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KING'S WATCH and FLASH GORDON, THE PHANTOM, and MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN!!

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  • KING'S WATCH and FLASH GORDON, THE PHANTOM, and MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN!!

    King's Watch is headed our way in a month or so.

    The article in Comics Shop News #1361 and the art from Kings Watch has me most hopeful about a DE book since PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #1.

    I'm excited about seeing THE PHANTOM back in action again....and to share adventures with MANDRAKE and FLASH GORDON.

    Three great heroes for the price of one. What more could we want??

  • #2
    really looking forward to this. it feels like ages since the final issue of The Last Phantom came out. and i hope Dynamite can do some interesting things with Mandrake.

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    • #3
      As a big Phantom fan and Defenders of the Earth fan, I am looking forward to this series! Maybe DE can publish a series of one--shots about the previous Phantoms? Call the series of one-shots the Phantom Chronicles Presents...

      In the interview teasers, it looks like the creator is a fan of the Flash Gordon that I remember. The Queen music-filled movie was a lot of fun. The Filmation cartoon of Flash Gordon was faithful to the comic strip but made good use of a redesigned Thun the Lion Man. The Flash Gordon of Defenders of the Earth seemed to be a shadow of those versions. I hope that the creator treats Flash like he plans to.

      Mandrake was best portrayed in the Defenders cartoon. In the comic strip, his hypnotic powers were not utilized effectively (curse of the daily format) and the stories were not "mysterious" enough. I have high hopes for this series!

      I hope there will be follow up mini-series about this team if the mini-series is successful.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
        In the interview teasers, it looks like the creator is a fan of the Flash Gordon that I remember. The Queen music-filled movie was a lot of fun. The Filmation cartoon of Flash Gordon was faithful to the comic strip but made good use of a redesigned Thun the Lion Man. The Flash Gordon of Defenders of the Earth seemed to be a shadow of those versions. I hope that the creator treats Flash like he plans to.
        I always considered the comic strip Flash Gordon to be like Superman in the pre-Crisis DC Universe. There's an 'Earth One' Flash Gordon (Dan Barry dailies 1950-on/Barry Sundays 1967-on), and an 'Earth Two' Flash Gordon (Sundays 1934-1967). Or call them Golden Age Flash Gordon and Silver Age Flash Gordon. Anyway, the DotE Flash Gordon is definitely the 'Silver Age' Flash Gordon (the Dan Barry one, that is) as opposed to the Golden Age (Alex Raymond) Flash Gordon. This will only make any sense to those that have read both versions. The really weird part is that there was a time (1950-1967) when both versions were running concurrently in newspapers... the 'Golden Age' Flash Gordon on Sundays, and the 'Silver Age' Flash Gordon Mondays through Saturdays.
        Last edited by pulphero; 08-23-2013, 06:50 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
          As a big Phantom fan and Defenders of the Earth fan, I am looking forward to this series! Maybe DE can publish a series of one--shots about the previous Phantoms? Call the series of one-shots the Phantom Chronicles Presents...

          In the interview teasers, it looks like the creator is a fan of the Flash Gordon that I remember. The Queen music-filled movie was a lot of fun. The Filmation cartoon of Flash Gordon was faithful to the comic strip but made good use of a redesigned Thun the Lion Man. The Flash Gordon of Defenders of the Earth seemed to be a shadow of those versions. I hope that the creator treats Flash like he plans to.

          Mandrake was best portrayed in the Defenders cartoon. In the comic strip, his hypnotic powers were not utilized effectively (curse of the daily format) and the stories were not "mysterious" enough. I have high hopes for this series!

          I hope there will be follow up mini-series about this team if the mini-series is successful.
          My only exposure to Mandrake is Defenders of the Earth. How different were the two versions?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
            My only exposure to Mandrake is Defenders of the Earth. How different were the two versions?

            In the cartoon, Mandrake's powers of hypnotic illusions seem to effect Ice Robots (in retrospect, the series could have explained this that the Ice Robots were microscopic water creatures under Ming's control and not traditional robots). In the comic strip, it started out as just hypnotic powers, then for a while true magic, now it is back to just hypnotic power on mass scale. His display of true superpowers have comic historians referring to Mandrake as the first superhero of comics (sorry Supes). Stories of the comic strip rarely got into the supernatural. I remember an interesting storyline where he finds a lost magical world. It would be my preference that it explore those areas. Mostly, mysteries and spy missions were the norm. The spy missions were ordered by some crime-fighting organization led by some robot. I think I stopped reading the strip after then. When the artist retired in 2002, the strip has been in reprint mode. Personality-wise, the Mandrake of DOE was that fatherly stage magician persona that was appealing.

            Speaking of things that DOE did not bother to rationalize or explain. The Phantom displayed some temporary Ten Tigers power that when he summoned the power of the Ten Tigers he was stronger and faster (If they would have consulted me, I would explained that since this is the 27th Phantom that technology is wired into his costume allowing a "turbo" charged energy burn to appear as a supernatural superpower). Originally, the plans of the producers were that in DOE that Flash would have a daughter and the Phantom would have a son. Since it did not, I would have made a reference that somewhere hidden in the world and his enemies he also has a son training to eventually take his place. I would have also allowed the Phantom to use laser guns (I think the producers were trying to make a cartoon for kids and therefore no guns for the Phantom--a flashback story to the 21st Phantom had the Phantom bearing guns and taking on the Air Pirates in true James Bond style).

            With Flash, he seemed to be just a pilot and not the Buster Crabbe brawler-type that I remember as a kid (saw the serial on tv, I am not that old). I wished the DOE series would feature or feature the children of Thun the Lion Man (my favorite from the Filmation series), Barin, Aura, and Vultan. The Buster Crabbe portrayal and the original Sundays Flash Gordon took on any and all monsters and surprises that he faced. Enter dinosaur sized monster, Flash would not run, he would attack! In the first movie serial, Buster Crabbe (stuntman Eddie Parker) and a small army of stunt men had a great brawl in the opening meeting between Flash and Ming when Ming tried to take Dale. Torn shirt, props thrown around, it was not your normal black and white movie. Buster Crabbe eventually became named "King of the Serials". Flash should be that and comfortable with sword, ray gun, or spaceship.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
              When the artist retired in 2002, the strip has been in reprint mode.
              Actually, Fred Fredericks just announced his retirement in July of 2013. The strip will go into reprints beginning on September 2, 2013.

              Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
              Originally, the plans of the producers were that in DOE that Flash would have a daughter and the Phantom would have a son.
              Well, they never explicitly stated that he didn't have a son. But I thought the producers' decision to give Flash the son, and Phantom the daughter was more interesting. So if the Phantom has no son the Phantom dynasty just ends? "Oh well, it was a good run while it lasted". Why can't Jedda Walker be the next Phantom? It seems to be poking fun at the old sexist attitude. And this IS the future after all.

              Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
              With Flash, he seemed to be just a pilot and not the Buster Crabbe brawler-type that I remember as a kid (saw the serial on tv, I am not that old).
              That's because the Flash Gordon of Defenders of the Earth isn't based on the Alex Raymond original strip, but the rebooted version - Dan Barry's Flash Gordon strip that ran from 1950 until the late 1980s. This Flash Gordon has the distinctive red uniform and is an interplanetary troubleshooter for the World Space Patrol. Rather than having his adventures be strictly Mongo-based, this Flash rocketed all over the universe having adventures on various planets. And rather than taking place in the present like Alex Raymond's, Dan Barry's Flash Gordon was taking place in an unspecified near-future (probably the 21st century, as imagined in the mid-20th century). Unfortunately the Dan Barry strip has seen infrequent reprintings. The "brawling" was toned down because it was a Saturday morning cartoon, and broadcast standards & practices censors in the 70s and 80s were really nit-picky about that kind of thing.
              Last edited by pulphero; 08-26-2013, 08:44 AM.

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              • #8
                After reading issue #1, I'm not sure what to say about this so far. I liked the artwork. It wasn't badly written. Yet another re-origin of Flash Gordon (I could have waited for a spinoff FG origin miniseries, to get to the crossing-over part of the story sooner) but I guess I kind of expected that it wouldn't be the Flash from Zeitgeist. I would assume this isn't the Phantom from The Last Phantom, either. It's a little weird that Mandrake's enemy The Cobra looks a LOT like the DC Jack Kirby-created Kobra, and even seems to be leading a cult (not sure that was in the original comic strips). I wonder if this version of The Cobra will turn out to be Mandrake's half-brother Luciphor (not to be confused with Mandrake's other, twin brother, Derek). It was nice to see Lothar meet up with The Phantom, and recognize him (not sure if this meant they had met previously). Dale Arden seems to be a reporter in this version (or was that a TV journalist).
                Last edited by pulphero; 09-12-2013, 06:57 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                  After reading issue #1, I'm not sure what to say about this so far. I liked the artwork. It wasn't badly written. Yet another re-origin of Flash Gordon (I could have waited for a spinoff FG origin miniseries, to get to the crossing-over part of the story sooner) but I guess I kind of expected that it wouldn't be the Flash from Zeitgeist. I would assume this isn't the Phantom from The Last Phantom, either. It's a little weird that Mandrake's enemy The Cobra looks a LOT like the DC Jack Kirby-created Kobra, and even seems to be leading a cult (not sure that was in the original comic strips). I wonder if this version of The Cobra will turn out to be Mandrake's half-brother Luciphor (not to be confused with Mandrake's other, twin brother, Derek). It was nice to see Lothar meet up with The Phantom, and recognize him (not sure if this meant they had met previously). Dale Arden seems to be a reporter in this version (or was that a TV journalist).
                  I agree. I wondered why Flash Gordon and supporting cast needed another origin. Especially since DE spent some time developing a fine origin recently. If this was someone's first exposure to these characters, like in a movie, it works. However, surely DE knows that most of the core audience of these characters is going to be the same faithful who followed them in the Last Phantom, Flash Gordon Z, and Ming the Merciless (and even further back). One interesting plot device is that the Demons of Mongo suggest that the creatures of Mongo might be a Lovecraftian Old Races version of the classic characters. This seems to be a re-imaging of these characters rather than a team up of our favorite comic strip characters. Perhaps if this is the intended direction, why not get rid of the stripped trunks on the Phantom? Why not color his costume gray (returning him to the gray ghost vision of Lee Falk--the origin of the color of the Phantom came from some newspaper mistake--In Australia, the Phantom's costume is red)? For the most part, the story flows. I am looking forward to the next couple of issues!!! Thank you DE for giving these characters another go!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
                    I agree. I wondered why Flash Gordon and supporting cast needed another origin. Especially since DE spent some time developing a fine origin recently. If this was someone's first exposure to these characters, like in a movie, it works. However, surely DE knows that most of the core audience of these characters is going to be the same faithful who followed them in the Last Phantom, Flash Gordon Z, and Ming the Merciless (and even further back). One interesting plot device is that the Demons of Mongo suggest that the creatures of Mongo might be a Lovecraftian Old Races version of the classic characters. This seems to be a re-imaging of these characters rather than a team up of our favorite comic strip characters. Perhaps if this is the intended direction, why not get rid of the stripped trunks on the Phantom? Why not color his costume gray (returning him to the gray ghost vision of Lee Falk--the origin of the color of the Phantom came from some newspaper mistake--In Australia, the Phantom's costume is red)? For the most part, the story flows. I am looking forward to the next couple of issues!!! Thank you DE for giving these characters another go!
                    I noticed a misspelling . I meant the stripes on the Phantom's trunks--the rest of his costume is awesome! The Phantom is one of my first superheroes that I ever enjoyed. It got me to read the newspaper.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
                      I noticed a misspelling . I meant the stripes on the Phantom's trunks--the rest of his costume is awesome! The Phantom is one of my first superheroes that I ever enjoyed. It got me to read the newspaper.
                      Hey, I LIKE the stripes. Always did. They make the Purple Pirate Beater stand out from all the other long underwear heroes. (REAL heroes wear their underwear on the outside of their pants.) But if your first exposure to the Phantom was Defenders of the Earth or Phantom 2040, I can probably see where you're coming from. Me, I'm still hoping against hope for that intercompany crossover series starring The Phantom and B'wana Beast.

                      PS - Blinky, you know that when it comes to correcting yourself, there's a little bar at the bottom of your own posts (when you're logged in) with the words "Edit Post" in it, right? Just so, you know, you don't have to appear to be having a conversation with yourself (and people won't cross the street when they see you talking to yourself).
                      Last edited by pulphero; 09-12-2013, 01:45 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
                        One interesting plot device is that the Demons of Mongo suggest that the creatures of Mongo might be a Lovecraftian Old Races version of the classic characters. This seems to be a re-imaging of these characters rather than a team up of our favorite comic strip characters. Perhaps if this is the intended direction, why not get rid of the stripped trunks on the Phantom? Why not color his costume gray (returning him to the gray ghost vision of Lee Falk--the origin of the color of the Phantom came from some newspaper mistake--In Australia, the Phantom's costume is red)? For the most part, the story flows.
                        Well, we don't really know yet what the "Demons of Mongo" are, do we? Are you assuming they are actual demons (albeit from the depths of interdimensional space), or do you infer that the creature that attacked Lothar and was battled by the Phantom is one of said "demons"? The monsters of Mongo were always treated in the original FG strip as naturally-evolved predators of the planet, while some later versions give us an inkling that some gene-splicing tomfoolery is going on among the wacko scientific elite of Mongo. None of the aforementioned creatures ever appeared to have the requisite intelligence of of Lovecraft's Great Old Ones.

                        Regarding the color of the Phantom's costume, Australia and New Zealand stuck with the purple, while some countries like Italy opted for red, others like the Scandanavian countries opted for blue, and even fewer (somewhere in South America, I think) opted for green. It's true that gray was Falk's original color choice for the Phantom, but the Ben-Day dot pattern screens used in newspaper printing back in the day to dilute Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks to 25%, 50%, and 75% so that they could combine with other color inks to simulate a reasonable imitation of the spectrum tended to be unreliable when it came to Black (often the ink would just smudge into blobs). So black ink tended to be used at 100% only, while gray was simulated by a light violet-purple combination of Cyan and Magenta. It worked well enough when the percentages used and the registration of the printing was just right, but if it wasn't then instead of simulated gray you got light purple-violet. And when printing pressmen and engravers began to see purple as the intended color, they tended to make it even more purple. Eventually it evolved into a rich dark grape color. In these days, characters are perceived as global and cross-cultural, but it wasn't always the case. Those countries that had long-established histories (like Italy and Norway/Sweden/Denmark) with the Phantom tended want to keep their "local Phantom" colors despite pressure to conform to an international standard, especially after cartoons and the Billy Zane film were marketed internationally.

                        To see exactly what I mean about the light purple-as-gray color issue, you'd need to look at the gray in Batman's costume in some old 1960s comic books, then look really close at the dot pattern of that "gray" with a magnifying glass. Not reprints of those comics mind you, but actual Batman stories printed in the 1960s or earlier.
                        Last edited by pulphero; 09-12-2013, 02:40 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                          Hey, I LIKE the stripes. Always did. They make the Purple Pirate Beater stand out from all the other long underwear heroes. (REAL heroes wear their underwear on the outside of their pants.) But if your first exposure to the Phantom was Defenders of the Earth or Phantom 2040, I can probably see where you're coming from. Me, I'm still hoping against hope for that intercompany crossover series starring The Phantom and B'wana Beast.

                          PS - Blinky, you know that when it comes to correcting yourself, there's a little bar at the bottom of your own posts (when you're logged in) with the words "Edit Post" in it, right? Just so, you know, you don't have to appear to be having a conversation with yourself (and people won't cross the street when they see you talking to yourself).

                          Thanks for the hints on navigating/editing the blogs! I always wondered why people seem to give me distance and strange looks.

                          My first exposure to the Phantom was in the comic strips decades before Defenders of the Earth and Phantom 2040 (I was a fan of both cartoons). I do not have a problem with the Phantom having underwear on outside of his pants but the stripes just seem glaring odd to a ninja-like costume. As for inter-company crossovers, I was hoping for a Batman/Phantom story. DC had the rights to the Phantom at one point and did not take advantage of it. At least DC teamed up with the Shadow and Doc Savage when they had the rights. And DC did team up Batman with Tarzan in cooperation with Dark Horse and Judge Dredd with the 2000 AD gang. So, inter-company crossovers can be done. With the international fame of the Phantom (potential sales point), maybe DE and DC should talk about the possibilities?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In an infinity of parallel universes, I'm sure there's one where The Phantom is accorded the kind of popularity Batman has in our reality. I'm sure there's a toy line there with a Ninja Phantom, Arctic Phantom, and Zebra Phantom, and every other color costume Phantom that has ever been used in any country's Phantom comics. With stripes, without stripes, and camo pattern, too.

                            Batman/Phantom might have been great if done by DC back in the day when Jim Aparo and Don Newton worked for them. When I think about the 1970s and 1980s Batman I can almost see it. I'm sure Bob Haney could have come up with a Brave & Bold type one-off story. But the more I think about DC today, and the way Batman is done in their comics, the harder time I have wrapping my head around the logistics of how such a team-up (if indeed it were a 'team up', as opposed to a plot that somehow had them both involved in different ways, but never really meeting) would work.

                            Then again IDW was somehow able to publish a story crossing over classic Star Trek with a classic 1970s-era Legion of Super-Heroes. How they managed to get away with it I'll never know.

                            I don't even know the real story of how these things happen. Maybe it starts with some friendly folks schmoozing at a comic book convention. The general vibe of today's comic book marketplace (with anything involving DC and Marvel's characters) just seems to be general hostility towards the other companies. Heck, DC doesn't even need another company to generate hostile vibes, there's plenty of people that worked for them in the last couple of years being alienated and fleeing to greener pastures and saner editorial policies.

                            I'm going to vote for The Phantom and Doc Savage instead. It's easier, since Dynamite already has the license to both, and since they're both globe-trotting adventurer types (Batman only seems to do this these days when in Batman Incorporated) it makes the story possibilities a little broader. Hey, the widow's peak in Doc's hairline (or bronze skullcap, take your pick) matches the one on the Phantom's purple cowl. It's kismet.

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                            • #15
                              thought the first issue was pretty interesting. i'm more curious about the background of our heroes in this series than the Demons of Mongo.

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