Comic Book Collection Blog
My name is John A. Deering.  And I've got so many comic books in my collection right now, it's ridiculous.

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Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist (2011)
The Best Page From Each Issue

Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 3

Issue 4

So everything from the 1930's Flash Gordon is brought into now.  The 1930's scene of him fighting the four red monkey men in Ming's Palace seems to be missing, however the monkey men are shown as a species, smaller than humans, running around Mongo.  It reminds me of Ultimate X-Men's approach to remaking the X-Men in a newer, more contemporary way, but with a strong emphasis on using all the classic characters.

The people of Frigia now have blue skin.  They used to look like regular humans, in the 1940 movie Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, where they are people of the cold who keep it a secret how they can survive in cold environments.  Now they have blue skin.  This expands the skin colors of planet Mongo, beyond just yellow for Emperor Ming and the people of Mongo, and red for the monkey men.  Now blue is the color for Frigia's people, and green is the color for Arboria's people.  So, there are more skin colors going on, but still, it had been kind of interesting in earlier versions how the ice people looked the same as non-ice people.

Basically this comic book goes through the entire checklist of Flash Gordon's comic strip canon stories, yet again, but in a way that is longer and more elaborate than ever, with the cinematic feeling and artistic quality of 2002's the Ultimates.  I had read a 2006 Flash Gordon comic strip and been bored by what seemed like a tired re-treading of the same old story.  But this 2011 comic book really is like the 2005 King Kong of Flash Gordon, even sticking to the 1930's decade setting.  We stick to the old canon.  The scene where they get held up at gunpoint.  Landing in Mongo.  Entering the palace.  Emperor Ming decides to marry Dale and do away with Flash.  Princess Aura seems like a wildcard, but early on she saves Flash's life.  Everything you saw in the 1930's comic strips come back in the 2011 universe.

If you care about the particular order in which things happened in the 1930's comic strips, then there is more of an Ultimate X-Men feeling of meeting people and species out of order.  You never quite know when things will pop up, but they will all pop up, in a remade, Ultimate Universe looking way.  The gyros that blast lasers.  The red monkey men.  The people of Frigia, including Queen Fria.  Prince Barin, of Arboria, is seen at some point, and his people are also spun off into a new sub-species by having a green skin color.  Now I am picking up on something new about Flash Gordon, something not true of all prior versions.  In planet Mongo, there are many skin colors of people, beyond what you've seen in Earth.  People may be blue, or green.  In fact, get this.  This takes the cartoonish world of Nickelodeon's "Doug", and makes it scientific.  In Mongo, you might in fact meet people like green Skeeter, purple Mr. Dink, the orange Mayor.

That's one thing I love about Flash Gordon.  Stuff that should sound cartoony, at a level for children, can be altered into an idea that's cool at a level for teenagers and beyond.  While Flash Gordon does not have the Cowardly Lion singing, there is a leader of the species of lion-men.  He looks reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz, but in a more cool way.  The skin colors of Doug can be pulled off as realistically as, say, Avatar was.  But Flash Gordon inspired everything from A to Z, from Avatar to Batman to Commissioner Gordon to Zorro, and this 2011 comic book is a reminder that Flash Gordon is the one and only.

Though I might need to look further into it, I am pretty sure the 2011 comics' inclusion of Klytus, who wears a mask and never takes it off, comes from the 1980 movie version!  Klytus never removed his mask because the actor didn't want his face to be seen after being in trouble in the late 70's.

I also liked this web-site:

Apparently he had regular monthly comic books back in the 50's and 60's, breaking out of the formatting of daily strips, like Superman.

Flash Gordon 2011 Comic - Highlights

Flash Gordon, a comic strip from the 1930's, is now remade for the 2011-on decade.

All these old stories are now presented in a 2011-quality retelling.  They stick with the cards, as you can see - Flash Gordon is not redesigned with an all black costume.  There was a 90's cartoon of Flash Gordon which gave teenagers Flash and Dale hoverboards in an attempt to bring the characters to the 90's generation.  But as you can see here, they stick with the cards of the 1930's Flash Gordon all the way throughout - even going so far as to set the story in the 1930's.  The 1979 animated movie also took place in the 1930's.

This is THE Flash Gordon for our decade.

There's also this newer 2014 Flash Gordon, but I dunno . . . I like this one better.  Sorry.  The 2014 Flash Gordon is interesting, however, for using portals between worlds, and for splitting Mongo into 9 worlds, making Frigia a whole planet, Arboria a whole planet or maybe a moon, and using a rocketship and portals to travel back and forth.  Hmm.  Interesting.