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Chapter 103: Captured by Shark Men

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Flash Gordon (serial)


Previous chapter: Next chapter:
Chapter 102: The Tunnel of Terror Chapter 104: Battling the Sea Beast



Synopsis

Flash Gordon is held in the monster's grip, struggling to get out. Prince Thun, finishing off the guards, grabs a gun and rushes to Flash's aid. He shoots the monster, which collapses and releases Flash.

Flash and Thun rush to the wedding chamber just in time to stop the ceremony, knocking over the idol of the Great God Tao. Flash grabs Dale Arden and carries her away in front of Ming's stunned guards.

Flash and Thun carry Dale through the tunnels, towards an underground river. Ming orders his guards to activate the water trap, and to notify King Kala and the Shark Men. Caught again by the guards, Thun holds them off, and tells Flash to take Dale to safety.

Dale shakes off the effects of the Dehumanizer just in time for a trap door to open beneath her and Flash, dropping them into the river. They're attacked by Shark Men, who battle with Flash underwater. They take Flash and Dale prisoner, and load them into a hydrocycle.

Princess Aura hurries after Flash, desperate to save him. She finds Thun, and they follow Flash's trail to the river. Realizing that Flash has been captured by the Shark Men, she asks for Thun's help to save them.

Underwater, the hydrocycle runs into an enormous octosak. The Shark Men power down, hoping that the octosak won't notice them. Luckily, a shark swims by and fights with the octosak, allowing the Shark Men to pilot the hydrocycle to Kala's city.

Flash and Dale are brought before King Kala, who informs them that Ming has ordered him to return Dale to the palace. Flash sneers at Kala for following Ming's orders, calling him a coward and a weakling. Enraged, Kala duels with Flash, who defeats him.

Apparently impressed by Flash's strength and courage, Kala orders his guards to provide the pair with accommodations, and release them in the morning. However, once they're separated, Flash is locked in a tank that begins to fill with water. Kala reports to Ming that he'll return Dale to Ming's palace.

Kala brings Dale to a window where she can see what's happening to Flash. An octosak is released into Flash's tank, and Kala watches as Flash is dragged under by the giant beast.

Recap card

Flash interrupted the marriage/ceremony by hurling the/great idol into the midst of the/astonished wedding group, and/then grabbing up Dale, and with/Thun covering his retreat, they/escaped.//

As they fled, Ming precipitated/them through a trap into the/undersea city of the shark men/and spaceographed Kala, king of/the shark men, to return the/prisoners to him. Flash, trying/to prevent this, fought with and/defeated Kala, who retaliated by/trapping Flash in a tank and...

First Words

  • King Kala: "The supreme intelligence, Ming the Merciless, ruler of the universe, has ordered that you, Dale Arden, be returned to him."

Trivia

  • This chapter closely follows the story of Alex Raymond's original Flash Gordon (comic strip), in this case, the five Sunday strips published between Feb 25 and March 25, 1934. In the strips, Flash and Thun defeat the monsters in the tunnel, although there are several monsters, not just one, and they disrupt Ming and Dale's wedding by knocking over the idol of Tao. Flash and Dale are kidnapped by the Shark Men, and taken in a hydrocycle to King Kala. Flash mocks Kala's cowardice, and the pair fight, although in the strip, the fight takes place underwater, with both wearing air helmets.
  • King Kala's opening line is almost identical to his opening speech in the comic strip: "His supreme intelligence, Ming the Merciless, ruler of the Universe, has ordered that you, Dale Arden, shall be returned to him." Of course, the comic strip Kala is green and scaly.
  • The major addition to the story is the octosak battle, in the comic, Flash is simply locked in a room that fills with water. Octosaks don't appear in the strip until a couple of months later, on May 27th, when Flash and Prince Barin are forced to battle an octosak in the test of the Torture Tank.
  • The idol of the Great God Tao was recycled from a previous Universal production, 1932's The Mummy. The scene of people rioting that is seen on the Spaceograph is borrowed footage from a 1930 film, Just Imagine.

Cast

Sources

  • Roy Kinnard, Science Fiction Serials. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1998.

Gallery

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103watchingthebattle

Water helmet.

103kalasthrone
103flashtank
103taostatue

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