Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Going with the Zeitgeist

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Sometimes I think I’m getting too old for comics.
One of my Christmas gifts was a complete set of the first ten issues of Flash Gordon Zeitgeist, the series by Dynamite Comics written by Eric Trautmann and Alex Ross with art by Ron Adrian.
And I said, hey, it’s Flash Gordon, right?

Flash01-Cov-Renaud

Now I’m somehow halfway through it, and I will do a more in-depth review as soon as I’m through, and I wonder what that will look like, because right now I am still trying to decide if I like it or not.

Because yes, it is Flash Gordon, and it comes with colorful plates and a few extra science-fictional bits that really work for me. I like the story, I like the idea, already present in the Flash Gordon animated adventure, of Ming the Merciless being in bed (figuratively speaking) with Hitler.
The plot is the usual plot – strange events wreak havoc on planet Erath, and Doctor Zarkov (who knew what was coming, but they called him madman) sets off on his rocket ship, together with “forced guests” Flash Gordon and Dale Arden.
They reach Mongo – that sits in a parallel dimension in which the laws of physics are different from ours – and they are taken to Ming the Merciless’ court.
Etcetera.

IMG_1419

The comic sort of mashes up elements taken from the classic Flash Gordon strips, plus lots of stuff from the Flash Gordon movie and animated series. And there’s an extra subplot about a group of Mongo dissidents coming to Earth and trying to throw a spanner in Ming’s dealings with Hitler. So yes – Mongo aliens in Nazi Germany.
And that’s fine with me.
I’m not a purist as long as the story remains engaging and respectful of the reader.

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What’s really giving me headaches is the composition of some of the pages. I know this is supposed to be cinematic, but sometimes I just get confused, or overwhelmed. Also, the text balloons are sometimes a little too invasive. Which is a pity, all things considered, because the art is quite fine.

Layout 1

But hey, it’s Flash Gordon, right?
So I’m quite happy to go with the plot and see where it will take me.
I’ll keep you posted.

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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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