KA-POW action

Written by Archie Goodwin, Larry Ivie, Bill Pearson, and Al Williamson

Illustrated by Al Williamson, Gil Kane and various.

Dark Horse Books, $49.99, 310 pages

Who needs Angst? Flash Gordon is a revelation! Of course, I had heard of Flash Gordon, but I’d never seen the original newspaper comic strip, nor have I ever seen the serial film version. However, I was one of the half-dozen people who saw the 1980 release of Flash Gordon in the movie theater.  Flash Gordon Comic Book Archives Volume 2 collects the 11 issue run, originally published in 1966 and 1967 of the King Comics material. Additionally, this collection exhibits another King Comics product, issues 18 through 20 of The Phantom.

Before peeling the shrink wrap off of this collection, I expected to see 3 panel comic strips, assembled Garfield-like into a book. I’m extremely happy to find I was wrong.  Comic book legends Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson deliver KA-POW action with every panel. I especially loved Al Williamson’s extraordinary art. He keeps this collection alive with movement, and the classic hero poses seem fresh.

Flash is a two-fisted bada**. There’s lizard-men, swooping pterosaurs, Ming the Merciless, Crashing rocket ships, Lasers, and even a smokin’ hot Dale Arden in a one-piece swimming suit skiing down a Planet Mongo mountainside, (yeah, that’s what I thought too). The heroes of the Flash Gordon comic book don’t have time to mope about their lives as heroes, they’re too busy whipping bad guys, and outwitting FREAKING SPACE PIRATES! The Flash Gordon archive is fun and exciting. Pull out that old vinyl Queen soundtrack, channel your inner space-ace, and enjoy!

Reviewed by Bradley Wright
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