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Flash Gordon: The Original Space Hero by Alex Raymond - A Complete Collection of CBR Files


Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon: A Classic Sci-Fi Comic Strip




If you are a fan of science fiction, you have probably heard of or seen Flash Gordon, a comic strip created by Alex Raymond in 1934. Flash Gordon is one of the most influential and enduring sci-fi comic strips of all time, featuring the adventures of a handsome and heroic space traveler who fights against evil tyrants and alien monsters on various exotic planets. In this article, we will explore the origins, adventures, and legacy of Flash Gordon, and why it is still a classic sci-fi comic strip today.




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The Origins of Flash Gordon




Alex Raymond was a young and talented artist who worked for King Features Syndicate, a company that distributed comic strips to newspapers. He had previously drawn Tim Tyler's Luck and Secret Agent X-9, but he wanted to create his own original comic strip. He was inspired by the success of Buck Rogers, another sci-fi comic strip that was popular at the time, and decided to create a similar but more sophisticated and realistic strip that would appeal to both children and adults.


Raymond did a lot of research on science, astronomy, history, mythology, and culture to create his own sci-fi universe. He also studied the works of other artists, such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Frank R. Paul, Norman Rockwell, and Hal Foster. He used a realistic and detailed style of drawing that made his characters and settings look lifelike and believable. He also used dynamic angles, perspectives, and compositions that gave his strip a cinematic and dramatic quality.


Raymond collaborated with other artists and writers to create his strip. He worked with Don Moore, a pulp fiction writer who helped him with the plots and dialogues. He also worked with Austin Briggs, who assisted him with the backgrounds and inking. Later on, he also worked with Mac Raboy, who took over the Sunday pages of Flash Gordon when Raymond joined the military during World War II.


The Adventures of Flash Gordon




Flash Gordon follows the exploits of Flash Gordon, a handsome and athletic polo player who is kidnapped by Dr. Hans Zarkov, a mad scientist who wants to save the Earth from a collision with a rogue planet called Mongo. Along with Dale Arden, a beautiful passenger who was also abducted by Zarkov, they board a rocket ship and fly to Mongo, where they encounter various dangers and wonders.


Some of the main characters and settings of Flash Gordon are:



  • Ming the Merciless: The ruthless emperor of Mongo, who wants to conquer the universe and make Dale his bride.



  • Prince Barin: The rightful heir to the throne of Mongo, who leads a rebellion against Ming and becomes Flash's ally and friend.



  • Princess Aura: Ming's daughter, who is in love with Flash and helps him escape from Ming's clutches.



  • Thun: The leader of the Lion Men, a race of humanoid lions who live in the forest kingdom of Arboria.



  • Vultan: The king of the Hawkmen, a race of winged warriors who live in the floating city of Skyron.



  • Dr. Zarkov: The brilliant but eccentric scientist who invents the rocket ship and accompanies Flash and Dale to Mongo.



  • Dale Arden: The lovely and courageous companion of Flash, who is often kidnapped by Ming or his minions.



  • Flash Gordon: The hero of the strip, who uses his strength, skill, and charm to fight against Ming and his forces.



Flash Gordon explores different planets and cultures on Mongo, such as:



  • Frigeria: A frozen world where Flash meets Queen Fria, the ruler of the ice people.



  • Tropica: A tropical world where Flash meets Queen Desira, the ruler of the jungle people.



  • Magnetia: A magnetic world where Flash meets King Kala, the ruler of the shark men.



  • Coralia: An underwater world where Flash meets Queen Undina, the ruler of the mermaids.



  • Lura: A moon of Mongo where Flash meets Prince Talon, the ruler of the bird men.



Some of the most memorable stories and scenes of Flash Gordon are:



  • The Tournament of Death: A gladiatorial contest where Flash has to fight against various opponents, such as a giant lizard, a gorilla, and a man-eating plant.



  • The Power Men of Mongo: A story where Flash is captured by a race of super-strong men who use a device that drains his energy and makes him weak.



  • The Witch Queen of Mongo: A story where Flash is bewitched by Azura, a sorceress who rules over a kingdom of blue-skinned people.



  • The Caverns of Mongo: A story where Flash and his friends are trapped in a network of underground caves that are filled with monsters and traps.



  • The War of the Cybernauts: A story where Flash and his friends have to stop Ming from unleashing an army of robotic warriors that can destroy anything in their path.



The Legacy of Flash Gordon




Flash Gordon has influenced many other sci-fi comic strips and media, such as:



  • Star Wars: George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, has admitted that he was inspired by Flash Gordon when he made his epic space opera. He even tried to buy the rights to Flash Gordon before he created Star Wars.



  • Silver Surfer: Jack Kirby, the co-creator of Silver Surfer, has said that he was influenced by Flash Gordon when he designed his cosmic character. He even used some of the same poses and expressions that Raymond used for Flash.



  • Batman: Bob Kane, the co-creator of Batman, has said that he was influenced by Flash Gordon when he created his dark knight. He even borrowed some of the gadgets and vehicles that Flash used, such as the batplane and the batcycle.



  • Astro Boy: Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy, has said that he was influenced by Flash Gordon when he made his iconic manga and anime. He even used some of the same themes and motifs that Raymond used for Flash, such as rockets, robots, and aliens.



  • Akira: Katsuhiro Otomo, the creator of Akira, has said that he was influenced by Flash Gordon when he made his groundbreaking manga and anime. He even used some of the same elements and styles that Raymond used for Flash, such as motorcycles, explosions, and cyberpunk.



Flash Gordon has also been adapted and spun-off into various media formats, such as:



  • The 1980 movie starring Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, and Max von Sydow, with a soundtrack by Queen. This movie is a cult classic that mixes campy humor, colorful visuals, and catchy songs.



  • The 1986 animated series by Filmation, which follows Flash and his friends as they travel to different dimensions and timelines.



  • The 1996 live-action series by Universal Television, which updates Flash and his friends to the present day and gives them more realistic and gritty adventures.



  • The 2007 comic book series by Ardden Entertainment, which reimagines Flash and his friends as young and modern heroes who discover Mongo through a wormhole.



  • The 2014 comic book series by Dynamite Entertainment, which pays homage to the original strip and the 1980 movie, and features Flash and his friends fighting against a revived Ming.



Flash Gordon is still relevant and popular today because it has a timeless appeal that transcends generations and cultures. It has a simple but compelling premise that allows for endless possibilities of exploration and adventure. It has a charismatic and heroic protagonist who inspires courage and loyalty. It has a diverse and colorful cast of characters who each have their own personality and role. It has a rich and imaginative sci-fi universe that blends fantasy and reality. And it has a universal message of hope and freedom that resonates with audiences everywhere.


Conclusion




In conclusion, Flash Gordon is a classic sci-fi comic strip that was created by Alex Raymond in 1934. It follows the adventures of Flash Gordon, a space traveler who fights against Ming the Merciless on the planet Mongo. It has influenced many other sci-fi comic strips and media, such as Star Wars, Silver Surfer, Batman, Astro Boy, and Akira. It has also been adapted and spun-off into various media formats, such as movies, animated series, live-action series, and comic books. It is still relevant and popular today because it has a timeless appeal that transcends generations and cultures.


If you want to learn more about Flash Gordon, here are some recommendations for you:



  • Read the original comic strip by Alex Raymond, which is available in various collections and editions.



  • Watch the 1980 movie by Mike Hodges, which is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming platforms.



  • Listen to the soundtrack by Queen, which is available on CD, vinyl, and digital platforms.



  • Watch the documentary Life After Flash, which tells the story of Sam J. Jones and his career after playing Flash Gordon.



  • Visit the official website of Flash Gordon, which has news, information, merchandise, and fan community.



Flash Gordon is more than just a comic strip. It is a cultural phenomenon that has inspired generations of fans and creators. It is a sci-fi legend that has shaped the genre and the medium. And it is a timeless adventure that will never grow old. As Flash himself would say: \"YEAH!\"


Frequently Asked Questions





  • Who created Flash Gordon?



Alex Raymond created Flash Gordon in 1934 for King Features Syndicate.


  • Who is Flash Gordon's archenemy?



Ming the Merciless is Flash Gordon's archenemy. He is the emperor of Mongo who wants to conquer the universe and make Dale his bride.


  • Who are Flash Gordon's allies?



Flash Gordon's allies include Dale Arden, Dr. Hans Zarkov, Prince Barin, Princess Aura, Thun, Vultan, and many others.


  • What planet does Flash Gordon visit?



Flash Gordon visits Mongo, a rogue planet that threatens to collide with Earth.


  • What band composed the soundtrack for the 1980 movie?



Queen composed the soundtrack for the 1980 movie, which features songs such as \"Flash's Theme\", \"The Hero\", and \"Princes of the Universe\".


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