Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars

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Chapter 113: Rocketing to Earth Chapter 202: The Living Dead


The news spreads throughout the world, Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, and Dr. Hans Zarkov are returning to Earth in Zarkov's rocket ship. The trio return from their trip to Mongo, and are celebrated as heroes, with a ticker-tape parade. Zarkov makes a radio address, warning the populace of the possibility of invasion by aliens from other worlds, who have even more advanced methods of travel than his rocket ship.

Zarkov's terrible predictions come true as the Earth is attacked by a beam of light, which transports 2 aliens armed with drills. The aliens are greatly weakened by the travel, but just before they die, one of them drills into the surface of the Earth, releasing a cloud of gas. The gas and the beam of light create "atmospheric disturbances" across the planet, causing hurricanes and earthquakes. From a distant planet, Ming the Merciless and Queen Azura watch the destruction that they have caused. Ming salutes their deaths as the prelude to the conquest of the universe.

In Washington, D.C., General Rankin, the War Department Chief, assembles a group of the world's greatest scientists. Unfortunately, none of them agree on the causes of the world crisis, and the meeting descends into squabbling.

"Happy" Hapgood, a reporter for The Washington Dispatch, realizes that the real story isn't the scientists at the Capitol, if he wants the real story, he should find Dr. Zarkov. The doctor is hiding out with Flash and Dale doing his own research, but Happy goes to Zarkov's apartment, and tricks his servant into revealing Zarkov's location.

Happy finds Zarkov's secret lab, and the three friends aren't pleased with the unwelcome intrusion. Looking at infrared photos taken from an airplane, Zarkov discovers that a destructive light beam is aimed at the Earth. Deducing that the beam is coming from Mongo, he decides to fly there and save the world for a second time.

Flash and Dale accompany Zarkov on Zarkov's rocket ship. They find that they have a fourth passenger, Hapgood, who has stowed away on board.

On the planet Mars, Queen Azura is informed that a rebellious underling has tried to sabotage the nitron magazine, which they need for their upcoming war against the Clay People. Using a magic white sapphire around her neck, Azura turns the traitor into a hideous, misshapen Clay Person, and banishes him to the Valley of Desolation. The witch queen then vanishes in a puff of smoke, and magically transports to her laboratory.

In the lab, Azura discovers that the Nitron beam is still operating, even though they have extracted all of the nitron from Earth that they need. Ming reports that he wants to keep the beam burning until it removes all the nitron from the Earth's atmosphere, even though that will kill everything on Earth. Ming is taking his revenge against Flash and Zarkov for daring to oppose him.

In the rocket, Zarkov discovers that the beam is coming from Mars, and not from Mongo. He changes course and heads for Mars, but the ship loses control as it approaches the beam. The beam hits the rocket ship, which tumbles out of control.

Recap card

Ming the Merciless, escaping from/ Mongo, lands on Mars and enlists/ the aid of Azura, Queen of Magic.//

By means of a Nitron Lamp, they/ are drawing the atmosphere from/ the earth in an effort to destroy it.//

Doctor Zarkov discovers their plan/ and sets out with Flash Gordon/ to save civilization.//

They are about to destroy the/ Nitron Lamp, when the Martians/ open fire with a powerful ray gun.


  • Dr. Zarkov is called "Alexis Zarkov" in this serial, not Hans Zarkov, as he is in the Flash Gordon (comic strip).
  • This chapter picks up immediately from the final chapter of the first serial, which ended with Flash, Dale, and Zarkov travelling from Mongo back to Earth. Dale has somehow acquired a new hairstyle during the trip, her hair was long and blonde when she left Mongo, but it's dark and short as she approaches Earth.
  • BBC broadcasts of this chapter in the UK in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s omitted the sequence where Happy Hapgood calls at Dr Zarkov's residence and speaks to his manservant.