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"Flash Gordon"
Comics & Movies & Television

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synopsis & history

comic strip

movies & TV

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               comic strip Flash Gordon pointing a blaster gun

Klytus: "Who are you?"
Flash Gordon: "Flash Gordon. Quarterback. New York Jets."
Dale Arden: "Dale Arden, Your Highness. Live and let live, that's my motto."

Dale Arden: "Flash, Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!"

"I used to watch the old Flash Gordon series on TV, and it was thrilling to rocket to the Planet Mongo every week. But after a while,
I figured out that although Flash got the girl and all the accolades, it was really Dr. Zarkov who made the series work.
Without Dr. Zarkov, there could be no Flash Gordon." — physicist & TV host Dr. Michio Kaku

Creation  and  Synopsis

           The 'Buck Rogers' comic strip first appeared in January 1929 and was very successful, with toys and other merchandise offered by the National Newspaper Syndicate. The 'Buck Rogers' radio program aired in various formats from 1932 to 1946. King Features Syndicate decided in 1933 to create their own science fiction comic strip to compete with it. An attempt to make a deal for 'John Carter of Mars' with Edgar Rice Burroughs [1875-1950] failed, so they asked artist Alex Raymond to create something. His first attempt was rejected for having too little action, but he redrew the story and the official debut was in January 1934.

           Scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov discovers that a planet is heading for a collision with Earth. Being slightly mad, he kidnaps Yale polo champion Flash Gordon and his girlfriend Dale Arden and takes them by rocket ship to the Planet Mongo, which is ruled by the evil overlord Ming the Merciless. After preventing the planetary collision, the Earthians meet and team up with other leaders of Planet Mongo: Prince Thun and the Lion Men; Prince Barin of the forest kingdom of Arboria; Queen Fria of the ice kingdom of Frigia; Queen Desira of the jungle kingdom of Tropica; King Kala of the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men; and Prince Vultan of the flying city of the Hawkmen. Eventually, Ming is deposed, and Mongo is ruled by a council of leaders led by Prince Barin, recently married to Ming's daughter Princess Aura.

           By the 1950s, Flash helps Prince Barin establish a peaceful kingdom, albeit with the occasional rebellion from Ming or his many descendents. The comic strip adventures of Flash Gordon and Dr. Zarkov and Dale Arden then reached other solar systems, with new villains to battle, including: Azura the Witch Queen; Brukka and other giants of Frigia; the fascistic Red Sword organization on Earth; and Brazor, the tyrannical usurper of Tropica - all during Alex Raymond's tenure as artist. Austin Briggs created Kang the Cruel, Ming's callous son. Mac Raboy created the powerful Prince Polon, the unscrupulous Queen Rubia, and Pyron the Comet Master. Space-fighter ace Baron Dak-Tula and other Skorpi, a race of alien shape shifters who desire to conquer the galaxy, became recurring villains in both the Mac Raboy and Dan Barry stories thru the late 1970s. New strips were drawn until 2003; King Features has since kept busy syndicating reprints around the world.

History  of  The  Comics,  Films,  Television,  et cetera
           Days after

           George Lucas attempted to make a Flash Gordon film in the 1970s. However, Lucas was unable to acquire the rights from Dino De Laurentiis, so he decided to create Star Wars instead.[

intergalactic space hero Flash Gordon main entry at Wikipedia

The  "Flash  Gordon"  Comic  Strips [est. 1934, reprints since 2003]
list of Flash Gordon comic strips page at Wikipedia
radio shows
TL's fansite
Toonopedia page

Artists  of  The  Comic  Strips
Sunday, 1934–1943: Alex Raymond
daily, 1940–1944: Austin Briggs
Sunday, 1944–1948: Austin Briggs
Sunday, 1948–1967: Mac Raboy
daily, 1951–1990: Dan Barry
daily writer, 1958–1964: Harry Harrison
Sunday, 1967–1990: Dan Barry
Sunday & daily, 1990–1991: Ralph Reese, Bruce Jones, Gray Morrow
Sunday & daily, 1991–1992: Thomas Warkentin, Andrés Klacik
Sunday, 1992–1996: Richard Bruning, Kevin VanHook, Thomas Warkentin, Andrés Klacik
Sunday, 1/1996-3/2003: Jim Keefe

Flash Gordon (Checker Book Publng): Volume 1 (Raymond's earliest Sunday Strips starting from 7 January 1934; 98 pages, October 2003,

Volume 2 (collects strips from 1935 and 1936; 100 pages, December 2004 v2

Volume 3 (collects the pages printed between October 25, 1936 and August 1, 1937; 96 pages, May 2005 v3

Volume 4 (collects strips printed between 1938 and 1940; November 2005 v4

Volume 5 (collects "The Ice Kingdom of Mongo", "Power Men of Mongo", and "The Fall of Ming"; 1940 to 1941; 80 pages, November 2005 v5

Volume 6 (collects the pages printed from August 1941 to May 1943; 100 pages, April 2007, ISBN 1-933160-28-4) v6

Volume 7 (collects the final strips from mid-1943, until the final Raymond issue from February 1945; 100 pages, December 2006, ISBN 1-933160-20-9) v7

The Complete Flash Gordon Library

"On The Planet Mongo" [9/2012] by Alex Raymond

"The Tyrant of Mongo" [12/2012] by Alex Raymond

"The Fall of Ming" [6/2013] by Alex Raymond

"Flash Gordon Volume 4: The Storm Queen of Valkir" [10/2015] by Don Moore and Austin Briggs

"Flash Gordon: Dan Barry Volume 1 - The City of Ice" [5/2016]

"Flash Gordon: Dan Barry Volume 2 - The Lost Continent" [12/2016]

Comic Books
David McKay Publns/King Comics #1–155 (1936–49) [strip reprints]
Dell Comics Four Color Comics #10, 84, 173, 190, 204, 247, 424, 512
Dell Comics Flash Gordon #2 (1945–53) [first 2 strip reprints]
Harvey Comics #1–5 (1950) [strip reprints]
Gold Key Comics #1 (1965) [reprint of FC #173]
King Comics #1–11 (1966–67) (also in Phantom #18–20)
Charlton Comics #12–18 (1969–70)
Gold Key #19–27 (1978–79)
Gold Key/Whitman Comics #28–37 (1980–82)

"Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist" comics series [est. 19??]

Flash Gordon Digital Exclusive 10-book bundle in Kindle format from Dynamite  "Flash Gordon Digital Exclusive" bundle on Kindle [2014-15]
credited writers include Jeff Parker, Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, Stuart Wellington, Ben Blacker; illustrators include Evan 'Doc' Shaner, Joseph Cooper, Stephen Downey, Jonathan Case, Gabriel Hardman, Marc Laming, Declan Shalvey; with colorist Jordie Bellaire and letterer Chris Eliopoulos
Volume 1: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [4/2014] for $1.99
Volume 2: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [5/2014] for $1.99
volume 2 as comic book
Volume 3: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [6/2014] for $1.99
volume 3 as comic book
Volume 4: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [8/2014] for $1.99
volume 4 as comic book
Volume 5: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [9/2014] for $1.99
volume 5 as comic book
Volume 6: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [10/2014] for $1.99
volume 6 as comic book
2014 Annual: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [11/2014] for $4.99
annual as comic book
Volume 7: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [12/2014] for $1.99
volume 7 as comic book
Holiday Special: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [12/2014] for $2.99
Volume 8: Kindle Edition from Dynamite [1/2015] for $1.99

Movies  &  Television
film credits for character 'Flash Gordon' at Internet Movie Database
film credits for character 'Dale Arden' at Internet Movie Database
film credits for character 'Dr. Zarkov' at Internet Movie Database
film credits for character 'Ming the Merciless' at Internet Movie Database
Flash Gordon films section at Wikipedia

"Flash Gordon" 13-chapter serial [Universal Pictures April 1936]
'Flash Gordon' 1936 13-chapter serial starring Buster Crabbe  Scientists Dr. Zarkov takes his assistants Falsh Gordon and Dale Arden by rocketship to approaching planet Mongo, where the meet an interact with Emperor Ming, his daughter Princess Aura, Prince Thun, King Kala, King Vultan, Prince Barin; the Earthians escape, with Ming apparently killed in a fire; Chapter Titles: 1. The Planet of Peril; 2. The Tunnel of Terror; 3. Captured By The Shark Men; 4. Battling The Sea Beast; 5. The Destroying Ray; 6. Flaming Torture; 7. Shattering Doom; 8. Tournament of Doom; 9. Fighting The Fire Demon; 10. The Unseen Peril; 11. In the Claws of The Tigron; 12. Trapped In The Turret; and 13. Rocketing To Earth; also released as serial under the title "Space Soldiers" • Directed by Frederick Stephani & Ray Taylor; starring Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton, Priscilla Lawson, Frank Shannon, Richard Alexander, Jack 'Tiny' Lipson, Theodore Lorch, Richard Tucker, George Cleveland, James Pierce, Duke York, Muriel Goodspeed, Earl Askam, House Peters Jr., Lane Chandler, Ray Corrigan; added to National Film Registry in 1996 • full credits at IMDb
"Space Soldiers" serial: Image Ent. b&w DVD [1/2000] 285 minutes - out of prodn/used
also available on DVD among the box sets just below
"Space Soldiers" serial: Authentic Classic Matinee b&w VHS [4/94] 200+ minutes on 2 tapes - out of prodn/used
watch official trailer [3:15] online at YouTube
watch all 13 episodes [5/2015 upload] online at YouTube
'Rocket Ship' / 'Space Soldiers' feature release  
feature-length versions
The 13-chapter serial was edited down to 72 minutes for release in foreign markets as "Rocket Ship" [1950] {IMDb credits}, and then re‑released for television in 1951 as "Space Soldiers" • Directed by Ford Beebe & Robert F. Hill; starring Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton, Priscilla Lawson, Frank Shannon, Richard Alexander, Jack 'Tiny' Lipson, James Pierce
available on DVD among the box sets just below
"Rocket Ship" movie: GoodTimes Video b&w VHS [1986] out of prodn/used

electrifying sequel "Flash Gordon’s Trip To Mars" 15-chapter serial [Universal 1938] /tt0030138/

"Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe" 12-chapter serial
[Universal March 1940]
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe serial 1940  
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe serial on DVD  
Dr. Zarkov discovers that the source of the mysterious Purple Death plague on Earth comes from a spaceship sent by evil Emperor Ming the Merciless of planet Mongo; so Flash Gordon and Dale Arden and Dr. Zarkov travel to Mongo and with help from Prince Barin of Arboria and Queen Fria of Frigia locate polarite, the antidote to the plague. Chapter Titles: 1. The Purple Death; 2. Freezing Torture; 3. Walking Bombs; 4. The Destroying Ray; 5. The Palace of Peril; 6. Flaming Death; 7. Land of The Dead; 8. The Fiery Abyss; 9. The Pool of Peril; 10. The Death Mist; 11. Stark Treachery; and 12. Doom of The Dictator • Directed by Ford Beebe & Ray Taylor; starring Buster Crabbe, Carol Hughes, Charles Middleton, Frank Shannon, Shirley Deane, Roland Drew & Luli Deste
Shout! Factory/Timeless Media b&w DVD [4/2008] 12 episodes on 2 disks for $6.49
R.O.A.N. b&w DVD [5/2004] for $6.95
Timeless Media b&w DVD [5/2008] 12 episodes on 2 disks for $10.99
Desert Island Films b&w DVD-R [8/2011] for $12.65
St. Clair Vision b&w DVD [5/2007] out of prodn/many used
Simitar Ent. b&w VHS [11/95] 3 tapes for $18.99
Video Treasures b&w VHS [2/94] 2 tapes - out of prodn/many used
serial credits at IMDbserial entry at Wikipedia
serial chapters are uploaded on YouTube: watch all 12 chapters [uploaded 1/2013]
also released as a serial in 1950 under the title "Space Soldiers Conquer The Universe", then edited down
to 80 minutes for television in 1951, same title
• there is no separate IMDb entry
"SSCTU" feature: 80-minute Sling Shot Video b&w DVD [10/2002] for $9.74

'Complete Adventures of Flash Gordon' on DVD  "The Complete Adventures of Flash Gordon" on DVD [2013]
contains 13-chapter "Flash Gordon" serial [1936]; 15-chapter "Flash Gordon’s Trip To Mars" serial [1938]; 12-chapter "Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe" serial [1940]; and a gorgeously-illustrated booklet covering Flash’s multimedia odyssey with original Alex Raymond cartoons
Madacy Records b&w DVD set [4/2013] 4 disks - out of prodn/used
Flash Gordon Serials Guide book by Roy Kinnard, Tony Crnkovich & R.J. Vitone  "The Flash Gordon Serials, 1936-1940: A Heavily Illustrated Guide" [2008]
by Roy Kinnard, Tony Crnkovich & R.J. Vitone

Kindle Edition from McFarland & Co. [4/2011] for $9.99
McFarland & Co. 10x7 pb [4/2011] for $29.95
McFarland & Co. 10¼x7 hardcover [4/2008] out of print/used
McFarland & Co. 10¼x7 hardcover [4/2008] out of print/used

"Flash Gordon" TV series [1954-55]
26 episodes filmed in Germany, 13 episodes filmed in France
episodes were recut into a 90-minute? movie in 1957

"Flash Gordon's Battle In Space" aka "Baytekin – Fezada Çarpisanlar" [Turkey 1967]
an unauthorized low-budget Turkish adaptation of the comic; Hasan Demirtag played the title character

"Flesh Gordon" erotic spoof [1974]
American erotic spoof sexploitation film

sequel "Flesh Gordon 2: Flesh Gordon Meets The Cosmic Cheerleaders" erotic spoof [1990]
sex comedy with humor that is more scatological than the original

"The New Adventures of Flash Gordon" animated TV series [Filmation 1979-80]
New Adventures of Flash Gordon 4-DVD Complete Series  24 half-hour episodes; Flash and Dale & Dr. Zarkov battle evil dictator Ming and other villains with the aid (or sometimes hindrance) of Prince Barin of Arboria, King Vultan and the Hawk Men, Queen Fria of the ice-covered land of Frigia, Thun and the Lion Men, and Ming's scantily-clad daughter Aura • Produced by Don Christensen, Norm Prescott & Lou Scheimer; narrated by Lou Scheimerfeaturing voices of Robert Ridgely, Alan Oppenheimer, Diane Pershing, Allan Melvin, Melendy Britt
B.C.I./Eclipse color DVD set [7/2006] 4 disks - out of prodn/used
series credits at IMDbseries entry at Wikipedia
watch open & closing credits [4/2011 upload; 1:30] online at YouTube

listed #74 on Timeout London's Best 100 Science Fiction Movies in 10/2015  "Flash Gordon: Saviour of The Universe" [1980]
Directed by Mike Hodges; starring Sam J. Jones, Max von Sydow, Brian Blessed
rock band Queen, who composed and performed the entire musical score [1.57]

"Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All" animated TV movie [Filmation 1982]
made prior to the Filmation TV series, broadcast only the one time

"Defenders of The Earth" animated TV series [Filmation 1986]
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" animated TV series [Hearst Ent. 1996] /tt0236899/
Alex 'Flash' Gordon and Dale Arden are hoverboarding teenagers who become trapped on Mongo after stopping Ming's attempt to invade Earth

'Flash Gordon Collection' 5-DVD box set  "The Flash Gordon Collection" DVD Box Set [2005]
Passport Home Video b&w/color DVD set [1/2008] 5 disks for $11.85
Passport Home Video b&w/color DVD set [9/2005] 5 disks for $14.75
contains the complete 1940 serial, ten episodes of the 1954 TV series,
and bonus 1956 'Rocky Jones' feature release "Manhunt in Space"

"Flash Gordon" 21-episode TV series [2007] /tt0959086/

Flash Gordon Collection 3-DVD box set  "Flash Gordon Collection" DVD Box Set [2014]
Go Ent. b&w DVD set [4/2014] 3 disks for $5.29
"Over nine hours of explosice sci-fi action!" • contains the
complete 1940 serial and 13 episodes of the 1954 TV series

"Flash Gordon Classic" animated short [indep 2015]
Produced & directed & drawn by Robb Pratt
watch full 5/2015 short [5:43] online at YouTube

"Flash Gordon in 3-D" feature film [in development 2016]  12/2016
Announced 2010: Breck Eisner signed on to direct a 3-D film version; added 4/2014: 20th Century Fox is developing the Flash Gordon reboot with John D. Payne and Patrick McKay writing the film's script; added 4/2015: Matthew Vaughn is in talks to direct the film; added 1/2016: Mark Protosevich was hired to rewrite the film's script; as-of 12/2016, none of the above individuals show such a credit on IMDb • latest info at IMDb


Other  Media

'Flash Gordon: The Lost Planet' Talking Story Book with vinyl 45rpm record  "Flash Gordon: The Lost Planet" Talking Story Book [1963]
"SEE the pictures, HEAR the story, READ the book"
Kid Stuff book & 45rpm record [1963] out of prodn/scarce
King Features book & 45rpm record [1983] out of prodn/scarce
Flash Gordon Journey To Greatness 1997 episode on A&E Biography  "Flash Gordon: Journey To Greatness" [A&E Biography Aug 1997]
47-minute TV show featuring actor Steve Holland, actor Joseph Nash, comics artist
Alex Raymond, probably others • bare credits at IMDb
A&E Home Video color/b&w DVD [6/2008] for $9.55
A&E Home Video color/b&w VHS [2/2008] for $5.81

Related  Fiction  &  Non-Fiction
search books on keywords 'Flash Gordon' {returns 5,000+ items} at Amazon

Flash Gordon Big Little Book cover      big little book cover

Kindle  Editions
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Alex Raymond [1909-56]
bookscredits at IMDbWikipediaNCS page

Alex Raymond Life & Art by by Tom Roberts  "Alex Raymond: His Life and Art" [2004]
by Tom Roberts

Adventure House 12x9 hardcover [2/2008] out of print/used


still photo of Princess Aura, Dale Arden, Flash Gordon (held by minion), and Emperor Ming

film credits for character 'Flash Gordon' at Internet Movie Database

Flash Gordon has been portrayed by:

actor Buster Crabbe [1908-83] in three serials, 1938-40 and as guest on several TV episodes

actor Steve Holland [1925-97] in the Dumont TV Network series [10/1954 to 7/1955] /tt0140738/

actor Sam J. Jones in the "Flash Gordon" feature film [1980]

voice actor Robert Ridgely [1931-97] in the "New Adventures of Flash Gordon" animated TV series [1979-80]

voice actor Lou Richards in the "Defenders of The Earth" animated TV series [1986]

voice actor Toby Proctor in the Hearst animated TV series [1996]
French-language voice actor Arnaud Arbessier in the Hearst animated TV series [1996]

actor Roscoe Orman [b. 1944] on "Sesame Street" [22 episodes, 2004-2005] - parodied as 'Trash Gordon'

Eric Johnson [b. 1979] in the 2007-2008 live-action TV series /tt0959086/

film credits for character 'Dale Arden' at Internet Movie Database
film credits for character 'Dr. Zarkov' at Internet Movie Database
film credits for character 'Ming the Merciless' at Internet Movie Database

Image  Gallery

title card from 1936 'Flash Gordon' movie serial         title card from 1938 'Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars' movie serial         half-sheet poster for Flash Gordon 1936 feature release         Flash Gordon Club member button, circa 1930s         1995 U.S.P.S. 32-cent postage stamp commemmorating Flash Gordon

'Flash Gordon' Links

official Margaret Mitchell House & Museum / "G.W.T.W." website
official "G.W.T.W." movie site
G.W.T.W. Museum [est. 2003] in Marietta, GA
search books on keywords 'Flash Gordon' {returns 5,000+ items} at Amazon

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