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The King Watch/Flash Gordon/Phantom/Mandrake MEGATHREAD!

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  • So with some time passed, I just wanted to post my take on what my experience with this book has been...

    I'll start by saying that Flash Gordon was my first ever SciFi experience, way back when the Filmation animated cartoon was in full swing - it was on TV in the afternoon when I was a really young kid and I loved the heck out of it. A bit later I was very surprised when I heard there was a movie coming out I gushed at the prospect, and when I finally watched I was happy for the most part, some story elements and designs were not exactly the same as the cartoon and my young mind had trouble coping with it, but it was Flash in all his glory rescuing Mongo and saving Earth Then when DVDs came along I bought a copy of the movie, to find it so much worse than I remembered it but still holding a certain charm.

    With that walk down memory lane to provide context for my take on Dynamite's Zeitgeist effort, I can say that it has been a mixed bag for me; so I'll try to recap what worked and what didn't for me.

    On the positive side

    - The main storyline follows the general frame of the classic strips, cartoon and the movie for that matter; however this book did expand on it and adding new elements to mixed results.

    - Out of these expansions, I have to say my favorite were the politics and tweaked personalties at Mongo's seat of power for Klytus, Aura and of course, Ming. Easily this was the most interesting take I've seen so far, way better than the movie's take.

    - The events as they unfold on Mongo work quite well, Flash being forced into the arena as a gladiator, doing what he can to escape and finding his traveling companions. His interactions with Thun, Barin, Vultan and other Mongoians (is that a word?) make sense and are handled pretty well.

    - Really great visual design and art direction by none other by Alex Ross - his covers were a definite highlight.

    - The interior artwork was good overall; I quite enjoyed how the alien races of Mongo were depicted, plus the whole main cast were rightly modeled after their classic designs. Some nice spreads and large panels were very nice to look at.


    And yep, I do think there were some negatives:

    - To being with, lets get the elephant in the room out of the way: an erratic shipping schedule; I had no idea the main artist went thru an addition to his family before reading this thread but one would think that a comics publisher could be able to find a temporary replacement to keep the book on track while personal situations are being handled.

    - Hate to bring this up but it really was disruptive for me - printing errors in which the wrong dialog balloons stamped over an unrelated page, this happened on issues of both Flash Gordon and Warlord of Mars but I cant remember which ones at the moment. Mistakes happen and we are all only human, but quality control is important when publishing any sort of periodical.

    - Regarding the expanded plot, we get some Nazis, again - the easiest baddies to tap into make yet another appearance, for a SciFi story that already features a despot dictator was it really such a good idea to include one of the human variety? Ming didn't ever care at all for mere earthlings, why forge an alliance even if he would leave a regent after conquering, a puppet from Mongo would do. Too much deviation here for my tastes

    - Added to the previous point, what's with the freedom fighters from Mongo coming to earth to stop Ming's alliance with Hitler? That whole thing felt unnecessary to be honest. Some scenes about what's happening back on earth would have been fine but this on top was too much IMO.

    - The final battle with Ming felt, well ... anticlimatic. At the risk of being repetitive, too much time spent earth side boggled things down.


    And well; while I honestly dont regret buying the issues for the first arc, I did drop the book after issue #7. All the negatives somehow outweighed the positives for me, plus the solicits for upcoming issues didn't quite grab my attention. My final impression is that the book turned out a little better than average.

    Overall, Id like to say Im glad Dynamite took the opportunity to give us comic readers a new take on Flash Gordon that stayed close to the original story; and look forward to more pulpy scifi like it in the future, having learned from this experience to improve things all around.

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    • Originally posted by havok1977 View Post
      Regarding the expanded plot, we get some Nazis, again - the easiest baddies to tap into make yet another appearance, for a SciFi story that already features a despot dictator was it really such a good idea to include one of the human variety? Ming didn't ever care at all for mere earthlings, why forge an alliance even if he would leave a regent after conquering, a puppet from Mongo would do. Too much deviation here for my tastes
      Nazis make the best villains ever, because we know they were real. And even with the passage of time and changing cultural sensibilities, NO ONE is ever going to defend that ideology or make apologies for it, so as villains, they will never go out of fashion. Putting Nazis in a story is actually a pretty big selling point for me. It would cause me to at least take a look at something I wouldn't necessarily bother with, if the concept of the series didn't otherwise interest me. And I've felt that way ever since I first saw Nazis in comic book stories featuring Sgt. Rock, Sgt. Fury, and Captain America and Bucky back in the 1960s.
      DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

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      • So...Can Dynamite have a Masks-like project to give some of these other properties a shot in the arm? We had Prophecy for some of the more fantasy-based characters...
        I'd love to see Flash Gordon and the Phantom have a team up. Maybe even a new Defenders of the Earth!

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        • Originally posted by Flash Gordon View Post
          I'd love to see Flash Gordon and the Phantom have a team up. Maybe even a new Defenders of the Earth!
          You may be in luck, I believe I remember Nick saying in an interview last year that they were working on a Defenders of the Earth title that should hit later on this year.

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          • Originally posted by manga4life View Post
            You may be in luck, I believe I remember Nick saying in an interview last year that they were working on a Defenders of the Earth title that should hit later on this year.
            He specifically said it won't be Defenders of the Earth. But it's some kind of crossover featuring Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake & Lothar.
            DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

            Comment


            • Originally posted by positronic View Post
              Nazis make the best villains ever, because we know they were real. And even with the passage of time and changing cultural sensibilities, NO ONE is ever going to defend that ideology or make apologies for it, so as villains, they will never go out of fashion. Putting Nazis in a story is actually a pretty big selling point for me. It would cause me to at least take a look at something I wouldn't necessarily bother with, if the concept of the series didn't otherwise interest me. And I've felt that way ever since I first saw Nazis in comic book stories featuring Sgt. Rock, Sgt. Fury, and Captain America and Bucky back in the 1960s.

              Yeah I see where you are coming from and I agree with the point you are making here. I wasn't arguing how interesting Nazis can be as villains in general; I just didn't feel like they meshed here, at all - while now Im exited about Uber, Kieron GIllen's new indie comic that features them heavily.

              Different situations is all.

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              • But there's a historical precedent that you might not be aware of... in the the original newspaper strip, Flash did return to Earth while WWII was going on. Dynamite's version simply set the original story a little bit later in time (the strip began in 1934).
                DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

                Comment


                • Originally posted by positronic View Post
                  But there's a historical precedent that you might not be aware of... in the the original newspaper strip, Flash did return to Earth while WWII was going on. Dynamite's version simply set the original story a little bit later in time (the strip began in 1934).
                  Well no, to be honest I wasnt aware; but it really doesnt change my point of view. I stand by my opinion that Ming wouldnt have concerned himself with the insignificant people of Earth (from his point of view), regardless of their political views or their localized military prowess.

                  And as you say when Flash returned, WWII happened without any outside intervention I assume?... That would have worked better IMO, he just thwarted a would be conqueror to come back and find Earth in the grasp of a home grown tyrant, and thus finding a new challenge.

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                  • I would love to see SOMETHING Phantom in 13. But I'm not holding my breath since we are a quarter of the way done.

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                    • i'd love a new Phantom comic too. there are some many things you can do with the character too, its ripe for different kinds of storytelling.

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                      • I absolutely loved The Last Phantom and wouldn't mind seeing Dynamite do something with a classic version of The Phantom sometime in 2013 or 2014, there is a story to be told here and maybe a series like Masks would be a good place to re-introduce him to the comic buying public. But I think I remember seeing something about him not being in Masks in favorite for crossing him over with Flash Gordon and other characters down the road.

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                        • From what I understood there was supposed to be a Dynamite Mandrake the Magician series at some point, but maybe they're thinking of bypassing that in favor of introducing him in a crossover featuring all the King Features characters, first.
                          DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

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                          • Any plans for the Phantom this year? I would love to see him in a new, GOOD series...

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                            • Mandrake the Magician?

                              Any chance that Dynamite could release a Mandrake the Magician book within the pulp universe line?

                              Preferably set during the 1930s/1940s, though . . . having a modern day version may not be as fantastic because all his "gimmicks"/"magic" could be dismissed as just advanced technology.

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                              • Don't know anything about Mandrake but that second I read that sentence.. my mind literally flashed up a bunch of sweet images of a rainsoaked magician looking at a crime scene. Baffled superheroes stand about him, and mandrake casting some sort of spell upon the crime saying, "I got this."

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