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Chapter 108: Tournament of Death

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Flash Gordon (serial)


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Chapter 107: Shattering Doom Chapter 109: Fighting the Fire Dragon



Synopsis

Flash Gordon throws his shovel into the Atom Furnace. The electrical charge from Zarkov's device sparks, creating an explosion in the furnaces. Flash, Prince Thun and Prince Barin use the confusion to escape.

They charge into the throne room, and Flash holds Ming the Merciless at swordpoint. King Vultan disarms Flash, and orders him to be executed. However, the explosion in the furnace has disrupted the gravity-defying rays that keep the Sky City aloft, and it begins to fall.

Zarkov tells Vultan that he's discovered a new force that will keep the city in the air, but he'll only use it if Vultan promises to free his friends. Vultan gives his word by the Great God Tao. Zarkov uses his device, and it works, the Sky City is stabilized.

However, Ming refuses to honor Vultan's promise. Vultan objects since he gave his word and he must uphold it. Ming invokes his right to arrange a Tournament of Death. Vultan says that if Flash survives, he will hold Ming to his right: "liberty, a kingdom of his own, and the bride of his choice." Ming agrees: "if he survives." Prince Barin reminds Ming that the same rules apply to anyone competing in the Tournament.

Flash enters the Tournament, competing against the Masked Swordsman of Mongo. Ming chuckles that his masked champion in the battle is the finest swordsman on the planet. The pair engage in a brisk swordfight, and Flash is able to tear off his opponent's mask—revealing Prince Barin.

Flash has won the swordfight, but Ming says that he's simply won the right to move on to the next ordeal. Flash says that he's not worried.

Outside, Barin tells Flash that he was forced into the battle. He was hoping to be killed himself, and put out of his misery—he loves Princess Aura. Flash is satisfied with Barin's explanation.

Flash begins the next ordeal—a fight with "the Great Beast of Mongo". Flash is given a small dagger to defend himself against an Orangopoid, a huge furry one-horned beast. The creature jumps on him, and for once, Flash is unable to best his opponent. Every move he makes is countered. Soon, the beast has disarmed Flash, scratched his face, and has him on the ground, struggling for breath.

Recap card

Flash and Thun were condemned/ to death and facing a firing/ squad, when Zarkov discovered/ an emergency ray that would/ support the dangerously tipping/ sky city, and he agreed to divulge/ the secret and save Vultan's city,/ if Vultan would liberate his/ friends.//

But Ming disputed Vultan's/ right to free the prisoners, and/ insisted that Flash earn his free-/ dom in combat with a hooded/ gladiator. When Flash unmasked/ his opponent and discovered he/ was fighting his friend, Prince/ Barin, the enraged Ming ordered/ Flash to the arena to fight a/ huge orangopoid and...

Trivia

  • Vultan's character changes significantly at this point in the serial. He forced himself on Dale in chapter 5, tortured Flash in chapter 6, and enslaved Flash, Barin and Thun in chapter 7; but now that Zarkov has saved his city, Vultan becomes honorable and merciful. Over the next few chapters, Vultan becomes a loyal friend, and even goes to jail and prison on Flash's behalf in chapter 10. Aura makes a similar decision in chapter 12.

Cast

Gallery

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