Flash Gordon (King Features Syndicate)




Flash Gordon is the hero of a science fiction adventure comic strip 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. Also inspired by these series were comics such as Dash Dixon (1935 to 1939) by H.T. Elmo and Larry Antoinette and Don Dixon and the Hidden Empire (1935 to 1941) by Carl Pfeufer and Bob Moore.
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. In France, his adventures were published in "Le Journal de Mickey", under the name "Guy l'Eclair". Dale Arden was named Camille in the French translation. In Mexico and some countries in Latin America, the strip is called "Roldán el Temerario".
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 TV series, appeared on the US Sci Fi Channel in 20072008 and then on the United Kingdom Sci Fi channel. A print comic book series by Brendan Deneen and Paul Green and published by Ardden Entertainment debuted in 2008, with the first arc entitled "The Mercy Wars", and is also available on iTunes for the iPod and iPhone. They followed this up with further storylines.

Publication information

First appearance: King Comics #7 (January 7, 1934)
Created by: Alex Raymond

In-story information

Alter ego: Steven Gordon 
Notable aliases: Speed Gordon, Savior of the Universe, King of the Impossible
Affiliations: Dale Arden (love interest), Dr. Hans Zarkov (scientist), Jedda Walker, K'Shin, LJ, Lothar, Mandrake, Prince Barin, Princess Aura, Prince Vultan, Queen Fria, Rick Gordon, Talon, The Phantom

Team affiliations: Defenders of the Earth
Enemies:
 Brukka, Dr. Zarkov, Hong, Malo, Ming The Merciless, Sheng the Savage
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Alignment: Good
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Race: Human
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Gender: Male
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History

Flash Gordon was once an ordinary man, a graduate of Yale and a part-time Polo player -- until he was captured by evil forces and taken to distant planet, Mongo There. He became the great fighter of these evil forces named Flash Gordon, the "King of the Impossible". Together, with his acquaintances Dr. Hans Zarkov and his love interest, Dale Arden. He has saved Earth on several different occasions, namely from his Arch-Foe Ming the Merciless, the Evil Emperor of the Planet Mongo.

When several meteors crashed into Earth, Dr. Hans Zarkov kidnapped Flash and Dale Arden, to find where the meteors came from. They
set their course for the planet Mongo on a rocket ship invented by Zarkov. While there they discovered that the meteors are actually being used as weapons by Ming the Merciless. Ming is immediately attracted to Dale and desires her to be his wife. But she refuses.

For years Flash, Dale, and Zarkov have many great adventures on the planet Mongo. Along their adventures they occasionally team up with Prince Thun. They travel to many different places on their journey including the Jungle Kingdom, Undersea Kingdom, the Ice Kingdom, and even the Flying city of the Hawkmen. After their long adventure on Mongo they are called back to Earth to defend it from the Red Sword Invaders. Afterwards they leave Earth for a short time and explore other planets. When they return to Earth they make it their home base.

After that Flash joins the World Space Council. During the Skorpii War, Flash and his two friends travel to other planets and even return to Mongo at times. While back at Mongo they discover that Prince Barin of the forest kingdom, has taken over and married Ming's daughter Aura. Since Prince Barin has taken over Mongo it has been a peaceful planet except for the occasional attempts to retake Mongo by Ming.
The three Flash Gordon cliffhanger serials are considered classics by serial fans. Universal Pictures cast Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon and he played the part to perfection. The first serial, "Flash Gordon Space Soldiers", is considered by some serial experts to be the best cliffhanger serial ever made. The 1980 Flash Gordon movie cast Sam J. Jones as Flash. The 2007 SyFy Channel Flash Gordon series gave us Eric Johnson as Flash. Steve Holland was cast as Flash for 31 episodes in the 1954-55 television series.


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