Two issues in, Flash Gordon Zeitgeist is OUTSTANDING! It's well-written, well-drawn, and features an amalgam of dialog, depictions, characters, and settings from the Flash Gordon mythos and productions that have come before. So much is familiar about the characters, their traits, and their motivations, yet there are new twists as well, with discoveries that Hitler was a puppet of Ming and that three Mongonians have come to Nazi Germany with the mission of stopping the dictator. Most importantly, these twists fit the story well, they are not additions that mock, parody, or defile the original intent of the creator, Alex Raymond.
So what am I so honked off about? There was obviously so much thought and care going into this latest version of the Flash Gordon story, it really burns me that Dynamite didn't put the same kind of thought and care into bringing us a new version of King Features' other property, the Phantom. It is obvious the writers of this new Flash Gordon series embrace Raymond's mythos. With the Last Phantom, we got an anti-hero that flung dung on the very essence of the character created by Lee Falk. Instead of starting with the characters and building on them as with Flash, they started with the Phantom characters and stripped away what made the character so unique. The Phantom is not just another masked vigilante out seeking revenge for a murdered family, he's a family man out to keep peace and stop violence rather than create it. He does not kill. There is ALWAYS a next generation Phantom from the bloodline (why does every writer seeking to modernize the Phantom always take that away first, as with the Last Phantom, Phantom 2040, and the SyFy Phantom?). Lee Falk wrote the Phantom as a smiling, laughing, sharp-witted man who could enjoy life with his family one moment and be stopping a deadly menace the next. And he is not just about stopping wrong-doers, he's about creating what is right and good. There was just so little to recognize of Lee Falk's creation in the Last Phantom, no wonder the series failed.
Thankfully, Flash Gordon is off to a better start.