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

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  • Originally posted by Scott M Davis View Post
    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."
    Strictly speaking, Mandrake isn't like Dr. Strange or Dr. Fate -- he doesn't "cast spells". Originally, the comic strip was a little vague on his powers, but quickly settled into the gimmick of "Mandrake gestures hypnotically". In short, he affects people's minds to make them see what he wants them to see (though it isn't really there), not unlike Professor X, or Star Wars' Jedi ("These are not the droids you're looking for"). In the 1930s, occultism and mesmerism were considered part of the same genre. This makes Mandrake's sole power a form of mind-control, similar to the Legion of Super-Heroes' Princess Projectra, or indeed, Dynamite's version of The Shadow's "mind-clouding" abilities. Whether this would work today is debatable (especially for DE, since they already publish The Shadow). He may need an upgrade to the more familiar mystic spells that comic book readers of magic-based heroes expect.
    Last edited by pulphero; 07-30-2013, 03:08 PM.

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    • Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
      How 'bout Mandrake, Flash Gordon, and The Phantom.??

      And reprints to "compliment" ....King's Watch????
      Mandrake, Flash Gordon and the Phantom?
      Umm, shouldn't this be called 'Defenders of the Earth'? And no Rick, Jedda and Kshin? I feel cheated!

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      • Defenders of the Earth Questions:

        Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
        Mandrake, Flash Gordon and the Phantom?
        Umm, shouldn't this be called 'Defenders of the Earth'? And no Rick, Jedda and Kshin? I feel cheated!
        How good was that series "Defenders of the Earth"??
        How was the art, story, and staying "in character" for our heroes??

        I remember it on the Rack.... but I didn't buy an issue. How many issues were there ??? 2 or 3 or...how many more.??

        Here's another question: Was Dale Arden a "girl reporter"??
        Last edited by magnoanddavey; 08-01-2013, 02:27 AM.

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        • Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
          How good was that series "Defenders of the Earth"??
          How was the art, story, and staying "in character" for our heroes??

          I remember it on the Rack.... but I didn't buy an issue. How many issues were there ??? 2 or 3 or...how many more.??
          There were 4 issues. Since it was branded as part of Marvel's "Star Comics" line (i.e., it was aimed at young kids), I take that as fair warning. The characters were faithful to how they were portrayed in the animated series. Stories were written by Stan Lee & Bob Harras (issue #1) and Michael Higgins (#2-4). Art was by Alex Saviuk (pencils) and Fred Fredericks (inks). Harris, Higgins and Saviuk were mainstays of the regular Marvel line at the time, although never fan-favorites. Having Fred Fredericks as the inker on all four issues gave it some credibility, since he was the regular artist on King Features' Mandrake the Magician (with Lee Falk scripting) since 1965, and continues to draw and write (since Lee Falk's death in 1999) the strip to this day. Fredericks was also the artist on The Phantom Sunday page for a while, after Sy Barry retired and before Graham Nolan took it over. Fredericks inked a number of comics for Marvel during this period, including Daredevil, Punisher War Journal, G.I. Joe, and Quasar. He just announced his retirement in July - Mandrake will continue on in reprints beginning in September 2013.

          Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
          Here's another question: Was Dale Arden a "girl reporter"??
          Dale's occupation was never specified in Alex Raymond's original comic strip. She was just a girl he met on a commercial airline flight (right before they both had to bail out). After finally returning to Earth from Mongo, Dale stuck pretty close to Flash and Zarkov, so there wasn't time for any sort of regular employment (or polo playing for Flash, for that matter). I think it may have been the 1980 Dino DiLaurentis movie that gave her the occupation of reporter.
          Last edited by pulphero; 08-01-2013, 06:47 AM.

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          • King's Watch .... Nice idea.

            Thanks for being so informative.

            I was attracted to the idea of The Phantom, Mandrake, and Flash Gordon teaming up.
            What turned me away from that book was the "up-dated" look of Lothar. I just thought: "Great idea. Bad execution." (And, the fact it was aimed at younger readers..... as you mentioned.)

            Now, ....finally.... we will get to see King Features' heroes acting together....and I'm looking forward to it.

            Anyone know the present status of Ming??

            Wished we could see a reprinted story with The Cobra in it.

            Mandrake always looked so "sleek" with his top hat off.
            I hope DE can make these guys "work" together.
            Last edited by magnoanddavey; 08-04-2013, 12:03 AM.

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            • Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
              Thanks for being so informative.
              You're welcome. Knowledge is for sharing.

              Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
              I was attracted to the idea of The Phantom, Mandrake, and Flash Gordon teaming up.
              What turned me away from that book was the "up-dated" look of Lothar. I just thought: "Great idea. Bad execution."
              I don't remember Lothar being mentioned (or pictured) anywhere in connection with KINGS WATCH. (Or Dale Arden, Dr. Zarkov, or Diana Palmer, either.) So who knows what DE's update of Lothar might look like, or if he'll play more than a cameo role in the series. It's a safe bet we can rule out the "leopard-skin shirt & fez" look, though.
              Since he isn't pictured on any of the cover images, it's probably safe to say he falls into the "...and company" category, rather than the co-starring role he had in DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH.

              It's kind of hard to say whether this series even relates to DE's previously-released FLASH GORDON and PHANTOM series. (My guess would be "no".)

              Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
              Anyone know the present status of Ming??
              Still evil, after all these years. But you know he's like the Red Skull, or the Joker -- doesn't matter how many times you see him die, he keeps coming back.

              Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
              Mandrake always looked so "sleek" with his top hat off.
              I'm pretty sure he had an endorsement deal with Brylcreem.

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              • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                You're welcome. Knowledge is for sharing.



                I don't remember Lothar being mentioned (or pictured) anywhere in connection with KINGS WATCH. (Or Dale Arden, Dr. Zarkov, or Diana Palmer, either.) So who knows what DE's update of Lothar might look like, or if he'll play more than a cameo role in the series. It's a safe bet we can rule out the "leopard-skin shirt & fez" look, though.
                Since he isn't pictured on any of the cover images, it's probably safe to say he falls into the "...and company" category, rather than the co-starring role he had in DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH.

                It's kind of hard to say whether this series even relates to DE's previously-released FLASH GORDON and PHANTOM series. (My guess would be "no".)[Hope you're right.]



                Still evil, after all these years. But you know he's like the Red Skull, or the Joker -- doesn't matter how many times you see him die, he keeps coming back.[Yeah, it's hard to "kill" great villains.]



                I'm pretty sure he had an endorsement deal with Brylcreem.
                Yeah, he made a LOT of money on that endorsement . Sleek... and "slick". Excellent point. Later, I think he was doing ads for 10-40 motor oil.

                And, yeah, I was talking about that picture of Lothar on the cover of Defenders of the Earth #1. I just didn't like his vest, I guess.
                Last edited by magnoanddavey; 08-18-2013, 01:08 AM.

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                • Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
                  Yes, I think it would be great if DE had a few reprints of MANDRAKE, FLASH GORDON, and THE PHANTOM....IN SUPPORT of KINGS WATCH.
                  Such beautiful strips have been drawn on these three heroes... it would be wonderful to get some of that beauty into DE comicbooks.
                  I agree, but alas, the Darwinian cruelty of the mainstream consumer marketplace does not. Reprints have been as rare as hen's teeth at Dynamite (but let's be fair, you don't see them in DC or Marvel's traditional-format comic books either, or on the rare occasions you do, -- Captain Universe, Starlord and Black Bolt (why those characters? why now? even I can't understand Marvel's thinking) -- a comic shop is lucky to sell 2 copies @ $8), and the "average" (for what that's worth) comic book reader doesn't care about them.

                  Golden Age Green Hornet Remastered, Peter Cannon #1 (the sole issue to contain a reprint), and the DE's Thun'da #1-5 did nothing saleswise to encourage Dynamite's thinking in this direction. It seems that classic reprints are doomed to be banished to the high-rent ghettos of IDW's and Fantagraphics' hardcover collections, DC Archives and Marvel Masterworks, and the even less-visible AC Comics (Have you seen their prices on reprint books lately?? Yikes! But they must only be printing 1000 copies or so...)

                  Let's be honest, you and I and a couple thousand (like, literally, 2-3000) folks are the only ones who bought all those 70th Anniversary of Marvel reprint books. Any retailer nostalgic (or with no business sense) enough to order more than a few copies of each had them sitting on his shelves for a year or so, until they went into the 50c bins. I hate the words as I'm typing them, but truth is truth.

                  Fortunately, for those of us willing to give up $40-$50 or more of our hard-earned cash, such reprints can be gotten.
                  Flash Gordon: Right now, you have your choice of either the IDW or Titan Books hardcover collections.
                  The Phantom: Hermes Press (but I'm chomping at the bit to get to the Sy Barry era).
                  Mandrake the Magician: Reprint collections have been announced as forthcoming from Titan Books.

                  This is what the comic book marketplace has come down to. Floppy comics with new stories for the rabid bulk consumers that make up the backbone of comic shop sales, expensive hardcover reprints for the hardcore cognoscenti (as long as he's well-heeled). Oil and Water, and never the twain shall mix -- until the mainstream comic reader becomes disenchanted with new product.
                  Last edited by pulphero; 08-04-2013, 06:57 PM.

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                  • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                    I agree, but alas, the Darwinian cruelty of the mainstream consumer marketplace does not. Reprints have been as rare as hen's teeth at Dynamite (but let's be fair, you don't see them in DC or Marvel's traditional-format comic books either, or on the rare occasions you do, -- Captain Universe, Starlord and Black Bolt (why those characters? why now? even I can't understand Marvel's thinking) -- a comic shop is lucky to sell 2 copies @ $8), and the "average" (for what that's worth) comic book reader doesn't care about them.

                    Golden Age Green Hornet Remastered, Peter Cannon #1 (the sole issue to contain a reprint), and the DE's Thun'da #1-5 did nothing saleswise to encourage Dynamite's thinking in this direction. It seems that classic reprints are doomed to be banished to the high-rent ghettos of IDW's and Fantagraphics' hardcover collections, DC Archives and Marvel Masterworks, and the even less-visible AC Comics (Have you seen their prices on reprint books lately?? Yikes! But they must only be printing 1000 copies or so...)

                    Let's be honest, you and I and a couple thousand (like, literally, 2-3000) folks are the only ones who bought all those 70th Anniversary of Marvel reprint books. Any retailer nostalgic (or with no business sense) enough to order more than a few copies of each had them sitting on his shelves for a year or so, until they went into the 50c bins. I hate the words as I'm typing them, but truth is truth.

                    Fortunately, for those of us willing to give up $40-$50 or more of our hard-earned cash, such reprints can be gotten.
                    Flash Gordon: Right now, you have your choice of either the IDW or Titan Books hardcover collections.
                    The Phantom: Hermes Press (but I'm chomping at the bit to get to the Sy Barry era).
                    Mandrake the Magician: Reprint collections have been announced as forthcoming from Titan Books.

                    This is what the comic book marketplace has come down to. Floppy comics with new stories for the rabid bulk consumers that make up the backbone of comic shop sales, expensive hardcover reprints for the hardcore cognoscenti (as long as he's well-heeled). Oil and Water, and never the twain shall mix -- until the mainstream comic reader becomes disenchanted with new product.
                    Yeah, it's a real shame.
                    I bought FLASH GORDON...On The Planet Mongo by Raymond.

                    I'm guessing I bought the right book.... but the other reprint of FLASH ---I wasn't sure I bought the "best" one.

                    Any input on my situation.??

                    I would like to see THE PHANTOM and MANDRAKE. bUT I wished they were a little cheaper. I'd go for a soft cover.
                    Last edited by magnoanddavey; 08-04-2013, 11:22 PM.

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                    • Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
                      Yeah, it's a real shame.
                      I bought FLASH GORDON...On The Planet Mongo by Raymond.

                      I'm guessing I bought the right book.... but the other reprint of FLASH ---I wasn't sure I bought the "best" one.

                      Any input on my situation.??
                      I debated the merits of IDW vs Titan on the FG reprints myself. Looking into it, I found there were differing opinions to be found on the interwebs. And I already OWN the complete Kitchen Sink hardcover collection of FG from the 1990s! IDW's format is LARGE (tabloid format) -- as large as the "Artist's Editions" that IDW publishes, and also contains the Jungle Jim 'topper' strip by Raymond that ran concurrently with Flash (in newspapers that chose to carry both). Titan Books' series is more in the traditional landscape format that most newspaper strips are published in today (which makes it line up on a bookshelf nicely with Hermes' The Phantom hardcover reprints (there are separate daily and Sunday series) and IDW's X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan and Russ Manning's Tarzan volumes. It's also pretty likely that Titan's intended Mandrake reprints will appear in the same size format. But ultimately, I chose Titan's FG because it is Titan's stated intention to continue printing Flash Gordon past the end of the Alex Raymond run, for as long as sales warrant continuing, while IDW's reprints will end when Raymond's run on the strip ends.

                      Long story short on who has the best quality (IDW vs Titan), I've heard that since the sources for both reprints vary (original artwork doesn't exist, nor syndicate proofs), the "best quality" actually varies by the individual Sunday page you're looking at in either volume! On some specific Sundays, it's IDW, on others, Titan. On balance, they're about the same, so make your choice by which size and price fits you (and whether or not you care about having Jungle Jim - I don't).

                      The paperback format for classic comic reprints seems to be a the next vanishing breed after the floppy comic book. Of the main publishers of classic reprint material (IDW, Hermes Press, Titan, and Fantagraphics), only Fantagraphics chooses to print some books (Nancy, Zippy, some of the Basil Wolverton comic book reprints) in softcover. None of these publishers has anything resembling the hardcover/trade paperback (a year later) program that DC and Marvel use for their current collections (and only Marvel offers the Masterworks series in paperback -- many years later after the hardcover first printings).
                      Last edited by pulphero; 08-05-2013, 03:17 AM.

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                      • DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH was terrible.

                        Just an awful, awful cartoon despite the fantastic concept.

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                        • Originally posted by LetsRollKato View Post
                          DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH was terrible.

                          Just an awful, awful cartoon despite the fantastic concept.
                          But in its defense, what superhero cartoon of the 1980s wasn't awful? They all exist in nostalgia as better than they really were, because they were, even in their hamfisted execution, chock-a-block with unrealized potential.

                          I've always had this image in my mind of the 'fantastic concept' of DotE as a swipe or homage of Jack Kirby's cover for AVENGERS #4. Then there are parallels to be drawn between this Defenders and that other (Marvel-Earth) Defenders. The concept of a "non-team" of characters that don't fit together, that were never meant to coexist with each other. Yet somehow, when the chips are down for Earth, they rally their disparate forces.

                          Even the dopey idea of a 'next generation'-in-training -- obviously inspired by the Super Friends' Wendy & Marvin or Zan & Jayna -- when done right, as Geoff Johns did in his elder statesmen/legacy heroes spin on DC's JSA and Justice Society titles, isn't so goofy after all.

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                          • Originally posted by LetsRollKato View Post
                            DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH was terrible.

                            Just an awful, awful cartoon despite the fantastic concept.
                            6-7yr old me thought it was great and loved it. 30 something me...appreciates it. unlike other shows i've revisited like Voltron or ALF i can actually watch Defenders.

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                            • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                              I debated the merits of IDW vs Titan on the FG reprints myself. Looking into it, I found there were differing opinions to be found on the interwebs. And I already OWN the complete Kitchen Sink hardcover collection of FG from the 1990s! IDW's format is LARGE (tabloid format) -- as large as the "Artist's Editions" that IDW publishes, and also contains the Jungle Jim 'topper' strip by Raymond that ran concurrently with Flash (in newspapers that chose to carry both). Titan Books' series is more in the traditional landscape format that most newspaper strips are published in today (which makes it line up on a bookshelf nicely with Hermes' The Phantom hardcover reprints (there are separate daily and Sunday series) and IDW's X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan and Russ Manning's Tarzan volumes. It's also pretty likely that Titan's intended Mandrake reprints will appear in the same size format. But ultimately, I chose Titan's FG because it is Titan's stated intention to continue printing Flash Gordon past the end of the Alex Raymond run, for as long as sales warrant continuing, while IDW's reprints will end when Raymond's run on the strip ends.

                              Long story short on who has the best quality (IDW vs Titan), I've heard that since the sources for both reprints vary (original artwork doesn't exist, nor syndicate proofs), the "best quality" actually varies by the individual Sunday page you're looking at in either volume! On some specific Sundays, it's IDW, on others, Titan. On balance, they're about the same, so make your choice by which size and price fits you (and whether or not you care about having Jungle Jim - I don't).

                              The paperback format for classic comic reprints seems to be a the next vanishing breed after the floppy comic book. Of the main publishers of classic reprint material (IDW, Hermes Press, Titan, and Fantagraphics), only Fantagraphics chooses to print some books (Nancy, Zippy, some of the Basil Wolverton comic book reprints) in softcover. None of these publishers has anything resembling the hardcover/trade paperback (a year later) program that DC and Marvel use for their current collections (and only Marvel offers the Masterworks series in paperback -- many years later after the hardcover first printings).
                              Do you think there will be reprints of Flash, The Phantom, and Mandrake in paperback ....a couple years down the line.??

                              I remember The Phantom when he was published by Harvey. I think I picked up that first Golden Key Phantom...can't remember why I didn't stay with it. I liked Ray Moore's stuff.

                              I would love to see a "Marvel Masterworks"-like printing of our heroes....but I don't think it will ever happen.

                              Just something affordable to compliment the new series would be very nice.
                              New readers could see how great these heroes were.
                              Last edited by magnoanddavey; 08-07-2013, 02:44 AM.

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                              • Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
                                Do you think there will be reprints of Flash, The Phantom, and Mandrake in paperback ....a couple years down the line.??th
                                Just something affordable to compliment the new series would be very nice.
                                New readers could see how great these heroes were.
                                A floppy comic book costs $3-4. By my reckoning they have not been 'affordable' for years. Since they're too expensive to be considered disposable any more, the price point drives away the casual (mass) consumer in favor of the dedicated collector, and the number of copies sold reflect this, when compared to the sales of decades past, when comic books were much cheaper. Yes, even allowing for inflation.

                                Unfortunately, the King Features adventure characters don't have the wide recognition and appeal (at least in the U.S.) that they had from the 1930s to the 1960s. Paperbacks... crystal ball says no.

                                Now that you mention the comic books from Harvey and Gold Key, I'm not even sure we're talking about the same thing. Dark Horse reprinted all the Flash Gordon comic books (1950s-1980s) in its FLASH GORDON COMIC BOOKS ARCHIVES series of hardcovers, but Dark Horse has never reprinted any of its hardcover archives in paperback. Hermes Press is in the process of reprinting THE PHANTOM comic books (so far they have covered the Gold Key and King Comics era, and have begun on the Charlton Comics era). Hardcover again, and again Hermes offers no paperback versions of those books.

                                When you mentioned classic reprints of those characters earlier, I had assumed you were talking about the newspaper strips, not the comic books. The Harvey Comics Phantoms were also reprints of the newspaper strips, which is why Hermes Press didn't bother reprinting those - they already have series reprinting the Phantom dailies and Sundays.

                                Long story short, if you want these things badly enough you will have to purchase them in hardcover, or pass if you don't want them that badly.
                                Last edited by pulphero; 08-07-2013, 01:31 PM.

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