-X
- Flash Gordon: Volume 2 (1935–36), Checker Book Publishing Group ISBN 0-9741664-6-4
- Flash Gordon: Volume 3 (1936–37), Checker Book Publishing Group ISBN 1-933160-25-X
- Flash Gordon: Volume 4 (1938–40), Checker Book Publishing Group ISBN 1-933160-26-8
- Flash Gordon: Volume 5 (1940–41), Checker Book Publishing Group ISBN 1-933160-27-6
- Flash Gordon: Volume 6 (1941–43), Checker Book Publishing Group ISBN 1-933160-28-4
- Flash Gordon: Volume 7 (1943–45), Checker Book Publishing Group ISBN 1-933160-20-9
- Mac Raboy's Flash Gordon, Volume 1, Dark Horse Comics ISBN 1-56971-882-2 (Sundays, 1948-1953 S32-S45)
- Mac Raboy's Flash Gordon, Volume 2, Dark Horse Comics (Sunday, 1953–1958)
- Mac Raboy's Flash Gordon, Volume 3, Dark Horse Comics ISBN 1-56971-978-0 (Sundays, 1958–1962)
- Mac Raboy's Flash Gordon, Volume 4, Dark Horse Comics (Sundays, 1962–1967)
- The Amazing Adventures of Flash Gordon, Volume 1 Tempo Books ISBN 0-448-17349-2 (S132/D2-097 - S135)
- The Amazing Adventures of Flash Gordon, Volume 2 Tempo Books ISBN 0-448-17348-4 (D2-081, D2-082)
- The Amazing Adventures of Flash Gordon, Volume 3 Tempo Books ISBN 0-448-17347-6 (S114-S118)
- The Amazing Adventures of Flash Gordon, Volume 4 Tempo Books ISBN 0-448-17155-4 (D2-105, D2-107)
- The Amazing Adventures of Flash Gordon, Volume 5 Tempo Books ISBN 0-448-17208-9 (D2-098)
- The Amazing Adventures of Flash Gordon, Volume 6 Tempo Books ISBN 0-448-17245-3 (D2-102, D2-109)
- Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic, Flesk ISBN 1-933865-13-X
DVD releasesFlash Gordon has been released to DVD under a variety of titles and in both edited and non-edited versions. The serials and 50s TV show have no shortage of public domain DVD releases.
Film serials (1936-1940)
Flash Gordon (1936)
- Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers. (245 minutes)
- Flash Gordon: Spaceship to the Unknown. Hearst Entertainment, Inc., 2002. (edited to 98 minutes)
Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938)
- Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (2 discs). (299 minutes)
- Flash Gordon: O raio mortal de Marte. Hearst Entertainment, Inc., 2002. (97 minutes)
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
- Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. (234 minutes)
- Flash Gordon: The Peril from Planet Mongo. Hearst Entertainment, Inc., 2002. (edited to 91 minutes)
Flash Gordon (1954-55)
- Flash Gordon (3 Volumes). Alpha Home Entertainment (only 13 of the episodes have been released thus far).
The New Adventures of Flash Gordon (1979)US – BCI Eclipse
- The New Adventures of Flash Gordon: The Complete Series (4–Discs). 600 minutes
- The Adventures of Flash Gordon – Castaways in Tropica
- The Adventures of Flash Gordon – Blue Magic
Flash Gordon (1980)On May 6, 1998, Image Entertainment released the 1980 film on DVD in North America for DVD Region 1 territories through a contract with Universal, but it quickly went out of print.
Momentum Pictures later released it in the UK for DVD Region 2 territories on October 10, 2005. This edition of the film, the "Silver Anniversary Edition", features an anamorphic widescreen transfer at the film's 2.4:1 aspect ratio, both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, the original Queen theatrical trailer, an audio commentary by director Mike Hodges, a second audio commentary from actor Brian Blessed, an interview with Mike Hodges, a photo slideshow and an original 1940s Serial, episode one of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe.
Universal released the film on August 7, 2007 in North America and Region 1 territories once again. The new disc, entitled the "Saviour of the Universe Edition", features a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. Extras include an "Alex Ross on Flash Gordon" featurette in which world-renowned comic artist Alex Ross talks about the film and how it has inspired him in his life and work, a "Writing a Classic" featurette with screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and a Flash Gordon 1936 serial episode (chapter one of Planet of Peril).
Defenders of the EarthUS – BCI Ecplise
- Defenders of the Earth – Complete Series Volume 1 (5 Discs) 33 Episodes
- Defenders of the Earth – Complete Series Volume 2 (5 Discs) 32 Episodes (Spring 2007)
- Defenders of The Earth – The Story Begins
- Defenders of the Earth Movie (3 Discs)
- Defenders of the Earth Vol 1
- Defenders of the Earth Vol 2
- Defenders of the Earth Vol 3
- Defenders of the Earth Movie – Prince Of Kro-Tan
- Defenders of the Earth Movie – Necklace Of Oros
- Defenders of the Earth Movie – The Book Of Mysteries
Flash Gordon (1996)Lion's Gate on September 21, 2004, released three 4-episode DVDs of Flash Gordon (1996) and Phantom 2040.
- Flash Gordon: Marooned on Mongo – The Animated Movie (97 minutes)
StampsIn 1995, the strip was one of 20 included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative US Postal Service postage stamps.
- p.42 Burrows, Toby & Stone, Grant Comics in Australia and New Zealand 1994 Routledge
- "ANDC – The Australian National Dictionary: Additions and Corrections, by James Lambert". Anu.edu.au. 2008-06-06. http://www.anu.edu.au/andc/res/LambertonAND.php. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- Flash Gordon at the Internet Movie Database
- http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/75122/Rocket-Ship/notes.html http://books.google.com/books?id=dQIAoAGnKm0C
- Flash Gordon review for UK TV's Channel 4. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
- Cool Cinema Trash's Flash Gordon: Saviour of the Universe Edition DVD Review & Summary. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
- "Brian Blessed" at the BBC's H2G2. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
- "Gordon's Alive! Flash returns to cinema screens", May 21, 2008 report for Dreamwatch's Total Sci-Fi website. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
- The singular phrase was much-used to refer to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, including Glen John Feechan's Accounting blog; Blessed himself on Have I Got News For You Series 35, episode 3 (broadcast on BBC1, May 2, 2008); Steven Poole reviewing Gordon Brown: Speeches 1997-2006 for the Guardian newspaper, etc.
- "Deleted Scenes – A Christmas Story House – Ralphie's House Restored to its A Christmas Story Splendor". A Christmas Story House. http://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com/index.php/a-christmas-story-movie-facts/deleted-scenes/. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- "Director Breck Eisner Exclusive Interview The Crazies – Plus an Update on Flash Gordon". Collider.com. 2010-02-23. http://www.collider.com/2010/02/23/director-breck-eisner-exclusive-interview-the-crazies-plus-an-update-on-flash-gordon/. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All at the Internet Movie Database
- "Audio Classics Archive: The Amazing Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon". Audio-classics.com. http://www.audio-classics.com/ltheamazinginterplanetary.html. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- "Radio Science Fiction: Information and Help to the New Collector", by Terry G.G. Salmonson. Retrieved 09-11-07.
- "Ardden Entertainment's site". Ardden-entertainment.com. 2010-07-14. http://www.ardden-entertainment.com/. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- Previewing Ardden's Flash Gordon #1, Newsarama, June 12, 2008
- "World's Fair Thrills", Popular Science. March, 1939.
- Flash Gordon at King Features
- Flash Gordon at the Grand Comics Database
- Flash Gordon at the Comic Book DB
- Flash Gordon at the Internet Movie Database
- Flash Gordon (1954 TV show) at epguides.com
- 3rd Flash Gordon serial Conquers the Universe, full public domain download in DVD quality for free plus in the audio section the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers Radio serials
- I Love Comix Archive: Flash Gordon
- Interview with 2008 Flash Gordan comic creator Brendan Deneen at comiXology
- The New Adventures of Flash Gordon at the Big Cartoon DataBase
Flash Gordon bears a number of similarities to Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter stories, including the emphasis on fighting with swords. Alex Raymond worked with a former editor of Burroughs' on the strip, Don G. Moore. Flash Gordon was one of the most successful comic strips of it's day, and was one of the longest lasting as well.
Flash Gordon and Dale Arden can be seen as the standard hero and heroine types of the period,
although they frequently find themselves in fantastic surroundings, which frequently vary from day to day. Dr. Zarkov is a mad scientist whose spaceship transported them to another planet in the first place.
Dr. Zarkov occasionally acts madder than usual, which on one occasion is attributed to the bite of a mad squirlron, but he is incredibly brilliant and can instantly invent things that not even the futuristic people of the planet Mongo have yet been able to achieve.
Ming is actually the Devil*, although it may not be obvious as he pretends to be a legitimate Chinese ruler.
He has the populace fooled, and it is only with great difficulty that Ming is finally defeated. Ming's daughter Princess Aura can be seen as being the standard "other woman" type of the day,
while Prince Baron more or less represents both rightful authority and royalty. Various strange creatures such as Lion Men, Shark Men, and Hawkmen are supposed to inhabit Mongo, but they are really only funny-looking people, not animals. Flash Gordon and his friends treat them as equals, something that was not universal in stories of that period, and something that has not generally been remarked upon.
After Raymond, many others worked on Flash Gordon comics over the years, including Harvey Kurtzman and Frank Frazetta in the 1950's.
The Flash Gordon serials were amoung the most successful of all time. The first serial followed the story in the comic strip fairly closely, although it gave the Lion Men more importance than they actually had in the comics. There, they were largely ignored after the introduction of the Hawkmen, but in the first serial they are a key element in the defeat of Ming.
The second serial was less closely based on the comics, and the story involved the planet Mars, rather than Mongo. The role of Dale Arden was reduced and much emphasis was placed on an unnecessary comic sidekick to the detriment of the series. Ming is again defeated, not that that stops him from returning in the sequel.
The third serial replaced Jean Rogers as Dale Arden with Carol Hughes, but more emphasis was again placed on the character, which helped. I actually thought that the Dale Arden character in this serial was closer to the one in the comics than had been the case in the previous serials.
STEVE HOLLAND TELEVISION VERSION
The Flash Gordon television series of the 1950's resembled the comic strip of that time, as well as other science fiction programs then being made for television, but I prefer the theatrical serials. I did think the television version had a good cast. It just didn't quite equal what they had done with the serials.
FILMATION FLASH GORDON
I can't say that I thought much for the Flash Gordon cartoons that came after the Filmation version.
DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH reused the characters of Flash Gordon and Ming, but ( strangely ) eliminated Dale Arden in a series of adventures that bore little resemblance to the original. Dale Arden is really the main bone of contention between Flash Gordon and Ming, and doing away with her does away with much of the reason for their fighting..
THE LOST CITY
The serial THE LOST CITY had some similarities to FLASH GORDON, including a hero named "Gordon", as well as having a Satannic villian attempting to conquer the world by superscientiffic means. The original serial was followed by a comic book version.
* Although Flash Gordon never seems to realize that Ming is the Devil, unlike Captain Kirk he is never so foolish as to think that the Devil is his friend, much less to defend him from reaping the awful harvest of his diresome doings.
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