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Flash Gordon (comic strip)

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Overview

Flash Gordon is a comic strip created by Alex Raymond, and premiering as a Sunday strip on January 4, 1934. A daily strip began on May 27, 1940. The strip continued to run in newspapers until 2003.

The comic strip followed the adventures of Flash Gordon and his companions, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov. The story begins with Earth bombarded by fiery meteors. Dr. Zarkov believes the meteors are from outer space, and invents a rocket ship to locate their place of origin. Half mad, he kidnaps Flash and Dale, and the three travel to the planet Mongo, where they discover that the meteors are weapons devised by Ming the Merciless, evil ruler of Mongo.

For many years, the three companions adventure on Mongo, traveling to the forest kingdom of Arboria, ruled by Prince Barin, the ice kingdom of Frigia, ruled by Queen Fria, the jungle kingdom of Tropica, the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men, ruled by King Kala, and the flying city of the Hawk Men, ruled by King Vultan. They are joined in several early adventures by Prince Thun of the Lion Men.

After years of adventures on Mongo, with only a short break during World War II to fight the Red Sword invaders back on Earth, our three heroes begin to travel to other planets. They then make Earth their home base, and Flash joins the World Space Council as a pilot and explorer. At this point, the stories are set ten years in the future, so that a 1960 story from the strip will be set in the future year 1970, when our space program has reached most of the planets of our own Solar System.

The long story of the Skorpii War takes Flash to other star systems, using faster than light starships. Flash and his friends also frequently return to Mongo, where Ming has been overthrown and Prince Barin, married to Ming's daughter Princess Aura, has established a peaceful rule (except for frequent revolts led by Ming or by one of his many descendants).

Creators

Sunday

Daily

  • Austin Briggs: 1940 - 1944
  • Dan Barry, with Harvey Kurtzman, Harry Harrison, Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Fred Kida, Bob Fujitani: 1951 - 1990
  • Ralph Reese, Gray Morrow and Bruce Jones: 1990 - 1991
  • Thomas Warkentin: 1991 - 1992
  • Richard Bruning, Kevin Van Hook, Thomas Warkentin: 1992 - 1993

First Words

  • Flash Gordon: "What's the idea? Put up that gun! We're friends ---"
  • Dale Arden: "Oh, Flash -- Look out! -- He's going mad!"
  • Dr. Hans Zarkov: "Friends, bah! You're spies!"
  • Ming the Merciless: "The beauty of the female pleases me -- She shall be my wife."
  • Princess Aura: "Stop! Stop, I say! If you kill this man, you must also kill me!"
  • Prince Thun: "By the great God, Tao! A mere youth --- and white!"
  • Prince Barin: "Silence! You with the ray gun, kill that plant!"

See also

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