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|Date||November 25, 1934 - February 24, 1935|
|Creators||Alex Raymond and Don Moore|
|Previous chapter:||Next chapter:|
|The Monsters of Mongo||The Caverns of Mongo|
King Vultan names Dr. Hans Zarkov "Prince Zarkov of the Hawk Men and Supreme Lord of all Scientists". Vultan offers Flash Gordon and Dale Arden a royal wedding. Princess Aura escapes from her captors in a flying car, and returns to her father's palace -- and soon a fleet of ships bring Ming the Merciless to the Sky City. Ming and Aura demand Flash and Dale as their betrotheds. Vultan calls on the sacred laws of the Great God Tao, and demands a Tournament of Death. Ming, convinced that Flash will die in the tournament, agrees.
Vultan tells Flash and Dale about the Tournament of Death -- the sole survivor wins, and is given any post in the empire, short of Emperor, and any woman for his wife. Vultan won one of the Tournaments; that's how he became King of the Hawkmen. Ming calls a truce with all of his enemies on Mongo, so that everyone can enter the contest. Legions travel to the arena; Lion Men, led by King Jugrid; a horde of Monkey Men; Prince Roga and the Brown Dwarfs; and Vultan and the Hawk Men.
The participants head towards the great arena. Princess Aura is carried into the stadium on a golden throne -- but Jugrid's lions scare the blue Dragon Men holding her. Aura falls, and Prince Barin jumps into the arena to carry her to safety. As he lifts her to her seat, he confesses that he loves her.
King Vultan gives Flash his sword, with his hopes for a successful tournament. Dale is afraid that Flash will be killed. Meanwhile, Barin also decides to enter the contest, hoping to win Aura as his bride. The legions gather in the arena, and begin their brutal fight to the death.
The battle begins, with every man fighting to the death. Flash is injured, but he is rescued by a mysterious warrior in a black mask. Flash offers to fight, but the masked warrior says that they will meet again. The round ends, and Ming declares a night of feasting before the next round.
The survivors of the first round enjoy a wild night of merrymaking. Barin, disguised in his black mask, curses himself for entering the contest. Sooner or later, he and Flash will meet in battle, and one of them will die. Aura approaches the masked man, and Barin takes the opportunity to make a daring pass at her. A member of the Panther Men sounds the gong, signalling the start of the next round -- the test of the flaming lances.
For the test of the flaming lances, the combatants ride Horn horses, armed with lances tipped with flaming radium. Flash kills a Dragon Man, but loses his lance. A Hawkman warrior charges at him.
Flash spears the Hawkman on his horse's horn. The Masked Champion is about to be killed by a Panther Man. Flash saves the masked "stranger", repaying his debt.
At the end of the round, Flash salutes Ming, but collapses from loss of blood. Aura has him brought to her chamber. Barin is jealous, and swears vengeance in the next round. Flash recovers in Aura's chamber, and Dale begs him not to continue. Crazed with jealousy herself, Aura draws a dagger and prepares to stab Dale.
The Masked Champion enters, and stops Aura from killing Dale. Flash thanks the "stranger". The gong sounds -- the dance of the poison daggers will begin.
Only a handful of combatants have survived; two will be left after this round. Thun and Zarkov anxiously watch the event on their Spaceograph. In this round, the warriors battle barehanded on a field studded with dagger points. Soon, only two are left -- Flash and the Masked Champion. They tussle, and Flash's wounded leg weakens.
As Flash and the Masked Champion struggle, Ming stops the battle -- he'd rather see Flash die on the skyrope. During the break, Barin regrets getting involved, and being forced to kill his best friend. He reveals himself to Aura, cursing her. The field is prepared with a pool of flaming liquid oxygen. Flash and Barin climb onto a tightrope over the pool.
Flash and the Masked Champion balance on the skyrope, and draw their swords. Flash's bad leg collapses underneath him, and he falls. He clings to the rope, knocking Barin off balance. Barin grabs Flash's leg. Flash kicks at him, tearing off his mask -- revealing him as the exiled Prince Barin. The crowd erupts, demanding that both be freed. Under pressure, Ming agrees to let them both be kings -- but he will choose their kingdoms.
Flash and Barin are both crowned as winners of the Tournament of Death. They each get to choose their fiancees. Flash chooses Dale, and Barin is paired with Aura. Ming declares that Barin will get Arboria, the Kingdom of the Forests; and Flash will get Kira, the Kingdom of the Caves. Vultan objects that neither kingdom has been conquered, but Ming replies: "These are brave men --- let them try --- They can hold their weddings in their own kingdoms --- if they live that long!" Flash and Barin part as friends. Vultan offers to send a party of Hawkmen to Kira with Flash and Dale. The couple sets off to their new kingdom. Dale is delighted: "Oh, I love you so -- my king and sweetheart!"