Flash Gordon is the hero of a space opera adventure comic strip created by and originally drawn by Alex Raymond. First published January 7, 1934, the strip was inspired by, and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip.
The Flash Gordon comic strip has been translated into a wide variety of media, including motion pictures, television, and animated series. The latest version, a Flash Gordon television series, appeared on the Syfy channel in the United States in 2007–2008.
Artwork for the cover of King: Flash Gordon #1 (January 2015 Dynamite Entertainment). Art by Ron Salas.
|Publisher||King Features Syndicate|
|First appearance||January 7, 1934 (comic strip)|
|Created by||Alex Raymond|
|Team affiliations||Dale Arden (love interest),|
Dr. Hans Zarkov (scientist)
Defenders of the Earth
The Buck Rogers comic strip had been very commercially successful, spawning novelizations and children's toys, and King Features Syndicate decided to create their own science fiction comic strip to compete with it. At first King Features tried to purchase the rights to the John Carter of Mars stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The syndicate was unable, however, to reach an agreement with Burroughs. King Features then turned to Alex Raymond, one of their staff artists, to create the story.
One source for Flash Gordon was the Philip Wylie novel When Worlds Collide (1933). The themes of an approaching planet threatening the Earth, and an athletic hero, his girlfriend, and a scientist traveling to the new planet by rocket, were adapted by Raymond for the initial storyline. Raymond's first samples were dismissed for not containing enough action sequences. Raymond reworked the story and sent it back to the syndicate, who accepted it. Raymond was partnered with ghostwriter Don Moore, an experienced editor and writer. Raymond's first Flash Gordon story appeared in January 1934, alongside Jungle Jim. The Flash Gordon strip was well received by newspaper readers, becoming one of the most popular American comic strips of the 1930s.
The Flash Gordon comic strip ran as a daily from 1934 to 1992, with the Sunday strip continuing until 2003. Reprints are still being syndicated by King Features Syndicate.
The comic strip follows the adventures of Flash Gordon, a handsome polo player and Yale University graduate, and his companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov. The story begins with Earth threatened by a collision with the planet Mongo. Dr. Zarkov invents a rocket ship to fly into space in an attempt to stop the disaster. Half mad, he kidnaps Flash and Dale and they travel to the planet. Landing on the planet, and halting the collision, they come into conflict with Ming the Merciless, Mongo's evil ruler.
For many years, the three companions have adventures 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, ruled by Queen Desira; the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men, ruled by King Kala; and the flying city of the Hawkmen, ruled by Prince Vultan. They are joined in several early adventures by Prince Thun of the Lion Men. Eventually, Ming is overthrown, and Mongo is ruled by a council of leaders led by Barin.
Flash and friends return to Earth and have some adventures before returning to Mongo and crashing in the kingdom of Tropica, then reuniting with Barin and others. Flash and his friends travel to other worlds and return to Mongo, where 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).
In the 1950s, Flash became an astronaut who travelled to other planets besides Mongo. The long story of the Skorpii War takes Flash to other star systems, using starships that are faster than light.
In addition to Ming and his allies, Flash and his friends also fought several other villains, including Azura, the Witch Queen; Brukka, chieftain of the giants of Frigia; the fascistic Red Sword organisation on Earth; and Brazor, the tyrannical usurper of Tropica. After Raymond's tenure, later writers created new enemies for Flash to combat. Austin Briggs created Kang the Cruel, Ming's callous son. Prince Polon, who had the power to shrink or enlarge living creatures, the unscrupulous Queen Rubia, and Pyron the Comet Master were among the antagonists introduced during Mac Raboy's run. The Skorpi, a race of alien shape shifters who desired to conquer the galaxy, were recurring villains in both the Mac Raboy and Dan Barry stories. The Skorpi space-fighter ace Baron Dak-Tula became a periodic nemesis of Flash in the late 1970s stories.
King Features sold the Flash Gordon strip to newspapers across the world, and by the late 1930s, the strip was published in 130 newspapers, translated into eight foreign languages, and was read by 50 million people. In the 1930s and 1940s, several newspapers in Britain carried Flash Gordon, including the Scottish Sunday Mail. In France, his adventures were published in the magazine Robinson, under the name "Guy l'Éclair". Dale Arden was named Camille in the French translation. In Australia, the character and strip were retitled Speed Gordon to avoid a negative connotation of the word "Flash". (At the time, the predominant meaning of "flash" was "showy", connoting dishonesty.)
However, events in the 1930s affected the strip's distribution. Newspapers in Nazi Germany were forbidden to carry the Flash Gordon strip, while in Fascist Italy it was restricted to two newspapers. In 1938, the Spanish magazine Aventurero, the only publication in the country to carry Flash Gordon, ceased publication because of the Spanish Civil War. The outbreak of World War II resulted in Flash Gordon being discontinued in many countries. In Belgium, artist Edgar Pierre Jacobs was therefore asked to bring the current Flash Gordon story to a satisfactory conclusion, which he did.
After the war's end, the strip enjoyed a resurgence in international popularity. Flash Gordon reappeared in Italy, Spain and West Germany, and it was also syndicated to new markets like Portugal and the Irish Republic. From the 1950s onward, countries like Spain, Italy and Denmark also reprinted Flash Gordon newspaper strips in comic book or paperback novel form. In India, Flash Gordon comics were published by Indrajal Comics. 
The popularity of Raymond's Flash Gordon Sunday strip meant a daily strip was also introduced. This strip was drawn by Austin Briggs and ran from 1941 to 1944.  After Raymond left Flash Gordon in 1944 to join the US Marines, the daily strip was cancelled and Briggs took over the Sunday strip. Although Raymond wanted to return to drawing Flash Gordon after the war's end, King Features did not want to remove Briggs from his position.  To conciliate Raymond, King Features allowed him to create a new strip, Rip Kirby. After Briggs left the Sunday strip in 1948, he was succeeded by former comic book artist Mac Raboy, who drew the strip until his death in 1967.  In 1951, King Features created a new daily Flash Gordon strip. This strip was drawn by Dan Barry. Barry was assisted during his tenure by Harvey Kurtzman and Harry Harrison, who both wrote scripts for the strip.Barry also had several artists who aided him with Flash Gordon's illustrations, including Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Bob Fujitani, Jack Davis, Sy Barry, Fred Kida and Emil Gershwin. When Barry left the strip in 1990, various artists and writers worked on Flash Gordon. The daily strip was ended in 1993. The final artist to work on the Flash Gordon Sunday strip was Jim Keefe. Keefe was occasionally assisted on the strip by other artists, including Williamson, John Romita Sr. and Joe Kubert.  King Features ended the Flash Gordon newspaper strip in 2003, although re-runs of Keefe's strip still appear in a few US newspapers.
Flash Gordon is regarded as one of the best illustrated and most influential of American adventure comic strips. Historian of science fiction art Jane Frank asserted that because of his work on Flash Gordon, "Raymond is one of the most famous science fiction artists of all time, although he never contributed an illustration to any science fiction magazine or book".Comic book artist Jerry Robinson has said "What made Flash Gordon a classic strip was Raymond's artistry and the rich imagination he brought to his conceptions of the future" and described the final years of Raymond's tenure on the strip as being characterised by "sleek, brilliantly polished brush work." The science fiction historian John Clute has stated that "The comics version of Flash Gordon was graceful, imaginative and soaring" and included it on a list of the most important American science fiction comics. In an article about Raymond for The Comics Journal, R. C. Harvey declared that Raymond's Flash Gordon displayed "a technical virtuosity matched on the comics pages only by Harold Foster in Prince Valiant". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction stated that Flash Gordon's "elaborately shaded style and exotic storyline" made it one of the most influential comics, and that its art emphasised a "romantic baroque".
Flash Gordon (along with Buck Rogers) was a big influence on later science fiction comic strips, such as the American Don Dixon and the Hidden Empire (1935 to 1941) by Carl Pfeufer and Bob Moore. In Italy, Guido Fantoni drew Flash Gordon in 1938, after the prohibition by the fascist regime. In Belgium, Edgar P. Jacobs was commissioned to produce a science fiction comic strip in the style of Flash Gordon. Jacobs' new strip, Le Rayon U ("The U-Ray") began serial publication in Bravo in 1943. This version had text boxes which described the action and the dialogue, in the style of many Belgian comics of the time, similar to Hal Foster's version of Tarzan and Prince Valiant. In 1974, Jacobs reformatted Le Rayon U in order to include speech bubbles. This version was published in Tintin magazine and in book form by Dargaud-Le Lombard. The British comic The Trigan Empire, by Mike Butterworth and Don Lawrence, also drew on Flash Gordon for its artistic style.
Flash Gordon was also an influence on early superhero comics characters. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster based Superman's uniform of tights and a cape on costumes worn by Flash Gordon. Bob Kane's drawing of Batman on the cover of Detective Comics No. 27 (the first appearance of the character) was based on a 1937 Alex Raymond drawing of Flash Gordon. Dennis Neville modeled the comics hero Hawkman's costume on the "Hawkmen" characters in Raymond's Flash Gordon comic strip. In Avengers: Infinity War, Iron Man mockingly refers to Star-Lord as Flash Gordon due to their similar appearance and both being space heroes.
Most of the Flash Gordon film and television adaptations retell the early adventures on the planet Mongo.
Flash Gordon was featured in three serial films starring Buster Crabbe: Flash Gordon (1936), Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938), and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). The 1936 Flash Gordon serial was condensed into a feature-length film titled Flash Gordon or Rocket Ship or Space Soldiers or Flash Gordon: Spaceship to the Unknown; the 1938 serial into a feature-length film entitled Flash Gordon: The Deadly Ray from Mars and the 1940 serial into a feature-length film entitled The Purple Death from Outer Space.
The first Flash Gordon serial remains copyrighted, but the compilation made of the second serial, and the third serial itself are in the public domain.
In the 1970s, several noted directors attempted to make a film of the story. Federico Fellini optioned the Flash Gordon rights from Dino De Laurentiis, but never made the film. George Lucas also attempted to make a Flash Gordon film in the 1970s. However, Lucas was unable to acquire the rights from De Laurentiis, so he decided to create Star Wars instead. De Laurentiis then hired Nicolas Roeg to make a Flash Gordon film. However, De Laurentiis was unhappy with Roeg's ideas, and Roeg left the project. De Laurentiis also discussed hiring Sergio Leone to helm the Flash Gordon film; Leone declined because he believed the script was not faithful to the original Raymond comic strips. Finally, De Laurentiis hired Mike Hodges to direct the Flash Gordon film.
Hodges' 1980 Flash Gordon film stars former Playgirl-centerfold Sam J. Jones in the title role. Its plot is based loosely on the first few years of the comic strip revising Flash's backstory by making him the quarterback of the New York Jets instead of a polo player. Raymond's drawings feature heavily in the opening credits, as does the signature theme-song "Flash!" by rock band Queen, who composed and performed the entire musical score.
Riding the coattails of Star Wars, Superman, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Flash Gordon was not a critical success on release. Melody Anderson co-starred with Jones as Dale Arden, alongside Chaim Topol as Dr. Hans Zarkov, Max von Sydow as Ming, Timothy Dalton as Prince Barin, Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan, Peter Wyngarde as Klytus and Ornella Muti as Princess Aura. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis, with ornate production designs and costumes by Danilo Donati, the bright colors and retro effects were inspired directly by the comic strip and 1930s serials.
Brian Blessed's performance as the Hawkman Prince Vultan lodged the veteran stage and screen actor into the collective consciousness for the utterance of a single line – "GORDON'S ALIVE?!" – which, more than 30 years later, remained the most repeated, reused, and recycled quotation from both the film and Blessed's career.
In April 2013, Robb Pratt, director of the popular fan film Superman Classic, announced plans to make Flash Gordon Classic. The traditionally animated short features the characters Flash Gordon, girlfriend Dale Arden, sidekick Dr. Hans Zarkov, antagonist Ming the Merciless, and Princess Aura.
In 2010, it was announced that Breck Eisner had signed on to direct a 3D film version of Flash Gordon. "The film's story is in place and the screenplay is now being worked on." On April 22, 2014 The Hollywood Reporter had a report that 20th Century Fox was developing the Flash Gordon reboot with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay writing the film's script. On April 15, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Matthew Vaughn is in talks to direct the film. On January 15, 2016, Mark Protosevich was hired to rewrite the film's script. According to Deadline, Julius Avery will write and direct film, while Vaughn will now produce alongside John Davis.
Steve Holland starred in a 1954–55 live-action television series which ran for 39 episodes. The first 26 episodes had the distinction of being filmed in West Berlin, Germany less than a decade after the end of World War II. This is notable, given that some episodes show the real-life destruction still evident in Germany several years after the war. The final 13 episodes were filmed in Marseille, France.
In this series, Flash, Dale (Irene Champlin) and Dr. Zarkov (Joseph Nash) worked for the Galactic Bureau of Investigation in the year 3203. The actual timeline was established in one episode, "Deadline at Noon", in which Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov went back in time to Berlin in the year 1953. The GBI agents traveled in the Skyflash and Skyflash II spaceships.
The series was syndicated, appearing on stations affiliated with the long-defunct DuMont Network, and many other independent stations in the United States. It was recut into a movie in 1957.
In 1979, Filmation produced an animated series, often referred to as The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, though it is actually titled Flash Gordon. The expanded title was used to distinguish it from previous versions. The project was originally designed as a TV film but NBC decided to change it into an animated series.
Filmation produced this successful animated television movie, written by Star Trek writer Samuel A. Peeples, before they began their Saturday morning series, but the TV-movie did not actually air until 1982. It was critically well-received, and is considered one of the best film versions of Flash Gordon, though it would never be re-broadcast following its premiere.
This movie has yet to be commercially released in the United States, although some sources indicate that off-air bootlegs are prevalent. The only known commercial releases were by VAP Video in Japan (catalog #67019-128), in 1983, in both laser disc and NTSC VHS videotape formats; and in Bulgaria, where it was released on VHS "Van Chris" and "Drakar". The movie also aired numerous times on "Diema" Channel in the late 90s. In the Japanese release it is presented uncut with the original English voice track, with Japanese subtitles added for its intended audience. At the end of the movie is a trailer for the De Laurentiis live-action movie, as well as trailers for other titles from the VAP Video library at the time. The covers for both versions feature comic-strip panels, using stills taken from the movie.
In the 1986 cartoon Defenders of the Earth, Flash teamed up with fellow King Features heroes The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician in 65 episodes. This series took extreme liberties with all the characters, revealing that Flash and Dale Arden had conceived a son, Rick Gordon, who is in his mid-teens when the series begins. Dale has her mind torn from her body by Ming in the first episode and is preserved in a crystal, which Rick is able to recover and give to his father. Dale is reborn on Earth as Dynak-X, the strategic super-computer based in the Defenders' Headquarters.
In 1996, Hearst Entertainment premiered an animated Flash Gordon television series. In this version, Alex "Flash" Gordon and Dale Arden are hoverboarding teenagers, who become trapped on Mongo after stopping Ming's attempt to invade Earth.
On 12 January 2007, at the Television Critics Association tour, it was announced that the live-action series would comprise 22 one-hour episodes, produced in Canada in early 2007. Under an agreement with King Features Syndicate, the series was produced by Reunion Pictures of Vancouver with Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. of RHI Entertainment serving as Executive Producers.
The traditional primary supporting characters of Ming, Dale Arden, and Dr. Hans Zarkov were drastically altered. Eric Johnson, best known for his earlier work on the WB's Smallville, played the title character of Steven "Flash" Gordon. Gina Holden (who has appeared in Fantastic Four (2005) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)) played Dale Arden, Jody Racicot (Night at the Museum (2006)) played Dr. Hans Zarkov, and John Ralston portrayed the arch-villain, Ming.
Starting April 22, 1935, the strip was adapted into The Amazing Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon, a 26-episode weekly radio serial. The series followed the strip very closely, amounting to a week-by-week adaptation of the Sunday strip for most of its run.
Flash Gordon was played by Gale Gordon, later famous for his television roles in Our Miss Brooks, Dennis the Menace, The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy (the latter two with Lucille Ball). The cast also included Maurice Franklin as Dr. Zarkov and Bruno Wick as Ming the Merciless.
The radio series broke with the strip continuity in the last two episodes, when Flash, Dale and Zarkov returned to Earth. They make a crash landing in Malaysia, where they meet Jungle Jim, the star of another of Alex Raymond's comic strips.
The series ended on October 26, 1935 with Flash and Dale's marriage. The next week, The Adventures of Jungle Jim picked up in that Saturday timeslot.
Two days later, on October 28, The Further Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon debuted as a daily show, running five days a week. This series strayed further from Raymond's strip, involving Flash, Dale and Zarkov in an adventure in Atlantis. The series aired 74 episodes, ending on February 6, 1936.
In 1989, Lee Ahlin and Gary Gordon wrote a musical for children, Flash Gordon, based on the comic. The musical premiered in 1989 in Oak Hall Performing Arts Theater in Gainesville, Florida. Flash Gordon starred Brian LeDuc as Flash, Kim Ehrich as Dale Arden, John Pelkey as Ming, and Julie Hamric as Princess Aura.
Over the years, several publishers have produced Flash Gordon comics, either reprints or original stories.
Several issues of the King Comics series were drawn by Al Williamson, who won the 1966 National Cartoonists Society Award for Best Comic Book for his work on the series. Williamson later said, "I was paying homage to Alex [Raymond], you know. I tried to treat his creation with respect and dignity and tried to do it to the best of my ability. I find that other artists who have done Flash Gordon just don't seem to get the feeling of the strip, you know. Flash is a noble guy and it's kind of nice to have that kind of a hero." King also released a comic version as a part of their Comics Reading Library in the 1970s.
Williamson provided artwork for a Western Publishing adaptation of Dino De Laurentiis' Flash Gordon film, written by Bruce Jones. It was released by Western Publishing in both hardcover and softcover formats to coincide with the film's release, and was also serialized in three issues of Whitman's Flash Gordon comic book, #31-33, March–May 1981.
In 1988, Dan Jurgens wrote a modernized version of the comic strip as a nine-issue DC Comics miniseries. It features Flash as a washed up basketball player who finds new purpose in life on Mongo, Dale as an adventurous reporter who is just as capable as Flash, and a gray-skinned Ming who is less of an Asian stereotype. The series ran for the planned nine issues and was left with an open-ended conclusion. Though Mongo is not a threat to Earth in this series, Ming had every intention of conquering Earth once he coerced Dr. Zarkov into designing the needed ships.
A new comic book series was released by Ardden Entertainment in August 2008, though with inconsistent release dates for subsequent issues. The series was written by Brendan Deneen and Paul Green and debuted in 2008, with the first arc entitled "The Mercy Wars". The initial story arc concluded in mid-2009 with an open door to an announced new story arc to begin fall 2009. These were followed by further storylines. Ardden also published a Flash Gordon anthology entitled The Secret History of Mongo. Ardden's second Flash Gordon arc is titled Invasion of the Red Sword (2010). Two other arcs were completed.
A reprint of all of Al Williamson's Flash Gordon comic books in black and white was printed by Flesk in 2009.
In 2010, Dark Horse Comics began an archive reprint series in hardback, starting with the original comics published by Dell. The second volume covers the comics published by King Comics, the third covers the comics published by Charlton Comics, the fourth covers the comics published by Gold Key, and the fifth covers the comics published by Whitman.
In 2011, Dynamite Entertainment began a new series called Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist. The series is written by Eric Trautmann (Vampirella, Red Sonja), from a story and designs by Alex Ross (Kingdom Come, Marvels, Project: Superpowers) and illustrated by Daniel Lindro. The company also produced a spinoff miniseries, Merciless: The Rise of Ming, in 2012, with story and art by Scott Beatty and Ron Adrian. Following a crossover miniseries called King's Watch (where, much like Defenders of the Earth, Flash Gordon teamed up with Mandrake and the Phantom; albeit, set in the 21st century), Dynamite launched a new Flash Gordon ongoing series in 2014, with story and art by Jeff Parker and Evan "Doc" Shaner. In 2015, Dynamite followed this run with another Flash Gordon miniseries as part of their "King:Dynamite" series. This series was written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker and illustrated by Lee Ferguson.
In 1936, one issue of Flash Gordon Strange Adventure Magazine was published by Harold Hersey, featuring a novel about Flash Gordon, entitled The Master of Mars. It was written by little-known author James Edison Northford. The saddle-stitched novel was based (more or less) on the comic strip story lines, and included color illustrations reminiscent of Alex Raymond's artwork. On the back pages a second installment, The Sun Men of Saturn, was promised, but it never saw print. Even though the series did not gain in popularity, the lone issue of Flash Gordon Strange Adventure Magazine has become a much sought-after item for pulp magazine collectors.
The first novel based on the strip, Flash Gordon in the Caverns of Mongo, was published in 1936 by Grosset & Dunlap. The credited author was Alex Raymond, but Doug Murray claims the novel "was almost certainly ghost-written". Like the pulp magazine of the same year, it failed to launch a series.
In 1973, Avon books launched a six-book series of adult-oriented Flash Gordon novels: The Lion Men of Mongo, The Plague of Sound, The Space Circus, The Time Trap of Ming XIII, The Witch Queen of Mongo and The War of the Cybernauts. Although the books were credited to Alex Raymond, the first three were written by SF writer Ron Goulart, (under the "house name" "Con Steffanson") and the other three novels were by Bruce Cassiday (the first under the "Steffanson" name, and the latter two under the pseudonym "Carson Bingham").
In 1980, Tempo books released a series by David Hagberg: Massacre in the 22nd Century, War of the Citadels, Crisis on Citadel II, Forces from the Federation, Citadels under Attack and Citadels on Earth. Except for the names of the hero and his co-stars of Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov, this series had little to do with any other version of Flash Gordon.
The name "Flash Gordon" was emblazoned on the proscenium of a ride at the 1939 New York World's Fair. An article in Popular Science (March 1939) described how 150 people could enter a ride designed to resemble a rocket ship with a motion picture screen and vibrating seats for a simulated trip to another planet. The ride was located "at the opposite end of the amusement zone from the parachute tower". Fairgoers walked around a simulation of Venus as a jungle planet, inhabited by mechanical dinosaurs to enter a "Martian Headquarters", where "weirdly costumed Martians and mechanically animated models of giant beasts enact[ed] episodes from the adventures of Flash Gordon". The ride's Martians did not look like those in the 1938 serial, nor did the rocket ship.
Some of the Austin Briggs dailies were reprinted by Kitchen Sink Press. The King Comics run of Flash Gordon reprinted one Alex Raymond story and two Mac Raboy ones in 1967. The Mac Raboy Sundays have been reprinted by Dark Horse Comics in black and white, while Kitchen Sink began to collect both the Dan Barry and Austin Briggs daily strips. The Dan Barry dailies have never been entirely reprinted, but the Barry stories written by noted author Harry Harrison were reprinted in Comics Revue magazine, published by Manuscript Press. Tempo Books published six mass-market paperbacks reprinting Dan Barry strips from the 1970s in the 1980s. Two stories from the Dan Barry dailies, D2-133 "Baldur Battles Skorpi" (February 24 to May 10, 1986) and D2-134 "The Bear" (May 12 to August 21, 1986), were reprinted in an oblong format, 6.5 by 10.5 paperback edition with two strips per page by Budget Books PTY of Melbourne, Australia in 1987 under the title The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, ISBN 0-86801-795-7. A reprint of all of Al Williamson's Flash Gordon comic strip and comic book work was released in 2009.
Flash Gordon has been released to DVD under a variety of titles and in both edited and non-edited versions. The serials and 50s TV show have no shortage of public domain DVD releases.
US – BCI Eclipse
UK – Hollywood DVD LTD
On May 6, 1998, Image Entertainment released the 1980 film on DVD in North America for DVD Region 1 territories through a contract with Universal, but it quickly went out of print.
Momentum Pictures later released it in the UK for DVD Region 2 territories on October 10, 2005. This edition of the film, the "Silver Anniversary Edition", features an anamorphic widescreen transfer at the film's 2.4:1 aspect ratio, both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, the original Queen theatrical trailer, an audio commentary by director Mike Hodges, a second audio commentary from actor Brian Blessed, an interview with Mike Hodges, a photo slideshow and an original 1940s Serial, episode one of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe.
Universal released the film on August 7, 2007 in North America and Region 1 territories once again. The new disc, entitled the "Saviour of the Universe Edition", features a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. Extras include an "Alex Ross on Flash Gordon" featurette in which world-renowned comic artist Alex Ross talks about the film and how it has inspired him in his life and work, a "Writing a Classic" featurette with screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and a Flash Gordon 1936 serial episode (chapter one of Planet of Peril).
US – BCI Eclipse LLC
UK – Hollywood DVD LTD
UK – Delta Music PLC
Lion's Gate on September 21, 2004, released three 4-episode DVDs of Flash Gordon (1996) and Phantom 2040.
Flesh Gordon is a 1974 American erotic science fiction adventure comedy film. It is an erotic spoof of the Universal Pictures Flash Gordon serials from the 1930s. The screenplay was written by Michael Benveniste, who also co-directed the film with Howard Ziehm. The cast includes Jason Williams, Suzanne Fields, and William Dennis Hunt.
The 1983 film A Christmas Story featured a deleted scene with Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun saving Flash (played by Paul Hubbard) from Ming (played by Colin Fox). None of the footage from the scene survived.
Alexander Gillespie Raymond (October 2, 1909 – September 6, 1956) was an American cartoonist, best known for creating Flash Gordon for King Features in 1934. The strip was subsequently adapted into many other media, from a series of movie serials (1936–1940) to a 1970s television series and the 1980 feature film.
Raymond's father encouraged his love of drawing from an early age, leading him to become an assistant illustrator in the early 1930s on strips such as Tillie the Toiler and Tim Tyler's Luck. Towards the end of 1933, Raymond created the epic Flash Gordon science-fiction comic strip to compete with the popular Buck Rogers comic strip and, before long, Flash was the more popular strip of the two. Raymond also worked on the jungle adventure saga Jungle Jim and spy adventure Secret Agent X-9 concurrently with Flash, though his increasing workload caused him to leave Secret Agent X-9 to another artist by 1935. He left the strips in 1944 to join the Marines, saw combat in the Pacific Ocean theater in 1945 and was demobilized in 1946. Upon his return from serving during World War II, Raymond created and illustrated the much-heralded Rip Kirby, a private detective comic strip. In 1956, Raymond was killed in a car crash at the age of 46.He became known as "the artist's artist" and his much-imitated style can be seen on the many strips he illustrated. Raymond worked from live models furnished by Manhattan's Walter Thornton Agency, as indicated in "Modern Jules Verne," a profile of Raymond published in the Dell Four-Color Flash Gordon #10 (1942), showing how Thornton model Patricia Quinn posed as a character in the strip.
Numerous artists have cited Raymond as an inspiration for their work, including comic artists Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, Russ Manning, and Al Williamson. George Lucas cited Raymond as a major influence for Star Wars. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996. Maurice Horn stated that Raymond unquestionably possessed "the most versatile talent" of all the comic strip creators. He has also described his style as "precise, clear, and incisive." Carl Barks described Raymond as a man "who could combine craftsmanship with emotions and all the gimmicks that went into a good adventure strip." Raymond's influence on other cartoonists was considerable during his lifetime and did not diminish after his death.Dale Arden
Dale Arden is a fictional character, the fellow adventurer and love interest of Flash Gordon and a prototypic heroine for later female characters, including Princess Leia and Padme Amidala in Star Wars. Flash, Dale and Dr. Hans Zarkov fight together against Ming the Merciless.Eric Johnson (actor)
Eric Johann Johnson (born August 7, 1979) is a Canadian actor known for playing Flash Gordon on the eponymous 2007-2008 TV series, Whitney Fordman on the science-fiction TV series Smallville, Detective Luke Callaghan on the police drama Rookie Blue, and Jack Hyde in the Fifty Shades film series.Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars
Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars is a 1938 Universal Pictures 15–chapter movie serial, based on the syndicated newspaper comic strip Flash Gordon. It is the second of the three Flash Gordon serials made by Universal between 1936 and 1940. The main cast from the first serial reprise their roles: Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon, Jean Rogers as Dale Arden, Frank Shannon as Dr. Alexis Zarkov, Charles B. Middleton as Ming the Merciless, and Richard Alexander as Prince Barin. Also in the principal cast are Beatrice Roberts as Queen Azura, Donald Kerr as Happy Hapgood, Montague Shaw as the Clay King, and Wheeler Oakman as Ming's chief henchman.
The serial was followed by Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940).Flash Gordon (1954 TV series)
Flash Gordon is a science fiction television series based on the King Features characters of the Alex Raymond-created comic strip of the same name.Flash Gordon (1996 TV series)
Flash Gordon is a 1996 animated television series based on the science fiction comic strip of the same name. The character, who had been around in the comics pages since Alex Raymond created him in 1934, had already starred in several movie serials, a 1980 feature, and two earlier cartoon series — The New Adventures of Flash Gordon and Defenders of the Earth.Flash Gordon (2007 TV series)
Flash Gordon is an American-Canadian science fiction television series that debuted on Sci-Fi in the United States on August 10, 2007 and continued airing new episodes through February 8, 2008. It has also appeared on the United Kingdom Sci-Fi and Space in Canada. The series was developed by Peter Hume, who served as executive producer/show runner and wrote the first and last episodes, among others.Flash Gordon (film)
Flash Gordon is a 1980 science fantasy film based on the King Features comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. Directed by Mike Hodges and produced by Dino De Laurentiis, the film was shot in Technicolor and Todd-AO-35. It stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed and Ornella Muti. The movie was co-written by Michael Allin (known for Enter the Dragon) and Lorenzo Semple Jr. (who had previously scripted De Laurentiis's remake of King Kong). It uses a camp style similar to the 1960s TV series Batman (which Semple developed) in an attempt to appeal to fans of the original comics and serial films. Although a box office success in the United Kingdom, it performed poorly in other markets. The film is notable for its soundtrack composed, performed and produced by the rock band Queen, with the orchestral sections by Howard Blake. The film has since gained a significant cult following.Flash Gordon (serial)
Flash Gordon is a 1936 science fiction film serial. Shown in 13 chapters, it was the first screen adventure for the comic-strip character Flash Gordon that was invented by Alex Raymond only two years earlier in 1934. It tells the story of Flash Gordon's first visit to the planet Mongo and his encounter with the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless. Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton, Priscilla Lawson and Frank Shannon played the central roles. In 1996, Flash Gordon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".Flash Gordon (soundtrack)
Flash Gordon is the first soundtrack album by the British rock band Queen, released on 8 December 1980 by EMI Records in the UK and in February 1981 by Elektra Records in the US. It was one of two film soundtracks that they produced along with Highlander. It is the soundtrack to the science fiction film Flash Gordon, and features lyrics on only two tracks. "Flash's Theme" was the only single to be released from the album under the title "Flash". The album reached #10 on the UK charts and #23 in the US. The album was reissued worldwide on 27 June 2011 (excluding the US and Canada, where it was released on 27 September 2011) as part of the band's 40th anniversary. The reissue adds an EP of related tracks.
Unlike most soundtrack albums, audio from the film is prominently used in the songs.Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe is a 1940 American twelve chapter black-and-white science fiction serial film from Universal Pictures, produced by Henry MacRae, directed by Ford Beebe and Ray Taylor, that stars Buster Crabbe, Carol Hughes, Charles B. Middleton, Frank Shannon, and Roland Drew. The serial was written by George H. Plympton, Basil Dickey, and Barry Shipman and was adapted from Alex Raymond's syndicated newspaper comic strip of the same name. It was the last of the three Universal Flash Gordon serials made between 1936 and 1940.
During the 1950s, all three of these Flash Gordon serials were directly syndicated to television by Motion Pictures for Television, along with many of Universal's other serial output. To avoid confusion with the Flash Gordon TV series airing around the same time, they were retitled Space Soldiers, Space Soldiers' Trip to Mars, and Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe.
In 1966 Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe was edited down into two feature-length films for television syndication, Purple Death from Outer Space and Perils from the Planet Mongo, by King Features Syndicate. In the early 1970s, a third feature version was re-edited for the 16mm home movie market, using story material from the entire serial. It bore the title Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe and later appeared on television during the 1980s. Afterward, all three edited feature length versions became available through various public-domain video sellers, first on VHS videotape and later on DVD.
In the mid-1970s all three complete Universal Flash Gordon serials were shown chapter-by-chapter by PBS stations across the US, bringing them to a new generation of science fiction fans, two years before Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. From the late 1980s onward, all three serials became available on the home video market under their original theatrical release titles, chapters, and running times.Flash Gordon Strange Adventure Magazine
Flash Gordon Strange Adventure Magazine was a pulp magazine which was launched in December 1936. It was published by Harold Hersey, and was an attempt to cash in on the growing comics boom, and the popularity of the Flash Gordon comic strip in particular. The magazine contained a novel about Flash Gordon and three unrelated stories; there were also eight full-page color illustrations. The quality of both the artwork and the fiction was low, and the magazine only saw a single issue. It is now extremely rare.Flesh Gordon
Flesh Gordon is an independently made 1974 American sexploitation film, an erotic spoof of Universal Pictures first (of three) Flash Gordon serials from the 1930s. The film was produced by Walter R. Cichy, Bill Osco and Howard Ziehm and was co-directed by Ziehm and Michael Benveniste, who also wrote the screenplay. The cast includes Jason Williams, Suzanne Fields, and William Dennis Hunt. The film was distributed by Mammoth Films.
The storyline is purposely reminiscent of the first Universal Pictures Flash Gordon multi-chapter movie serial, Flash Gordon (1936), but written and directed with a purposely campy flavor. The planet Porno (in the serial: Mongo) and major characters are suggestive innuendos: the hero Flesh Gordon (Flash Gordon); his love interest Dale Ardor (Dale Arden); the evil Emperor Wang the Perverted (Ming the Merciless); scientist Dr. Flexi Jerkoff (Dr. Alexi Zarkov); seductive Amora, Queen of Magic (Ming's daughter Aura); and effeminate Prince Precious (Prince Barin). The film features production values comparable to the original serial, as well as stop-motion animation of creatures, and frequent use of gratuitous nudity and brief sex scenes.Kings Watch
Kings Watch is a bi-monthly comic book limited series written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Marc Laming. It was published by Dynamite Entertainment from September 6, 2013 to April 7, 2014. It is a crossover featuring Flash Gordon, the Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician from King Features Syndicate. The trade paperback edition was released on August 13, 2014.List of songs recorded by Queen
This is a list of all songs recorded by Queen.Mac Raboy
Emmanuel "Mac" Raboy (April 17, 1914 – December 12, 1967) was an American comics artist best known for his comic-book work on Fawcett Comics' Captain Marvel Jr. and as the Sunday comic-strip artist of Flash Gordon for more than 20 years. Born in New York City, Raboy began his art career with the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. In the 1940s he began working with the Harry A. Chesler studio of comics artists. Raboy began drawing comic books and gained fame as the illustrator for Captain Marvel, Jr. and the Green Lama. Raboy was a great admirer of Alex Raymond, and "kept a portfolio of Alex Raymond's "Flash Gordon" comics by his side for inspiration and guidance as he worked". In the spring of 1946, King Features hired Raboy to continue the Sunday page adventures of Flash Gordon, which he continued to work on until his death. Drew Friedman has stated, "Raboy was an expert technician with pen and brush, and his lush covers are some of the most unusually beautiful ever to grace comic books".Ming the Merciless
Ming the Merciless is a character who first appeared in the Flash Gordon comic strip in 1934. He has since been the main villain of the strip and its related movie serials, television series and film adaptation. Ming is depicted as a ruthless tyrant who rules the planet Mongo.Sam J. Jones
Samuel Gerald Jones (born August 12, 1954), known professionally as Sam J. Jones, is an American actor. He is best known for having played the title character in the 1980 film Flash Gordon and The Highwayman (1987–1988).The New Adventures of Flash Gordon
The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, also known as The Adventures of Flash Gordon, is an animated television series. The series is actually called Flash Gordon but the expanded title is used in official records to distinguish it from previous versions. Filmation produced the series in 1979, partly as a reaction to the mammoth success of Star Wars in 1977. The series was a homage to the original Flash Gordon comic strip and featured most of the original characters, including Flash's girlfriend Dale Arden, and the scientist Hans Zarkov. The series is still regarded as one of the most faithful adaptations, and one of Filmation's finest overall efforts.The basic story follows Flash and his companions as they travel to Mongo, where they are forced into battle by its ruler, Ming the Merciless, his daughter Princess Aura, and his army of Metal Men. To help their cause the heroes lead the formation of an alliance beginning with King Thun, leader of the Lion People; Prince Barin, ruler of Arboria; and King Vultan, leader of the Hawkmen.
The original project was produced as a made-for-television feature film. When NBC saw the finished work, it was decided to turn the work into an animated TV series. The change in format resulted in the story being significantly expanded with a subplot of Ming secretly giving military technology to Hitler being dropped, as well as being set in the present day rather than during World War II. When the series was canceled after its 2nd season, the original footage was reassembled with the original soundtrack, including the final role of Ted Cassidy, and aired on primetime in 1982 as a TV movie, Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All. The series was later shown in reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel's Cartoon Quest.
The show marked the first animated Flash Gordon series, although the Flash Gordon character had appeared in animated form before in Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter.