Friday, April 7, 2017
I swore off Dynamite's bizarre adaptation of the King Features characters after the last series which was light on story and exceedingly indifferent if not weak on art. The whole magilla felt like a lot of fluff with little or no pay off, and what emotional involvement was planned was squandered by shoddy execution. So I said no more. But then I saw the ads for Kings Cross which operates under the Flash Gordon title. Written by Jeff Parker (my favorite modern writer) and drawn by Jesse Hamm, this series seemed to be a throwback, a flavorful classic.
As our heroes are back on Earth after their last excursion onto Mongo, they are suddenly confronted with Ming the Merciless's latest scheme, the use a network of teleportation portals to transport an entire chunk of Mongo into the Pacific Ocean (creating earthquakes and tidal waves of course). The heroes (Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, Hans Zarkov, Lothar the Phantom, the girl Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, Prince Valiant and the plant king Jungle Jim) gather and go to check out the threat and end defacto on Mongo again fighing again Ming's animal-men hordes.
What makes this one work for me is the artwork by Hamm, which reminded me very much of the best of Ernie Colon. The characters have a light touch but stop just short of being too humorous. To get a sense of what Hamm does with these characters take a glance at the cover gallery below.
As much as it surprises me to say this, I actually recommend this one.