Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Evan Shaner
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
After reading a single Flash Gordon comic, if you don’t want to be Flash, or at the very least, a part of his ensemble, then there is easily way too much excitement in your life. Flash Gordon represents this ideal of bewilderment or the excitement one receives from the unknown. In actuality, Flash is actually quite childish. He acts before he thinks, is utterly fearless, and enjoys a high sense of adventure. He represents the inner child that we encase within ourselves upon entering adulthood; something we cannot embrace as often as we might want to. Flash is not alone as he embraces his lack of fear. If it were not for the constant companions of Dale Arden and Dr. Zarkov, Flash would probably be six feet under a long time ago; even though these compatriots consists of a drunkard coward and an overly cautious adventurer.
Dynamite Comics retains what made Flash Gordon so fun and exciting to begin with: fast paced, unexpected adventures. With Jeff Parker at the helm, his comfort in writing these characters and grander universe is evident very early on. Even though certain word balloons aren’t made evident as to whom they belong to, once the dialogue is read, you really do know who is speaking. The artwork through Evan Shaner captures each of the characters nicely but is especially detailed with the multiple alien environments and the unique species within them. Jordie Bellaire, as per usual, does an excellent job at spreading the colour palette around, accentuating bright colours through the costumes of the characters and the landscapes as well.
The particular threats within the first few issues of the mini-series are of course heavily linked to Emperor Ming, the threatening and menacing dictator of planet Mongo. His limitless acts of tyranny extend to the point of converting inhabitants of Arboria for his own good, removing their sense of independence in the world and causing their only desires to be an undeniable loyalty to Ming. Ming represents a constantly terrifying figure of dictatorial power, exhibiting his evil tendencies without hesitation. He evaporates a worker of his from a simple challenged response. Ming’s word is the only word and really resonates as an obsessed, Saturday cartoon type of villain, from the likes of Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget – with a bit of a grander fascination in destroying Earth.
Though this newly released series by Dynamite will only last eight issues, by the end, it will go down as a classic. The stakes are always high, jumping from one adventure to the next at such a fast pace. The fact that Flash and company really does not have any powers makes each page all the more exciting to read, propelling this constant sense of not knowing what to expect. Dynamite has more reasons for readers and fans of Flash Gordon to jump on the medium, as a new series will be appearing in early 2015. This truly signifies that what Alex Raymond originally created has a long and promising road ahead through the brilliant comic minds of the present.