Archetypal Scifi-fantasy Hero: Flash Gordon
A long, long time ago, in our very own galaxy, not so very far away, came blond super heroic space adventurer, Flash Gordon. Mind you, this was decades and decades before Star Wars, but not quite before Buck Rogers entered the pantheon of modern science fictional pop culture myth and folklore.
The first Flash Gordon newspaper strip was originally conceived by American cartoonist Alex Raymond for King Features in 1934 and was intended to compete with futuristic time traveler Buck Rogers, who had already been
going strong since August, 1928. Raymond's creation was a huge success and soon eclipsed the popularity of good
Over the years, Flash Gordon, his companions Dale Arden, Dr. Hans Zarkov and a host of other friends, foes and allies have battled the cruel, tyrannical space lord Ming the Merciless, of the planet Mongo, in an epic saga that has been revived, reinvented and paid seemingly endless tribute to in subsequent
comics, radio programs, television shows, films and the like.
At left, is a gorgeous classic movie poster
promoting Larry "Buster" Crabbe in the 1938 production, Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars. Crabbe may in fact forever be the man most identified with the role of Flash Gordon, in that
he played the futuristic swashbuckler in no less than three movie serials, from 1936 to 1940.
Now blast off on a desperate mission to save Earth from the evil plottings of the tyrannical space lord, Ming the
Merciless! But... we've got to go back to 1980 to a place in infinite time and space when our intrepid hero
Flash Gordon looked an awful lot like Sam J. Jones and Emperor Ming bore an equally uncanny resemblance to actor Max von Sydow. That's right, you ARE coming along, you know. In fact... Dr. Zarkov INSISTS.
OR... click on the image below to pass into the animated realm of Filmation's Flash Gordon. Penned by prolific screenwriter Samuel A. Peeples, this sector of the Flash Gordon multiverse may be the most compelling and well written version of all.