Dynamite has just announced that Flash Gordon is the latest classic American hero that they’re bringing into the 21st century with a shot of new blood and adrenaline. The new series, sub-titled ZEITGEIST, will be bowing this November with a script by Eric Trautmann, art by Daniel Lindro and the guiding creative influence of none other than Alex Ross, and the plot shakes out a little like this…
As Flash Gordon's story begins, it is a time of two-fisted swashbuckling, of fearsome threats and wild adventure-and of ever-growing threats on the horizon. Three valiant humans -- Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov -- are plucked from the Earth, traveling to the distant planet Mongo. Their exploits are legendary, battling the machinations and terror schemes of the dreaded emperor Ming, the All-Seeing Ruler of Mongo. But they did not fight alone! And coming up, witness a startling meeting with Ming the Merciless! With the fate of our world helpless, can even Flash Gordon save us?
Seeing as how Ross has stated on numerous occasions that Dino De Laurentiis’ extravagant FLASH GORDON movie from the 80s is his all-time favorite movie, it honestly felt like only a matter of time before he’d do his spin on the character for Dynamite. The man works on such an unfathomably-superlative level of character design, it’s been a real treat to see him revamp the looks of all these legendary characters like Buck Rogers and the Shadow at Dynamite in the same way he essentially re-designed the entire Marvel and DC universes in EARTH X and KINGDOM COME.== TEASER ==
Of course, Trautmann has much to say his part of this new vision, thusly intoning…
I've adored Flash Gordon for as long as I've been reading, and the opportunity to play with Alex Raymond's material -- in a way I don't think has been done before -- is truly exciting. The Raymond strips were just so plot-dense, with a sense of 'anything goes' that I look for -- often unsuccessfully -- in contemporary comics. And, of course, several times a week, I check my e-mail, and find a dozen amazing pieces of artwork from Alex Ross; I'd be hard-pressed to find someone who has a greater understanding of the characters, or who harbors more affection for them, than Alex... He's an exceptional 'vision holder' for our tale.
Flash's return to pop culture at this particular moment feels especially timely. The shanghaied spaceman's adventures have had a profound influence on the entire face of adventure fiction that endures to this very day. Not only is STAR WARS' Emperor Palpatine directly inspired by Flash's foe, Ming the Merciless, but you can be sure that AVATAR's only the latest story to be inspired by this timeless tale of an American everyman thrust into a faraway alien planet's political intrigue.
November can't come soon enough, for sure. To make the wait a little easier, how about you maniacs give all the comics' spectacular alternate covers a gander below...?