Friday, April 7, 2017

Kings Cross!


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.

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4 comments:

  1. Looks like a lot of fun…Is it standard for Dynamite to not put the price on the front covers of their comics?

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    1. The images above are pristine before the addition of a UPC block which the in-store covers have.

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  2. King Features should have a fan contest to rename “Girl Phantom” (as it sounds ludicrous…)…She could be something like: Phantina, Spectra, Ghost Girl…Anything sounds better than “Girl Phantom” or is it “the girl Phantom” (which is even worse.)

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    1. I'm okay with "Girl Phantom" since it has a pedigree, I'm a bit weary of the character myself. Dynamite apparently has to tread pretty carefully with the Phantom so as not to cross up too much on the actual Phantom which is also licensed to Hermes. I'm not sure how that works either. I wish they'd just let Lothar wear the mantle alone.

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